My own training
in more detail
After successfully studying law, a profound personal crisis and its ensuing spiritual experience finally turned my map the correct way up and pointed me in the right direction at the age of 24. I began to meditate earnestly and read spiritual books for the first time ever in my life.
After four years, I entered the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (Trappists) and studied Philosophy and Theology for some 6 years as a monk. I was a brother in three monasteries in three different countries, all belonging to the same Order. I stayed for a total of 21 years in this cenobitic contemplative Order.
In the third monastery, I was given permission to follow a Buddhist training, with a view to leading meditation retreats for guests. I met 16 meditation teachers, had formal private interview with 8 of them, and studied koans with 4, successfully working through the koan collections called 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, eventually progressing to give weekend retreats to monastery guests myself, with my own assistant. Later nominated as Chair for the MID (Interreligious 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 monastic life, I decided to pursue this vision and went to America, becoming authorized as Teacher of Meditation in the Celtic Buddhist lineage. My apprenticeship in Shamanism started immediately afterwards in Ireland in 2011 under Liam Glenane, an Irish shaman, and continued in the Netherlands with Daan van Kampenhout, and privately with Emy Fernhout. After deepening trust, 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 what I was eventually to call Shamanic Druidry in Germany in 2017, under the banner of the Order of the Longing Look.