How do I love? (Dutch book published)

English draft version: Can I be mono? A Buddhist wrestling with loneliness, love, lust and liberation


My Dutch book "Hoe heb ik lief? Trouw en twijfel in lust en liefde" (which is an updated version of the English "Can I be mono? A Buddhist wrestling with loneliness, love, lust and liberation") is on sale since March 15, 2019.

To order the Dutch book transfer 20 Euro (including shipping within the Netherlands)
to B.D. Prakke, NL44 TRIO 0212 1554 15. Share your address and indicate whether you want me to sign (and if so, which name you want to be called by).

Meawnwhile we have a crisis around sexual misconduct in the Shambhala Buddhist community, which I belong to. Our main teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, stepped aside for the time being. An Interim Board has been appointed and a Process Team aims to guide the community to revisit its structure and culture. Theory U has been chosen as the overall method of finding our new path.

Do you, at times, feel embarrassed about your (mental) meanderings in intimacy? How can you love wholeheartedly and is conventional monogamy your path? Listening deeply to the conflicting voices of love, longing, fear, jealousy, shame and pain, my book suggests that the struggle to balance security and vibrancy does not only manifest between lovers, but ultimately plays within every human heart. Through broad scientific research and deeply personal examples (in alternating chapters) we explore the complexity of romantic relationships, calling for compassionate attention to the powerful emotions that love and lust stir in us. Applying Buddhist principles, the book advocates that we embrace complexity and ambiguity in daily life with humour and gentleness.

Table of contents of the English draft (which slightly differs from the published Dutch):

1.    Can I be mono?
            The introduction to this book, sharing which questions it explores.
        Living: Juggling and longing
2.    Introduction: Lost in lust
        Living: Fatherhood and divorce
3.    Buddhism: Three vehicles to liberation
        Living: Being the third
4.    Looking at Buddhist leaders
This chapter suddenly feels raw and timely. I share facts and reflections about the first three lineage holders of Shambhala, since this tradition came to the West, thus shining a light on the current crisis in this community.
        Living: Email to Richard
5.    Lustfully alive: Nature
        Living: Liberation from frog farming
            A playful exploration of how my girlfriend and I may empower rather than 
            babysit and control each other.

6.    Limiting lust: Nurture
        Living: Emancipation for men
7.    The matter of meaning: Science and faith
        Living: God's plan with this book
8.    Can you be mono?
        Living: Can I be with her?
9.    Gratitude and dedication

If you want to ask me for a book presentation or workshop, don't hesitate to contact me.
If you want to read the full draft book click here. If you are willing to write me an endorsement, please mail me at, mentioning your "love credentials" (which could be anything from "author of ten bestsellers on Buddhist love", to "lonely granny struggling to trust men enough to shake hands"). 

Advance praise

Your book is fascinating
    Marta Dabis, Zen Priest

I am impressed with your book. I saw myself in it - I have gone through all ups and downs. Getting older helps a lot... but not completely.
    Martha Souli, Buddhist

Echt goed Diederik. Als in, echt goed. Je compassie en realisme en wijsheid zijn prachtig en verhelderend. Dat soort geluid is zo nodig.
    Daria Ofman

De korte stukjes die ik tot nu toe las ontroeren me intens en ik krijg meteen het gevoel dat het boek geschreven is vanuit de 'juiste' frequentie en afstemming.
    Herman Cools, therapist