Dr. Ayse Dayi: „Wisdom is already within each one of us“

Portrait Ayse Dayi

„My journey with vhs began in 2021 when my MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher dear Wolfgang Schröder introduced me to Frau Christine Bartels of vhs-Berlin to explore possibilities of teaching MBSR in Turkish at vhs Mitte. In 2020 I founded my platform Orca Dreams: Platform for Mindful Living, with which I offer trainings and consultations to individuals and institutions on holistic health and mindfulness. In the same year, I received my MBSR Teachers Certificate from IMA: Institut für Achtsamkeit. During Covid closedown, I started teaching MBSR online. Then in 2021, with the support of dear Christine Bartels and later dear Tanja Waldeck, I opened the MBSR in Turkisch course at VHS Mitte at Turmstrasse 75. This was the first Turkish MBSR Kurse of Germany. It made news in the MBSR-MBCT Verband to which I belong.

I am very honored and happy to see that individuals in Berlin can experience mindfulness in their mothertongues. For these practices, it is important that individuals feel the connection to the words and concepts which is more intimate and heart-felt if the language supports this.

Since 2021, I have been working both at vhs Mitte and at vhs Friedrichschain-Kreuzberg.”

My courses …

  • MBSR in Turkish (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: Farkındalık Temelli Stres Azaltma Eğitimi)
  • MBSR in English
  • Retreats for Turkish Speaking Educators & Pedagogues
  • Entering Winter Retreats
  • Entering Spring Retreats
  • Deep relaxation, Balance & Rejuvenation Retreats

„I also started in 2023, a women’s circle at vhs Mitte. It is called: “Re-membering & Honoring my Sacred Feminine: A women’s Circle on Gender, Body & Sexuality.”

That's what you learn in my courses ...

„All my courses and retreats at vhs aim to support individuals learn methods to reach and maintain holi* stic health through meditation, mindful movement (in the form of yoga and qiqong), deep listening, writing and other exercises and sharing of experience. Within this what we cover are:

  • what is Stress? (the physiological mechanism of Stress in all organisms) What is Stressful for me? How do I react when I am stressed? (what are my stress triggers and my automatic stress patterns)
  • how can I respond mindfully to Stress?
  • how do I perceive the world and myself? (my ways of seeing the world /perspectives) and how do I become aware of them and be able to shift and widen perspective when needed
  • what are my communication patterns and how can let go of the patterns that do not serve me?
  • how can I practice deep listening? (listen deeply, without judgment to myself, to others, to nature)..
  • how can I learn ways to increase my concentration so that in time I can guide my focus of mind from the patterns that do not serve me to those that are wholesome and serve me and serve the greater good.
  • how can I increase my body awareness and learn have a peace and mindful relationship to my body (be at home, aware and peaceful in my body)
  • how can I learn to show compassion to myself and to others..

In the Retreats, we learn ways to balance the mind and body so we can reach and maintain our holistic health through meditation and movement. In retreats, through Healing Sounds Qiqong, we also learn and practice balancing the organs and emotions that relate to the season we are entering. And through contemplation and sharing, we contemplate on what we are releasing and what we are seeding for the new season. These are all done in a joyful way.

Kursleiterin Dr. Ayşe Dayı mit Frauengruppe

In the Sacred Feminine Women’s Healing Circle, we met as 7 women from 6 countries for 8 weeks. Each time we met, we took on a topic like gender, sexuality (how our bodies became sexualized), menstruation and cycles of life, childbirth, motherhood and relationship to mother. We covered this theme through readings, drawings, dance/movement, watching movies, and sharing our personal experiences on the topic. It was a very healing and nourishing experience for each of us. We reconnected to our wise and wild feminine side, and honored it, and started our healing process to be able to be in our full power as women.”

My teaching style is ...

Portrait of Dr. Ayşe Dayı

„Same as it was in the Universities when I worked in academia, my teaching style is interactive, includes lightness and humor with a good-structured focus. Now that the content of the teaching is mindfulness and because many come to these courses with heavy issues, I also pay attention to take care of myself (my own emotional and overall balance). In teaching, as I tell the participants, things I share I have practiced myself and keep in my practice. So my teaching involves theory and concepts (from Buddhism, Taoism, neuropsychology, development psychology, and ancient traditions of wisdom) presented in concrete ways with examples and with participants practicing the techniques and sharing their experiences on it.. I see myself as a guide where I ask them questions on the experience and when needed provide suggestions (e.g. when your mind wondered off during meditation, did you notice where it went exactly? To the future or past? What in the future and past specifically? And if you were to label that thought, what would be the first label that comes to your mind?

In terms of this labelling the thoughts and thought patterns, one of my participants for example gave the name jackall to her over-judging thoughts for example. Humour and playfulness play a large role in my teaching. I include songs and movements that we apply with joy. When nothing works, I intend to remember to breathe in and out.
My belief regarding mindfulness is that all the wisdom is already within each one of us (in our consciousness, cells and DNA). What we are doing together in these courses and in our own practice is to help ourselves re-member this wisdom.”

My connection to vhs ...

„I enjoy working at the vhs because of its structure / philosophy (it is a continuing education -adult education- system) and its diverse range of courses and students/participants.

  • I have not attended any courses at VHS myself.
  • If my life was a VHS Kurse, it could be “On the Path” since I have literally travelled and lived in different countries but/and I continue to pursue my life path and spiritual path of wisdom and love, remembering my life’s purpose and learning to be a true human being.

I will have upcoming MBSR Kurses, the Sacred Feminine Women’s Healing Circle, and Retreats in the fall semester.

This motto of life accompanies me ...

Keep walking the path and the path will keep opening itself, keep supporting you.

Important stages in my life…

„All seem important. They all reflect my life path and evolution and work of the heart.”

Something personal …

  • I am originally from Istanbul and am in love with my hometown.
  • I have many favorite books but those of Ursula K. Le Guin are special to me. Among Thich Nhat Hanh’s books “Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966” where he tells his story in Vietnam and then in exile in the U.S. in a very vulnerable way, had really touched me. I also recommend “a field guide to getting lost” (Rebecca Solnit) and “The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe” (Lynne McTaggart) for very insightful reading.
  • I am a singer. While doing my PhD in the US, we had a band where we interpreted and performed Turkish rock and folk songs.