Olaf van Kooten

Since 2003 I have been leading Zen meditation at Kenkon in Wageningen at the request of Sydney. I am grateful to him for this request, because guiding people has brought me a lot. I started this Zen group in Amsterdam (Zen aan de Amstel) in January 2015. I have been training myself in the dharma under various Zen masters since 1973. When I started at Kenkon, I asked Ton Lathouwers to be my teacher. With this I went from the Japanese Zen tradition to the Chinese Ch’an tradition. Ton has received transmission from master Teh Cheng in the lineage of Lin Chi (Rinzai in Japanese) and recognition from Masao Abe in the FAS society. Ton calls his sangha ‘Maha Karuna’, which is Sanskrit and means great compassion. I was always very strict and serious with my practice, but Ton opened my heart to the gentle way of Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion throughout East Asia. In July 2015, Ton authorized me as a teacher in the Ch’an tradition of Lin Chi and in the tradition of the FAS society of Shin’ichi Hisamatsu. Characteristic of this is that I renounce the authoritarian teacher role and try to help people find their way back to their original heart-mind through the technique of ‘Mutual Inquiry’ and the Chinese Kung An (koan in Japanese) training.