Bhante Bodhidhamma assisted by Mark Arthur
Guus Went (Netherlands, 1952) started practicing Dhamma in 1980 (Mahasi tradition). The immediate effect on his life was immense, seeing fundamental changes in his relationship to study, work, family and friends.
From 1990 to 1994 he lived as a monk in the then flourishing Buddhayana Centre (Ven. Dhammawiranatha) in his home country, and as a staff member until the centre’s closure in 2001.
Societal life afterwards, however, didn’t prove to be too satisfactory to him.
In 2007 Guus discovered on the internet the newly founded Satipanya Buddhist Retreat. After practicing under the guidance of Bhante Bodhidhamma, Bhante referred him to the German monk Sayadaw U Vivekananda, in whose center - Panditarama Lumbini - he met Sayadaw U Pandita in 2011. Since 2012 Guus has spent every Winter at Panditarama Forest Meditation Center Burma on 60 day retreats.
In 2011 Guus started to conduct 5-day retreats in the Netherlands. In 2015 Bhante Bodhidhamma invited him to conduct an annual weeklong retreat at Satipanya. Since 2016 he conducted around ten 10-day retreats in the Netherlands too.
See for more info: his website (English version).
Carl has been practising in the Mahāyāna and Theravāda traditions for just over 30 years. He was first introduced to Buddhism in 1989 by a close friend who guided him through a programme of kōan study from the Rinzai school of Zen. He has now settled on the Mahāsi system of vipassanā as his primary practice after meeting Bhante Bodhidhamma at Gaia House in 2010.
Carl started teacher training with Bhante Bodhidhamma in 2011. Since then, he has been leading weekly and fortnightly sitting groups, helps out occasionally at Jamyang in London, and leads weeklong and weekend retreats at Satipanya. He is a member of the Buddhist Teachers in Europe, and a Gaia House visiting teacher, regularly assisting Bhante there since 2014.
Carl has a Master's degree in Buddhist Studies from the University of South Wales.
Jenny Birkett has been practising meditation primarily in the Theravaden tradition for over 25 years. She first started attending weekly meditation classes at the age of 16, in the Triratna tradition. This prompted a life long interest and passion in Buddhism.
Jenny's interest in Buddhism, motivated her to take Buddhist modules as part of her Philosophy and Religious Studies degree. While at university, Jenny became increasingly interested in meditating more intensively and in particular, attending a silent Vipassana retreat.
In 1999, after finishing her studies and while travelling in Asia, Jenny came across Ajahn Buddhadasa's monastery, Suan Mokkh in Southern Thailand. It was there that Jenny sat her first vipassana retreat. Although conditions were harsh, the retreat made a deep and lasting impression on Jenny and she sat her next course a few months later in a Goenka Vipassana centre in Australia.
Jenny spent 10 years in this tradition, sitting and serving many intensive courses. After a long period of self enquiry, Jenny became disenchanted with the Goenka meditation technique and began to look further afield.
On the recommendation of a friend, she went to Bhante Bodhidhammas's retreat centre in 2008 and never looked back. Jenny found the Mahasi method suited her perfectly, as did the peace, quiet and intimacy of Satipanya.
Jenny conducts a weekly sitting group and has been trained in how to teach MBSR. She is particularly interested in introducing the Mahasi technique in schools and is currently working in a school in Kingsbury where she fascilitates teaching the Mahasi method to younger learners. She is also currently being trained as a mindfullness teacher by Bhante Bodhidhamma.
Anne Michel has been practising Vipassana meditation since 1973. Having brought up a family, as well as working professionally and maintaining her meditation practice, she has been teaching for 18 years. She deepened her path with many monastic and lay teachers, both in Theravada and Tibetan tradition. Her main teachers have been Ajahn Sumedho and Jack Kornfield. Over the last few years she has trained in Insight Dialogue. Please check out Insight Dialogue Practice
As an an Insight Dialogue and a Vipassana teacher, she has been teaching retreats in the Theravada tradition since 2000 in Switzerland, and in different European countries. Together with her sangha, she has created the Mudita Association http://www.mudita.ch They opened a meditation center, Maison Mudita, in 2016 in the Swiss Alps. Anne teaches in both French and English languages.