The Team

Maureen Cooper is the founding director of Awareness in Action. She combines more than twenty years of experience as a professional educator and senior manager in a non-profit organization with a hands on education in Buddhism.

Maureen conducts workshops and training programmes internationally, presenting the application of mindfulness, meditation and compassion training in secular contexts. She is the author of The Compassionate Mind Guide to Reducing Stress published by Constable Robinson. 

My passion for this work stems from my ten years of intensive training in how to apply these techniques to running Rigpa, an international non-profit organization. I discovered that seeing all activity as an opportunity to train my mind increased my own sense of focus and wellbeing. It enabled me to overcome deep-seated habits in how I interacted with other people. These insights inspired me to find a way to share these techniques more widely with people who perhaps had no interest in Buddhism but wanted to bring their best selves to their work and to succeed as people as well as employees. This is the work of Awareness in Action that we would like to share with you.

Bert van Baar (PhD) is a Dutch anthropologist who has studied and practised the Buddhist teachings extensively. In his workshops and trainings he translates age-old principles of wisdom and compassion into a modern and secular approach to transform the mind – the disentanglement from stuck patterns and old stories into free, fearless and vibrant living through Awareness in Action. He’s a lecturer at the Free University (VU) in Amsterdam and the author of Boeddhisme in een notendop (2006) en Dalai Lama: wijze van deze tijd (2009). See From time to time Bert brings his expertise to special programs of Awareness in Action in a joint collaboration.


Darran Trute currently works as a partnership manager across Nottinghamshire England, helping to co-ordinate the activity of a large group of private, voluntary and statutory organisations. Previous to this he used to consult, design and co-ordinate international IT projects for a Blue Chip company. He supports workshops on mindfulness, meditation and compassion in leadership and partnership environments to improve teamwork, performance, create adaptive cultures and aid strategic purpose and direction. He has extensive knowledge of applying Buddhist teachings in a secular way within organisational settings.