Hi! I’ve been regularly meditating since the early 2000’s when I first came across the Manchester Buddhist Centre in 1998 - a friend recommended learning to meditate to help me deal with the stress and anxiety of various challenges in my working life. I took to meditation as a daily practice,and although at times tricky and not easy, the glimpses of clarity and joy were enough to convince me that continuing practice was worthwhile.
Whilst on sabbatical from work and travelling around Sri Lanka in 2008, me and my partner kept coming across copies of the Noble Eightfold Path in our hotel rooms (reminding me of the tradition of the Gideon Bible in hotel rooms in the US!). It was through these copies of the Noble Eightfold Path, with the space and time to reflect, I deepened mycommitment to the Buddha’s teachings and on returning to the UK in 2009 signed up for more introductory courses.
In 2015, I applied and was successful in getting a job working in Team Based Right Livelihood (TBRL) at Manchester Buddhist Centre, starting as Administrator, and then becoming the Programme Manager. My time working at the Centre with others has been an important part of my deepening process, allowing opportunities for the relational aspects of my practice to develop and deepen my trust and deep love of the Dharma. In 2021 I was ordained and given the name ‘Aryarakshita’, meaning one who is protected by the Noble ones, which I love!