KAAD Meditation days 2009 in the arch abbey Beuron
Figures from the Bible – Models for our Life?
Spiritual interpretations in literature, art and film
The days started for us usually at 5 o'clock with the early choir of the monks in the cloister. I find it simply marvellous! One gets the feeling to stand before an angel's choir. After the breakfast we started with an introduction to the cloister tradition and liturgy of the Benedictines.
The first content part of our meditation days started after the coffee break. The working unity dealt with the subject "God's meeting". According to an analysis of a picture of Marc Chagall „Moses and the burning brier“, as well as the reading of a Bible text from the book Exodus we got the duty to sign our life curve with points where one met God in his life. Then we discussed this in three groups with the other scholarship holders. I found this also very interesting and helpful how one could exchange experiences with the others.
The next day (Sunday) I noticed how the day was formed in all aspects by the Eucharist celebration (Feast of the Holy apostle Jacob) up to food. The subject of our second work unit was “Where is my place in the community?”. So after the vertical aspect on the first day „My relation with God“ the horizontal aspect „My relation with the people“ was discussed here. In the light of a Bible text „History of Abel“ and a poem of Hilde Domin „Abel get up“ we had the duty to determine our place in the community.
Next we visited the cloister exhibition and cloister library with brother Maurus. There he explained to us something from the inner life of the library and how it functions.
In the second part of the working unity we discussed the subject "Angel". According to a picture analysis and the meditative hearing of music of the composer Oskar Gottlieb Blarr and the reflection of the psalm 91 we were divided in two groups. Our job was to look for angels in our lives. The discussion was interesting and everybody spoke quite openly and honestly about personal experiences with angels.
The day was also adapted to the day rhythm of the cloister (prayer times). In the evening we met once more to make a flashback of the whole day.
The next day (Monday) after the early choir and breakfast our last working unity started with the subject "God". We read a Bible text and watched a short film: „Spin or if God would be a DJ “. An interpretation followed.
In the lunch break many of us made a wandering with the friendly brother Maurus to the Saint Maurus-chapel and hydroelectric power plant belonging to the cloister. Brother Maurus introduced to us the Beuron art school and explaned how strongly she was influenced by the Egyptian and Byzantine art. The natural landscapes which we saw was marvelous!
After the lunch break we celebrated a group-mass. Then father Ulrich and father Thomas asked each of us to write a letter to himself with the most important experiences from these days. Then the letters were closed and collected. They will be sent to us after some time by mail to remind ourselves of our thoughts and ideas during the Meditation days. Everybody was inspired by the idea!
In the evening the Evaluation took place. Then we celebrated our farewell meeting.
The meditation days were very successful. They meant a great enrichment for us. Hence, our hearty thanks go to father Thomas Eggensberger and father Ulrich Engel for the very good organization of the days. Further we want to thank the Benedictine's cloister in Beuron for their hospitably. And last but not least, we want to thank KAAD for giving us the opportunity to attend such a wonderful seminar.
Sami Gohar Farag (Egypt)
Stephen Nana Ato Arthur (Ghana)
Stephen Nana Ato Arthur, born in 1961, has been a KAAD-scholar twice and between the two scholarships was not only a period of 12 years but also a very successful political career that has reached a peak in 2012: On 08.12.2012, KAAD got the news that he has won the constituency KEEA as a candidate for Parliament. He will therefore be the first alumnus of KAAD as a member of parliament in an African country.