Seminar 1:

Mystery and Modernity

Ancient insigths
- and the ways they breathe in our time

Gomde, Denmark, 18-24 July, 2021

Register here

Kursus 1:

Den buddhistiske impuls

Tusindårige indsigter
- og hvordan de blander sig i vores tid

Helgenæs, 15-21. juli 2019 - early bird rabat inden 1. juni.

Tilmelding her

An exploration of new and ancient ways spirituality is alive

The impulse from Buddhism has become a significant stream in global and Western culture, and hence also Danish culture.

Far beyond the small circles of Western Buddhists, this impulse expresses itself in a hundred shapes, from small garden Buddhas to vast concepts of time, mind, life and death. It also lives in mindfulness and other practices that are now part of everyday life for millions of people.

The "Buddha impulse" is growing - not only becoming wider by reaching ever more people, but hopefully also gaining deeper impact as the seeds of wisdom and compassion that are essential in Buddhism, begin to sprout in many ways - perhaps sometimes completely new ways. 

This seminar focuses on the depths in the Buddhist impulse - and how we may be able to understand, unfold and extend it. The faculty and the list of themes give a unique possibility of a combined deepening and exploration: "inward" into the sources of Buddhism, and "outward" into many forms of expressing, experiencing and caring. We will also explore its meeting with some central Western traditions of expressing spirit, wisdom and care. 

Main themes:

  • Buddhist philosophy: central insights and methods
  • Four main schools: Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Yogacara, Madhyamaka
  • What is meditation? Can natural care and insight be trained?
  • The relationship between meditation, ethics and aesthetics - classical and modern
  • East and West - meeting, merging or mutual transformation?
  • Is Dharma an exclusive club for Buddhists? Or can it nourish community and globalized culture?

"The Open Nordic Contemplative College" (Danmarks kontemplative højskole) is a forum for deepening and exploration. Its form of teaching and sharing is deeply inspired by the Nordic Folk High School movement (read more here) and the Mind and Life Institute. The summer seminars take place at the Buddhist retreat center Gomde in Helgenæs, Denmark - a beautiful landscape with beaches, forests, apple orchards and rolling hills.


Contributors at seminar 1

Teachers and facilitators throughout the seminar

John Dunne, Khenpo Tokpa Tulku, Niels Viggo Hansen

Main teacher of meditation during the first 2 days:

John Dunne

 Other teachers, contributors, musicians, lecturers and dialogue partners:

Andreas Doctor, Jacob Piet, Anne Marie Pahuus, David Hykes, Susanne Lifschitz, Karen Johanne Pallesen.

Read more about the contributors here.

Daily program

These days will be laboratories of spirit - in the open and inviting "højskole" sense. Space for serious and playful contemplation - with body, heart and mind. Space for enjoying summer in Helgenæs as well.

Morning yoga

Morning meditation

Morning session

  • 1-3 inspirations / lectures 
  • Replies and co-reflections from other contributors
  • Guided contemplative group dialogues
  • Final plenary dialogue and meditation 

Afternoon workshops
(optional, varying, weather dependent, sometimes parallel)

  • Explorative dialogues
  • Experiential sessions
  • Planting a tree
  • Moving Meditation / Akido

Evening session

  • meditation instructions and explorations on the first 2-3 evenings. After that film, bonfires, moving meditation, concert, celebration

Around every meal there will be a good break for resting, walking, swimming, eating icecream, playing jamsessions, or whatever comes up. There will also be coffee breaks in the middle of every morning and afternoon session.


For who?

Everyone interested can participate. Højskole seminars are for people of all ages, and for those who have had Buddhism or meditation as part of their personal lives for decades, as well as those who would like to deepen their understanding of this growing impulse in our shared reality.

This seminar week will connect well with seminar 2, but they can also be taken separately.


Seminar fees

Accommodation Danish kroner Euros
Camping (students*) 2100 300
Camping 2900 400
Dormitory 3600 500
Bed in a shared double room 4800 650
Single room 5700 750

The above prices are per one-week seminar. All board and lodging is included.
*The prerequisite for the student discount is a valid student id from e.g. a university.



Send an email to saying that you would like to participate. Please specify if you wish to register for seminar 1, seminar 2, or both, as well as your choice of accommodation (see above). We will then send you an email with confirmation, bank account for transfer of fee, and other practical information.

(Your reservation will be temporary for 2 weeks and be secured permanently when the fee is transferred. Gomde Højskole's conditions for registrations, payments and cancellations are stated in the confirmation email. You can also read them here.