The surprising success of documentary "Die große Stille" (English: "Into Great Silence") by Philip Gröning shows that there is a need to develop the ability to be alone. But, also beyond the screen, there is a increasing need for silence. In the early 90s the first 'quiet garden' opened in England, a quiet place where one should do nothing but sit and be silent. Where can you go in Berlin when you need to just sit and enjoy some quiet time or some personal meditation? While researching I found many places which are surprisingly peaceful in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Berlin! These meditation spots are the perfect places to take a breather and all of my recommendations have open classes for everyone (also in English ;). Here you can enjoy some time of reflection, reading, or simply catching back up with yourself.
Kadampa Meditationszentrum Berlin
Kadampa Meditation Centre Berlin in Mitte is all yours! They offer study and meditation programmes on Modern Buddhism such as regular drop-in classes, retreats and weekend courses. Every Monday the center offers a meditation class in English. This drop-in class is open for everyone and includes guided meditation, a brief teaching on the topic and inspiring chanted prayers. The course is based on one of the most recent texts of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, 'How to transform your life'. Classes are self-contained. Previous registration is possible but not necessary.
Kadampa Meditationszentrum Berlin, Chausseestraße 108, 10115 Berlin (Mitte), every Monday 19:30–20:30 English meditation, open class, 7 Euro
"Raum der Stille" at Brandenburger Tor
The historic monument Brandenburger Tor is a popular sight for each visitor. Still, it has a secret Room of Silence. Located on the right side of Brandenburger Tor when you pass through from Unter den Linden, you will find the entrance. You can sit down there, relax, breathe and escape for a moment from the buzz of the city. There is also a very unique painting which is worth focusing on. Please share your experience afterwards of what effect the painting had on you. A historic location in the heart of Berlin and a secret 'must' on our list of top 5 meditation spots in Berlin.
Raum der Stille, Pariser Platz 7, 10117 Berlin (Mitte), www.raum-der-stille-im-brandenburger-tor.de, station: U55 Brandenburger Tor
Museum der Stille
Voilà. A place where art, architecture and silence meet. Discover the "Museum of Silence" located in Berlin Mitte and start a dialogue within. According to Makarov, the time has come for fine art to achieve one of its oldest objectives: drawing beholders into contemplation and thus bringing them into contact with the spiritual aspects of the self. Yearning for silence, reflection and calm is no mere contemporary phenomenon but rather as old as humankind itself. Maintaining silence served as a philosophical discipline as early as the sixth century BC in the school of Pythagoras. The desire of stillness became so great that protected spaces for quietude with atmospheric surroundings were created. Let your thoughts and impressions calm down, relax and learn more about the depth of silence at this unique museum.
Linienstraße 154A, 10115 Berlin (Mitte), +49 30 27 89 19 90, email@example.com, www.museum-der-stille.de, station: U6 Oranienburger Tor, Tue–Sun 14:00–19:00, free entrance, pic by Nikolai Makarov
Buddhist meditation centre
The Buddhist meditation center Lotos-Vihara is an oasis of peace in the middle of Berlin, not far from Alexanderplatz. It offers the opportunity for listening to a Buddha's teachings and to learn and practice meditation. Our offers are open to all interested people at any time. Join their daily morning meditation (1 hour) before starting your sightseeing in Berlin. This morning meditation is donation based. Soak up new energy for your day, chant and meditate in this beautiful centre. There is also the Lotus Café – if you prefer a calm spot for lunch or a delicious cake.
Lotos Vihara e.V., Neue Blumenstraße 5, 10179 Berlin (Friedrichshain), www.lotos-vihara.de, Mon–Fr 7:00–8:00, Sat–Sun 8:00–9:00, donation based
FLOW in Baumhaus
The experience of allowing oneself to be completely immersed in the present moment, in a positive feedback loop of clarity and contentment. Things seem more effortless and pleasant, that's what Scott, the co-founder of the "Baumhaus Projekt" offers in his workshop "FLOW" which is always held on the last Wednesday of the month. He shows simple and effective methods which they have used over the last three years at the "Improvisational Groove Orchestra I.G.O." (free improv singing every Thursday in the treehouse). Within 20 minutes you can learn how to use a common soundram and create resonance in the form of improvised music. Here you can experience real ‘flow’ moments. Participation is easy, musical talent is not necessary - everyone is welcome! Important - if you've never sang in a tree house before, please come in time for the introduction and warm up!
Das Baumhaus Berlin, Gerichtsstraße 23, 13347 Berlin (Wedding), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.baumhausberlin.de, last Wednesday of the month 19:00–22:00, Pay-as-you-feel 6–12 Euro
Big thank you to my co-author Tabea Magura from www.urbanashram.berlin for helping me with this peaceful article!
If you want to find more hidden gems in Berlin, check out my folding maps BertaBerlin and QueerBerlin. They are available in well-chosen locations all over Charlottenburg, Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin and online. But for those of you, who want to stay up to date, feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK or register for my NEWSLETTER BertaNews.