Meeting the Need for New Landmarks

Ashoka Tower - whiskyandtears, CC BY

On a daily basis, we now find ourselves confronted with situations rendered infinitely complex by their multilingual, inter-religious and multicultural components. Whether one is looking to get married, organise a funeral, welcome a child into one’s family or find a sympathetic ear to ease the pain of a trying period in life, the search for comfort in an uncomfortable ever-changing world has become more challenging.

Unable to adapt to the considerable pressure of globalisation, secular and religious structures no longer serve as adequate landmarks for honouring the major transitions of life today. Moreover, as these institutions rub shoulders, meet and sometimes clash with the new ways of doing things, this apparent contradiction between tradition and modernity increases the risk of intolerance, discrimination or extremism.

In 2002, I founded the Ashoka Association in Geneva Switzerland to meet this need for new landmarks. Like the Emperor Ashoka, the association welcomes and accompanies people of all backgrounds and all spiritual traditions.

The association offers secular spiritual accompaniment through the major passages of life. Each person is encouraged to explore his or her own unique spiritual path. Respect for the culture and values of each individual, couple and family is of utmost importance and inherent in all of the services provided.

Ashoka Sanctuary - Sanchi, IndiaAshoka Sanctuary - Sanchi, India - Arian Zwegers, CC BY


  • Tailor-made ceremonies to mark the significant passages of life
  • Counselling for individuals, couples and families facing challenging transitions in life
  • Training of professional celebrants who accompany people with meaningful rites of passages that celebrate the arrival of a child, a wedding or the life of a loved one
  • Offer a unique window on the world of religion by presenting the essence of nine contemporary spiritual traditions through the AnamCara Project, sponsored by Ashoka. Photography, games, short stories, recipes, music and videos aspire to reveal each tradition as it is experienced by the adherent who practices with intention, discernment and application.
Ashoka is a non-profit association based in Geneva, Switzerland and organised according to Swiss Civil Code (Article 60, ff.). It is not affiliated with any political, corporate or religious organisation. as per revised Association Statutes, July 2004 – Upon Request