Europe Retreat: 'Intelligence of the Heart'

Location: Vienna, Austria

Duration: --

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world," Gandhi once said. It’s hard to believe that, when we feel disconnected. Instead, we fight for a bigger hammer – more money, more fame, more power. Just a few weeks ago, in Economist magazine, the head of Gallup summarized the global status quo like this: "Negative emotions -- the aggregate of stress, sadness, anger, worry and physical pain -- reached a record high last year."

In a context of compounding catastrophes and dystopian narratives in the media, how do we unleash our imagination and become co-creators of a different story? How do we respond to the personal, social and systemic gaps with a heart of compassion? Gandhi's recommendation was counter-intuitive: if an intervention doesn’t work, try a gentler one. If even that fails, go gentler still. Today’s culture tends to equate gentle with soft, but it’s hardly so. To be gentle is to be connected, and with that awareness, we can see more and do more.

Join us for a 1-day gathering, with pioneering friends like Nipun Mehta from America (who recently spoke about AI + Heart), meditation teacher from Vietnam Tho Ha Vinh, founder of a political party turned musician Matthias Strolz, life-long educator Gundl Kutschera, laughter-expert Alma Gall and many more!

We'll be exploring questions like: When our individual flow aligns with the collective flow, what might emerge in the wholeness of our connection? Like a murmuration of starlings, what innovations might we unlock if we are able to come together with heart of service? If, as Einstein said, problems can't be solved at the level of consciousness that created them -- how do we step into a higher consciousness to effectively respond with compassion? What are the unexpected "black swan" events that we might not be seeing alone, that we can spot collectively? How, ultimately, might we go from building barriers to bridges?

In this gathering, we aim to open our minds and hearts to the transformative power of compassion and kindness -- with inspiring change-makers across various different sectors (education, business, nonprofit, government, community and media). We will engage with personal practices, hear from thoughtful speakers, interact with each other and collectively cite patterns of positive deviance that we are seeing around the globe -- and "heartstorm" how we might amplify the presence of that force in today's world.

Join us, for an energizing day with heart-centered leaders and "ladders" inspired to hold uncommon questions across different sectors. Hosted at the Markhoff in Central Vienna, we invite you to co-create a sacred field of emergence!



In an increasingly volatile and complex world, we have many challenges and many solutions. Yet, we might benefit from zooming out and exploring patterns across different sectors. Could those patterns point us to an “elegant simplicity” on the other side of complexity? To live, lead and love fully and deeply in this context, and to catalyze a movement of the whole, we hope to dive into some nuanced design questions.

This retreat is hosted by the local ServiceSpace's Vienna community and the larger ServiceSpace ecosystem. Volunteers behind this particular retreat have collectively anchored thousands of circles and hundreds of retreats; moreover, they have supported many ServiceSpace projects from Karuna News to Karma Kitchen.

  • Inspiring participants. Lots of great hearts are coming together! Check out this recap by Christine from a prior gathering.
  • Uncommon questions. For quick-fix, binary, either-or answers, we already have Google and ChatGPT. :) Here, we aim to hold questions while leaning into its nuances first.
  • Noble Friendships. Our hope is to nurture a rich matrix of friendships among unlikely friends.
  • Volunteer Run. It's run entirely by volunteers, so there's no solicitation, pitches, agendas. Just practice of love.

The retreat is held in Markhof center in Vienna (Markhofgasse 19, 1030 Wien), which is also quite accessible by public transport. It is a great setting, with ample spaces for small group discussions and collective meditations, alongside a dose of outdoor serenity.

Psstt, a fun post (with lots of pictures) from a couple years ago about Karma Kitchen Vienna at the same location. :)

All ServiceSpace retreats are offered as a no-strings-attached gift, made possible by gratitude offerings from past alumni. At the end of all retreats, everyone organically keeps the chain alive and pays it forward with their own expression of wealth.

The retreat formally begins on 10:00AM on Nov 19th (Sunday), 2023 and ends at Sunday, Nov 19th @ 5PM. Post that, all bets are off. :)

Through our time together, we will sit in circles to learn from each other’s experiments and challenges; hear and engage with some innovative speakers across sectors; engage in many group practices that nurture our collective inner transformation. Plenty of opportunities to engage the head, hands and of course the heart. Plus a few surprises!

Over the last decade, ServiceSpace retreats have brought together thousands of people from wide-ranging backgrounds. Perhaps what magnetized them was a simple organizing principle: We are not merely what we do, but who we become by what we do. If you resonate with the notion that inner change and outer change are intrixicably intertwined, and if you are moved to cultivate deep connections with kindred spirits, this retreat will likely speak to you! Beyond that, we'd recommend leaning on your heart's intuition -- more often than not, "heart knows today what the mind will know tomorrow." :)

If you have any questions, please contact us anytime. To co-create our sacred field of emergence, we welcome you join us!



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