Retreat-Reflect-Regain, 29 July – 4 August

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
— Mary Oliver

Did you ever feel that all your thinking, planning and activity came to an end? You hit a wall, and nothing seemed to be beyond? No solutions in sight?
Your work, your relationships are going well — yet there is this nagging doubt: Is this really all? What now?
Then this retreat is for you.

Join us in Greece, in the beautiful nature of the Mediterranean, to voyage out into presence and fulfillment.
We humans have fascinating minds — we can think of the past and learn from it. We can imagine the future and plan its course. Yet, this mind has shadow aspects as well. We can get totally stuck in our thinking. Nothing moving forward. Nothing moving backward. We can re-live cognitive and emotional patterns, even if we already understood that they are not helpful and block our lives.

This retreat is a voyage into the deeper spaces of mind. In Zen meditation and two coaching sessions a day you will get to know your mind better, deeper – and in meeting it with relaxation and mindful awareness, old patterns will transform and make space for new, surprising discoveries.

In Zen meditation you learn to rest in immediate presence. Reconnecting with the “soft animal of your body” allows for joy and ease, which have been covered up far too long by old cognitive patterns, to surface. Thus you create space for creative thinking and effective decision making.

With this open, flexible mind you will go into coaching sessions to understand more, what has been hindering you in the past and what will guide you in the future.

Each day is framed by Zen meditation at dawn and after sunset. Two group coaching sessions allow for extensive explorations in the morning and late afternoons. After lunch there will be time for rest, swimming and exploring the beauty of Karpathos Island.

Daily Schedule

  • 05.30 Morning bell & tea
  • 06.00 Zen meditation
  • 07.00 Breakfast
  • 08.00 Yoga
  • 09.00 Time off
  • 11.00 Coaching Journey, session 1
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Break for nap, swim, nothing
  • 17.00 Coaching Journey, session 2
  • 19.00 Dinner
  • 20.00 Social time in the group
  • 21.00 Zen meditation in 3×20 min. periods
The retreat starts on August 1 at 17:00 with a welcome meeting, dinner, and meditation and ends on August 7 with meditation, breakfast, and farewell in the morning at 10:00.

About the Team

Bernd Bender is a Zen teacher and founder of “Akazienzendo“, Berlin, where he teaches Zen and mindfulness. He received his training in one of the most important Zen centers of the US, the San Francisco Zen Center, where he lived, studied and taught for 15 years. He is mindfulness consultant for LEAD Academy, a well-known institution for leadership in Berlin; Bernd gives talks and teaches workshops on implementing mindfulness in companies and organizations.  He studied literature and philosophy in Frankfurt and Berkeley.

“It is inspiring for me to apply ancient wisdom teachings to create meaning and balance in the uncertainties of a globalized world.”

Florian Brody is a life and leadership coach and a creative marketing executive with over 25 years experience. As a certified Integral Coach® he works with professionals seeking a deeper path to authenticity and happiness, as a business consultant he supports companies in the innovation space in developing their own story and in entering the market. He co-founded several start-ups and raised significant amounts of venture funding. He also works as life and management coach in the start-up as well as the not-for-profit space. Brody co-invented the first electronic books and created multiple groundbreaking digital publishing solutions in Europe and the US. Earlier he built the multimedia market for Apple Austria and developed digital media catalogs at the Austrian National Library in Vienna.

Brody was a member of the graduate faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and held the multimedia chair at the University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg. He teaches entrepreneurship and mobile payment strategies at Universities in Austria and Germany. He actively promotes to collaboration between European countries and the Silicon Valley and has initiated an incubator for Austrian start-ups. He is co-chair for the media and entertainment chapter at GABA, the German American Business Association, adviser to AICSV, the Austrian Innovation Center in the Silicon Valley and was founding president of ASCINA. Brody grew up in Vienna where he studied computer linguistics, worked at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris and as fashion photographer in Vienna. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker and has been published in multiple languages.

Angelos Derlopas is a Leadership coach with over 30 years of business experience. Having recorded a successful career as executive in several industries, he founded Positivity to offer high-level Professional Coaching services and education to the market. He is the author of two ICF ACSTH accredited coaching training programs and several ICF CCE ones. Angelos led a team of professionals who designed an educational coaching program at the National Centre of Public Administration and thus introduced coaching to the Greek public sector for the first time.

He is teaching coaching at Positivity, at the National Public Administration School, at the University of Piraeus and in the Middle East. He trains coaches, coaching trainers, mentors and supervises them. He supervised a substantial amount of coaching interventions with his team of certified coaches in the non-profit sector.

He is a frequent speaker at coaching conferences in Europe and Asia and a keynote speaker in Greece. He received the Global Coaching Leadership Award 2013, World Coaching Congress in India, the Bronze CSR Award 2015, HR Community Awards in Greece and the 100 Best Global Coaching Leaders Award 2017, World HRD Congress in India. He has postgraduate studies in both Business Administration (MBA) and Psychology (MSc) and studied coaching in the UK, US, and Mindfulness Awareness Practices in UCLA. He is a Certified Mentor Coach (CMC), a trained Team Coach Supervisor (AHA/CSA) and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentialed through the International Coach Federation (ICF). He is a founding member and past President of the ICF Greece Charter Chapter. He has 1,500 hours experience in coaching and more than 3,000 hours teaching coaching. In the free time he creates, he engages in volunteering activities and shares stories of focused discoveries with his family.