Hello!  I first got involved with the Triratna Buddhist Community when I was living in Sheffield, working as a physiotherapist and doing a lot of rock climbing and mountaineering.  It was when I was on a trip to the Andes when I was 25, that quite by chance I picked up my first book on Buddhism, and thought: ‘This makes so much sense!’  I’ve been practising meditation and the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) since 2006.  In 2014 I was ordained, and given the name ‘Maitrisiddhi’.  The name means ‘success or attainments based in love or friendliness’.  I love my name.  It’s an aspiration and path to follow for the rest of my life, and links me to my yidam, Maitreya, the ‘friendly or loving one’. 

I moved to Taraloka in 2009, drawn by a desire to integrate meditation experience more fully into my daily life and to live in a vibrant community of other serious Dharma practitioners.   It was a great move!  My role for the first six years was maintenance and landscape.  I loved the practical nature of the work and found it very compatible with meditation. And I’ve changed a huge amount through living in community.  Since 2015, I've been part of the Taraloka Retreat Team and I find it very satisfying to share my delight in study, meditation and how to live a full Dharma life.  And I still look after the landscape.

Meditation is an area I deeply love – all types, but especially sadhana (visualisation practices) and metta (loving kindness).  I also feel a strong connection to ritual and devotion.  In terms of what inspires me, I particularly love the Pali Canon, the Bodhicaryavatara, Pure Land teachings, especially Shinran, and the exquisite clarity of my teacher Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita.  I find all these entirely compatible – the Dharma life like a jewel, described from many angles.