Fifty Years, Fifty Voices: Akasasuri (Highlights)On Mon, 20 June, 2022 - 16:24
The first mettā bhavana I was completely blown over and that was it. I thought ‘If that is a way of living, I’d quite like to live that way.’
In 1967 I was 13 years old; a happy child in a little village in the South of Holland, near the Belgium border. I was attending secondary school in a nearby city 10 miles away. I had a lot of friends and was regularly send out of the classroom due to great unstoppable fits of laughter! At 15 I told my father that I was no longer going to (Catholic) church as I didn’t believe in God. He didn’t like it and said that I was a heathen.
In 1977 I was studying Psychology at university, still having a lot of friends, living as a lodger in 1 room together with my boyfriend. I hadn’t found the transition from rural Holland to the big City easy. Three years later I did my Masters and started work as a psychologist.
In 1987 I was dissatisfied with how mental health institutes were run and what they prioritized: performance rather than the quality of human relationships between ‘patients’ and workers. I started training in Gestalt therapy and Psycho synthesis, where I met Vajrayogini, co-founder and one of the main teachers of the institute. That meeting changed my life completely. I moved to El Bloque in Spain (near Guyhaloka) where she was living part of the year. And that is where I met the guys from Guhyaloka, Samata, Surata and Subhuti. A few years later I moved to London and worked at the London Buddhist center together with Maitreyabandhu: managing the reception, cleaning and making the shrines!
In 1997 I was living in Manchester and fully absorbed in the 3 C’s, including setting up an Evolution shop together with my dear friend Maitrinandi. I had moved to Manchester from Taraloka where I had lived for 5 ½ years during which time I got ordained (1993).
In 2007 I was living in Amsterdam, lodging at Khemasiri’s house. I was fully absorbed in trying, with the help of many others, to get a retreat center established for the Low Countries, which finally opened its doors in 2012 under the name Metta Vihara.
In 2017 I am living in Amsterdam in a women’s community and being supported full-time by the Sangha’s in the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium).