Amsterdam, 25th of November 2017
Farewell as Head of Buddhist Spiritual Care at the Custodial Institutions Agency and as initiator of the post-graduate training program of Buddhist Spiritual Care at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.
I enlisted myself with heart and soul to establish both the Buddhist Spiritual Care at the Custodial Institutions Agency for inmates and the post-graduate training program BSC for students.
The pioneering phase is over, time to pass on my activities to my successors Nelleke van Zessen (Custodial Institutions Agency) and Stef Lauwers (Vrije Universiteit).
Looking back on the last 9 years, then it is Compassion, the flag that covers the meaning of this project.
For me, Compassion means the permanent state of ‘Work in Progress’, beyond the good intentions and the beautiful words, being available for the other, in whatever situation you might be.
Compassion requests that you dare to stand in the wind in almost inaccessible paths with your rain boots in a pool of mud. That is what if often felt like the past years.
Without the continued support of Thea Bogers, director of Spiritual Counselling Service, and Joke van Saane, Vice-Dean of the Board of the Faculty of Theology, I wouldn’t have made it.
To mark my leave, I gave the Flag of Compassion to the Spiritual Counselling Service and the Faculty of Theology. On the one hand, as appreciation for how they are a figurehead of Compassion in this world and on the other hand, as challenge to keep staying in the wind, reaching out to all who need help.
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