Ruud Baanders


Zen teacher

Reiki Master/Teacher

Internationally Certified NVC trainer

Certified Coach

I worked for many years in senior roles in a corporate environment before I made the transition to set up Mahakaruna in 2008.

My spiritual journey took me since 1975 from various forms of Christianity to Ch’an/Zen Buddhism and Reiki.

My main spiritual teachers during these years were Thich Nhat Hanh and Ton Lathouwers, dharma holder of the MahaKaruna Chan in The Netherlands. From the beginning of my journey into Buddhism I felt very attracted to Ch’an Buddhism (Chinese Zen) because of it’s emphasis on the Bodhisatva Quan Yin (Kanzeon), a symbol of “infinite compassion”.  In 2015 I have been authorised by Ton Lathouwers, Dharma Successor of Jinarakkhita Ashin (Teh Ching), as zen teacher in the Maha Karuna Ch'an Sangha

Other spiritual teachers I have met are  Ama Sami, Amma, Bernie Glassmanand Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living). My meeting with  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in his Ashram in Bangalore (India) was transformational, it was here that I experiened the heart to heart transmission of compassion at such a deep level that it completely changed my life. Compassion became the core not only of my spiritual practice but also of my daily life. 

After having worked with Reiki for more than 20 years, I completed my Reiki training in 2014 with the Reiki Master/Teacher-level training with Cory Croyman at the Asian Healing Arts Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) came on my path in 2006 when I met Marshall Rosenberg, developer of the  NVC process, on a caochign conference in Brussels. Form him I learned a practical way to connect compassionately and honestly with myself and others and to develop a way of communication that expresses  compassion in daily life. It was a step from the "meditation cushion" into the "real world". Since 2006, I have trained with many NVC trainers internationally and in 2011 I became a Certified NVC trainer with the Centre for Nonviolent Communication. I lead practice groups and run Introduction, Foundation and Deepening Trainings/Workshops internationally, both public workshops and in organisations and companies.

I have a long experience in coaching, mentoring, personal and leadership development and I am certified in various processes, viz. Myers Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) step 1 and 2, and Ken Blanchard’s High Performance Team process.  I am also a certified coach with Coach U and a certified faciltator for the Be The Change organisation. I am involved with Bernie’s Glassman's Zen Peacemakers.

I want to support people in developing a life and relationships that are satisfying, real and compassionate, thereby increasing the level of wellbeing and willing collaboration of individuals, groups, organisations and humanity. 

I have experience with participants/clients from a multitude of cultures and social backgrounds. I can work in English, Dutch and Italian, both face-to-face and by telephone/Skype.

I live in Oxford (UK) with Bridget Belgrave, my wife and associate, and I am available for national and international projects (paid and volunteer).