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Day long Retreat on Effortless Presence & Compassion with Michael West & Barbara Doeleman

9 mei 2023 - 10:00 - 17:00 CEST

€185 – €198

Michael West and Barbara Doeleman-van Veldhoven invite you to this unique retreat in the Netherlands!

Michael and Barbara are internationally well known meditation teachers ánd they work closely together on Compassionate Leadership Programs. Michael will be coming to the Netherlands exclusively for the symposium on May 8th and the day long retreat on May 9th. As a participant you’ll sense the profound wisdom and experience in the field of meditation, mindfulness and compassion practice.

Since ancient times humanity has known the deep benefits of retreat.

This day long retreat offers you the opportunity to withdraw for a short period from the complexity and hurry of daily life, to slow down and to rest in stillness. This retreat invites you to experience the peace of your presence and awareness, from where you can deeply listen to the body, mind and heart. You will be invited and guided to presence: with self, others and all around us and on connecting with inner wisdom and compassionate heart.

With clear guidelines for meditation and contemplation, you will be enabled to connect with presence, awareness and simply being. Mild yoga exercises will be included and you will be invited to take contemplative silent walks in nature. By cultivating the power of presence, consciousness, compassion and clarity of mind you can liberate the compassionate heart.

Most of the retreat will be held in silence and there will be some meditative interpersonal dialogue practices to cultivate qualities of presence and compassion in meeting others.


Meditation provides a clear means to cultivate presence. During the retreat you’ll receive instructions and guided meditations with a focus on how to achieve effortless meditation. You’ll experience how meditation is rather a way of being and not simply what we do.


AMC mindfulness


Compassion is a sensitivity to suffering in self and others and with a commitment to prevent or relieve this suffering. Compassion is grounded in awareness and presence and has, at its heart, the intention to help. It is not a state or an emotion but a deep orientation of humanity rooted in our lives and in an honest investigation of our relationship to suffering. Compassion requires courage and authenticity for us to do what is needed to relieve the pain and suffering of self and others.

In this retreat we will practice opening the heart and turning our compassionate hearts towards ourselves and others; in silence and in the practice of presence through meditative dialogue.

For Whom?

You are very welcome to attend if you have a desire for presence, to practice meditation effortlessly, and to nurture compassion and self-compassion. This retreat is suitable for people with much or just a little meditation experience.

After subscription we will ask you to complete a questionnaire to assess whether the retreat is suitable for you and to ensure we provide you and all participants with safe support and valuable guidance.



Practical information

Investment: €198,- (no VAT), refreshments and vegetarian food included.

€185,- for members of the International Compassion Community as well as for attendees of the Symposium on Compassionate Leadership on May 8th 2023.

Spoken language: English


Location:  Oohm, Bekslaan 22, Vogelenzang, The Netherlands.

Michael West & Barbara Doeleman-van Veldhoven

Michael and Barbara are experienced meditation teachers. They also work closely with healthcare leaders nationally and internationally to develop compassionate cultures and encourage self-compassion among those working in healthcare. Both have practiced meditation for many years. In their work with healthcare leaders they integrate the insights and wisdom gained from research on compassion, self-compassion and from their own meditation practice.

This retreat, open to anyone with a desire to explore and develop presence, meditation practice, compassion and self-compassion will enable all to pause, be present and enjoy peace.

Michael West (CBE), professor organizational psychology

Michael West, CBE

Michael is a senior visiting fellow at The King’s Fund. He is Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin, and Emeritus Professor at Aston University.

He has authored, edited and co-edited 20 books and has published more than 200 articles on teamwork, leadership and culture, particularly in healthcare. His latest book ‘Compassionate Leadership’ has become a real revolutionairy bestseller.

Michael lectures widely both nationally and internationally about the results of his research on reflexibility, meditation, mindfulness, culture, compassion, leadership and his solutions for developing effective and innovative organizations. He is one of the meditation teachers of the International Compassion Community.

The practice of compassion meditation is intended to directly promote stronger connection and altruïsm in interactions with others

Michael West


Barbara Doeleman-van Veldhoven

Barbara is founder of BFC Compassionate Care & Mindful Medicine. Meditation practice, contemplation and spirituality became an essential part of her life from age eighteen. She followed classes, courses and retreats all over the world and postgraduated at Radboud University on Mindfulness-based Programs. Beside being trained as a mindfulness- and compassion trainer, she was taught non-duality, Buddhist philosophy and practice by, among others, the teachers of Bodhi College ( Christina Feldman, John Peacock, Jaya Rudgard, Acincano Weber, Chris Cullen, Stephen Batchelor, Martine Batchelor), Martin Aylward, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Succito, Thea Kuin and Pema Chödron.

Her background and experience makes her an expert in integrating and putting into practice the connection between healthcare, compassionate leadership, teamwork, science, mindfulness and spirituality. She does this with lighthearted earthiness, humor and sharp clarity. Her work expands beyond the Netherlands to international collaborations with other mindfulness experts, integrating compassion in teamwork and leadership to foster compassionate cultures, especially in the healthcare sector.

When the mind becomes quiet, we can hear the wisdom of the Heart.
Barbara Doeleman-van Veldhoven




9 mei 2023
10:00 - 17:00 CEST
€185 – €198


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