Even after two months, I still notice the positive effects of the retreat on a daily basis. More and more nonsense disappears. The 4-days ensured that I could experience peace and tranquility within myself. I now look for them every day as much as possible. As a result, I can now react much more adequately to circumstances that had previously thrown me off balance. I recognize much sooner how my ideas about anything and everything frustrate good handling.
It couldn’t be simpler, I’ve never gotten deeper, highly recommended for everyone. The concept of ‘Love’ begins to dawn.
Space… space… space.
‘Leave’ for four days. Just to watch the fight in my head, to dare to watch. And suddenly I saw it: becoming silent is becoming free from will addiction.
You must not live life,
dann wird es became wie ein Fest.
Und lass dir jeden Tag gehehen
so wie ein Kind im Weitergehen von jedem Wehen
sichviele Blüten pour lässt.
Sie aufzusammeln und zu save,
das kommt dem Kind nicht in den Sinn.
Es löst sie leise from den Haaren,
drin sie so gern gefangen were,
und hält den lieben jungen Jahren
nach neuen seine Hände hin.
Thanks, thanks, 1000 times thanks.
‘Oh, I don’t know,
but exist, be beautiful.
say: look, a bird
and teach me to see the bird
say: life is a loaf of bread
to bite into and the apples look red
of pleasure, and yet, and yet, say something.
teach me to cry, and when I cry
teach me to say: it’s nothing.’
(Herman de Coninck)
Really, I didn’t know I could do this. But how glad I am to know that I can do it and have found myself, in the silence.
Crazy that I was so anxious about this beforehand. Because it is really the nicest thing there is, to know me in such a connection. With four words ‘hello breath, good-bye thought’, we were sent on our way. The surrender to it led to moments of full presence that warmed my heart and revived my spirit. Thank you, Thomas, for guiding us with such humor and love. We look forward to seeing you.
The choice of words, the humor, the paradoxes, the hospitality and the guidance: it has all contributed to my feeling safe, together with my fellow stills. Even the psalms made you ‘readable’. It was hard work yes, and I realize that this is only now really starting. But at the same time, ‘hard work’ has taken on a completely different meaning in recent days. One that enriches and does not impoverish. “It’s never finished…” Big thanks!
The silence works wonders. While it felt (together!) cooking and eating alone and in silence on the first day, it felt uncomfortable and uncomfortable, when I left it was as if I had gotten to know the others better than if we had been talking for days. Every day I shifted down a gear. That I had to be 59 in order to pay attention to a doorknob, the sea, the flame of a candle.
Alone in the woods I was together;
I was alone in Zeeveld;
I had come alone together.
Lots of silence, lots of wise words too. “Don’t worry, nothing is under control”. For a big control freak like me, a statement to keep in mind.
Calming, uninhibited, safe. Letting go in Zeeveld is for me: coming home to myself. And those planes? Nearly all of them make a bend above Zeeveld. How symbolic of the turn this beautiful monastic site invites.
Letting go gives me something to hold on to.
‘The kingdom of heaven is in the here and now’, ‘do what you do with attention’… One finds the way to non-duality in Advaita Vedanta, the other travels to Tibet for it and I… How thankful I am that I could find it here, in my Christian faith. “It is glorious to praise the Lord, to sing to your name, Most High.”
Teach me to die to myself
Like the leaves and the grass in autumn
Let me be born again and
Bloom in Your light and love.
Delicious, difficult, valuable.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to listen with my heart.
The best thing: not having to talk and still be in a group.
That it is all there already: the silence, the peace. That I don’t have to do anything, just have to be… It’s as hard as it is easy. It’s always the other way around than I thought. I had three wonderful days.
I was ‘nobody’ here, woman without a past.
Only with my creator.
And that’s enough.
Raised in a non-religious manner and then suddenly, every day Bible verses and praying and singing, and yet – I never felt uncomfortable for a moment. This has given me a whole new view of the experience of God, of belief in belief. And also: to be able to find the fun back in everyday chores: great, what a fantastic feeling.
A blessing for the soul. Away from the busy, claiming and noisy world into the silence, where I could experience with all my senses to live in the security of God.
An – apparently – hopeless little monk’s work here becomes a promising experience. It is wonderful and deafeningly quiet here. It makes my heart happy. I have felt very welcome.
In silence… laughed, thought, ashamed, enjoyed, despaired, sought, resigned, tried, cried, found, done, behave. let me carry. Thanks for Being Aware.
I am still happy and grateful for what I have come to this few days. Last but not least, I learned a lot from the hours ‘Attention in Action’ or the ‘monk work’. For me they were very essential to keep things in balance, I also learned a lot from them, especially about myself and about how I always view work and how it is actually important.
Maybe I should have read the site a little more closely. The confrontation with so much God and Lord and praying and singing and psalms and ritual, that was quite a shock. And bite through. But even though I ultimately did not complete the four days, I did get what I came for and I did not come for nothing. Thanks!
Living in the here and now. Living in simplicity and singularity. Living with the Word and in the presence of God. What a blessing. Four days of silence. Listen better, hear better. Outside the wind howls, inside it is quiet, peaceful, safe. A precious gift. Hope to see you again.
The combination of silence, togetherness, loneliness, attention and Christian inspiration is wonderful. I have never experienced this as pleasant in any other place.
The second time was also very nice. Being at Zeeveld feels like home, safe, like a kind of cocoon around you. The chapel sessions inspire. Again worth repeating.
A warm introduction to another world. Everything was good. Thanks for the new baggage that illuminates my life in several ways.
I never thought psalms could touch me so much. And they did.
Here I was reminded how beautiful it is to be allowed to bend. Smooth, from the heart. Doing that, over and over, day in, year out – silences the chatter every time; scrapes the excess of words, prayers, sermons and stories. Until, sometimes, just like that, the Word presents itself.
At home I have a bookcase full of books about letting go. But it was only here that I discovered what that actually means. Those were beautiful and special days, sometimes difficult. But what a lot I got in return.
Been praying for a long time. Because praying is also listening, and that is only possible in silence. Thank you also for the wise lesson from Psalm 131.
With a found empty place and a filled heart I can now handle anything. For now then, because I think I’d like to come back. Monastic life rings many bells; it is not only coming home to myself, but also, or with it, to this place and to the people who are here. Thank you for living this beautiful work so inspired and inspiring, Thomas.
With a warm heart and a quiet head, I go home again. And also, in the best sense of the word: disillusioned. Did I perhaps think I’d be hearing choirs of angels here? I heard something even more beautiful, namely that they surround me every day. Hopefully see you again.
“Mai syn flerken covers Er dy” (Psalm 91:4). And you can feel it here!
You can be yourself here. No one to ask who you are or what you do. It was wonderful to be able to relax here for a few days and to break free from a raging and sometimes crazy world. Thank you Lord for Zeeveld.
When I come home I feel rich, reborn and full inside. It seems as if the world has become “new”… I was born again and I look at everything with a more open, different, different look.
Above all, my relationship with God has broadened and deepened. The confirmation that He is the One. I also experienced the Lord Jesus here. I may know that my identity is in Christ and that I may grow in discipleship and that He has sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. The Trinity, difficult to understand and comprehend – The three I have met here. And that is indescribably cool. Being built up by silence. Attention to this moment, every moment again. Letting go, learning to have a dialogue with myself and then: surrender. I’ve had wonderful days. Sometimes difficult and confrontational.
What a huge gift. What I was looking for I felt in a glimpse. The seed has landed and I will put all my love into it to keep it germinating and blooming. The earth, my heart, is ready. Thank you for the warmth that surrounded me.
I came to rediscover myself, to catch a glimpse of the love in myself, to know how that goes again: ‘finding yourself’. I have come a long way with all the peace, space, hospitality, beautiful texts and the touching words and prayers. I will definitely come back again when I need some reminder and nourishment again.
The window was fogged up.
I clean it carefully.
But my window keeps fogging up.
When Thomas looks at the window it is bright.
Together with him I look through a clear window.
This morning many more windows were fogged up.
I now know: with how much love I polish them, they only become clear when the time comes.
Thanks for returning the wisdom of the Bible.
Practice listening. To what I don’t know.
And yet a word, a line, a whole psalm that touches me. Which I write down.
Connectedness in silence. Between people. Between the heavenly and the earthly. I didn’t know it was possible.
I’m going to look for limescale cleaner. For shiny taps and running water.
It was gray and gray for three days. raging wind. Now the sun is shining. The birds chirp, the cat meows. Farewell and new beginnings. Insight and view.
So much freedom, space and tranquility.
Thank God for this place.
2 Kings 4:10 – a room with a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp. You don’t need more than that to focus on the Truth. Zeeveld fully provides it, and even more. Thanks again.
A blessing. I felt welcome and at home. Precisely because of the silence I felt connected with the people here and with nature. Hope to see you again.
It was good.
I liked it.
Thank you very much.
My ego has shrunk, my confidence has grown.
The light has nudged me.
I have become speechless.
I can only listen.
And let the words ring in me
The days here have given me a lot of insight.
Thanks for the space, thanks for the words.
Few days, much good.
Thanks for all the space and love.
Wonderfully beautiful days.
So pure, I didn’t even know it existed.
Warm, welcome and at home.
Earthly and spiritually at the same time.
The togetherness and the stillness in myself.
Contradictions and harmony alternated.
I return home with renewed energy.
It was very good to be here again after a year. Encouraged I continue my way. The moments of silence, with prayer and scripture readings, touched me and helped me further in my process of healing, awareness and letting go. The book of Psalms is always one big prayer for me, in which I may surrender everything to the Lord. That many more people here may be brought back into contact with their Creator in this way. I’d love to come back again.
The best gift I could give myself. Thank you for staying in this beautiful place, the beautiful surroundings, the attractive building and the pleasant guidance.
Can you actually say ‘dear’ to a brother? It was an overwhelming and precious experience. And what a beautiful place! Until next time.
Face life with renewed vigor!
Space, simplicity, silence, care, hospitality, I have found here. Thank you all.
With joy and a warm heart, I go home again. Thanks for the stillness (with the occasional plane above my head), the nourishing nature, so close and so beautiful, the atmospheric building, the hospitality, the space, the recurring moments in the chapel, the well-cared-for services, the moving singing, the beautiful music and the inspiring lyrics.
This was my first silence experience and I really liked it. I felt at home and at ease and have seen who I really am. I hope that I can continue the discipline of meditation and prayer in daily life. It does me very good.
Let love guide your actions.
Be brave and disciplined.
My lessons these days…
Through silence, meditation and prayer I have learned to recognize my fears. And how nice it is here and how beautiful the nature is here.
Zeeveld is a place where I feel at ease and where a spark jumps from the Great Fire. It gives hope that there are always people who dare to follow their heart. Who want to give the love that it’s all about a contemporary face in their own way.
The services were like a warm bath. The simplicity touched me deeply. This allowed me to give in to what my heart asks for: listening, silence, gentleness, loving attention. What a nice place. Thanks for all the space given here.
Safe, warm and delicious.
Grateful for where I was allowed to be and use in this beautiful house. The silence has touched me and I am glad that I was able to experience this here. In the service this morning I learned that the word of the Lord can come to you at unexpected times. I’d like to take this with me.
Thank you for these days, I have enjoyed them. The silence was beautiful and loving.
Touchingly beautiful – the prayer services, which gave meaning and substance to the silence. Beautiful and inspiring – to experience how the tradition is kept alive and at the same time is given a new face. I am grateful that I could share a few days in that. Moved and inspired, I continue on my way.
“What am I doing here?” I feared I would wonder once I got to Zeeveld. But the question never arose. What a great nice place to be. The sun, the rain, the space, the silence. Only the sound of the wind in the trees, the song of a bird, the running of a crane, a door closing. Okay, the lawnmower also had to do its thing… ;-). Just ‘being’ is enough. Thank you very much and I hope to see you again.
Many thanks for these wonderful days that I have experienced as very beautiful. Especially prayer, singing and lyrics have given me nourishment to strengthen my faith. I would like to come back again. God bless you.
The hospitality, care, silence, prayers and music have done me good. Those were very refreshing days. Thanks be to God, the Living.
Many thanks for the attention, the peace, the beautiful lyrics and songs/music. It was special to be together in silence like this.
What a beauty (nature).
What well cared for (the farm).
What a peace (the silence).
Silence is Being.
Being is Silence.
The space invites to a descended silence where there is room for attention – presence – concentration. Good to experience this new form of monastic life. Many thanks for these days in silence.
Thanks for the Silence – Experience, for the prayer.
Thanks for the faith, rekindled.
Silence, conscious tasting, being, hearing and experiencing
Just be there. thanks.
Thank you for the welcome feeling in this beautiful place. Where silence is very light. And where I have rediscovered that silence and rest don’t have to be heavy, but can be cheerful and light-hearted.
Becoming has no end.
The flow continues.
Every moment is new.
The pain of growing: worth it.
Thank you for all the peace, space and warmth.
Three days of silence.
Back to my core.
Loneliness side by side with connectedness.
Wonder at the power of hymns and psalms.
Moved by the music.
Touched by the lyrics.
Thanks for the respectful hospitality.
In the past I have regularly attended monastic retreats – both Christian and Buddhist. The difference between the Christian monasteries where I was and Jan17 is, as I experience it, that it is ‘lighter’ in Jan17. As if the age-old tradition is not a burden here, but is present.
During the daily rhythm, both the vertical and horizontal connections are fed. When I neglect the vertical connection, life for me quickly loses its luster and existence becomes meager. What I do in the world then becomes self-contained and that is not enough for me. By maintaining the vertical connection throughout the day during the moments of reflection, I stay ‘awake’ and, moreover, the horizontal connection is placed in a different light; in a greater light. I find the structure – prayer meetings interspersed with the affairs of the day – pleasant and fruitful. The prayer meetings also put into perspective the importance of the everyday things that you can get so absorbed in. As if the radiance of God keeps shining through things a little, some more than others.
In a positive way, I think Jan17 is old wine in new bottles. An old tradition revived in a modern way. I hope this continues and is expanded.
They were a few rich and, above all, inspiring days. Definitely see you soon!
My stay here was like coming home to a serene, loving, caring, neat, sober, quiet environment in which I felt completely accepted. It has given me the opportunity to go within, to regain inner peace, to get closer to my core. I particularly liked the services: insightful, inspiring, also because of the sobriety, repetition and structure. Thomas gave me a much deeper dimension to the words of the Benedictine Anselm Grün. Definitely see you soon!
Those were very special days, I was able to experience peace and love in myself. In the beginning I felt the loneliness, later it turned out that this was the entrance to light and love. Thanks also for the nice services.
I experienced my stay in Zeeveld as an opportunity to (recognize) myself. Thanks for the space and the silence. I like to come here again.
“God himself has become my helper.
With me is the Lord who carries me”!
Meet up in Zeeveld
is meeting: needing less
and an encounter with God.
The ticking of the clock on the mantel no longer excites. It only makes me aware of time. Those were precious, timeless days.
Become more aware of time, more aware of what silence does to me. I could finally shut up. I learned more here again to call myself back to the here and now. Thanks for the hospitality.
Thank you for being able to share in peace, meeting and discovering and for being able to know about connectedness in love.
The time I was allowed to spend here in silence has done me good. The way you live and look at your fellow man has made a deep impression on me. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. The special moments in the dune area with the Scottish highlanders and the horses that crossed my path were also special signs of that One for me.
I love you
Gate to my heart
Source of my joy
Your loneliness charms me
There is no more boredom
There is only
Many thanks for all the space!
The ’empty’ program forced me to think about what I wanted to do or not do, what I wanted to eat, etc., etc. and so I kept making choices. As short as I have been on Zeeveld, I have already strongly encountered my temptations, lack of discipline, pitfalls, etc. Facing that one is half the battle, as far as I’m concerned. It was also inspiring to read a book by Joep Dohmen, who describes how important it is in these times to start practicing the art of living again. He talks about caring for the self of man instead of “the fat me”. A beautiful book, in the right place, at the right time. In the end I cycled back home very satisfied and satisfied. At home I met many people who reacted very enthusiastically to my adventure. My experiences are already working through that way. We are also very much looking for ways to make use of the silence in our program at work.
I had wonderful days in which everything fitted perfectly: the location, the weather, the tranquility. I hope to be able to come back to this special place again.
A relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Time for reflection and silence. Another small step taken in the school called ‘life’. Huge thanks.
Here at Zeeveld I freely approached the source of all that is real a few steps closer. Nice to be among fellow brothers. Mentally but also physically richly nourished, I go home satisfied. I will return.
It started as a leap of faith. Not knowing what really is and can be. These three days were a great step in the direction of getting to know myself, diving deeper into it and letting it come to me. A wonderful combination of freedom and inspiration. Thanks and see you next year.
Silence, rest, peace found, I gratefully go home again on my way to my receptivity. I enjoyed you. Thank you.
I have learned to do things mindfully and to become one with the moment. I keep a fond memory of this place and hope to return here more often. Connected in Christ and thank you for all the hospitality.
Zeeveld: a place where heaven and earth reach out to each other. A place of silence, reflection and introspection; where silence speaks its own language.
“Mint the silence in your being,
Mint the silence that animates
Those who fear all silence
Never read their hearts
Connected in the Spirit!
The days I was allowed to spend here will be indelibly carried in my heart. The way you think and live has triggered something in me that has moved me to be especially vigilant. Your sincere love for your fellow man is the good basis for a start to each day. May this place grow like a mustard seed the love of the Lord.
It was a very special experience in Zeeveld. I still carry a bit of peace with me, although I sometimes have trouble with the hustle and bustle of this time. I definitely want to visit again in the future, maybe sooner than I thought. I enjoyed everything that came my way. Thanks again for everything!
From: North Holland Youth Ensemble
We really thought it was fantastic to be here
A very nice experience to experience
Very nice and cozy
Sometimes being quiet took quite a bit of effort
Hospitality was very nice
As well as the fact that we were allowed to participate in everything
It wouldn’t have been so much fun without you
A real adventure
Great appreciation for your lifestyle
Really worth repeating
From: Teresa Takken/ North Holland Youth Ensemble
What an experience to be here. In any case, a home and nest scent feeling. And then as a topper on top of it: such a successful experience with the teenagers. And you who offered us this opportunity in an atmosphere of welcome and freedom. Thank you for all the dedication, radiance of joy and sincere hospitality.
From: Ellen van Houten/Captain Salvation Army/North Holland Youth Ensemble
Thank you very much for your hospitality, for this special place that you have committed yourself to. It is special that you also wanted to connect with us these days. All the best and blessings.
I respond after more than a month because I still had to process the deep impressions of the days at Zeeveld. I didn’t write in the guestbook because I didn’t know what to write at the time.
Now more than a month later, I often think back to my stay and try to take back good moments to hold on to the feeling, which is not always easy but still gives a lot of support.
Thank you for letting me be there, thank you for the good feeling of peace that remained.
Hope I can find/make the time to come back again.
Where before there was only unrest
Is now some peace and space again
In my heart
Voice of God
Close to my heart
Close to who I will be, and become
Nothing is stronger than the silence.
No judgment of others,
the love I feel
the days pass me by.
With the confirmation I was looking for,
am I confident now?
to be on the right track.
With kind regards!
Silence and storm
heat and chills
know and often do not know (anymore).
of the day order
from the human
of the soul
of give and take
gives and recovers
Thanks for the inspiration to
the flow of essence and
my place in it
field by the sea
field of breath
field of the Lord
house of reflection
here and there
House of the Lord
Thanks to the glory
I’ll be the greenhouse
sweeter than ice cream
All the best
The plunge into the deep end, I have
experienced as a pleasant
I’m going to leave Zeeveld in a minute.
Less chaos, more structure.
Actual attention, time, silence
and a wider heart. These businesses
I try to hold.
Thank you for the hospitality and everything that Zeeveld is (and will be).
I had a problem with it this time, but I’m going with peace of mind
into the future.
I am very grateful that I was allowed to stay in Zeeveld for a few days and I notice how quiet it has become inside. It’s as if the world looks different, as if the colors are brighter and people prefer it. I would like to keep that atmosphere, but I realize that I must not hold anything, because then I am not in the now.
I go with a calmer head and
Heart home, I am surprised about
How connected I’ve felt
With you, strangers after all
My, but if man so trusts.
I have seen the value again
From the silence, from attention, from
Together, of praying.
Thank you for the care, the
Care and you are human.
And God saw that it was good!
I’ll be back!
Those were beautiful days. Good to get out and in the rhythm. Warm and hospitable to God. Thank you. Good luck to you and goodbye.