About the EBU
Council of the European Buddhist Union
The European Buddhist Union is guided by an international council elected by a general assembly of all member organisations. The present council was elected for 3 years in September 2014.
Members of the Council (2014 – 2017)
Jamie Cresswell, EBU President
Jamie Cresswell was President of the European Buddhist Union from 2011 to 2014 and was re-elected at the 2014 AGM.
Jamie is a member of SGI-UK and the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK, which he represents at the EBU. He is director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism, a member of the European Council of Religious Leaders and a trustee of Religions for Peace, UK.
He has practised Buddhism for nearly 30 years and his Buddhist background includes a degree in Buddhist studies, as well as practice and study in many traditions and schools.
In his spare time Jamie sings with a male voice choir, attempts to compose music and walks in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside
Dominique Side, EBU Vice-President
Dominique Side was born in London and is half English and half French.
Dominique has been practising and studying Tibetan Buddhism for 40 years and has a PhD from Bristol University, UK in Madhyamaka philosophy. She has been an EBU Council member since 2012, and before that was an active member of the Network of Buddhist Organisations in the UK.
Dominique was a founding Trustee of Rigpa Fellowship UK (1979-2004) and founding Director of the Lerab Ling retreat centre in southern France (1990-1994). She taught Buddhism to teenagers at Richmond Further Education College, London for eight years. She has edited several books by H.H. the Dalai Lama, including ‘The Four Noble Truths’ and ‘Transforming the Mind’, and is author of ‘Buddhism’, a textbook for use in secondary schools.
She is currently a senior instructor for Rigpa International, travelling widely throughout the world to teach and to train, and is currently engaged in helping to develop a training curriculum for Dharma instructors in the West.
She enjoys walking, swimming and tennis, and has trained in massage, shiatsu and Vedic palmistry.
Zarko Andricevic, EBU Vice-President
Zarko is founder of the Dharmaloka Chan Buddhist Community and Buddhist Center in Zagreb, Croatia.
He first encountered Buddhism in 1975. In 1985 he started the first Buddhist study and meditation group in Croatia which in time grew into the first Buddhist community there. In 1996 he met Chan Master Sheng Yen and became one of his students. Zarko received Dharma transmission from Master Sheng Yen in June 2001, thus becoming one of his five Dharma heirs in the West.
Gabriela Frey, EBU European Affairs Coordinator
Gabriela Frey practises in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2006 she founded Sakyadhita France, the French branch of the international association of Buddhist women. She works with passion for genuine gender equality in Buddhist societies and created, together with others, the Network of Buddhist women in Europe.
Gabriela was born in Germany, lives in Strasbourg (France) and works in the European Parliament since 1989. Europe – and bringing Europeans closer together – is a cause close to her heart. That is why she introduced to request the participatory status for the EBU in the conference of INGO’s in the Council of Europe, which was officially granted in December 2008. Since then she represents the EBU together with Michel Aguilar in this eldest pan European institution and is the coordinator of the European Affaires.
Ron Mio Sop Eichhorn is a Head Disciple of the Yun Hwa Denomination of World Social Buddhism and the Abbot of its Berlin Dharma center. He has practised daily meditation and prostrations for over two decades, and attends Dharma Master Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim’s retreats in Hawaii on a regular basis.
Ron has been studying various Mahayana Buddhist texts for many years, with an emphasis on the Lotus Sutra, which is also the core text of his Buddhist tradition. He is involved in the government sponsored Forum of inter-religious dialoguein Berlin since the very beginning, and is currently developing a virtual map of spiritual places in the city of Berlin on behalf of the Forum. Ron was elected as council member of the EBU in 2014.
When not working in his job as a film director, Ron likes to cook for friends and play the Ukulele.
Karola Schneider was born in 1962 into a family who had just left the former eastern part of Berlin to move to the south of West Germany. She was brought up with an awareness that freedom has to be kept and protected.
Karola has been working for 30 years for a Buddhist association which runs a retreat center close to the Bavarian Alps.
For the last 9 years she has been an active board member of the Karma Kagyu school – Buddhist Centers Alpregion. She is also a member of the board of trustees in the “Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation”. To date she has given Buddhist lectures and courses in 27 countries worldwide.
Professionally, she runs a Chinese medicine practice.
Hans Erich Frey, Treasurer
Hans-Erich Frey was born 1935 in Riga, Latvia.
At the age of four he came with his parents to Germany. Now retired, he has held various leadership posts in German government: mayor of a town of 40,000 inhabitants (1972 -1978); chair of the German Sport Youth (Deutscher Sportbund), Chair of the Council of Large Towns in Hessen (Hessischer Städtetag).
He practices Buddhism in the Tibetan Karma Kagyu and Sakya traditions. For eight years he was vice-president of the German Buddhist Union (DBU), gaining a good overview of Buddhism in Germany and Europe.
He loves gardening and windsurfing.
Val Stephenson, Secretary to the EBU President
Val is Secretary to the EBU president. She is also on the executive of the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK and works with the Centre for Applied Buddhism as part of a team organising events and conferences.
Val practised in the Theravadan tradition until a few years ago when she became attracted to the social engagement focus of Nichiren Buddhism and is now a member of SGI-UK.
She loves nature, art and long distance walking.