Tiratanaloka is Triratna’s UK retreat centre for women training for ordination. It’s 20 years since its foundation in a country house in a beautiful valley in the Brecon Beacons, south Wales.
Current team member Amritamati writes: “To mark the occasion, the current team invited all the current and previous trustees and resident team members for the first weekend of November: over 30 women from around the world. Of these, an impressive 26 attended, including all the original team: Dhammadinna, Anoma, Samata and Anjali, along with Sanghadevi who was instrumental in helping set up Tiratanaloka.
We were delighted to have Navachitta come all the way from New Zealand. It was her first visit since her very sudden departure 14 years ago, when her father was taken ill.
During the weekend we heard about the history of Tiratanaloka from the original team, read out the names of the over 600 western women ordained since its founding, rejoiced in the early team, held a puja for Bhante and re-dedicated the building to many more years of supporting women to enter the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Very sadly, a week later, Navachitta became seriously ill, was admitted to hospital in London and died two weeks later.
She had wandered around the building marvelling at how things like the kitchen tops in the community and the freezer in the garage hadn’t changed since her time here; and she brought hilarity to the proceedings by relating how she’d visited a local timber yard looking for “sacks” for a children’s sack race for an open day. With her New Zealand accent, however, it appeared she was asking for “sex”. She recalled that once she realised why the man was looking so perplexed, the other men all gathered around to watch her collapse on the floor in laughter. (She also mentioned she never went back there again!)
Navachitta will be sorely missed by many. Her delight and laughter brought so much fun and joy to our weekend.”