The Goal: Enlightenment
The purpose of this website is to help you experience and maintain a special state of mind known as enlightenment. In the enlightened state, the mind is happy and at ease independent of your personal circumstances. This is facilitated by a change in perspective, often called awakening, that allows you to see that you are not necessarily the person you may currently believe to be. When you awaken, that person is experienced more like the protagonist of a story or a dream. They may experience all kinds of adventures, but as you no longer get caught up in the narrative, no suffering is experienced when the protagonist faces life’s challenges. Instead, there is ease, joy and inner peace.
The Path: Meditation
The trouble with enlightenment is that for most people it doesn’t come easy. There is currently no technology available that would quickly and reliably induce spiritual awakening in ordinary human minds. However, you can train the mind to awaken. Such mental training is called meditation.
You have probably heard of meditation and all its wonderful benefits for mental and bodily health, but have you also heard that it can bring about enlightenment? Perhaps not. Enlightenment is more difficult to communicate and achieve than the other effects, which means it isn’t a good selling point for most people. But if you are reading this you have already proven that are not most people, and perhaps you can appreciate how all of those other benefits are mere side-effects, which pale in comparison to the absolute joy and freedom of enlightenment – the true goal of meditation.
You can learn how to meditate with the book that is offered freely on this website. It describes a spiritual path designed for rational and pragmatic minds, i.e. it holds up to common sense and scientific scrutiny, can be practiced by anyone in any situation, and leads comparatively directly to the experience of enlightenment. read the book
A Community to Support You
Sometimes we run into trouble on our spiritual paths. We may need some clarification on a teaching or an explanation for an unusual experience. Or maybe we experience doubt that we could ever attain enlightenment, seeing how frantic our minds tend to be. We may also have beliefs that make it difficult to practice, e.g. the belief that we don’t have time to meditate. It is very helpful to have good friends who support us in overcoming such obstacles and staying the course. Often all we need is to know that we are not alone, and perhaps some inspiration to meditate. You are kindly invited to join our little DhammaTime community. learn more about the community
The DhammaTime project was founded in 2015 by Markus Echterhoff, a German meditation teacher currently residing in Austria.
The “Dhamma” in DhammaTime is a Pali word that, among other things, means “truth” and is used here to acknowledge the truth at the heart of the early Buddhist teachings. To be clear, DhammaTime does not teach Buddhism. If spirituality were the food that nourished enlightenment, the Dhamma would be the nutrients, and each spiritual tradition would add their distinct flavor. Practicing Buddhism without Dhamma, then, would be akin to eating flavored paper: It gives the impression of being nourishing, when really it is not. Contrarily, practicing Dhamma without Buddhism can be quite a bland experience, but it provides you with all you truly need to awaken. Here at DhammaTime, the Dhamma is seasoned with a dash of science and scholastic exploration of ancient wisdom traditions, but it is still rather plain. Not to worry though, because much like plain but nutritious food, you may find that the Dhamma tastes better the longer you chew on it.
DhammaTime went through several phases that reflect Markus’ spiritual development. In version 1.0 (2015), the Dhamma he taught was largely a rational distillate of early Buddhist concepts and terminology, taught in the form of a series of white-board animation videos. In version 2.0 (2016), he replaced this course with a new one, which contained more practical teachings. Details from tradition and science were offered as accompanying text notes. Version 3.0 (2017/2018) was about letting go, and allowing his Dhamma to flow naturally. As a consequence, the video course was replaced by the online book. The current version 4.0 (2019) focuses on enlightenment and community, as described on this page.