Buddhist Voices

Maitripala - Guardian of Loving-kindness (Buddhist Voices Interview)

On Fri, 15 September, 2023 - 14:55
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Centre Team

In this episode of the Buddhist Voices podcast, we explore the personal journey and reflections of Dharmacharini Maitripala, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order as well as a private and public preceptor, based in Brunswick, Australia. 

Initially leading a seemingly idyllic life, Maitripala’s quest for ‘more’ was sparked by a serene moment of beauty as she noticed the glistening morning dew delicately resting on the cobwebs on her laundry line. Such a potent image seems to have gradually awakened something within her. But it would be some time before she would find herself in a shrine room remembering that same image.

She came across the Dharma in 1991 when attending a weekend course led by Buddhadasa and Guhyavajra in Melbourne. Both Buddhadasa and Dayamegha were her first main dharma teachers. During this time she was bringing up her three daughters in the lovely forest town of Emerald about an hour and half from Melbourne.

Throughout the episode, Maitripala reflects on the evolution of her spiritual practice, with a particular emphasis on her deep appreciation for the Metta Bhavana practice, or the cultivation of loving-kindness. Describing it as an insight practice and encouraging fellow practitioners not to give up on the practice if they’ve found it difficult in the past. The Metta Bhavana has been a cornerstone of her life and goes some way in describing why she was named, “Maitripala,” which translates as “Guardian of Love and Kindness.” She shares how her name serves as a living testament to her commitment to the Bodhisattva path and her mission to promote love and kindness in the world.

Maitripala’s journey deepens further when she is asked to become a public preceptor, a substantial responsibility within the Triratna Buddhist Order. She recounts the moment she received this request and how it instigated a profound shift in her perspective. This transition has brought about new challenges and opportunities for personal growth, allowing her to serve the Order in a more profound capacity.

The conversation also touches on the common pitfalls newcomers to the Dharma face and the importance of patience and spiritual friendship on the path. Another important thread within this interview is the evolving relationship she’s had with her family and being a mother of three. Join us in this episode as we follow Maitripala’s inspiring journey, underscoring the transformative power of practice, commitment, and the embrace of the Bodhisattva path.

From an interview conducted for the Fifty Years, Fifty Voices project, our online project to document 50+ years of people’s commitment and practice within the Triratna Buddhist Order around the world.

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