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Contemplation and Enlightenment Intensive

28 - 31 May 2015 in Mulhouse (France)

with Kevin Magee

A Contemplation Intensive is similar in some ways to an intense Zen retreat. Throughout the workshop, the participants ask or "hold" a question, such as "Who am I?" for the purpose of having a direct conscious experience. In Zen terminology, such a breakthrough is called an enlightenment experience.

There is no "data" in this intensive, nothing to memorize, no formula to live by, nothing to understand. New distinctions and breakthroughs are likely to occur, yet they occur solely out of the participants' own work in contemplation.

The Contemplation and Communication Exercise

While this kind of intensive is highly structured and requires discipline, the actual technique used is extremely straightforward and simple. The main exercise we do throughout is called a Contemplation and Communication Exercise (CCE).

This is a 40-minute period in which two people sit facing each other, with one person acting as a listening partner and the other as the contemplating and communicating partner. Every five minutes the roles are reversed and the listening partner becomes the contemplating and communicating partner, and the contemplating partner becomes the listening partner. This continues back and forth for 40 minutes.

The fundamental endeavour in a CCE is repeatedly setting out to directly experience who you are (other questions include: What is another? What is life? Or What am I?). As a result of such immediate contemplation, in which you are opening up in this very moment to experience yourself directly, something will come up - some thought, feeling, idea, sensation, memory, or some sort of experience will fill the space of that openness. Or you will directly experience who you are.

Whatever comes up for you - no matter what it is - is communicated to your partner. You get it across to that person honestly, exactly as it is. The listening partner receives it without comment, without judgment, without any kind of feedback at all, subtle or gross. This gives you the freedom and space to communicate anything, without concern about its correctness, how good or bad it looks, or whether or not it will be judged. When the communication has occurred, you once again set out to experience who you are - contemplating and then communicating what comes up as a result, repeating this process until your five minutes are up. At that time a bell will chime and you will be instructed to reverse roles; you will then become a non-judgmental, open, and silent listening partner for five minutes.

The Contemplation Intensive Format

A day begins at 6 AM. Throughout the day you will do about 14 CCEs. There will also be walking or solo contemplations (30-40 minutes), a lecture period, and a few other short exercises during the day. The meals will be light, but relatively frequent. Vegetarian meals are provided. You will be cared for so that your focus can be total. Everything will be a contemplation. For example, meals are "eating contemplation" and bedtime is "sleeping contemplation." The participant is instructed to "hold the question" every minute of the entire day. Sleeping contemplation occurs close to midnight.

In such an intense environment, where you have no concerns but to directly experience yourself, you will move through a tremendous amount of "stuff." Mental, emotional, or physical barriers can come up. This is to be expected. Consider it part of the process and keep your intent on directly experiencing who you are no matter what comes up or gets in the way. The purpose of the intensive is to have an enlightenment experience, which is to say, to directly and authentically experience the true nature of Being.


There will be three staff members: facilitator, monitor and cook.

The facilitator will be Kevin Magee. Kevin started doing contemplation intensives in 1997. He has participated in numerous intensives with different facilitators since then as well as being senior monitor for intensives in the US. In 2011 Kevin  finished a 7 month intense contemplation program with Master Peter Ralston in Texas. Kevin brings his experience of contemplation to serve others in their own contemplations.

The monitor will be Rob van Ham. Rob has participated in contemplation intensives with Master Ralston and Kevin Magee. The supportive role of the monitor during a Contemplation Intensive is essential to the success of the Intensive.

The third staff member will be our cook Anne working behind the scenes to produce meals.


During the intensive  we will stay in Centre de vacances de HOUPPACH, à MASVAUX. The house is named Villa. We will have 6 dormitories for 3 to 8 persons, with beds, 2 showers, toilets, a kitchen and group room. You need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow for the dormitory.

More information will be provided after sign up.

Check in time: Thursday 28 May 2015 at 19h30

Check out time: Sunday 31 May 2015 at 20h30

Costs: € 375 (including full stay)

Info and contact:

Association Le Fil de Soie

Web : http://lefildesoie.net/

Email : Lefildesoie68@yahoo.fr

Tel:  0033 (0)6 21 60 52 52