I spent 6 months at Pema Chodron’s Gampo Abbey after my mother died, and while there I realized that I wanted to do more to spread the Dharma. I arrived at Tiratanaloka at the end of 2005, as part of the new single team running the retreats and also working together to manage the retreat centre.
In 1990 a rock climbing friend suggested that we lean to meditate to improve our climbing. She introduced me to the London Buddhist Centre, and eventually I joined the Wild Cherry team, working with the women there for 9 years. I find being around other Buddhists in this way kind of fascinating – I love the way I’ve been able to bring different aspects of my life into one place, I feel very ‘seen’. Here at Tiratanaloka I am still living and working on a project with other Buddhists, but with the added ingredient of running the retreats here, and getting to know women from all over the world who have asked for ordination.
A year ago I took over the Chair of Tiratanaloka from Vajradarshini. It’s not like being the Chair of a public Centre, I don’t have that kind of up front role; but it’s been a very positive experience somehow, as if I’ve been given permission to care. Being part of the Chairs meeting has been challenging as well as interesting as I’ve had to take on a bigger picture. I’ve got to see more of the movement as a whole - there are a lot of impressive people out there! I think it’s given me more confidence in Bhante’s vision.