The Annual Training
The Annual Training
With the Annual Training we want to do justice to The Philosophy of Freedom as a path of spiritual training. It is based on the fact that the fundamental thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom are practiced daily, chapter by chapter, over a certain period of time. For this purpose, the main thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom – as they unfold in the course of its content – are written on A6 cards. Due to this separation from the main text, these thoughts take on a special significance. Card by card, you can now follow the course of thoughts and, depending on complexity, decide how long you want to dwell on a thought. This approach to practice is thereby completely individualised, while we go collectively through a certain section, and thereby our will process is supported. The importance of such thought-meditative engagement with The Philosophy of Freedom for inner development was once expressed by Rudolf Steiner in his lectures on the Gospel of John thus:
"A person can already come very far in relation to this catharsis if, for example, they have gone through and experienced inwardly all that is in my Philosophy of Freedom in such a way that they feel: The book was a stimulus for me, but I can now actually reproduce the thoughts myself exactly as they are written."
At the heart of the Annual Training is the commitment to spend at least a ¼ hour a day with The Philosophy of Freedom cards. These lead us, thought by thought, through the book. With this daily meditative-thought work, a beautiful deepening develops over time. The Philosophy of Freedom begins to come alive in the soul. Such a "life in thought" can be experienced like an inner happiness, because one becomes active from one's innermost being. The training of this individual and life-giving spiritual activity is the focus of the Annual Training. The possibilities of the Annual Training for one's own growth are thus independent of previous experiences one has had with The Philosophy of Freedom or Anthroposophy. If one already brings rich experiences, these can be deepened and enlivened in an individual way; if one is still quite inexperienced with this kind of spiritual activity, a new area of life can be opened up.
"I saw that many felt a contrast between experience and thinking. To me, thinking itself was experience, but such an experience in which one lives, not such an experience which comes to a person from outside."
This new cycle – the fifth – begins on September 24, 2023 at 19:15 CEST with a group Zoom conference and ends on April 14, 2024 with a group closing conference. From September 24, 2023 until shortly before Christmas we will have worked through – in 12 weeks – the first part of The Philosophy of Freedom. After a two-week break, we will begin in the New Year with the second part of The Philosophy of Freedom, which will also occupy us for 12 weeks until the beginning of spring. This will be followed by the third part, which is shorter and which we will finish by the final Zoom conference after Easter. In between each part there will be an opportunity for a review.
Thought-cards, app and diary
The annual training is location independent. This makes it possible for people from all over the world to participate. At the beginning of the Yearly Training, each participant receives two boxes with approximately 600 Thought-cards on The Philosophy of Freedom and a diary. Week by week we go through a section of these cards, usually there are between 15 and 25 cards per week. The cards can also be purchased bilingually (German + one other language). In addition, we will make the content available in an app (Android & iOS) starting with the 5th cycle.
Support Letters and Zoom Conferences
Week by week – every Monday – you will receive a support letter in your language. This letter introduces the current topic, presents further aspects and connects the thoughts of The Philosophy of Freedom with current events. Approximately every four weeks – on Sundays – there is a joint Zoom conference. In this conference we deepen the topics, do exercises together and engage in conversation with each other. The Zoom conferences are translated live into the various languages. Starting from the 5th cycle, for the first time there will be two conferences: One at the “sunrise” and one at the "sunset”: At 09:15 (CET/CEST) we will do a conference in English with translation into Chinese and Russian. At 19:15 (CET/CEST) a conference in German with translation into English, Spanish and Czech.
The dates for the 2023 conferences are: Sept. 24 - Oct. 22 - Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 In 2024: Jan. 7. - 4.2. - 3.3. - 1.4. (exception because of Easter!) and 14.4.
Buddies and Regional Groups
The Annual Training offers the possibility to exchange ideas about The Philosophy of Freedom with a buddy (tandem partner), to discuss challenges together, to practice together and to support each other. You can either choose a buddy yourself or we can assign one to you if you wish – if possible someone from your region. We also support the formation of regional groups, which can network and meet with each other independently and freely. It is recommended, for example, to meet every one or two weeks in person, to do small exercises with each other and to discuss and deepen the development thoughts together.
The yearly training lives essentially from the fact that we are together as people on a spiritual path. We have had the experience that through this intensive common process new friendships and connections can develop and old friendships can be deepend. In the login area you will find current information and have the possibility to look at past conferences, to find out when and where regional groups meet, to network and to create a your profile card.
We want to make the annual training available to everyone who wants to participate. This is what we are committed to, and it is our top priority. For this purpose, we have developed a pricing model that allows us to work economically, and at the same time you can feel free to support our work according to your means.
The prices include all costs including the boxes with the thought-cards, internet platform, Zoom conferences, letters, personal accompaniment etc., regardless of where you live in the world. There are four price categories. Each participant is free to choose one of these categories. The prices also differ depending on the region of the world you come from.
Price list 2023/24
As a recognized non-profit organization, we have been giving a lot of volunteer time to the project since the beginning of 2019. This year, for the first time, we have created project positions for it, which we want to fund. With your contribution, you help us bring The Philosophy of Freedom to the world. All contributions go towards the development and dissemination of the Annual Training.
There are four price categories, which are adapted to the respective world region. Each participant is free to choose one of the categories. We do not ask for any proof.
Basic fee This is the average amount we need to cover our costs.
Support contribution: With this you support us to carry people with lower income or from poorer countries.
Reduced contribution: We have deliberately set the reduced contribution low to enable people who have little income to participate.
Selbstgewählter Beitrag: Feel free to choose a contribution that fits your personal and economic situation. Be it because even the reduced contribution is too high for you, be it because you can give a little more than the reduced contribution but the basic contribution is too high for you, be it because you want to support us even more.
App only: If you only want to use the app and no cards, your contribution is reduced by 35 euros. You will receive a voucher code for this when you select the cards.
Anything above the basic contribution is considered a donation and is tax deductible. You are welcome to register as a couple or group with a special rate. Please write to us for this. The monthly prices are for reference only. The price for the yearly training has to be paid as a whole at the beginning. Exceptions can be requested.
If you are interested in the next course, please contact us via the contact form or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will notify you as soon as registration for the 2024/24 cycle is possible. You are also welcome to sign up for our newsletter, then you will stay informed about the latest developments.
Die Termine sind:
Teil I: 25.9.2023 Einführung in das Vertiefungsjahr. 2.10.: I. Kapitel, 9.10. II. Kapitel, 23.10. III. Kapitel, 30.10. IV. Kapitel 1. Teil, 13.11. IV. Kapitel 2. Teil, 27.11. V. Kapitel, 4.12. VI. Kapitel, 18.12. VII. Kapitel.
Teil II: 15.1.2024 VIII. Kapitel, 29.1. IX. Kapitel 1. Teil, 12.2. IX. Kapitel 2.Teil, 19.2. X. Kapitel, 26.2. XI. Kapitel, 11.3. XII. Kapitel, 25.3. XIII. Kapitel, 2.4. IVX. Kapitel
Zusätzlich wird es zwei fakultative Vertiefungswochenenden in Präsenz geben. Ort ist voraussichtlich Mitteldeutschland, im Bereich Frankfurt/Kassel. Die Daten sind: 8.-10.12. und 19.-21.4.2024. Für die beiden Vertiefungswochenenden werden wir einen kleinen Extra-Beitrag erheben. Außerdem fallen Kosten für Unterkunft und Verpflegung an. Das Vertiefungsjahr kann auch unabhängig von den beiden Vertiefungswochenenden gebucht werden.
A great deal of commitment and volunteer work goes into setting up the Annual Training. The non-profit organization Leben im Denken e.V. is the sponsor. In view of the challenges of our time, it is a central concern of ours to promote the examination of the ideas of freedom and the development of a lively free thinking. Starting with the 5th cycle, we will also fund several part-time project positions to give the worldwide impulse of The Philosophy of Freedom a solid basis. We are very happy if you want to support us and help us bring The Philosophy of Freedom into the world! This can be done through a donation, a sustaining membership or your practical engagement.
The course through The Philosophy of Freedom lasts 7 months, during which we work intensively on the experience of our thinking and our individuality. After a short break, a 10-week advanced course will follow in the German-speaking area starting in mid-May: From mid-May to the end of July, we will work with exercises from Rudolf Steiner’s book Knowledge of Higher Worlds and It Attainment concerning feelings that have to do with awe and reverence, with inner peace and with the dynamics of becoming and passing away in nature.
"Feelings are to the soul what food is to the body," it says in Knowledge of Higher Worlds and It Attainment. And so we may look forward to 10 weeks of rich impressions and experiences that nourish our souls.
The basic text for the Annual Training – according to which the cards are also numbered – is Rudolf Steiner‘s Die Philosophie der Freiheit, Grundzüge einer modernen Weltanschauung. Paperback edition no. 627, 11th edition, Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Basel, 2016.
Do you want to help us bring The Philosophy of freedom to the world? There are different ways to support us: You can download information material, order postcards and posters to spread the word, become a sustaining member or make a donation (tax deductible). We are happy with any kind of contribution.
Questions & Answers
The only prerequisite is the joy and commitment to spend ¼ hour each day with The Philosophy of Freedom cards. The more concentrated and consistent this is, the more effective the training will be. In addition, it is worthwhile to read the book, to exchange ideas and to make The Philosophy of Freedom a main occupation during the time of the training. But this is entirely up to your freedom and possibilities.
A commitment is a pledge that you make to yourself, to another person or to a cause when something is truly close to your heart. It is a free will decision. It is good to start the Basic Course with an inner commitment for the training period.
The time schedule for the Annual Training is inserted into the rhythm of the year. The focus is on The Philosophy of Freedom with its intensive training of thinking and intuition. The daily occupation with the cards is a very intensive work, which involves a certain process of will power. 7 months – from Michaelmas through Christmas and the beginning of spring until Easter – are a wonderful time for this. In fact, it is possible to get through the whole philosophy of freedom once in this period. The period is again divided into 12 weeks for the first part (Michaelmas to Christmas), 12 weeks for the second part (Epiphany to the beginning of spring) and 2-3 weeks for the third part (over Easter).
Spring is accompanied by a widening of the soul into the world. The exercises from Knowledge of Higher Worlds and It Attainment fit this mood of the soul in a special way, because they lead to a very intensive experience of the world and nature. Thus, in the advanced course from mid-May to the end of July, we practice our feeling in a very practical and meditative way, while we have been working on our thinking throughout the fall and winter. The will process accompanies these two aspects of our being human.
We accompany the training path of The Philosophy of Freedom very intensively and offer a variety of support possibilities: The letters, the conferences, the buddying, the networking of the regional groups, the login area, the app. In addition, we also support you personally, which means that you can contact us at any time if something doesn't work for you or you have lost your way. A great support is also the awareness that with you several hundred people worldwide are on the same spiritual path at the same time. We in the organization team also walk the path ourselves every year.
That depends entirely on your concerns. If you find that you are simply having difficulty getting into the willed process, then we are happy to support you in that. If you find that this approach is not for you, and you need something else, then you can simply tell us. Apart from your own inner commitment, there is no obligation to do anything.
Yes, absolutely. This is what we have designed the Annual Training for. The Basic Course is structured in such a way that it is not mandatory to have read the book beforehand. One will still be able to get into the thoughts and benefit from the training and its developmental process. Through the daily immersion in the thought process with the help of the cards, a power is created which later makes it easier to work on The Philosophy of Freedom as a whole by reading it. Some things, however, can only be understood in the context of the whole text.
There are about 15 to 30 cards per week. This sounds a lot at first, but it is mitigated by the fact that several cards illuminate a topic from different angles. From our experience with the past two cycles, this number is quite doable and also allows for a meditative deepening of specific thoughts. Some chapters are divided into several sections and weeks.
We are not concerned with perfection, but with the joy of practice. It is important to us that The Philosophy of Freedom appears as a whole before the inner eye. We would be happy if, after the Basic Course, you have the impulse to deal intensively with The Philosophy of Freedom for the next few years and if this makes it easier for you to get started. You are also welcome to help develop the Annual Training further.
The Philosophy of Freedom calls itself a philosophy because it takes its starting point philosophically and ties in with what was thought in our Western culture about the cognitive process and the world until the end of the 19th century. But by making thinking itself the object of observation, it aims at discovering the reality of thinking, not mere thoughts about thinking. It does not want to be a doctrine; it wants to be experience.
Diving into the reality of thinking is an exciting process that challenges our whole person, not just intellectually. In our western educational culture, we often learn a kind of mechanical thinking that lives in definitions and does not lead to experience. In our science, and also for example in medicine, it is almost an ideal not to let our own individual feelings and sensations flow in. We live in a time in which what we think intellectually, what we feel in our heart and what we finally do, are sometimes far apart. The approach of The Philosophy of Freedom is different. Here are some quotes: "The knowledge of things will go hand in hand with the formation and development of the emotional life in one who is oriented toward totality." "This immersion takes place with a power flowing in the thinking activity itself, which is the power of love in a spiritual form." "For he who turns to the essential in thinking finds in it both feeling and will in the depths of their reality."
Just as an example, Sadhguru, a contemporary teacher from India who has great significance meditatively as well as socially and societally, says: "What people believe as God is essentially the source of creation. We must understand that the most significant quality about the source of creation is intelligence. If you find access to this dimension of intelligence, which is the very source of creation, your life shall become magical" (Sadhguru-App, on August 22, 2020). Rudolf Steiner, in keeping with his time and culture, put it this way in the last chapter of The Philosophy of Freedom: "Life in reality, filled with the content of thought, is at the same time life in God."
What Participants Say About the Annual Training....
"I really enjoyed the last six months, it was fun, it also gave me a lot of strength in being there with it, also to deal with The Philosophy of Freedom every day, to come to meditation regularly every day."
"Thank you very much for this wonderful training path [...] At first I was a little reluctant – the idea of this clear commitment was very difficult for me – but something very beautiful has developed and The Philosophy of Freedom has become very important to me."
"I am very grateful to be able to experience The Philosophy of Freedom in this way, I am also grateful that the cards, and the Zoom meetings, have found a place in my life [...]."
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