Since early childhood I have been fascinated by the questions: "What is reality?" "What is consciousness?" "What is a healthy mind?" My main interest is to understand the mind and the processes that lead to mental flourishing or dissatisfaction - all with the aim to help people find mental balance and wellbeing.
I dedicated over thirty years to external scientific research and internal meditative exploration of the mind and consciousness within their respective settings (ETH Zürich; Dialectic School IBD, India). For the purpose of sharing these years of experience and insights, I have developed the Wheel of Mental Balance to teach the tools and methods proven to realize mental balance.
I completed my studies in pharmacology at the Federal Institute of Technology, (ETH Zurich), specializing in psychopharmacology and addiction.
Following my work with an aid project in Nepal, I lived in Dharamsala, India, for 11 years, learned Tibetan, and studied for 7 years at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in the Tibetan language. I have completed several silent, meditation retreats of several months, worked as an interpreter, translating Tibetan into many languages, and published several books. On returning to Europe in 2003, I taught widely, organized large events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, such as the visits of H.H. to Switzerland (2005) and Hamburg (2007), and participated in research aimed at exploring the benefits of meditation as a long-term practitioner.
I am associated with and have worked for the Mind and Life Institute since the 1990s, as the Mind and Life COO from 2008 – 2012 in the USA, as co-founder of Mind and Life Europe, and as its director until 2014.
In 2015, I decided to concentrate on my main passion of teaching content and tools that build mental balance. I founded the “Institute of Secular Ethics and Mental Balance” (ISEMB), an interdisciplinary initiative, to develop and provide tools and programs that foster mental balance. Besides acting as the ISEMB’s Founding Director, I am also the institute’s principal teacher.
Over the past 25+ years, in Dharamsala, other areas of India, and internationally, I received innumerable formal teachings, both public and privately, from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, many other distinguished teachers from all four Tibetan Buddhist and Bön traditions, as well as teachers from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma. I continue to be inspired by learning from many teachers.
- Teachings on meditation include a variety of types, such as Shamatha, Vipassana, mindfulness programs, compassion training, attention control, open space awareness, loving kindness practices, and the Wheel of Mental Balance.
- Introduction to science for monks, in Tibetan, Dharamsala, 2000-03
- Individual teachings to private individuals and groups, in Switzerland and abroad (USA, Bahamas, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal) ; 2003 – to present
- Teachings for Business people (individual and in groups)
- Volkswagen, Autostadt, Wolfsburg
- ZfU (Zentrum für Unternehmensführung), Thalwil
- Mountain Wisdom, Mountain Wisdom Summer Summit, Mountain Wisdom Forum, MW Deep Dives gatherings
- Regular teachings at Felsentor, Villa Unspunnen, Ganden, Switzerland
- Teachings to Family Foundations
- Teachings in Buddhist Centers (USA, Switzerland, France, Germany, Indonesia)
- Teachings to Yoga students, Europe and USA
- Lassalle Haus, Switzerland
- TEDx Taipei
- Solar Impulse - Pilot André Borschberg
- Teachings to Swiss-Tibetan Community
- Teachings in English, German, French, Spanish, Tibetan
- Moderator at panels and conferences
- For more details, see Teachings
Academic Lectures given
- University of Zurich, Geneva, and ETH Zürich
- Universities of Oxford, King’s College, England
- University of Vienna, Austria
- Multiple lectures at Universities of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, India, USA, Canada
- University of Arhus, Denmark
- IABS (International Association of Buddhist Studies), 2014
- Translations and interpreting from Tibetan into English, German, French and Spanish
- Organizing large and complex events (up to 150’000 people) in India, Europe, USA
- Build and run not-for-profit Organizations (ML Europe, DL in Switzerland, DL in Hamburg)
- Build and run for profit organizations (Pharmaceutical Company, Pharmacy, Restaurant)
- TV Programs and Interviews (Hamburg, Germany, and Ziischtigsclub, Switzerland)
Worked closely with many world-renown individuals, authors and researchers:
- The Dalai Lama, India
- Dan Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence, USA
- Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist Monk and Author, Nepal
- Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Pioneer, USA
- Richard Davidson, Neuroscientist, USA
- Tania Singer, Neuroscientist, Germany
- Richard Ernst, Nobel-Prize Winner
- Olaf Blanke, ETH Lausanne
- and others
- Tibetan-German Version of the Buddhist classical text Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara, (Bodhisattva’s Way of Life) OWBarth Verlag, 2005
- Tibetan-German Version of Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika (Verses on the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way)
- Co-translated and co-edited Tibetan-German translation of Aryadeva’s 400 Stanzas
- Compassion Training, 2 Chapters, e-book, Max Planck Institute, 2013
- Co-edited ‘Caring Economics: Conversations with the Dalai Lama’, with Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, Picador, 2015
- Neuroscience of Compassion: Challenges and Opportunities, Dharma Drum Journal of Buddhist Studies, no 16, 2015
- Compassion Conference Berlin 2011: Raising Compassion (English)
- TEDx Talk Taipei 2013: The Emergence of Contemplative Science (English)
- Lecture Lisbon 2016: The Science of Meditation, or Meditation as Science? (English)
- Universitätsspital Basel: Warum Empathie nicht Mitgefühl ist (Deutsch)
- Franz Reichle’s ‘Das Wissen vom Heilen’ 1997, and ‘Monte Grande’, 2004; Ulrike Koch’s ‘The Saltmen of Tibet’, 1997
- Several contributions to articles and publications (Tibet und Buddhismus, Kalachakra Graz 2002)
- Tibet und Buddhismus, 2009
- KGS, KörperGeistSeele, Hamburg, 2008
- Tibet Aktuell, 2006
- Kalachakra Graz, Brochure, 2002