Who we are
The Network for Mindful Business (Netzwerk Achtsame Wirtschaft) is a Buddhist-inspired community connecting German-speaking dharma practitioners since 2004.
The German word “Wirtschaft” is broader than “business”. We are interested in exchanging ideas about how to engage more mindfully in our daily economic activities. We’re not just managers. We are entrepreneurs, freelancers, employees and the unemployed. We work in business consulting, teaching, tech, social work, healthcare and a wide variety of other sectors. In our retreats and regional groups we meet management consultants, filmmakers, doctors, students, recruits, the unemployed and university teachers. We all create our economy together.
In 2014 we established ourselves as a charity under German law. Our goal is to promote mindfulness, compassion, understanding and wisdom. See our charter for more information.
From the beginning, we had a presence in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In June 2019 we decided to make careful steps in the direction of broader internationalization. We are now translating materials into English, starting to organize international events, and plan to create a platform for sharing experiences and resources across national boundaries. We want to explore opportunities to cultivate affinity groups throughout Europe and the world.
Sixteen regional groups and a central team organize around 160 events each year — retreats, seminars, mindful co-working days, impulse evenings, public walking meditations, etc. Typical topics of interest are work, consumption, money, community, management and organization. Our starting point for sharing is our personal practice and our own direct experiences.
We are a community of practitioners of the Dharma and of mindfulness, who support each other on the path towards increasing compassion, freedom, and understanding.
We see business and the economy as powerful forces that shape our societies; thus we want to explore wholesome attitudes and actions that may lead companies and organizations, leaders and workers on a conscious and compassionate path in all kinds of business-related activities.
We see the dharma as a huge treasure that can transform our societies, companies and individuals,
We see mindful business as a way of life. We don’t seek quick fixes, but see the transformation towards a mindful economy as a century project that needs a lot of patience, diligence, and love.
We see mindfulness not as a tool, but as an essential part of the Eightfold Noble Path, the Seven Factors of Awakening and other precious teachings of the Buddha. We don’t leverage mindfulness solely for stress reduction or optimization, but aim for transformation and liberation.
We see mindfulness and ethics as two sides of the same coin.
We are a charity; we are not here to support commercial gain.
The Network itself doesn’t offer direct consulting to organizations or companies. But there are members of the network that do so, using their own companies.
We were founded by friends in the Plum Village Dhyana Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and cherish these roots, but we see ourselves as broadly Buddhist and we are open to the insights of other contemplative traditions.
Our ethical ground is defined by the Mindful Business Commitment, and the 14 Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing.
Every event we organize includes meditation, deep listening, sharing from the heart, and a connection between the dharma practice and economic topics.
We start with our own lives, transforming our basic ideas about economic “truths” and patiently understanding and transforming our habits in the fields of work, consumption, and monetary transactions.
We see our activities as seeds of awakening in the vast field of business and in the economy.
May all beings be happy!