My name is Mikan van Zanten. I was born in The Netherlands in 1975. When I was 8 years old my family moved to Taiwan, where we lived for about 4 years. Whilst there, I learned English as a second language and picked up an American English accent. I came into contact with many different cultures, and developed a taste for traveling. After Taiwan we moved back to the Netherlands, where I attended high school and subsequently university. I had a passion for mathematics, and wanted to make some money using this. I chose to pursue (and received) Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Econometrics, with a specialization in Quantitative Finance, from Tilburg University. Later on I became a Chartered Financial Analyst, and subsequently a Board Member and then President of the Netherlands CFA Society.
I have worked in the financial services industry for coming up on 25 years. I started at a large pension fund, working for several years in the Private Equity Department. In 2000, I joined the Rotterdam-based asset management firm Robeco as a founder of its Private Equity business. Over the next 13 years, I was jointly responsible for building that business, and I lived in New York for several years. More recently, I was the head of Robeco Luxembourg for several years, involved in managing investment funds investing in public markets, and have also been Chairman of several Alternative Investment Funds.
Finance is not the only thing I have been interested in. When I was a boy, I observed my mother receiving a Reiki treatment to help her with her monthly migraines, which immediately disappeared and did not return. I suppose this contributed to me later on taking a Reiki Level I course, and several years later a Level II course, followed by an initiation as Reiki Master in 2014 after an apprenticeship. I have loved reading books my entire life. I devoured book after book in my spare time, particularly science fiction and fantasy novels. This type of writing opened me up to thinking about what is possible, also beyond what is currently known. Later on, this translated into an interest in spirituality and self-development. I suppose that part of the reason for reading so much was to escape my feeling world. I have been aware particularly of other people’s feelings all my life, but not known what those things that I felt were coming from. I remember clearly being at a music concert with thousands of people, ducked into my chair with my arms over my head to get away from the emotions of those around me coursing through my belly. I must say it was not a pleasant experience, and I learned to suppress such feelings at an early age. Much later, after many years spent in the mind applying logical thinking, I relented and started investigating these feelings. They led me to a realization of differences between thoughts, emotions, and different (physical) sensations. And how intuitive insight can support dealing with these experiences. I spent a lot of time becoming aware of different manifestations of these experiences, and listening to and applying intuitive solutions to perceived issues.
In my twenties, I developed an interest in spiritual development, started taking online teachings for chakra activation and cleansing, neuro linguistic programming, learning to use both sides of the brain, and meditation. I read many, many books about self discovery and development. I took a sabbatical to travel through India, Nepal and Tibet, looking at different religions and modes of spirituality. I became a practicing Buddhist for a year, and I visited Sarnath, where Buddha taught. I then followed the teachings of an Indian guru through many hours of energetic practices and meditation. I did not just pursue the spiritual aspects of these teachings, and also completed a coaching course in 2013 and commenced coaching people that year.
I found that as I started integrating these various practices into my daily life, that the distinctions between them started to fade, or perhaps merge, into a way of life and looking at the world. This transformed slowly into becoming more aware of who I was, and the temporary nature of all things than can be observed. I became interested in non-duality, or perceiving/becoming aware of what is behind all phenomena. This guided my to several instances of insight/experience, each of which shifted my perspective further. I experienced the ‘emptiness’ of all ‘things’ I observed. I realized when observing the world around me that ‘I am that (and that, and that)’. I became aware that I Am, which awareness lasted for several days. These days, increasingly, my sense of ‘I’ disappears and there is just Being. Now I have become aware of the field of potential, this sort of vibrating presence or energy, waiting to be expressed in form/experience.
I find that supporting others is what I’m supposed to be doing. It comes easily, and naturally to me. I know what the person who comes to me is looking for deep inside, and am able to support them in finding that. Whether it is a form of healing physical or emotional hurts, getting in touch with who you are once learnt behaviours and thought patterns are taken away, becoming one with the field of potential from which creation takes place, or experiencing Being.
I live in the Netherlands with my loved ones.