It all started in 1990 when a rock climbing friend suggested that we learn to meditate to improve our climbing. She introduced me to the Triratna Buddhist Centre in East London, and eventually I joined the team of a small cafe nearby. I was living in a community and working with other Buddhists there for 9 years. I find being around other Buddhists in this way kind of fascinating – I was been able to bring different aspects of my life into one place and I felt very ‘seen’ there.
I was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2001 on a two month retreat in Italy, with 20 other women. I returned to London after this but in 2004 I needed a space to absorb the impact of seeing my mother die of cancer. So I left the cafe and spent 6 months at Gampo Abbey, where Pema Chodron is the teacher for a community originally set up by Chogyam Trungpa. It was helpful to have a more renunciant lifestyle and I benefitted from some of the meditation teaching there.
In 2005 when I returned to the UK I was invited to join the team at Tiratanaloka and help run the training retreats for women who have asked to join the Triratna Buddhist Order. So I am now living and working at Tiratanaloka, still 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.
The teachings of the Buddha have affected me profoundly and changed my life. I love sharing the joy and freedom that we can find in these practices and enjoy getting to know others as we follow the path together.