Being Orientation is a modern, western and enlightened path of ‘the art of living.’ It is aimed at recognizing and actualizing your own inherent freedom. Using an array of meditative methods, we focus on your enlightened essence, understanding this to be the starting point of your path towards self-actualization. This is summarized with our slogan:
“Rest in Being and do what you want.”
To shape your free nature in daily life, your development on a psychological level is also essential. You have to get to know yourself, which means investing in exploring your conditioned patterns like projections and defense mechanisms during individual and group sessions.
You are encouraged to drop your protective habits and develop a new, creative and compassionate behaviour. The special quality of our approach is that the psychological work always takes place within the perspective and felt presence of your enlightened nature. The normal division between spiritual and psychological work is absent in Being Orientation.
Our meditative practices will enable you to come in contact with your free, unconditioned and pure nature. It will also shed light on how your mind constructs the world around you. This intimacy with the sacred will profoundly alter both your outlook on life and your value system. Your sensitivity and compassion will grow. Your body will become softer, more supple, filled with youthful energies.
Being Orientation helps people to deepen and enrich their lives. The school has specialized in offering a contemporary path of ‘the art of living’ that you can follow at your own pace and that is tailored to modern, Western people. Being Orientation is for everyone who wishes to learn to live his or her everyday life from a spiritual perspective.
Read more about:
- What the school can offer to english speaking students
- View and methods of Being Orientation
- The methods of Being Orientation
- The School of Being Orientation
- English articles, books and video
- Hans Knibbe
It is possible for both European and international organizations and groups to invite us to work with them. If you are interested please contact our secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an introduction to our work we are willing to travel to you for workshops and retreats and should you wish to continue the work with us, we can set up a regular, ongoing program.
The premise of Being Orientation is that you are already fundamentally free. You don’t have to become free. You don’t have to free yourself from anything. Freedom is the inherent open and clear nature of your consciousness. Remembering this is both the starting point and goal of Being Orientation.
We believe that it is important to bring this freedom into the world of everyday life through a process of developing the psyche to a higher level of functioning. However, being free is not enough. To be of service to the society you have to be skillfull, wise, and compassionate. Those qualities need to be developed in small group settings, where you can learn about your psychological patterns and can experiment with new behaviour.
This coming together of spiritual awakening and psychological development is a new path. We draw extensively from Dzogchen and Mahamudra for the spiritual study and training. For our psychological work we are influenced by the humanistic psychology of Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, and by the modern psycho-analytic object-relation and attachment theories.
Hans Knibbe began his career as a humanistic psychotherapist, using experiential methods, and in Being Orientation there is a strong emphasis to learn through experience.
Our way of working is not mental or scholarly, although study is an integral part of the path.
Students are presented with experiential learning situations, where they can explore what is happening in the moment, instead of talking about it in a detached or objective way.
These experiential methods can be grouped into three perspectives.
In the first perspective we make contact with the Spirit. We open ourselves to pure energies and presence through energy work, visualization and devotion. We keep this spiritual atmosphere as well as the ‘Wisdom Mind’ present during our meditative and psychological work.
Our center of gravity is still located within the conventional world with its assumptions of a solid self and solid world. We are here at the interface between conditioned psyche and unconditioned pure Spirit. Most of our work takes place here. Because we believe it is essential to train the psyche to become transparent and obedient to the influence of the spirit. It needs to change its habits. Without this training of the psyche, enlightenment will have no way to manifest itself.
In the second perspective we open up so completely to the Spirit that our identification with our self as a organic and historical being falls away. We become the Spirit. We see our self as a pure Spirit Being, and we see our environment in a pure and beautiful way. Our energy channels open, and strong energy-currents blaze through them. We are being purified. Also, our sense of reality starts to change. We leave the reified world and enter into an open, subtle, communicative, connected world. We get glimpses of emptiness: the no-thingness of reality.
In the third perspective we unite with the ground of Being, pure Awareness, Nowness. In this perspective everything is inherently free, whether conditioned or pure. There is no more work to do. The mental structuring of reality in time and space parameters is no longer dominant. We see that Being expresses itself through the myriad forms it magically manifests. Clearly present yet never solid.
This is reality without veils, we have awakened.
The School of Being Orientation was founded in 1987 by Hans Knibbe, who still directs the school. The staff of the school offer workshops, retreats, a three-year post-graduate training, plus a teacher-training program. Each year about 300 students follow our courses and trainings.
Closely connected to the School are several sub-organizations:
1. The foundation ‘Stichting Zijnsorientatie’ which publishes a biannual magazine, books and videos.
2. The teachers have organised themselves into a professional association of graduated and registered teachers: BVZB
3. The community of dedicated followers of the path have organised themselves into ‘De Zijnskring’, following retreats and training together in small practice groups.
We see the school as a Sangha, a community of devoted practitioners on the path. We form a body, a space of inspiration with each other, which proves immensely uplifting and nourishing. We take care of this shared space by avoiding gossip, blaming and judging, avoiding the formation of negative nuclei and other forms of acting out negativity. And we feed the common space through positive behaviour, feeling and thought.
Some of our articles, books and videos are translated into English.
The three perspectives
This article presents an exposé of the three basic approaches by which the Being dimension is actualized in the ‘Being Orientation’ approach. These three approaches work within their own distinct perspective.
Neurosis as an unrecognized Buddha quality
This article is an effort to understand the psyche in general and the neurosis in particular as a condensation of radiant, Spirit quality.
So far one book has been translated: “See you are already free” (asoka.)
This book presents the enlightened view on which Being Orientation is based.
“See you are already free” (ebook)
Hans Knibbe and Lama Tony
Conversation between Lama Tony Duff and Hans Knibbe about healthy self love and basic goodness. In 2018 Lama Tony Duff was invited in the school to give teachings on Dzogchen. This interview was made in that period.
Documentary by Pat van Boeckel on Hans Knibbe and his work.
(Time: 55 minutes)
Hans Knibbe over misbehavior of lama Sogyal
Interview made by Menno Bijleveld, bodhi tv.
(Time: 26 minutes)
Hans Knibbe (1949) studied clinical psychology at the university, of Utrecht, graduating in 1975. He followed a three year training coarse in humanistic psychotherapy by Dr. Jacob Stattman (Unitive psychology) and practiced as a psychotherapist. In the same period he also began meditation practice and studied Buddhism and Vedanta. The work of Adi Da brought him to the insight that the linear, goal driven way of working with yourself hides and denies the great love and clarity of Being. He sought ways to integrate the psychological work within a context of ‘Resting in Being’. This turned out to be a major and radical endeavour and is still in progress. Because the new way of working differed so much from the existing approaches, he gave his work a new name and founded a school: The School of Being Orientation. His understanding of the work itself and the context needed for that went through several phases. He saw his work at first as a broadening and deepening of psychotherapeutic help. But slowly he realized that as his work was founded on a spiritual view, the culture around it needed to be spiritual as well. Hence the usage of words like ‘path’, ‘teacher’, ‘student’ etc.
He is very careful to ground the culture of the school in the modern western world and to not regress to copying the pre-modern, eastern, spiritual culture and habits. He sees the need to develop a new modern, individuated, culturally progressive and scientifically minded way of practicing spirituality. Only then can enlightenment be of real significance for modern society.
He devotes his time to offering post graduate training, supervision, retreats, writing books and developing new methods.