Maarten Olthof (1956) is an ecologist and Zen monk. He is ordained by Nico Tenko roshi within the White Plum Asanga and by Bernie Glassman roshi within the Zen Peacemakers. In 2003 Maarten made a 1000 km hike through India and Nepal, passing the four Buddhist pilgrimage sites, places where significant moments in the life of the Buddha took place. He wrote the book 'Walking in the footsteps of the Buddha', which appeared in English under the title 'Go without Fear'. On May 30, 2021 showed 30NOW the film adaptation of 'Go without Fear'. In 2015, Maarten walked the 2500 km from the cathedral in Utrecht to the Franciscus basilica in Assisi, 'with the Buddha in the footsteps of Francis'. Along the way he wrote the collection 'In 108 haiku's from Utrecht to Assisi'. The IKON made the documentary 'Wandering with Franciscus' about this journey. Maarten has been organizing pilgrimages for decades, including through India, Nepal, Japan, Italy, Greece and Indonesia. Since corona he also organizes spiritual tours in the Netherlands. In 1997 Maarten founded the Vajra Foundation for development projects in Nepal. Among other things, the foundation built 10 schools, including Nepal's first ecological school, a hospital and 3 health posts, and set up the world's largest solar oven project, allowing 85.000 Bhutanese refugees to cook with the sun. Maarten received a royal award for this in 2019. For his 'Zwerfsangha' he organizes meetings, retreats and lectures.

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