in more detail
After successfully studying law, a profound personal crisis and ensuing spiritual experience finally turned my map the right way up and pointed me in a positive direction, at the age of 24. I began to meditate earnestly and read spiritual books for the first time in my life.
I entered the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (Trappists) at the age of 28 and studied Philosophy and Theology for some 6 years as part of my formation. In all, I was a monk in three monasteries in three different countries, all Trappist. I stayed for a total of 21 years in this enclosed contemplative Order.
In the third abbey, I was given permission to follow a Buddhist training, with a view to leading meditation retreats for guests. I met with 16 meditation teachers, had formal private interview with 8 of them, studied koans with 4, and successfully worked through a total of some 230 koans, including The Gateless Gate (Jap: Mumonkan), and The Blue Cliff Record (Jap: Hegikanroku).
I was also personal assistant to two of these meditation teachers, one for 8 years and the other for three, later being asked to give weekend retreats to monastery guests myself, with my own assistant. Nominated as Chair for the MID (Inter-religious Monastic Dialogue) in the Dutch-speaking region of the Netherlands and Flanders, I participated in the 10th East-West Spiritual Exchange with Japan in 2005, when we lived, worked and meditated with our Japanese brothers and sisters.
It was in my last year as a monk that I had a powerful dream, in which I read out loud the words, "The Order of the Longing Look" from a large book lying open on a table in the chapel of St. Columcille. In the vision I was deeply moved by this name, and, on waking up, filled with energy.
After leaving religious life, I first went to America, becoming authorized as Teacher of Meditation in Celtic Buddhism. In 2021, I established The Celtic Buddhist Lineage. An introduction to the shamanic world started with a weekend like this one in Ireland led by Liam Glenane, an Irish shaman. It continued in the Netherlands and with trust deepening, I began to be taught directly by my own Shamanic allies. These guided me to branch out on my own and start teaching workshops in Germany from 2017. More recently, I've been reminded of my own shamanic identity as part of the Sidhe, the faerie family of Irish folklore, said to live beneath the hills and often identified as the remnant of the ancient Tuatha Dé Danann.