support our work:meet the team!
Santavajri has recently been appointed as a public preceptor and joins the College of Public Preceptors. She introduces herself here -
I first walked in the doors of the London Buddhist Centre in 1990, and immediately signed up for a six-week meditation course, by the end of which I realised I was a Buddhist. I was made a mitra on Dharma Day in 1993, and asked for ordination a few months later.
Once I’d taken this step, I realised I needed to be in much more regular contact with the Sangha if I was to make progress, so I moved into Pelgye Ling women’s community in Approach Road in 1994, and started work at the Evolution shop in Bethnal Green in 1986. After a shaky start, the shop team went from strength to strength, and I found my Dharma life in East London very engaging and growth-ful. I was ordained by Karunamaya at Il Convento in 1999.
Two years after ordination, I went to India with the intention of working with the women in our Movement there alongside Karunamaya and Vajrasuri: I managed for about two years, but then decided to focus on fundraising and (later) leading Karuna appeals in the UK. This felt like a more effective and sustainable way for me to contribute to our Movement in India, and in the West, too.
After 8 years of doing appeals, I left Karuna and took a year’s break, during which I was on the team for the three-month retreat at Akasavana (I had to leave half-way through due to my father’s illness and subsequent death). I then spent eighteen months on the team at Lama’s Pyjamas shop in East London, alongside Padmalila and Abhayanandi. I then had the privilege of ordaining the latter in 2014.
I moved to Tiratanaloka in June 2012, and have ordained one other person during that time: Kalyanagita from Ghent (also a privilege!). I was appointed as a Public Preceptor in April 2018 - just a week or so ago!!