I love working with people; to sit in meditation together and deepen our insight. Together we quiet down, sometimes we share experiences, sometimes we are deeply touched or laughing our heads off. I would not know anything more meaningful and delightful than this: finding peace in ourselves – and with it, contributing somehow to more harmony in the world.
Course of life
I was born in 1964 in Amsterdam. My father was a philosopher and my mother did modern and Indian dance. Both were spiritually inclined and loved Eastern art and wisdom.
Originally I studied social psychology, and worked as a freelance trainer for a while.
But I decided to pack my things and started traveling as a freelance journalist in post-apartheid South Africa. After this intense experience, I was really run down. I quit everything, went into therapy and started my spiritual journey.
In 1995 I learned about Zen meditation and was totally fascinated with it. First, I practice Zen with the Kanzeon Sangha in Holland, later I went to the States to practice. But still I felt it was not as radical as I desired. So in 1999 I left for Japan to receive intensive Zen training. For six years I lived in Bukkokuji, Harada Tangen roshi’s temple. This time has been transformative for me.
After returning from Japan, I took part in countless Vipassana and Zen retreats, together with my mother Henriette.
Vipassana proved incredibly rich in Buddhist wisdom and brought many insights.
In Zen centre Noorder Poort I continued practicing with koans, under the bright guidance of Jiun roshi: ‘Be very quiet!’ was her central advice.
In order to be able to lead courses and apply my experience, I started the mindfulness teacher training in 2010. Mindfulness mainly taught me to be mild with myself and others, and to non-judgmentally be-with-what-is.
I discovered Mooji in 2016 via YouTube. I was totally entranced by his clear way of teaching. Everything I had heard and learned, started to make sense now. Finally all those beautiful concepts revealed their true menaing – Buddha nature, True Self, pure awareness…
Since this discovery, I have frequently visited Monte Sahaja, Mooji’s centre in Portugal, for several months at a time. This has greatly deepened and strengthened my understanding and practice. I started to feel so happy more and more frequently.
Yoga has always been part of my practice, it helps me to connect to my body and enhances self-confidence and it’s simply so joyful! That is why I took up the yin yoga teacher training, and the hatha/vinyasa training together with Stef.
Still, I have always remained faithful to Zen. The Noorder Poort is the base where I keep returning for further training. To me, the silence and focus of Zen are unsurpassable.
I feel blessed I can make this whole journey together with Stef. And that we have by now gathered such a wonderful group of friends around us on this path.
2011-2013 Mindfulness teacher training at IAM and See True
2015 Yin Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training at Stillness in Yoga
2020 Hatha/Vinyasa Teacher Training at Anadi Yoga Centre in Rishikesh
I am a VVM and VMBN (cat. 1) certified mindfulness trainer
Resumé Ciska (English) Download
In my Stories you can read more about my experiences.