Journey of Luis

Past - Searching

I spent 15 years with uncertainty about and searching for 1) purpose of life and 2) how to 'best' live life. Exploring the world of friendships, education (B. Eng.), cultures (25+ countries), sports (tennis, bodybuilding) and jobs, none left me satisfied.

Regarding 1): During a reflective camper-van trip through Tasmania, I came to the realization that morality - and my understanding of it: minimizing suffering and maximizing pleasure for all sentience - is the objective purpose of life.

2019&2020 - Discovery

With a remaining unpleasant uncertainty about 2) I started to explore the contemplative world for the next two years in South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal).


My trip started with a 10 day silent retreat in the Goenka tradition. During these 10 days, observing the mind & body, it (#2) dawned on me:

  • There is a fundamental system intrinsic to our experience e.g., our thoughts, emotions, perceptions or happiness & suffering. One can become skilful within this system.

This satisfied my uncertainty about 2) 'how to best live life'

Pa Auk Sayadaw

After doing some more retreats in the same tradition I explored the tradition&practices of Pa Auk Sayadaw. The 3 months I spent in the forest monastery in Myanmar, living side by side with monks and fellow lay-practitioner was a special time.

Getting to have a closer look at the personalities of the monk-community, establishing a mindful routine in a conducive environment and occasionally reflecting upon 'objective' morality and 'buddhist' morality best describe my time there.

Mahasi Sayadaw

Still to come was the most intense & most beneficial period of my practice so far, in Nepal. Especially one longer retreat (~6 months) allowed me integrate the practice i.e., make it a natural part of me.

I benefited immensely from observing my body and mind, however my attitude while doing so was partly characterized by forcing and resisting to what I am experiencing. This, especially in intense retreat, accumulates in bad habits, which caused me a lot of discomfort. I weakened those habits, but they are still not completely gone. With this, I have learned a most valuable lesson - to be gentle.

Understandably, my long-distance relationship started to deteriorate to the point of deciding whether to continue or not.. hence after spending around 1 year in retreat environment, I returned to 'daily life' and reunite.

2021 - Reality-Check & Adapting

Returning and being confronted with responsibilities, non-like minded, I realized that my skills developed in conducive meditation environments didn't work as much as I had hoped. Hence, this year focused on how to use mindfulnes in daily life.

2022 - Synthesis

Desiring to share the skills I learned that were responsible for me to find 2) 'how to best live life' as well as improve my well-being, i did a teacher training course in the UM System, founded by Shinzen Young.

I recognized that the bad habits I developed were due to having a lack of clear guidance, hence I started taking private lessons from Stephen Procter, founder of MIDL. I am very grateful for his guidance and have since seen a big change in my 'gentle' approach to self-development (prior rather forceful) and well-being.

2023 - Enjoying the Ups & Downs

The MIDL skills continue to greatly benefit me, in particular understanding effective and enjoyable methods of training the mind to automate positive responses such as the pleasure of letting go and contentment with what is.

Future - :)

With a now more-relaxed and wise attitude, I continue to learn and practice of how to most effectively improve well-being.

MIDL is currently my main practice.

Last updated