Naikan Center

...is located between the nature reserve "Klosterfilz", a low-level moor that borders directly on our garden and the Bavarian Forest National Park, just outside the climatic spa St. Oswald.


guides participants and is responsible for the Naikan Center.

Sabine Kaspari

Director of Naikan Center

Coming from event management and later adult education, Sabine got to know and appreciate Naikan in 2002 during a Shiatsu-TCM training. Shortly after that she created her first center with the help of her family and led Naikan retreats there herself from 2007 on.

An encounter with the director of the American ToDoInstitute encouraged her to take up the study of Japanese Psychology, which she completed with a certification in 2018. Since then, she combines this program with elements of TCM and offers it, in addition to Naikan Retreats, as "Days of Change".

In all Non-Naikan-Retreats, she incorporates her numerous advanced trainings (including forest bathing trainer, PGF C. Rogers...) into the programs as well as topics that are very important to her (education, health, environment...).
Naikan retreats she guides in traditional Japanese posture.

Her participants especially appreciate her mindfulness, compassion and professionalism.

Tabular CV

picks up participants from the train station, maintains the house and yard and helps with cooking.

Peter Heintze

"Facility Manager"

worked as an on-board mechanic master in the emergency service of the Federal Armed Forces' helicopters division for many years and was stationed in Sardinia, among others. There he then studied tourism and lived on the island for 20 years, which means that he speaks fluent Italian as well as English.

Since retiring, he has devoted himself extensively to his various interests. He is always happy and balanced to keep the house and the vehicles in shape. As a passionate cook, he takes over the kitchen if neccessary - his potato pancakes are highly demanded.

Prof. em Akira Ishii
carried Naikan from Japan to the world and conducts classic Naikan weeks in Europe every year.

Prof. em Akira Ishii

Naikan Ambassador

Until 2015, Akira Ishii has been professor of criminology at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. In his retirement he is still tirelessly active worldwide as "Ambassador for Naikan".

Already during his studies he got to know Naikan in Japanese prisons and developed a great interest in the method himself. He practiced at the Founders Center with Ishiin Yoshimoto and his wife Kinuko. Since he had studied at the Göthe Institute in Germany and thus speaks the language, he regularly made himself available to the Yoshimotos as a translator for German and English-speaking Naikan participants.

In April 1976, he accompanied Lothar Finkbeiner, a German evangelical prison pastor, during his first Naikan retreat in Freiburg, thus bringing Naikan to Germany.

In Scheibbs, Austria, in the summer of 1980, he led the first public Naikan week outside of Japan at the invitation of Franz Ritter. Since then, Naikan has spread enormously not only in Europe. Akira Ishii comes back every year, leads Naikan retreats and gives lectures in Germany and Austria.

Sarah Kempff
took part in the first Japanese Psychology program in Europe and finally started her Naikan guide training with us.

Sarah Kempff

Naikan Guide

Sarah Kempff lived in London for many years and has been interested in personal development since her 20s, especially in topics dealing with the emotional and its interactions such as anatomy and mental health. Through Buddhism she came to the Naikan Center Bavarian Forest and assisted in the first "Japanese Psychology" Program in Europe, held by Gregg Krech (Director of ToDo Institute, Vermont, USA).

In February 2024 she finished her training as a Naikan guide in our center and since then regularly guides her own Naikan retreats.

Additionally, she is Kundalini-Yoga- and Meditation-Teacher. She enjoys traveling and being in nature. Since 2019 she works mobile and loves the nomadic life.


is one of the most important elementary things in the seminars. We mainly cook vegetarian, organic and full-fledged. The untouched nature around us provides delicious ingredients and often the right decoration… .

Japan & USA

"You are the connection - East and West come together with you."
A Japanese colleague said this beautiful sentence on the occasion of the International Naikan Congress 2016 in St. Oswald.
And yes, this is quite true: Japanese, American and German forms of self-awareness and psychology come together in the Naikan Center, paired with a good dash of Bavarian worldview.

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Internationality & Mobility

Not only when Naikan was introduced to Nepal and Holland, we learned that the method is effective, regardless of social, cultural or personal background. This is in line with the experience of colleagues who have launched Naikan in different countries.

When they first conducted their "Domestic Certification Program" with Japanese psychology outside the US, with us in May 2018, the directors of the ToDo Institute Vermont (USA) were pleased to see, that it is as successful in Europe.