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Maitripala introduces herself -
I came across the Dharma in 1991 when I attended a weekend course led by Buddhadasa and Guhyavajra in Melbourne.
Both Buddhadasa and Dayamegha were my first main dharma teachers.
I was bringing up my three daughters in the lovely forest town of Emerald about an hour and half from Melbourne. I taught for many years at the local Primary School and was passionate about facilitating learning environments for children in which they could move towards their own vast potential.
Due to initial help from Order Members from Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges Buddhist Centre came to life and I delighted in experiencing sangha on my doorstep.
I benefited greatly from my KM relationships with Malini in NZ and Ratnadharini in the UK, as well as many local Order Members and visitors to our region who reflected my own potential for growth and transformation back to me.
When I was ordained in 1999 at Il Convento Tuscany, Sanghadevi was my Preceptor, giving me the name Maitripala ‘Guardian of loving kindness’
With my family now grown I was able to finally visit the UK for the first time (15 years after being Ordained ) and had the great pleasure of being on the team for a year at Tiratanaloka 2014/15.
Recently I completed a 14 month ‘Buddhas in my Pocket’ pilgrimage to the main Triratna Centres and groups throughout Australia.
I have always been deeply grateful to the pioneers who arrived from the UK.
Along with others who were inspired by this sharing of the Dharma we saw the first Australian Triratna centres and groups emerge. Those Order Members tirelessly provided study, retreats and friendship so we could benefit from Sangharakshita ‘s presentation of the Dharma.
It is largely this gratitude that now fuels the courage needed to step up to the responsibilities that are involved in becoming a Public Preceptor.
I love preserving traditions when they are worthy, whilst also delighting in change and innovation when it’s useful.
I feel the best way to look after something one might value highly is to step right into the middle of it and be fully engaged in its ‘life’