The art of being present

In this philosophy course we will inquire some fundamental aspects of being human and take how we are present as a starting point.

Although it seems obvious what it means to be human, we are deeply influenced by explicit as well as hidden convictions about what we accept as truth. In my view and experience we constantly stretch this ‘area of truth’ while we are developing ourselves as individuals and as a species. Inspired by philosophical schools of Western and Eastern origin I will guide you each class through questions concerning: how we are related to time and space; our mystical ability; how we communicate and express ourselves; possible other questions of your interest.


My name is Jeannette Monshouwer. I am teaching philosophy at the University of Leiden to students in Biomedicine. I have a special interest in the effect of meditation and compassion on healing processes. As part of the professional network of the Juliana Childeren’s Hospital, I serve children and their parents with this practice. I also perform meditative songs during celebrations and transitions.