Get to Know Marlies
Welcome! I invite you to ease into the silence that you already are and taste your true nature. Let's have a conversation.
A Little Bit About Marlies and A Story of Her
I was born and raised in Amsterdam and now I live in Santa Cruz, California. If there was any religion in my family as I grew up it was soccer. Most Sundays we gathered to watch soccer and I loved it. I was a very intense player of field hockey and relished it just as much.
Still, as a young adult, I felt profoundly incomplete. There was a burning longing for something, which I could only call “It.” My search began!
As a teenager I visited many churches and temples, but nothing quite resonated. At the age of fourteen, dreams of being a Tibetan monk kept coming to me. Even though I had never read anything about Tibetan Buddhism, I knew these dreams were about another time and place. This inspired me to start reading books about Tibet, Nepal and India. Soon I knew, “I have to go there!”
It took me until I was twenty-six years old to get to India. In the middle of my psychology studies, I left for an ashram in Poona where I met my teacher – Osho. The moment I sat down with him I fell into the deep silence. I was home.
For almost one year I steeped in Osho’s presence. I had arrived in India emotionally paralyzed and numb. I had grown up with a distant and harsh mother. In my teens I was raped twice. In my twenties both my parents died. Other friends and relatives also passed on around that time. And, on top of that I was dealing with the symptoms of a genetic kidney dis-ease. All together it was perfect fuel for the fire.
In Poona, in the safe surroundings of the ashram and in the very loving arms of many people, the traumas that I had swept under my secret carpet finally came out.
This cracking open was a dramatic experience because I became completely unglued. For weeks I would literally fall on the floor and cry for hours. It was so freeing to let it all out and be held so lovingly. I was being emptied of lifetimes of misery. With Osho I felt, for the first time in my life, truly loved and cared for.
What a relief to meet all those old emotional scars with an open heart! In this field of love and acceptance the pain and suffering was released.
Back in the Netherlands, I continued to cultivate spiritually with Osho meditations, workshops, Zen retreats and more. At the same time, I finished my degree in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. After graduating I went to France to work in a therapeutic community for troubled young adults.
During this period I also studied with an awakened Australian Tantra teacher named Barry Long. With Osho I was broken open and experienced home for the first time. Barry helped me to not doubt myself anymore and taught what it meant to rest as silence.
Through Barry I entered the world of western Tantra. It felt so familiar. Barry's teachings of awakened lovemaking led me to a kind of healing that I had not thought possible.
As time went on, naturally spirit and the making of love blended together. A far-reaching exploration into the sensuality of silence was ignited.
I also studied with Carla and Viram Verberk. Later, in the United States, with Charles and Carolyn Muir. They certified me as a Tantric educator (CTE). I am also inspired by Daniel Odier and Lama Tsultrim Allione.
I never wanted to live in America but in 1994 life dumped me in Santa Cruz, California. I had no part in it. The culture shock was massive.
The good news is that in Santa Cruz I met my root teacher Adyashanti. Adya is a teacher from the Zen Buddhist tradition.
With Adya the bottom fell out. I deeply experienced I am not this body, mind, thought or psyche. At the same time I also knew I am all these things as well. There was no in or out. I knew all is One.
In 2000 Adya asked me to teach the dharma. After some hesitation I agreed. Now I teach with all my Heart.
Being with Adya, my ongoing meditation practice and the ripening that comes by a life lived, have all guided me to be the fullest expression of the silence that I AM. This expression imbues all my teachings.
I have no words for the deep love and support that Adya has given me. He is an example of living an ordinary life as an awakened householder.
On a personal note: I love dancing, and this love of dance permeates all my work. I especially love West-African and traditional dance from Congo Brazzaville. In dance, as in all areas of my life, I move as Stillness. I give thanks to my dance teachers: Debbie Nargi-Brown, Alasane Kane, and Vivien Bassouamina.
Profound gratitude for all that is given and taken away.
The biggest gift we all can offer is our Being.
We are so loved by Life.
A Story of Her
I was visiting a dear friend in Northern California. He has a beautiful meditation space filled with statues and Thanghka’s. The moment I would walk into his sacred temple I would instantaneously feel penetrated by the thickness of silence.
One day we were sitting together. Before I knew it I was shot into the Absolute – nobody there to experience anything. I have no idea how much time passed.
The immensity of all that is was unfathomable. I was the heartbeat of the Universe. There was this deep hum, humming as the ground of all that is. Simultaneously I was wider than the universe and nothing at all.
Then, She whispered in my ear “it is me, I am called Her.” Truly it was indescribable and at the same time perfectly natural. I was profoundly moved and also not at all.
Then, breath by breath the sense of “I” came back. I felt the ground underneath still holding me. I smelled the fragrance of incense in the room and heard the birds singing outside. Something was stripped away and I was left with a feeling of firm grounded equanimity, which has stayed with me since.
Some thoughts, feeling, and experience slowly came back. It felt as if I had been digested by the dark womb of the sacred feminine and birthed back into Life anew.