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Activities and events on Lake Constance 2023 & 2024

Steffanie Hornstein - 03/01/2023 - 0 comments

Annual calendar of activities and events

To give you a clear picture of what’s going on at Buchinger Wilhelmi all year round, we have put together an annual calendar of activities and events, sorted by subject.

We hope you enjoy browsing!

*All events are free of charge as part of our Buchinger Wilhelmi program.

Semaines Francophones

with Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, Jean Montagard and Irina Brook*

This year, our French-speaking guests will again be able to enjoy the Semaines Francophones. The events offered by our main speakers and the evening programme as well as several other activities in the course of the day will be held in French.


5 – 19 November 2023
with Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo


28 January – 11 February 2024
with Jean Montagard


08 – 22 September 2024
with Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo

16 21 September
and with Irina Brook

“ We are such stuff as dreams are made on” (Prospero, The Tempest, W. Shakespeare)

Irina Brook, director, photographer and artist, invites you to join her in a series of workshops with a wonderful mix of theater, mindfulness, acting and creativity. A meditative theater for all. No theatrical experience is necessary, because with an open and curious mind, anyone can be Hamlet for a day!

Seminar will be held in French.


03 – 17 November 2024
with Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo


Partly in English

Art Weeks

with Joanna Klakla and Ursula Erchinger*

Art Weeks take place four times a year with an inspiring motto and under the supervision of Joanna Klakla. The creative atelier is open for three hours every day during Art Week to allow you to work creatively. During this time, our guests can be creative at their own pace.


01 – 07 October 2023

23 – 30 December 2023

13 – 20 April 2024: Growing Plants

13 – 20 July 2024: Summer Lights

28 September – 05 October 2024: All about colours

21 – 28 December 2024: Celestial Inspiration

Further information

The workshop is run by Joanna Klakla. She is a freelance artist and art teacher who is specialised scriptural painting, woodcuts and collage. Joanna Klakla is also a lecturer at the Youth Art School in the district of Lake Constance. The focus of the Art Weeks is on experimenting with various techniques and materials. The goal is to also cultivate your individual artistic expression.

Here are the mottos of the Art Weeks through the seasons:

  • Spring: Growing Plants/A Garden Installation
    Techniques: drawing, painting, cut-outs, collage, printing techniques
  • Summer: Summer workshop
    Technique: painting
  • Autumn: All About Colours
  • Winter: Celestial Inspiration


German, English, French

Evening Lecture Series on Questions of Time

Buchinger Wilhelmi in Cooperation with the University of St. Gallen

The Lake Constance region has been a cultural area of the first order for centuries. Just think of the enormous influence of the monasteries of Reichenau and St. Gallen before the Middle Ages. Even today, for example, three renowned universities can be found here: Friedrichshafen, Constance and St. Gallen. Buchinger Wilhelmi is taking advantage of this geographical proximity and connection to organise a series of events in cooperation with the University of St. Gallen, one of the leading business schools in Europe. This is entirely in line with Buchinger Wilhelmi’s integrative approach. In order to increase our well-being, it is not enough to strengthen ourselves physically. Psychological (soul) and spiritual experiences also make important contributions to a fulfilling life. The latter also include cognitive, inspirational as well as social experiences. The lectures will be held in English, but all speakers will also speak German.

Hosts: Leonhard Wilhelmi & Raimund Wilhelmi
Program: Elvira Fröhlich & Prof. em. Dr. Günter Müller-Stewens


05.10. – 24.11.2023

05.10.23 | The Benedictine Spirituality of Fasting | Br. Ansgar Stüfe OSB

8 pm
Closed event for Buchinger Wilhelmi guests.

His talk will be given in English.

A basic principle of the teaching of St. Benedict is “The Distribution of goods
according to needs” (Ch. 34). The community as such and each single monk should not demand more than he needs. This applies also to eating and drinking. Everybody should only eat and drink as much as to keep up the life and the health of the body.

Unfortunately, human beings hardly succeed in keeping this principle. Therefore, Benedict finds it necessary to have a special time of fasting. This special period is not important as such and not applied for health. It is rather an exercise (askesis in Greek) for special experience of ourselves. When fasting we will learn to know our needs and inner demands. Only if we know ourselves better we can deal with our inner urges. Then we can gain maturity and an open heart as fruits of our life as Benedict predicts.

Ansgar Stüfe was born 1952. He studied medicine and specialized in internal medicine in Würzburg and additionally in tropical medicine in London. After a short while as research assistant at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg he joined the monks of the Benedictines in the Abbey of Münsterschwarzach. In 1987 he moved to Tanzania and got in charge of a major hospital of the Abbey of Peramiho. In 2003 he took over the office of congregation procurator, the project coordinator of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien with 50 houses worldwide. In 2018 he went back to his home monastery in Münsterschwarzach and is the head of the publishing house “Vier-Türme-Verlag” for the time being.  Since 2013, he has been a faculty member of the Executive Education Project of the University of St. Gallen with the International University of the Benedictine Order (Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo) based in Rome.

07.10.23 | Growing together or drifting apart? – Chasing the specter of deglobalization | Prof. Dr. Christoph Frei

8 pm
Closed event for Buchinger Wilhelmi guests.

His talk will be given in English.

Over decades and up until a few years ago, ever increasing degrees of globalization promised ever higher levels of wealth and prosperity across the world. Sourcing capital from where it is cheapest, sourcing talent from where it is best available, producing where it is most cost effective, and selling wherever markets are without being constrained by national boundaries—such was the liberal creed. In Asia, entire societies left poverty behind thanks to their integration into global value chains.

Today, the tide has turned—or so it seems. In light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and China’s comprehensive ambition to remake the liberal order, the risks of mutual dependence are for everyone to see. With free trade losing its former appeal, the notion of “my country first” is back—along with a host of tariffs, subsidies, and industrial policies. Is the world thus drifting apart? Is “de-coupling” from China a viable option? And more fundamentally, can we afford political and economic fragmentation at all?

Christoph Frei is an associate professor of political science at the University of St.Gallen. Over the past thirty years, he has been moving back and forth between academia and the private sector. His professional experience includes extended research stints in Chile, Japan, Central Asia, Hungary, France and the United States. Among his scholarly contributions is an award-winning volume on intellectual origins of the ‘Realist’ school of International Relations in the United States (with Henry Kissinger providing a comment for the dust jacket of the book’s English translation). At St.Gallen, he was conferred the first ever “Student Award for Best Teaching” as well as multiple teaching awards at School level. Current research interests and publications cover the foreign policy of China and the impact of globalization on modern statehood.

24.11.23 | Moving Europe: Migrants’ (un)deservingness, post-pandemic labor, and the re-location Europe | Prof. Dr. PD Jelena Tosic

8 pm
Closed event for Buchinger Wilhelmi guests.

Her talk will be given in English.

The ways people on the move are encountered and represented is a prime lens into how societies and states are organised. Since the „long summer of migration“ in 2015, moralizing and culturalizing images of the „deserving, real refugee“ and the „undeserving (work) migrant“ have become mainstream and have strongly impacted migration politics and economies. The interplay of economic reasonings and cultural imaginaries reflected in ideas of (un)deservingness has led to a systematic in- or exclusion of particular populations in Europe.

Based on examples from Central and Southeastern Europe this paper looks at how these ideas and processes of „parsing“ mobile populations are changing in the aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic and due to the on-going war against Ukraine. It explores how new (forced and work) migration trends (related to the war on the one hand and the post-pandemic labor shortage on the other) come together and possibly change the very way Europe is located and imagined.

Jelena Tosic is Assistant Professor for Transcultural Studies at the University of St.Gallen. She was APART/AAS-CEE Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2011-2017), Junior Professor for Ethnology at the University of Konstanz (2013/2014), interim Professor in Anthropology at the University of Bern (2014/2015), and guest researcher at various universities and research institutions (MPI for Social Anthropology Halle an der Saale, FMK Belgrade, Center for Balkan Studies / Goldsmiths University, MMG MPI Göttingen etc). She gained her doctoral degree with an ethnography of civil society and human rights in post-socialist Serbia (University of Vienna). In her Habilitation (University of Bern) she developed an ethnographic / historical anthropological perspective on borderlands in Southeast Europe through the lens of (forced) migration. She is currently Project Leader in the Project “Europe’s Un/Deserving: Moralizations of Inequality in Comparative Perspective” (2021-2024, funded by the SNSF) at the University of St.Gallen.

Her research interests include: (Im)Mobility, (Forced) Migration and Border Studies; Citizenship; Inequality; Deservingness; Transculturality/Transnationalism; Education; Tango. Her regional Focus is Europe (Central, SEE) and the Mediterranean.


The lectures will be held in English, but all speakers will also speak German.

Yoga transformation retreat

with Gilbert Grimeau*

Experience the transformative power of yoga at Buchinger Wilhelmi!

The end of the year, especially the Christmas season, is great for letting go of the old, allowing change to happen, and realigning yourself. This intense yoga transformation retreat is your opportunity to do so.

Learn various meditation techniques and breathing exercises, explore your body awareness during yoga classes, and open up new horizons through mantra chanting and much more. It doesn’t matter how much yoga experience you have, as you can find your own intensity through the different levels.

We at Buchinger Wilhelmi want to offer you this particularly protected space for your retreat, your spiritual development, and your transformation. Fasting during the retreat can support you in your transformation, but is not mandatory.


12 – 17 December 2023

More information

*Gilbert Grimeau is a yoga and meditation instructor. He has practised yoga for more than 20 years as a life philosophy. Gilbert started training as a yoga instructor in the Sivananda tradition 14 years ago. Following this, he completed further courses in modern styles like Anusara, Yin and Vinyasa yoga. His courses are designed to be integral, incorporating elements from various yoga styles. He learned and experienced meditation in various ashrams and monasteries in Germany, India and South America. Since 2021 he has been an Inspiration Coach at Buchinger Wilhelmi, where he offers our guests various meditation techniques from different traditions.


The following classes are planned:


7:30–8:10 a.m.: Pranayama – Peace Chanting

8:15–8:50 a.m.: Meditation

9:00–10:15 a.m.: Yoga Level I

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Yoga Level II


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday:

5:00-6:30 p.m.: Yoga therapy (digestive system, heart, respiratory system, musculoskeletal system)


Sunday afternoon:

5:00-6.00 p.m.: Dance It Off (Embark on a journey through the elements and move intuitively to inspiring music. Without judgement, you develop your own, individual dance and activate your self-healing powers.)


Thursday, Saturday, Sunday evening:

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Mantra yin yoga / Mantra meditation / Mantra with sound



Let go. Adjust. Progress.

with Saskia Fehr*

A programme for more meaning and purpose in life.

When the New Year gathers on the horizon and the festive Christmas lights are turned off – that is the perfect time to turn your attention inwards, let go of the old, and start anew. This programme accompanies you on a journey of discovery to what gives life meaning and purpose. With the help of positive psychology, you can explore the topic of finding meaning and purpose in life and discover what matters most to you. Let go of things you no longer need, and devote the energy and resources you have gained to what lies ahead. Based on interactive exercises and in dialogue with the group, you can create a fulfilled life, bit by bit.

About your instructor: Saskia Fehr is a positive psychologist and coach with a passion for a fulfilled life. In her practice, she combines scientific insights into well-being with coaching approaches and methods from body-oriented psychotherapy. In addition, she teaches a master’s course in positive psychology and is pursuing a doctor’s degree in the field of spiritual development and enlightenment. She is also a student and practitioner of Vipassana meditation and Hatha yoga.


07 – 13 January 2024

More information

The following sessions are planned:

07.01. Presentation of and introduction to positive psychology and the topic of finding meaning and purpose in life

08.01. Letting go of what is no longer useful. How we can let go of things we no longer need with gratitude – Guided writing session, rounded off with a fire ceremony.

09.01. Personal sources of meaning and purpose in life. Everyone has a different perception of what is meaningful in their life. Together, we will identify sources of meaningfulness.

10.01. What is important to me? Everyone has their own value system on which their perception, actions and identity are based. We explore these core values together.

11.01. What is a good life? Well-being and a good life ultimately depend on each person’s subjective judgement. We talk about your personal idea of the best possible existence.

12.01. Creating a vision. With the help of a guided visualisation exercise, we create a strong vision of what a meaningful life constitutes, and create our own visual support.

13.01. A clear intention. To round off the week, we reflect on what we have learned, and draw up a plan on how to make it a permanent part of our lives.


In addition:

08.01. & 13.01. evening: Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercise (TRE®). A series of physical exercises aimed at releasing tension in the body caused by stress and trauma by means of natural, neurogenic tremors. – max. 12 participants


English & German

Meditation during Lent

with Niklaus Brantschen, Jesuit and Zen Master*

Learn to meditate during Lent with Jesuit and Zen Master* Niklas Brantschen.

Contemplation, relaxation and presence of mind: Through meditation, we can find a way back to ourselves. We are particularly receptive for this when we fast. At Buchinger Wilhelmi, you now have the chance to learn this technique from Niklas Brantschen, who entered the Jesuit order aged 22 and has since dedicated himself to the study of philosophy and theology. In the course of many visits to Japan, he also gained the qualification of a Zen Master (Roshi). He is a friend of our clinic and has published numerous books on meditation and fasting. For more information, see his website:


11 – 18 February 2024


German, English

Pilates seminar

with Blandine Montagard*

Blandine Montagard discovered the Pilates method when her career as a dancer was coming to an end. She trained at internationally recognised schools, such as Alan Herdman (England), Peak and TPC (USA). Since 2004 she has taught Pilates in Paris. She is passionate about the Pilates method as it is geared to a very broad audience – from less sporty people with chronic pain to athletes or dancers who want to improve their performance.

Joseph Pilates was well ahead of his time and denounced a sedentary lifestyle, environmental pollution, the quantity and quality of food, fast life in the city, etc. In his studio in New York, he helped his students build a good physical condition to be able to cope with modern life. The way in which the exercises are performed is what makes this method so unique and effective. Breathing, concentration and the concept of a strong core are the main principles of his method, which he himself called “Contrology”.

Workouts on the mat form the foundation of the Pilates method. Participants can feel how performing these exercises promotes their physical and mental health. Blandine is the author of an encyclopaedia of Pilates published by Flammarion. She will be offering lessons in a group and one-on-one. She will also hold three lectures: The first is about Joseph Pilates and how he came develop the method and equipment; the other two are more theoretical and include anatomic knowledge to help you understand the importance of breathing and the core (stomach muscles).


18. – 28. February 2024


French, English

Mindfulness Meditation Week

with Tenzin Kalden*

Lharampa Tenzin Kalden is a Buddhist monk and meditation instructor who teaches traditional mindfulness meditation methods and Tibetan Lu Jong yoga. Learn how to bring more mindfulness into your life and thoughts.


25 – 29 March 2024

12 – 16 August 2024

More information

Practising mindfulness plays a central role in Buddhism. Being mindful means being in the present moment. According to Buddhist teachings, we are conscious of our emotions, thoughts and actions in the here and now. At every moment, our mind is alert and knows what impact our actions will have on others and on the environment. Mindfulness is considered a clear, neutral spirit that does not judge or appraise.

There are four aspects to mindfulness: mindfulness of one’s own body, one’s feelings, thoughts and actions. Those who practice mindfulness are aware at all times of samsara, the repetitive everlasting cycle of habit, and live their lives for the good of all sentient beings.

Mindfulness Meditation Week is run by Tenzin Kalden, who was born in Tibet and grew up in Europe. He studied at the Sera Monastic University in South India for 17 years, where he graduated in the five great sciences of Buddhism. He was awarded the title of Rabjampa and achieved the highest scholastic title of Lharampa. For the last nine years, Lharampa Tenzin Kalden has organized training courses in Buddhist philosophy and meditation retreats in Europe.

Content of the mindfulness seminar:

  • Meditation and Tibetan Lu Jong yoga for the five elements
  • Mindfulness meditation and walking meditation
  • Buddhist psychology for more harmony and health
  • Healing mantras and chakra cleansing exercises derived from Tibetan Buddhism
  • Meditation and exercises against stress and burnout
  • Lecture: “Dealing with sorrowful emotions using exercises for mindfulness meditation”
  • Lecture: “Buddhist philosophy as a basis for meditation”
  • Lecture: “The therapeutic benefits of buddhist tantra


German, English

Happiness Week

with Florence Servan-Schreiber*

Florence Servan-Schreiber is an author who lives and works in Paris. She holds workshops and lectures on positive psychology and the science of happiness. Learn how to craft your own happiness and mobilise your own “superpowers”!


06 – 11 May 2024


English, French

*All events are free of charge as part of our Buchinger Wilhelmi program.

Do you want more information?

T +49 7551 807-0