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Here, Sucimani talks with me about Dhivati, whose legacy part-funded The Fifty Years, Fifty Voices Project.. Although we don’t have any recordings of Dhivati herself (a reminder to us to record while we can!), we do have a celebration of her life written by Vijayasri and her family have helped us to put together her ‘Annals’.
In 1968 Dhivati was Joyce Mumford, living in Chessington, married to Ian and mother of Bill, Liz and Julia, taking them to Quaker Meeting each Sunday. She had recently ceased to be Membership Secretary for Mensa, and was now working part time for Palantype transcribing from tape the proceedings of the Standing Committees of the House of Commons.
In 1978 Dhivati/Joyce was living with Tess in Sutton, working full time for Hansard at the House. After trying, as many Quakers did, Transcendental Meditation sessions in the early 70s, where repeating my mantra twice a day had been helpful in concentrating and calming her mind… However, the lack of ethical content in the teaching had troubled her and she started her involvement with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) (now Triratna).
In 1988 Dhivati/Joyce was living with Tess in Herefordshire. In May they moved from a cottage in Eardisley to a pair of terraced houses in Kington. She had retired in 1984 and was spending more time involved with the FWBO.
In 1998, after a spell living close to the FWBO in Norwich, where Dhivati was ordained in 1995, she was now living in Sutton, halfway between her family in the Kingston area and the Buddhist Centre in Croydon. Much of her time was spent transcribing, copy-editing and proof-reading numerous books for publication by WIndhorse Publications.
In 2008 Dhivati was living in a flat in a sheltered accommodation development in Surbiton, close to family and not too far away from the Buddhist Centre in Croydon.
Dhivati died in April 2015, in her 91st year. Ian had died in the March. Though legally separated they never divorced.