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The Psychology of Suffering & Awakening

An International Network

This is the third conference in this series, the first having been in Spain in 2015 and the second in Belgium in 2017. More than a one-off event, we are seeing the emergance of a diverse yet mutually supportive network of people inspired by Buddhist psychological ideas, a community of practitioners spread around the world engaged with therapeutic arts of many kinds and drawing inspiration from a range of different schools of Buddhism - expert practitioners, Buddhist teachers, scholars, students and members of the helping professions.

No Pearl without Grit

The oyster making a pearl to deal with irritating grit is an image that reflects the Buddha’s teaching on dukkha and transformation that lies at the root of Buddhist psychology and is a suitable motif for the task of therapy in our troubled world.
Buddhist practice seeks to transform adverse circumstances into the path of enlightenment. This principle has given rise to a diverse wealth of healing arts. This conference welcomes all approaches to applying this ancient wisdom in a modern context and thus stimulates creativity, understanding and compassion. It is also a supremely good medium of cross-fertilisation, creativity and co-operation, transcending divisions between schools and approaches.

The Venue Kontakt der Kontinenten The venue is a highly rated conference hotel located in a former monastery building in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. It is 15 minutes’ drive from Amersfoort, 20 minutes from Utrecht. There are extensive attractive grounds. All rooms have TV, work desk and en suite shower rooms and most of the rooms have a view of the forest, monastery garden or the courtyard. The conference facilities are of high quality. We are very pleased to have secured this venue for the event, so comfortable, conducive and convenient.

 An excellent residential experience

Having a high quality venue makes a big difference to an event. A conference is more than just the presentations and workshops. The experience of being a community is also powerful.


3rd International Conference on the Psychology of Suffering & Awakening

Soesterberg Netherlands 5-8 September 2019

Conference Fees

Please send full fee or a deposit of 200 euro / £180 to reserve a place.
Full conference 650 euro / £575 fully residential, 3 nights & all meals

Non-residential Full conference 375 euro / £335 Day rate 130 euro / £120 Bed & Breakfast 105 euro / £95 per night

Payment Please pay by bank transfer to the following account: (please identify your payment with the delegates name)
UK ACCOUNT: Name of account: international Zen Therapy Institute
Name of Bank: Barclays, 62-64 Lower High Street, Town Centre
Watford, WD17 2BT
SWIFT / BIC: BARCGB22 IBAN: GB39BARC20917943636283

Conference Convenors

David Brazier, UK/France. Chairperson of ITZI, author , Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist.
Karin Verhaest, Belgium. Conference facilitator. Organisation consultant and change manager.
Natividad Menendez, Spain. Conference registrar. Psychotherapist and Buddhist psychology tutor.
Susthama Kim. Treasurer. Buddhist teacher. Canada/ UK
Jnanamati Williams, previous conference organiser.
Diederik Ornalis, Belgium. Webmaster.
Floor Nijman, Conference photographer.

Presenters include

Ron Purser, PhD, San Francisco University, Taegyo Buddhist, specialism management and mindfulness
Iris Dotan Katz, Clinical psychologist and peace activist, Tel Aviv, Israel Caifang Zhu, Chan Buddhist researcher and counsellor, Beijing, China.
Myokei Caine-Barrett, Nichiren Buddhist teacher, specialism conflict resolution, Texas, USA.
Elena Barakhova, MD, psychotherapist/psychiatrist, Ericksonian hypnotist, specialism fertility, Moscow.
Ksaf Vandeputte, gestalt psychotherapist, Buddhist commentator. Belgium. Ortwin Luers, MD, psychotherapist/psychiatrist specialism post-trauma, Qi-gong teacher, Germany
Ryushu Jeffers, MDiv, Buddhist prison/hospital chaplain, authority on the Lotus Sutra. USA.
 Sven de Weerdt, PhD University Hospiutal of Leuven, specialism leadership development. Belgium. 

Registration Form

Conference is limited to 80 participants.
Book early to avoid disappointment later.


I have sent deposit/full payment
Do you need a formal invoice?  Yes/No
If yes, please also send invoice information.
Are you interested in participating as a workshop facilitator/speaker? Yes/No
If yes, please separately provide the title of the workshop, a paragraph of description, a short bio of yourself and a portrait photograph that we can include in the conference website.

Please send this form to:


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