Information on the speakers

Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji

More Infomation about Sri Swamiji you can find here.

Founder and Pontiff of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore; a realised Yogi and expert in the spiritual and philosophic sphere according to the Indian Tradition.

Lectures: As initiator of the conference and its concept Sri Swamiji will talk on the four aspects  of 'Gnaana, Naada, Bhakti and Yoga’ according to the Indian Tradition. His talks reflect his wisdom, his humor and his love towards the whole creation.

Prof. Michael von Brück

Professor of Science of Religion at Ludwigs-Maximilian University, Munich, Yoga and Zen teacher, study of Evangelical Theology, several years studying and teaching in India and Japan.

God dances in Man - Ways to the inner Self from Christian and Hinduistic Perspective.

God dances in man. Who is then dancing? Deep experience points to a non-dual structure of reality. This needs to be cognitively and emotionally cultivated, and socially communicated.

Prof. Eric Cross

Professor in the Department of Music, and Dean of Cultural Affairs at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Conductor of the Newcastle Bach Choir and Cappella Novocastriensis, Director of the Newcastle Early Festival


 ‘O Sing unto the Lord’: Sacredness and the Western Musical Tradition.

Music lies at the heart of devotion and worship in various traditions. In western Europe, musical styles have changed dramatically over the centuries, but what makes particular music appropriate or inappropriate for use in worship? This talk will explore the historical concept of ‘sacredness’ in western music, looking particularly at developments in recent years which borrow from other musical styles, particularly those of  eastern European orthodox churches and Asian traditions.  It will also try to explain the popularity of some recent church music, particularly the works of John Tavener and Arvo Pärt.

Pater Lutz Müller SJ

Representative of the pastoral profession in the Jesuit Order in Germany. Leader of the Organization ‘Accompanying and Calling’.


With joy and in freedom I go my way with God to people.

The religious practices ('Spiritual Exercises') of Holy Ignatius of Loyola open the heart of a person so he can follow the path of Jesus of Nazareth. This individual relationship with Jesus develops devotion in his whole life. The culmination of this practice is in service to God and people.

Heinz Behnken

Theologist, pastoral worker, Via Cordis contemplation teacher ,
certified TZI group leader.

Marianne Behnken

Via Cordis contemplation teacher, ‘breath, voice and speech’ teacher,  marriage and life counselor.

Heinz und Marianne Behnken built up and were leaders of the “House for stillness and meeting” in the Wennigsen monastery from 2001 to 2007. They set it up as part of the Via Cordis community.


Let your mouth be still, then your heart speaks – let your heart be still, then God speaks.
(from the Egyptian desert)

The Heart prayer comes from the eastern church tradition and was the basis of the early Christian form of prayer, the Hesychasmus (Hesychia = inner stillness in the sense of inner peace). This has become more popular in the eastern and western Christian tradition, since the middle of the 20th century. The prayer is repeated over and over, like a mantra, and this technique is similar to the meditation methods of many other religions.

The Heart prayer is a “listening prayer”:

An observant settling in stillness

- A repetitive prayer of a word or sentence from the Holy Scriptures touches the heart

- A practice to let go of all thoughts and images to become open to the presence of God.

- A path to find a new relationship to ourselves, our fellow human beings and to our daily life.

Lecture with body and breathing work (Schlaffhorst-Andersen)