Public Preceptor Appointment: VajrataraOn Mon, 26 July, 2021 - 17:23
The College of Public Preceptors is delighted to announce the appointment of Vajratara as a Public Preceptor.
Vajratara is 43 years old. She encountered the Dharma while still at school, was ordained in 2004, and became a private preceptor in 2016. She was in Sheffield for many years where she lived in a community, worked in the Evolution shop, and then taught at the Centre. She is currently a member of the women’s ordination team at Tiratanaloka, where she’s been for about 10 years. Vajratara also has connections with the Order and Movement in India, and is Chair of the India Dharma Trust.
I came across Buddhism in 1995 when, through the recommendation of my friend’s mum, I started attending classes with Triratna in South London. The Buddhist Centre was at the end of my street where I lived with my parents. I remember being introduced to the Metta Bhavana and being overwhelmed by a feeling of relief that I had found what I was searching for: a path of transformation towards a greater love. I listened to, and made notes on, Sangharakshita’s lectures which I borrowed from the tape library as well as reading ‘The Three Jewels’. It seemed to me that Sangharakshita expressed every profound thought I’d ever had and then took it much further. I remember standing up on the bus on the way to school and saying to my friend, “This is it!” I haven’t substantially changed my mind since then.
I studied Philosophy and Religious Studies at Leeds University while running the University Buddhist Society and attending classes. In 2000 I moved to Sheffield to work in the Windhorse:Evolution shop and live in a women’s community. I started working for the Sheffield Buddhist Centre four years later, and was ordained in 2004 at the age of 26. Maitreyi is my Private Preceptor and Ratnadharini my Public. I was Mitra Convenor in Sheffield as well as being part of setting up the young person’s project. I moved to Tiratanaloka Retreat Centre in Wales in 2011 to be a member of the women’s ordination team and I became a Private Preceptor in 2016.
One of the things that inspired me when I first came to the Buddhist Centre was watching ‘newsreel’ videos about our Movement in India. I was moved by the intensity of feeling amongst the Indian Buddhists towards Buddhism, a feeling which I share. I was also inspired by the teaching and example of Dr Ambedkar, his confidence that Buddhism is a force for good in the world and precipitates positive social change. It has added depth to my practice to be involved with our Movement in India through being Chair of India Dhamma Trust.
I feel very fortunate to lead a rich and happy life of meaning and purpose, with good friends and conditions in which I can deepen my Dharma practice. It is a privilege to help make that life available to others.