Interview with Annette van Citters, treasurer

How did you come into contact with Buddhism?

In 1993 my partner Annelies and I took a sabbatical to travel for a year through Southeast Asia. In Nepal we ended up in the Kopan monastery above Boudha (near Kathmandu). There we received our first Lamrim teaching from Rev. Robina Courtin, a familiar one to many of you. Her personality and challenging way of teaching immediately appealed to me. After that we also traveled for more than 2 months in Tibet. We have visited many monasteries and special places, but more as a tourist than as a Buddhist. That came later.

The Kopan Monastery is the cradle of the FPMT organization, which also includes the Maitreya Institute. So it was only logical that when we returned to the Netherlands, we would follow education at this institute.

What is your connection with the Maitreya Institute (MI)?

The MI runs like a red thread through my life.
At MI Emst I started seriously with Buddhism and I met Rinpochee. At MI Amsterdam I met Reverend Kaye Miner. Through her and also with her I was able to make contact with many other teachers and dharma centers within the FPMT. The MI still gives me the opportunity to do useful work as a volunteer.

How did you meet Rinpochee?

I met Rinpochee while he was teaching at the Maitreya Institute (MI) Emst. I immediately felt a connection with Rinpochee and was very happy that I could take refuge with him. After that I followed Rinpochee as much as possible like the Lamrim teaching in Mont Dore and Veneux. And the weekends and retreats at varying locations in the Netherlands. Sometimes alone, sometimes with Annelies, and sometimes with Father Kaye Miner.

What do you do for a living?

After studying Business Administration in Groningen, I worked for a number of years as an IT consultant. After my sabbatical journey and also because of the first Buddhist lessons, I completely changed course. I have turned my hobby into my profession: furniture maker/designer. With its own workshop under the railway in Amsterdam.

Over the years I have started doing more and more work for dharma centers.

In 1997 the MI opened its 2nd location (next to Emst) on the Brouwersgracht in Amsterdam, 500 meters from my workplace. Even before the opening, I was involved in the refurbishment and furnishing of this gigantic canal house. I was also able to do a lot of work when MI Emst moved to Loenen, and during the renovation in Loenen.
For Kadam Chöling I was allowed to make the altar cabinet in their center in Haarlem. For me a huge closet, where luckily I got a lot of help from sangha members. In the meantime my workshop has moved to MI Loenen, I am retired and I have made my job my hobby again.

What are your hobbies?

I do not consider Dharma practice as a hobby but as an essential part of my daytime activities. I am now in the 3rd year of the Basic Program, a 5-year study program of the FPMT led by the Dutch Geshe Tenzin Namdak. Very inspiring because Dagpo Rinpochee is also one of his important teachers for him.

When there is time left I like to mess around in my workshop on Dharma objects such as a combination of water & light sacrificial edges.
I do a lot of sports to stay fit and to sniff some green outdoors.
I also like to read, cook and eat. And I always try to be there for people.

Why did you say yes to the position of treasurer?

Actually, the answer is already above. I was polled and because I can deal with numbers reasonably well, I couldn't refuse this question.
But of course it is much more important that this is a very special way to be able and allowed to serve Rinpochee.


Enter what you are looking for above or go directly to 1 of the topics below:

Are you participating in the light campaign for the Day of Miracles?