“Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
The Urban Mindfulness Lab (UML) explores the potential and practice of bringing mindfulness to sustainable urban living. UML is presently taking the form of a blog, chronicling experiences, reflections, photos, projects, events and meditations on the subject of mindful urban living. Many of these will be inspired by day-to-day experiences right here in Berlin. UML is also intended as a platform for announcing workshops, retreats and other programs in the areas of mindfulness, gardening & farming, and conflict resolution.
UML was created in 2018 by me, Daniel Dermitzel, an educator, community builder and organic farmer with a lifelong interest in peace-making and sustainability. I have lived half of my life in Germany and the other in the USA, becoming familiar with urban challenges in each. I hold a bachelors degree in journalism and a graduate degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. After working in television news in L.A. for several years, and traveling through Asia for an extended period, I started and managed several organic farms and co-founded Cultivate Kansas City, a non-profit urban agriculture organization. I have also taught sustainable planning and design at the University of Missouri. Since 2016 I have been living in Berlin, Germany, where I work with Prinzessinnengarten Kollektiv, one of the city’s leading urban agriculture organizations.
I am a student of mindfulness under Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in whose monastery, Plum Village, I spent two years living and working to set up an organic vegetable farm called Happy Farm. My goal is to encourage change at the heart level, to facilitate conversations that build bridges and to help bring understanding to a world of conflict.
For more information, check out my home page at www.danieldermitzel.com.