Fifty Years, Fifty Voices: Dhammadinna (highlights)On Tue, 2 August, 2022 - 15:22
I want people to have the freedom to do what they need to do to grow as individuals AND I want the movement to have that very strong collective dimension. That can be a source of tension for me.
In 1968 I was 22, and recently graduated from Imperial College of Science and Technology, with a Biology degree. I was a hippy, living with my partner in the Notting Hill area, temping and making clothes, and exploring various aspects of the counterculture; drugs, music, politics and spirituality.
In 1978 I was 32, and had been involved in Triratna since 1970, and ordained in 1973. I was overall mitra convenor for women, and traveling around the UK, visiting centres and leading retreats for women. Having lived around the original North London Centre for several years, in the Amaravati community in East London, I later moved into a women’s community associated with the Croydon Centre. At the end of 1978 my father died after a three-year illness, which was a great loss.
In 1988 I was 42. I was living in a women’s community near the LBC, in Clapton, and was studying Religious Studies at King’s College London. I graduated in 89, and went back to teaching at the LBC.
In 1998 I was 52, and had been living at Tiratanaloka Retreat Centre for Women since 1994. In March 1998 I was appointed as a Public Preceptor, having become a private preceptor in 1996. I conducted my first public ordination in the summer and was part of the team of the first Tuscany ordination retreat for women. My mum’s heart condition deteriorated and I spent time caring for her over the next three years until she died.
In 2008 I was 62, and living in a flat in Bow London with another Dharmacharini. I had had an 18 month sabbatical and was re-engaging with teaching and responsibilities.
In 2018 I will be 72 in March. I have been living in Samayakula women’s community, close to the LBC, with 11 other women since 2010. I retired from all institutional responsibilities in 2017, and am recovering (I hope) from an autoimmune condition. I have no idea what the year holds!