Naikan - Introspection
  1. What have I received from a specific person?
  2. What have I given, what have I done for this person?
  3. What troubles and difficulties have I caused this person?
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Types of Naikan

Naikan in its original form is a one-week retreat.

Original Naikan:

  • One-week Naikan

Other Naikan offers:

  • One-day Naikan
  • Naikan weekend
  • 5-days Naikan
  • 10-days Naikan

Naikan practice in everyday life:

  • Naikan in written form, e.g. by E-Mail
  • Online Naikan Retreat by online-meeting
  • Naikan by phone
  • Daily Naikan

Naikan in combination with other methods:

  • Kodo-Naikan
  • Jujukinkai


One-week Naikan

Naikan in its original form is a one-week retreat. Intensive Naikan is more than 100 hours of self-reflection in a quiet place, guided by a Naikan guide.

One-day Naikan

People who already attended a one-week retreat sometimes continue their practice doing one-day Naikan.
One-day Naikan is also accessible for people without prior Naikan experience. In this case it is recommended to practice one-day Naikan during a certain period of time (e.g. a one-day Naikan every month during one year).
The setting of one-day Naikan is similar as provided in a one-week retreat.

Naikan in written form

Basically you can practice Naikan at home without guidance or a special setting. Just take some time to do Naikan self-reflection. You can use a diary to write down the answers you find to the three questions of Naikan.
Naikan in written form can also be guided by Naikan guides, as it is the case with Online-Naikan.

Naikan practice in everyday life

"One-week Naikan is the beginning, daily Naikan is the aim." These are the words of Naikan's founder Mr. Yoshimoto. Daily Naikan is a way of life. It's a challenge to integrate Naikan practice in everyday life using the three questions to cultivate awareness.
My personal vision is Naikan in every moment, being aware of my actions and their consequences in my inner world as well as in the world outside.

Naikan in combination


Kodo-Naikan is a one-year process of self-reflection especially for manager and business. It was developed by Mr. Takahashi in Japan and introduced to Austria by Franz Ritter. Kodo-Naikan combines Naikan with coaching and other elements.


The Jujukinkai retreat is a spiritual practice developed by Reiunken Shue Usami (1930-2019), a Zen master and Jodo Shin priest at Senkobo temple in Japan. The setting of a Jujukinkai retreat is in the style of Zen. Similar to Naikan you examine your own biography but instead of asking the three questions of Naikan you have a close look on your way of conduct: following the 10 Jujukinkai as they are described in Buddhism. For further information about Jujukinkai please click here

How much time should you invest in Naikan practice?

Is a one-week retreat the best Naikan practice?
What are the effects of only one or two days Naikan?
Is it possible to cultivate introspection and inner peace in everyday life?

There is no doubt:
The best way to practice Naikan is a one-week retreat.

You need about two days to adapt to quietness and to be able to leave everyday life behind. It usually takes another two days to stabilise inner quietness and to experience deep insight. On the fifth day your perception might change and you slowly start to see things just as they are. Problems and solutions fade into the background. Main themes take shape.
In february 2009 a Naikan participant did a three-weeks retreat at Insightvoice Naikan Training Vienna. Practicing Naikan for a few weeks allows you to experience deep meditation and whole-hearted insight.

The depth of insight depends on how long you go into silence.

Does this mean that short Naikan is a bad choice?
My answer is no. Many Naikan participants have teached me that even a one-day Naikan can be effective, even without prior Naikan experience. It all depends on motivation. If someone decides to really face his or her attitude towards a person or a topic, he or she will certainly benefit from Naikan's quietness and three questions.

All you need is determination. Which is exactly the same determination you need to cultivate introspection and inner peace in everyday life. Yes, it is possible, you can do it!

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© Johanna Schuh • Insightvoice Naikan Training Vienna