big leap

The big leap 

How to gather around death and dying?

Dying gets experienced as the letting go of all qualifications, as losing all self-referential thoughts and feelings, and as letting go of all stories — all versions — of yourself and the world. Moments of dying can therefore be seen as chances for fears and preferences to become groundless: without stories, nobody is there, nothing has to be held up or kept in place. Neither offense, defense nor justification, blame or regret, shame, guild or pride are any longer of use.

The dissolution of fears or preferences sounds like something worthwhile experiencing before we actually die. How could we consider dying a gate — a calling — that we can follow already before our time has come — throughout life?

With The big leap we propose to read, discuss and experiment with practices related to death and dying. What is the influence of these practices on how we experience life, how we relate to each other, and how we act in the world? And how to first engage in existing practices of keeping ourselves and others undefined, and then together develop forms stemming from this activity?

We will gather on Thursday evenings and/or Friday afternoons. If you are interested in joining, please get in touch.


The big leap is the overlapping of two frameworks House of the beloved and House of Practices (HoP) visiting each other.

HoP is exploring permeability: how to make space in existing places? In dialogue, through their practices and and those of guests, Simone Basani, Hans Bryssinck, Heike Langsdorf and Miriam Rohde, want to come closer to what the transformative power of a physical place can be: What does a place with its specific history, former and current inhabitants/users allow for? What makes it relational and permeable and for whom? How do our practices create closeness and distance to one another? What of it contributes to the “making” of community, and also what of it makes avoiding or even destroying it?

House of the beloved is a residential center for embodied philosophy located in Tongeren. Through exploration and experimentation about loving and dying the House invites journeyers from all backgrounds to support each other in their search for a personal expression of what it means to be human. In continuous dialogue, Stijn Smeets and the current residents collectively design and propose spaces, tools and activities that facilitate seeing what is real, breaking through fears, and vitalizing the body.