Retreat: Almost Nothing
An exercise in art and meditation

Thought alone doesn't answer any questions.
Thought is selective and therefore exclusive. Thus, avoiding the possibility of the inclusion of everything, beyond the known, beyond the knower.
That what is cannot be understood by thought alone.
Thought is often in the way of your work and a hindrance to your creativity.

This is a workshop/retreat that incorporates secular, non-traditional, Buddhist-based mindfulness meditation-exercises into your art practice.
To raise awareness; to allow yourself to open up to what you don't know; to free yourself from habits and conventions; gaining insight and opening up to the complexity of everything. We will explore this in practice with numerous simple drawing exercises.

Not to focus on sharpening your pencil but on sharpening your mind.

If meditation can be your anchor, art can be your grounding. The one informs the other.

Together we will engage in a creative open dialogue exploring how we retrieve information, process it, and communicate it to the outside world. We will attempt to learn more who we are as a person, as an artist, about the world we are part of, and what we care to share, and what we are willing to contribute.

Focusing on technical stuff, on academically/classically trained skills is mostly a distraction, can be an avoidance of going deeper, of addressing and accepting to what the story really is that you are compelled to share. Deeper connectivity or focusing has very little to do with surface and lines and paint but much more with sharpening your mind and your ability to open up and to listen within.
The pencil is only a tool. Another tool is meditation.

We are not adding anything to what is already inside us - we are only trying to retrieve it. When we allow ourselves to listen, we will hear.
We will learn to unlearn, to unclutter, to question, and to let go so what is will emerge. We will find more clarity and insight through the practice of not doing. In that no-thing lies stillness, which is presence. Accepting with openness and curiosity what is.
Stillness is the opening for all creativity. That we will nurture and transform into mindful action. That, which we call art, is the awakening out of the illusion of what is not.


Technical description:
1. Inviting anyone who is committed to the arts in any form - all levels of experience, working in any medium and any substrate, as we address fundamental issues concerning connectivity, mind and action, inside listening, and enhancing our abilities of experiencing.
2. The 7-day retreat will take place on the remote coastline in Stockton Springs, Maine, starting Saturday, May 18 and ending Friday, May 24, 2019.
3. Maximum number of participants: 12.
4. We will be staying at a place with 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms that could potentially house 24 people - so, most will have to share a room. Will be sending more detailed info and pictures upon inquiry.
5. Beautiful water views and 300 foot private beach.
6. We will prepare and have meals together.
7. Course fee for 7 days, 6 nights, including everything is $750.
8. Reservation deadline and advance down payment of $200: February 28, 2019.

To be clear:
We will be trying to do as much nothing as possible.
The goal is not to take home a finished work of art, so as not to feel the urge to perform in any way, but to take home new ideas and tools and more options of connecting to oneself through art and meditation.
Bring as little material and as few ideas as you can.

Please contact Bernd Haussmann directly for any questions/clarifications/reservations at behaussmann@gmail.com