All posts in Society

Meditation helped me cope with the situation

Captain on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean

“Some people were lost before we could see them on the radar,” says Francesc Oliveras, who was captain on board when the Dignity I set out to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean. “Nevertheless, this part of their trip was actually the least dangerous one.” Read more…

Acem in the future


What will Acem look like in 50 years, on its 100-year anniversary? The year will be 2066.

Just saying that number feels abstract, futuristic, and far far away.

It raises another question: what will the world look like in 2066?

By Elisabeth Heimdal Wærsted 

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New book: Psychology of Silence


The classic introduction – available for the first time in English

This book presents the classic introduction to Acem’s theory and practice of meditation, written by the founder. Psychology of Silence provides an easy-to-read account of the technique and its effects on health and personality. The book also includes chapters on meditative silence and the cultural background of Acem Meditation. Read more…

An intensive experience of communication – with several language options


Acem’s Training in Interpersonal Communication helps you improve your empathetic capacity and understanding of yourself and others. This year’s course will have English, German, Spanish, and Scandinavian groups, provided a sufficient number of people sign up for each language. The registration deadline is 15 April, with 15 March for early-bird registration. The course takes place 29 April – 7 May 2017 at Acem International Retreat Centre Halvorsbøle, Norway. Read more…

Meditation and Culture: the Interplay of Practice and Context – new book


Editor: Halvor Eifring

Bloomsbury Press, London, Delhi, New York and Sydney, 2015. 280 pages. ISBN: 9781472579911

What is the relation between meditation and culture?

Over the last decade Halvor Eifring has been undertaking an inter-disciplinary research project to explore the nature of ‘meditation’ and the cultures in which it is practiced and undertaken. A conference was held near Oslo in 2011, bringing together internationally-renowned scholars who sought to answer the question: What is the relationship between meditation and culture? This book is the fourth product of their contributions – with discussions of practices that travel from one culture to another, or are surrounded by competing cultures; and exploration of cultures that bring together competing practices, or that are themselves mosaics of elements of different origins. Read more…

The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav awarded to Acem’s founder Dr. Are Holen

His Majesty the King of Norway has appointed Acem’s founder Dr. Are Holen as Officer of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his services to society.

Are Holen Order of St Olav Read more…

The difficult past: The TV series “Generation War”

By Folke Gravklev 

The second world war has loomed over Germany since 1945. Rightly so: The Nazi government inflicted suffering  on peoples in eastern Europe, the Jewish population etc. on an unprecedented scale. The criminal regime used the full force of  German industrial capacity to attack, destroy, torture and exterminate innocent people everywhere.

This war has been described to the minutest details down to Hitler´s dog. But what about the common man in these extraordinary times? Read more…

Skulls and bones

The Land of Death – a perfect tourist spot

I don’t know what was the original motivation behind the “bone church” in Sedlec in Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. Its present use of human bones and skulls for extensive ornamentation of a church is the product of the Czech wood-carver František Rint, who even used human bones to sign his work in 1870 on one of the church walls. As many as 40,000 of the former inhabitants of its graveyard were put to good use here, and some of the “artwork” include all the bones of the human body. Read more…

Meditation goes mainstream

Der SpiegelAn increasing body of medical evidence confirms that meditation has a wide range of positive effects for the practitioner. The probably most influential and respected print media in Germany, der Spiegel, recently ran  the article: Der heilende Geist: Gesund durch Meditation und Entspannung (The healing spirit: Healthy through meditation and relaxation) on its front page.

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Meditating politician

Aung San Suu KyiYesterday I heard the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaking – first on television, in a transmission of her speech in the Oslo City Hall, then live, to 10,000 people gathered outside the city hall.

What is it that makes her so impressive? I am sure it helps that she looks beautiful. The image of one lady standing up against military oppressors cuts an almost equally powerful figure as that of one person with plastic bags standing in front of a row of tanks near Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. In Burma, I am also sure it helps that she is the daughter of the country father Aung San, who was killed when she was only two years old, and whose legacy she sees herself as carrying on. Her enormous sacrifices, refusing to leave house arrest to visit her sons and her then dying husband in England, create an ambiguous, but also awe-inspiring impression. And the fact that she speaks so well certainly helps. Read more…