MINDFULNESS & FACILITATION

Mindfulness Coach
In 2012 I was invited to Plum Village, the monastery founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in the South of France. I arrived with the twofold purpose of establishing an organic vegetable farm to supply food and educational opportunities to Plum Village, and to practice mindful living as a lay member of the community.
 
I have spent a combined two years in Plum Village returning to the USA for a teaching assignment in between my stays. To live in the monastery has been a very humbling and rich experience. It was an opportunity to see compassion, brotherhood, sisterhood and simple community living in action. To me, Plum Village is not a place of spiritual perfection or “holiness;” it is something even more interesting and relevant to this troubled world: a demonstration of how a diverse human community founded on basic practices of compassion and mindfulness can thrive and provide for each others’ needs.
 
In 2014 I also completed the 8-week training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a technique developed by Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In my view, this approach is particularly effective for ordinary people who cannot take time off for lengthy retreats or spiritual studies but wish to realize the benefits of simple and effective daily mindfulness practice.
Retreat Facilitator 
I have co-developed and co-hosted retreats and mindfulness activities on the topics of sustainability, community, and healing ourselves and the earth. In 2015 I co-led the first Sustainability, Mindfulness and Community Living retreat in Plum Village. The weeklong residential retreat centered around the monastery’s newly established organic farm and participants were invited to work on the farm and experience the powerful healing energy generated by working mindfully with Mother Earth.
 
In March 2016 I co-facilitated a 4-day Sustainability and Mindfulness retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.
 
In November 2017, together with Tobias Grimm, I developed and facilitated a four-day residential retreat entitled “Reflections on Deep Sustainability” at the Lebensgut Retreat Center in Pommritz, Germany.
 
I have also led many other mindfulness activities for children and adults, facilitated sharing circles and presented on the subject of mindfulness in the workplace.
Certified Mediator
In 2014 I completed a course in Mediation and Interpersonal Conflict Resolution through the Center for Conflict Resolution in Kansas City. I have thoroughly enjoyed my training and see great potential in the integration of mindfulness practice with mediation. After receiving my mediation training I volunteered for the Center for Conflict Resolution on Neighborhood Accountability Boards providing restorative justice for first-time offenders in Kansas City, MO.
 
Prior to returning to Plum Village Monastery, I also spent several months volunteering with Reaching Out From Within, a prison rehabilitation program. I was deeply moved by the lessons I learned from my interactions with the prisoners. Their strength and courage as well as deep-seated suffering impressed me greatly. The prison provides a mirror to all of us but it is up to us to take a look.

"Daniel also understands the needs of large organizations, and is skillful in finding out where he can help in a harmonious and insightful way. He has the qualities of a community-builder, which are rare and difficult to find, and those working with him develop a sense of trust and friendship with him easily."

Thay Phap Luu
Senior Dharma Teacher & Bhikshu Monk, Plum Village Meditation Center, France

"Daniel... never hesitated to go the 'extra mile' toward a better product"

Ruth Schwartz
Executive Director, Shelter Partnership, Los Angeles, USA

"Daniel has been a dear and valued colleague to me, whose intelligence, creativity, sense of humor and big heart I have greatly appreciated.... Daniel is a well-organized manager, inclusive and holistic in style and, where appropriate, also hands-on. He involves people, works hard to build consensus and makes team members feel valued and heard. Daniel goes the extra mile in finding and implementing lasting and comprehensive solutions."

Rachel Pollock
Director of Refugee and Immigration Programs, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, USA

"Daniel was a definite asset to our assignment desk...it requires highly organized, flexible and intelligent individuals with exceptional communication skills and the ability to handle ever-present deadline pressure."

Richard Ayoub
Executive Producer, KCBS-TV Los Angeles, USA

"Daniel has exceptional skills as an educator, both in formal presentation and in workshop settings. He is a clear and compelling speaker. Through our partnership with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and the New Roots for Refugee program at Juniper Gardens, he has developed particular expertise in working across language and nationality/ethnic differences and in working with non-literate refugee and immigrant communities."

Katherine Kelly
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, USA.

"Propelled by his curiosity and meticulous approach, Daniel searches thoroughly and leaves no source unchecked. As a producer he has exhibited great talent in planning and supervising complex television productions, even under extreme pressure. Whatever the task at hand, Daniel consistently goes beyond the call of duty."

Alexander von Wechmar
Chief Correspondent, German Television Films, Los Angeles, USA

"Students receive invaluable opportunities for additional learning thanks to engaged farmers and community activists like yourself"

Robert J. Dole
Former U.S. Senator

"Daniel has been highly organized and prepared, open to mentoring and guiding students, and a truly innovative and creative thinker. The students have had a very positive response to Daniel and his open-hearted and compassionate approach... Daniel is a patient and forgiving instructor who maintains high standards in the classroom while moving students to do more creative and challenging work."

Dr. Jacob Wagner
Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design, University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA

"Daniel brought great enthusiasm and an infectious joyful energy to our group and the work. This energy gifted our group with motivation and helped us to consistently achieve our goals.

Daniel used his life experience and wisdom to offer mentorship to me and the team members in matters including meditation, relationships and conflict resolution. Personally I grew a lot in Daniels company, and through dialogue with him learned a lot about what's important in life.   

What impressed me most about Daniel is his deep desire to serve. He feels a deep affinity with the earth and the inhabitants of the earth. His work reflects this affinity. He is moved to protect the environment and help those he meets grow, heal and work towards realising their true potential."

Stuart Watson
Co-Founder, Plum Village Happy Farm, Plum Village Monastery, Thénac, France