Michel Oltheten (1954) started to practice zen meditation in 1993 and became a student of Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi that same year. In 1995 he and his partner Helen Pelder together received lay ordination (Jukai) from Genno Roshi. From 1994 onwards he practiced part time in the Dana Zen Center in Paris, eventually spending several months a year there, while working in the Netherlands and looking after his family. With Roshi's permission he started an affiliated zen meditation group in The Hague in 2001. In 2014 he received dharma-transmission (shiho) from Roshi and became a fully authorised teacher in the White Plum lineage (see the page about our lineage). The Zen Heart Sangha center provides a year round schedule of practice including just wholeheartedly sitting (shikantaza), koan study as well as council circle practice and study groups (see the Events and Schedule pages). He teaches bilingually in Dutch and English. He is married to Helen Pelder and together they have three children and two grand children.
"Just sit quietly.
Let thoughts and feelings come and go freely.
They appear and disappear in the mind, like clouds and birds in the sky.
The sky does not block or invite or cling.
It just is.
It reaches beyond the stars and it is present in every cloud,
in every bird, in even the tiniest raindrop.
Your mind is that way, vast and mysterious,
empty, awake and alive.
So sit and relax, look inside and experience mind.
Your mind is Buddha Mind.
Empty and complete."
Michel Plein Ciel Oltheten