I first came across the Triratna Buddhist Community through a good friend and colleague at work. She was then training for Ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order and used to come to my A level classes to talk about “faith”; something I had no understanding of at that time, but had to try and teach the students to help them answer an essay question “Why do people need faith?”

At around the same time, I had also taken up Tai Chi as a meditation tool and was loving the new sense of meaning and purpose in my life. I wasn’t interested in finding or having a religion, or so I thought…..

Seven years later, during which time my Mum had died very suddenly and I had again spent time trying to find meaning and purpose, I finally decided a retreat sounded like a good option and I treated myself to an Introduction to Mindfulness weekend here at Taraloka (January 2007).

On walking in and meeting the team, I realised I had found something very precious; something I had been longing for without even realising. I became a mitra that year and asked for Ordination soon after.

I moved to Taraloka in September 2009, to work as part of a newly forming operations team doing the bookings and retreat administration. In 2013 I shifted into managing the retreat centre kitchen which I loved. In 2015 I moved again, this time into the retreat team and I’m loving the opportunity to support retreat leaders and teach the dharma in a different way.

In 2014 I was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order and given my name Hridayagita which means “Song of the Heart”

I still play Tai Chi and delight in the blend of sitting meditation, walking meditation and Tai Chi as meditation. I am an Advanced Tai Chi instructor registered with the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain and run a weekend retreat; a 5 day retreat of Tai Chi and meditation here at Taraloka and often lead some Qigong meditation sessions on retreats I am supporting.