Donate to the buddhist centre:meet the toolkit team!
Malini introduces herself:
‘I connected with the Western Buddhist Sangha (as it was then named), in 1967. Bhante did everything and it never occurred to me that that would change. I got ordained in 1969 by Urgyen Sangharakshita and still I assumed he would do everything for ever! About a year after ordination I moved to Cornwall to see what it would be like to live alone. I planned to be there 6 months but stayed there for 2 years. I then moved back to London to discover that most of the people I was ordained with had either resigned or died. It was a different Movement, Bhante was in Cornwall on sabbatical, he wasn’t doing anything!
I stayed in London for a year, squatting, and then moved to Glasgow where after almost a year I became Chair (things were different in those days). After about 2 years I moved to Norwich and 6 months later helped in the setting up of the first Women’s retreat Centre called Mandarava. I stayed in Norfolk also for about 2 years somewhat traumatised by attitudes in the Movement at that time, so moved back to London to the now London Buddhist Centre and set up the soup kitchen with Jayaprabha. This was for about 6 months before I went to Acupuncture College. While I was studying I lived mostly in a women’s community but for the last year I lived on my own but was continuing to see many Mitras and supporting the occasional Buddhism course that Atula and Chittapala were leading.
Shortly after I had qualified as an Acupuncturist I visited my good friend Vajrasuri in Sydney and we decided I should move there. However this did not prove easy with the Australian authorities at the time and I ended up living in London for another 2 years living in Women’s communities (short life properties). During this time I set up the first GFR groups with two different sets of women which proved to be effective. I made another trip to Australia and then on to New Zealand where Purna agreed to marry me. I am still in New Zealand and still married. I have been here since 1989. For the first few years I was mainly setting up my acupuncture business alongside doing quite a lot of soul-searching around the difficulties I had in the Movement and looking at what I had brought to the situation.
For the last 20 years I have been very involved in the Women’s GFR process in New Zealand as well as our Australasian GFR retreats. I have also been part of a team running the one month Women’s Ordination Retreats in New Zealand that started 10 years ago. I have been on 4 out of the 5 the last one I missed as I was at Akashavana. I finally agreed to be a Private Preceptor and did my first private ordination in 2014.’