Associate Teachers

Our international cadre of teachers are authorized by Irini to teach the Five Wisdoms.

Matthias Heidel

Matthias Heidel
Frankfurt, Germany

Almost as long as I can remember, I have been interested in what is behind the obvious, on the surface of things and people. The main aspiration in my work as an artist, art therapist, and NonViolent Communication trainer and in my path as a human being is to dig into what it really means to be “authentic.” I am convinced that play and creativity are at the core of every human being to find their own unique access to this basic life energy.

The Five Wisdom Energy work is, in my experience, a most wonderful container for practicing and rediscovering our innate qualities of wisdom and compassion to enrich our own and others’ lives. I studied sculpting at the university of fine arts in Karlsruhe, Germany, client centered art therapy at Staatliche Kunst Akademie, in Wiesbaden, meditation with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and other teachers, and Non Violent Communication with several trainers, especially Robert Gonzales in his Living Compassion work. In my work as an artist and trainer I try to fuse all these influences in order to contribute to peoples’ thriving.

Sydney Leijenhorst

Sydney Leijenhorst
Wageningen, The Netherlands

For more than forty years, I have been on a journey with the martial, healing, and meditation arts. For several decades the Five Wisdom Energies have been one of my main ‘inspirational arteries’. My specialty lies in catalyzing embodied experiences of these inner qualities and integrating their energetic and creative impulses. My work with Irini Rockwell was one of the most important forces in this development. Other meaningful influences have come from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Dagga Tulku and Diane Musho Hamilton.

As director of KenKon Integral Life and Training center, I have incorporated the Five Wisdom Energies in various ways, embedding them in our various disciplines such as karate, qigong, and (Tibetan) meditation as well as in seminars, bringing together various teachers and systems. I have also used them to direct and balance organizational processes at KenKon and in trainings for organizations.

Twice a year we hold the ‘Five Vital Wisdoms Weeks’. These periods have become integrative journeys during which my colleagues, students, and I experience an intensified and creative digestion of these wonderful teachings. People in all disciplines, including Zen, judo, aikido and dance, get a taste of these teachings. The energies become a shared source of inspiration, a language that makes people connect at a new and meaningful depth. It enlivens the way we are present in our bodies and world.

Francesco Melita

Francesco Melita
Wageningen, The Netherlands

I work as an independent coach, trainer and storyteller. The two-year Wisdoms@Work training has influenced all I do, personally and professionally. My strength lies in creating an open, safe atmosphere that offers space for development and freedom of expression. It is important for me to express my passion, humor, and creativity to stimulate those qualities in others. At Winnock, I assisted people suffering from chronic pain; at HAN, Arnhem and Nijmegen, I coached teachers; at Koning Willem I Marketing College, I coached marketing students in professional presentations; at Curnet, I offered creativity training for employees of the four biggest civil-engineering bureaus in the Netherlands. I led a workshop for the Dutch Association of Psychologists. At Wageningen University and Research Centre, I coached students and at the Geemente Reeuwijk en Bodegraven Conference, I presented in a collaboration between the municipalities of Reeuwijk and Bodegraven.

Tessa Racine

Tessa Racine
Mas Marvant, France

I have worked in the film industry for twenty years. I make documentaries for French TV and lead video workshops with young people. As well, I am a client-centered therapist. For two years I was assistant to Irini Rockwell’s Paris Wisdoms@Work training. As a a long-time student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, I teach in the Shambhala Buddhist Community. I am very involved in family life, with both children and grandchildren.

Carucha Schwencke

Carucha Schwencke
Den Haag, The Netherlands

I work as an independent psychosocial therapist, coach, and certified mindfulness trainer. I followed trainings at the Institute for Mindfulness in the tradition of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher Training for supporting people dealing with chronic pain and long-term (physical) health conditions. The basis of my work is deeply rooted in the contemplative tradition: Buddhist psychology, meditation, and Western therapeutic skills. I completed the two year Five Wisdoms@Work training program with Irini Rockwell with a focus in contemplative psychotherapy. Since then the Five Wisdom Energies have become an integral part of my personal and working life. As a member of the Network Palliative Care Haaglanden (The Hague), I offer spiritual support for those from different religious and cultural backgrounds who are facing death. I am also in charge of mental welfare and safety issues in Het Koorenhuis, an educational arts institute in The Hague. Over the past two decades I have studied and practiced under the guidance of many Tibetan Buddhist teachers, doing shorter and longer study and meditation retreats in the Karma Kagyu tradition.