Public Preceptor Appointment: AkasasuriOn Mon, 17 October, 2022 - 14:29
Dear Order Members and friends,
The College of Public Preceptors is delighted to announce the appointment of Akasasuri as a Public Preceptor. I am especially glad to welcome another Public Preceptor from mainland Europe, into the the College.
You can read more about Akasasuri’s life and contribution over many years to the Order and Movement, in her own words below.
I was born in 1954 in a loving family in the Netherlands. Dad ran the village Post office from our house and no doubt that has planted a strong seed in me for ‘community living’.
The most eventful thing in my teens (apart from climbing trees, swimming for miles, cycling for days, skating till we were nearly frozen) was deciding to leave the Catholic church after I’d been feeling sick several months on end whilst attending Holy Mass.
Moving from a very rural area to a large city to study psychology at the age of 17 wasn’t easy. I had to earn money to sustain myself and it was the time of street marches, sit-ins, and of course sex, drugs and rock and roll! Following all that I worked for 7 years in the field of psychology.
A painful break-up of a relationship found me starting a training in Gestalt therapy and Psychosynthesis in 1985. Meeting Vajrayogini (one of the main teachers) was a big turning point in my life. She helped me to grow ‘roots in the earth’. Part of the year she lived in Spain at El Bloque, not that far from Guhyaloka. That is where I met Subhuti, in the same year. That too proved to be a turning point in my life. He helped me to grow ‘roots in the sky’.
Vajrayogini and Samata became my KM’s and after Vajrayogini died I had a new KM ceremony with Samata and Subhuti. I feel blessed with their continual guidance.
I gave up my career, house, car etc and moved to El Bloque in Spain in 1986 for 3 years. I was made a Mitra there in 1988 and one year later I found myself in London with 2 backpacks knocking on the door of the London Buddhist Centre asking for a job and somewhere to live. No one knew me. How naïve!
I loved being fully immersed in the 3 C’s and asked for ordination in 1990. At the end of that year I moved to Taraloka, was ordained in 1993 and stayed for 5 ½ years. In 1996 I found myself in Manchester (working at the Centre team, Evolution shop, living in the women’s community), followed by a period of 3 years being part of the support-team at Tiratanaloka. Such formative years living alongside the ordination team and being given the opportunity to attend 3 ordination retreats at Il Convento, first as part of the organising team, later co-leading with others.
When I moved back to the Netherlands in 2003 the need for a Triratna retreat centre in the Low Countries seems apparent. At some point Bhante was visiting Amsterdam and I was telling him that it was such an arduous job to get it of the ground amidst a small Sangha, a built-up country and costs rising. He looked at me and said: ‘Akasasuri there will never be enough time, never be enough people, never be enough money, so you just carry on.’ And the rest is history. Metta Vihara retreat centre opened its doors in 2012 as a collective endeavour of the Sangha’s in Holland and Belgium.
I became a Private Preceptor in 2003, was at some point for 3 years a van driver for Windhorse Evolution in the Low Countries, lived at Metta Vihara for 4 years, helped set up the women’s community in Amsterdam and loved being Regional Order Convenor for Mainland Europe for 5 years.
In between all that I stayed loyal to my need to have a long solitary every winter for 2 months and in 2021 I had the good fortune to be on a 6 months solitary. I didn’t want it to come to an end.