About: Suttavāda Foundation

Koen vd Biggelaar

Founder and Chairman

Koen van den Biggelaar

Following an extensive search, he found peace and happiness at a retreat in the UK with Bhante Vimalaramsi. He shortly ordained in the US, where he was supported by Bhante Ānanda. They remained in contact and Koen is currently his (international) Kappiya. He is a director at Microsoft Netherlands and lives in Hilversum with Maria. They have raised three boys, who are grown up now and left the house. Now he and Maria play a significant role in the lives of a 5-year old boys twin.

Patricia Rooseboom


Patricia Rooseboom

Patricia lives in Lelystad (though from Amsterdam 😉 ) and has a 23 year old daughter and a 21 year old son. Following multiple years as administrative assistant at a house broker, she joined Humanitas as a volunteer. With her warm and big heart she is supporting children, their parents and other people in need. As secretary she keeps us organized.

Board member

Els Ryokan Knaapen

Els Ryokan Knaapen lives in Zeewolde. She has held multiple functions during her long professional career. She received her Dharma middle name Ryokan as part of her lifetime ordination in the Zen Buddhist tradition. Currently she runs and supports a number of organizations and spends her time as Zen teacher for the Zeewolde Sangha (zeninzeewolde.nl). She received her ordination six years ago, whereby she confirmed herself to a lifetime refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.

Board member

Maria de Ridder

Maria believes in principles applied. Applied to daily live, applied to difficult circumstances, applied to one’s one life first. She enjoyed a long professional career as manager, guide and coach for volunteers helping people and children in need. Her picture blog mariaderidder.nl contains a selection of her photos and daily life stories, including how to approach situations from a Buddhist perspective. She believes in simplicity, one-line impactful wisdom quotes (“one doesn’t need to like it, in order to enjoy”) and minimal “stuff” to carry around. She is Koen’s partner and is sought after by many for her practical advice.  

Board member

Cas Boerkamp

Cas is 26 years young and lives in Hengelo, eastern part of the Netherlands. Last year he received a temporarily ordination as Upekkha. Following that he travelled through Asia Bhante Vimalaramsi supporting retreats. He currently is assisting people in the Netherlands with their practice.