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Dürckheim Rütte

Dürckheim Rütte
Existential-psychologische Bildungs- und Begegnungsstätte Todtmoos-Rütte
Schule für Initiatische Therapie

The Methods of Initiatic Therapy

Personal Somatic Work/Therapy (Leibarbeit)

To have a body – to be a body
In Initiatic Therapy in Rütte Personal Somatic Therapy is a key medium. It was developed and taught by Prof. Dr. Karlfried Graf Dürckheim.

Graf Dürckheim distinguishes between the body (Körper) that we have and the body (Leib) that we are. Body (Leib) means the realization and knowledge of true inner self. This body becomes transparent and reveals a deep inner spiritual core.
Such a perception of our body is initiated by a special way of touching or, better, being touched, with neither a tangible goal nor any intended purpose, and not based on any technical method.

“The body that I am.”
Through different qualities of touching in Personal Somatic Therapy the person touched and the attendant find themselves in a dialogue which, within the client, may stimulate the experience of his own integrity – despite all inner brokenness or conflicts - in a way that he can learn to live accordingly in the worldly context of his life, too.
In this process man becomes aware of his “double origin”, being a child of Heaven and of Earth - finding himself personally “addressed” and “recognized” in what he is meant to be.

Body consciousness
Such an experience reveals significance in what up to now has seemed to be unacceptable, and it may even allow us to embrace it fondly. It may start a curing process by widening our somatic consciousness in a way that now we can realize (= take for real) some so far unknown and untouched, locked, dissociated or repressed areas of our soul and body.

We become susceptible to old and hardened structures in our body and our soul. Now they become transparent. We learn to see through them and understand them as a part of our personal biography. They are not an unalterable fate any more, but are open to change, and step by step we may learn to integrate the energy that was tied up in them.

“Man – the truly conscious being”
Trusting more and more our innate true nature we learn to live in accordance with it and to take responsibility for our tasks in the world. Man becomes the individual person that he is meant to be - consciously, lovingly, creatively shaping the piece of the world assigned to him.

Guided Drawing
(Geführtes Zeichnen)

Fields of force and spiritual growth
With eyes closed, in Guided Drawing we listen attentively to the deep areas of our soul and take up contact with their creative energy. Our crayons touch the drawing paper and inspired by this sensual impression our hands move on the paper creating lines and forms and revealing different qualities of expression and transformation.

We are confronted with the basic human feelings of joy, fear, anger, sadness. Archetypal and deeply personal aspects (memories, wishes, longings, intuitions) find their expression, and we look at ourselves as in a mirror.

Guided Drawing
Such a self-encounter has a catalytic effect and can initiate a process of transformation guided by the person’s inner being. This is why Dr. Maria Hippius - Gräfin Dürckheim chose the name “Guided Drawing” for this main medium (beside Personal Somatic Therapy) in the process of individuation.

Primordial forms
Dr. Maria Hippius – Gräfin Dürckheim identified certain “primordial forms” such as circle, spiral, bowl, arcade, perpendicular, square and others as “primordial formulas of being” and made this knowledge available for the therapeutic process. By repeatedly practising these primordial forms symbols of human experiences can be evoked – such as the “good mother”, the “old wise man” and so forth, which could not be sufficiently developed in the person’s life or were prevented by unfavourable learning surroundings, for instance due to one’s parents’ lack of empathic abilities, or to isolation and traumata.

The meditative practising of such Primordial Forms in Guided Drawing activates and anchors these core qualities in the psyche, exploring them as structures of man’s consciousness. This leads to a new capacity to act and brings about a new quality of life.
Getting in touch with our deep inner substance, we learn to perceive and to accept ourselves in a new way. We feel encouraged to find our own way in life and to develop new perspectives.
We work in silence, but afterwards talk about our experience and put it into words which help us to understand the meaning of the signs on the paper. Dreams, made conscious, add to our knowledge of what our life is all about.

Other Media of Initiatic Therapy

The original media of Initiatic Therapy are Personal Somatic Therapy and Guided Drawing, Meditation and Spiritual Exercise completed by additional media such as Colour, Music, Dance, Clay, Sword Work, Astrology and I Ging.
The therapy is accompanied by the client’s and the counsellor’s talking about the process by identifying images, symbols and signs. They are found in the client’s personal biography or in his dreams, or are made visible in creative acts. Their meaning is explored with the help of a depth psychology approach.


Meditation in the style of Za Zen
Sitting in attentive stillness I feel the tension between myself and the world soften. All thoughts and imaginings become insignificant and fade away. Focussing solely on my breath, I experience body, soul and mind as a oneness, transparent for the transpersonal dimension.

Introduction into Meditation:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (Hara-Exercises):
9-10 a.m. in the Zendo

Meditation (Sitting in Stillness):
daily except Sundays:
7-8 a.m. for advanced persons
6.15 -7.05 p.m. with correction
in the Zendo

“Daily life and spiritual exercise “ – “Alltag als Übung” (Dürckheim) -

Our daily life should become transparent for the truth we develop and experience inside us. It may be simple doings and activities, but if we perform them repeatedly and regularly, in a quiet and meditative way, they will give our life structure and meaning.
So in Rütte each guest is invited and expected to try getting involved in the process of “Practice in daily life”.
Everybody chooses a special suitable exercise fitting for him, and – limited as it may be - it will shape his whole day and add to his awareness of himself and of the world around him.

Possible fields of practice:
  • Daily work in the house or the garden.
  • The community as field of contact and solidarity service.
  • The individual sessions and the group offerings.
  • The Spiritual Practice as particular exercise.

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