Course of life
I was born in 1964 in Belgium. During my MA in religion, I learned a lot about Christianity and Judaeism. At the same time, I was practicing Aikido and had an interest in Eastern wisdom. I continued my studies with cultural anthropology, which enabled me to stay in Israel for one and a half years.
I started a job in The Netherlands teaching religion at BA level.
When my relationship crashed, I noticed that Buddhist insights and especially Zen meditation practice were very helpful. I started to put more and more time into them.
In 1999, Ama Samy become my formal Zen teacher, an Indian Jesuit who had trained in Japan, with a great love for koans and the historical Buddha.
I became a chaplain in a nursing home. In Buddhism, there is mention of the three ‘heavenly messengers’: sickness, old age and death. In this job, I encountered these every day; this was intense practice for me.
During a Zen retreat I met Ciska. We started to go to Zen monastery Noorder Poort in Drenthe together more often.
Later, I worked as a Buddhist chaplain in a number of prisons and also as an assistant professor in Buddhist chaplaincy at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. During this period I also completed the mindfulness teacher training and the supervisor training.
I had always dreamt of traveling and sitting retreats for a longer period of time. That is why in 2019, I took a sabbatical year. Highlight was the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh (India) together with Ciska.
By now, I have happily started working again as a chaplain in a number of nursing homes in Amstelveen.
Meditation and yoga practice are part of my everyday life. I find it really special to practice these together with others.
Stef guides Meditation on Monday -alternating with Ciska. During retreats, he teaches mostly hatha yoga, qigong and bodyscan.