Marc Citroen (NL) studied social pedagogy and counselling in Amsterdam (Bachelor 1978). After working for a few years in this field he went to India for a longer period taking various trainings in meditation, mindfulness and spirituality. There, but also in Europe Marc studied with various spiritual teachers and masters.
At the same time he studied music: flute, piano, Indian harmonium, mantra’s and improvisation. Gradually, in the course of 40 years a working method emerged, in which music, meditation and spirituality strengthen and complement each other. Since 1994 he has been a teacher in the field of meditation, mantra’s and music and coaches people in their personal and spiritual development.
Personal growth and spirituality
“a shock caused by the sudden self-chosen death of a friend in 1975 led to a big transformation in my life and I started to wonder about the great questions of life: what am I doing here, what is my destination in life, who am I?
This resulted in a deep inner investigation, that led gradually to a number of deep insights/realisations, mainly in the presence of my Guru Papaji (Sri H.W.L. Poonjaji) about what is best described as “my true I, soul or identity". These were moments of enlightenment, both literally and figuratively. A heavy burden that had been there all of my life fell from my shoulders and I experienced deep relaxation, joy and gratitude.
However, this did not in any way mean that there were no problems and challenges anymore. All the dark, painful and vulnerable areas that were bothering me in everyday life could face and see the light. At the same time, and that process always continues, new insights and openings arise in the mysteries of the soul and the universe. You can never say, “it's done now".
The path to these moments of self-realisation are a process of great sobering*, of ever more peace and joy in myself, a growing sense of meaningfulness and living and responding more and better from the heart."
**sobering: a process that arises naturally when we examine our thoughts, patterns of behaviour and emotional patterns in depth and discover how we are “lived and dominated by the impressions/impressions of our childhood, previous experiences and cultural social factors" without being aware of that. As long as this process of awareness has not taken place, it is very difficult to lead a ‘authentic’ and free life.
Chronology of main trainings in meditation and spirituality
• 1976 Initiation transcendental meditation (TM), first introduction to the great power of mantra’s
• 1979 - 1986 in the teachings of Osho Rajneesh: numerous training sessions in meditation: sitting-, walking-, dance-, sound-, tantra-, dynamic-, breath- and mantrameditations. In-depth training in the interaction between body, feelings, emotions, behaviour and thought world.
• 1986 - 1991 Teaching in the Advaita Vedanta: mystical non-dualism.
• 1992 - 1997 Spiritual instruction by my Guru Sri H.W.L. Poonja († 1997) in the tradition of Sri Ramana Maharshi, also known as Jnana-yoga. Training in Atma-Vichara, the teaching of direct research into the soul, the I and its origin.
• 1997 – present. Period of deepening, practice and integration.
Spiritual Inspirators over the years
From above left to right: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Osho Rajneesh, Sri H.W.L. Poonjaji (Papaji), Sri Ramana Maharshi, Ma Ananda Mayi Ma, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Yiddu Krishnamurti, Sri Ramakrishna, Meher Baba, Neem Karoli Baba, Alexander Smit, Douwe Tiemersma, ShantiMayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Eckart Tolle, A.H. Almaas, Papa Ramdas, Pema Chodron, Oprah Winfrey and many others.
“… I have always been fascinated by music and sound from a very young age. From my 4th year onwards I played and improvised on our antique Gaveau grand piano and "discovered" how music was harmoniously combined. My parents always took us to classical concerts and played piano and violin themselves. From my 6th year onwards I got general musical education, learned to play the recorder and rhythm instruments. I was 11, when I went to study flute with Edo Willod-Versprille. Later, in the mid-1990s, I got very precious flute lessons from the Argentinian master fluteplayer Jorge Caryevschi and piano-lessons from Daniel van Zweden …"
From his 12e year Marc played in various bands, jazz, rock, pop, improvisation. Later (around 1980), when he started to learn more about spirituality, he became more interested in mantra and musical forms from the east. Look further below at mantra’s.
Marc first came into contact with mantras when he was initiated into transcendental meditation (TM) in 1976. While at TM the mantra is recited inwardly Marc discovered in India (1980) that singing, chanting and reciting mantras also is very powerful. It became truly profound 13 years later, when he was initiated by ShantiMayi (Sacha tradition) in the Gayatri Mantra. In the years that followed, it became increasingly clear what great forces there are in mantras and Marc started to chant mantras with people and using them also in spiritual teachings.
He was one of the first to introduce mantrasinging (since 1996) in the Netherlands. Known are the annual national Mantradays in Amsterdam and the big concerts at the Eigentijds Festival (new-age festival) in Vierhouten in the middle of the Netherlands. Also take a look at the videopage of the yeartraining for mantrasinger
1994-2012: in the Netherlands: Vrindavan Music College, KiJay and Spiritual Travel: courses and trainings mantra-yoga, jnana yoga, vocal training and expression, mantra concerts, mantra CD’s, group-spiritual tours to India.
2013-present: In Belgium: Het Ontdekkingshuis, center for personal growth and spiritual development
Overview of therapy and bodywork training
• Social pedagogy and counseling (Bachelor 1978), various therapeutic training courses within this program
• Massage and body work: Shiatzu, Acupressure and Bio-dynamic massage