Meet the Community
The resident Dhanakosa community consists of 9 people living in (and around) the community house behind the retreat centre, and another house on the site, which houses two team members and their two children. There are also two resident cats.
We are a diverse crew of folks, who practice in the Triratna Buddhist Community, and who see living and working to support retreats as an integral part of our spiritual practice. It provides ample rewards, in terms of supportive conditions like daily meditation, and support to attend retreats throughout the year. As well it offers plenty of challenges providing the groundwork for practice of the ethical precepts of body, speech and mind, which are at the core of Buddhist practice.
Ben comes from South Wales and works as part of the office team. His interests include playing guitar, chanting and appreciation of the arts.
From Manchester, Darren is energised by the wild spaces which Dhanakosa and Balqhuidder glen offers. Darren has practiced meditation and yoga for 15 years, has lived at Dhanakosa previously as part of the support team and continues to be inspired by the interplay of the elements - earth, water, fire, air, space and conciousness. He is ready with a friendly welcome for all who make the journey to Dhanakosa.
Ex-clown Dharmavasini is usually found with her waterproofs on, digging up weeds, and generally playing in the gardens here at Dhanakosa. Ordained in 2004, she moved here in 2006, and has managed to participate in all the areas of work here, while raising two children, with Nayaka. She maintains a deep love for the Northern Highlands and Islands, escaping to them whenever she can.
Helen has been a regular retreatant at Dhanakosa over the years and made the move here from Glasgow to work in our office, taking care of admin and bookings. More recently she spent 5 months at Adhisthana on an intensive Dharma Life training course with eight women from around the world; living, working and studying in community together. Helen speaks of feeling increasingly drawn to Dhanakosa, to the archetypal appeal of loch and the valley and hopes to continue deepening her practice in the beauty of its land and its people, namely the community living here and those who pass through on retreat.
Lisa joined us to help care for the house and grounds. Originally from Argentina, Lisa lived in Barcelona for some years and recently spent 6 months volunteering with the women of Taraloka retreat centre in Wales where she worked mostly in the kitchen, before making her way north to Dhanakosa in October 2017. Lisa has always been moved by the idea of putting her energy into a project where her practice, living and working can create something really substantial for the benefit of many people. The DK community is the perfect place to make that happen!
Upekshanandi, our kitchen manager, was ordained summer 2017 and has lived at Dhanakosa since 2013. She loves long walks around the glen, spends most of her free time reading books and is passionate about exploring meditation practice. You will mainly find her in the kitchen cooking amazing meals for the retreat or trying out tasty new recipes. If you would like to know more about healthy vegan cooking, you are always welcome to pop in to the kitchen for a chat while visiting Dhanakosa.
Nayaka came to Dhanakosa in 1996 and fell in love with the place; the mountains, the water and, the wilderness. And, as a way of life lived for the benefit of all. He became Centre Director in 2006. Nayaka lives at Dhanakosa with Dharmavasini, and their 2 children.
Pamela joined our office team in Spring 2017. She feels drawn by nature, the mountains and the loch here at Dhanakosa. She's been practicing with Triratna for 10 years and hopes to focus her energies on meditation and Dharma study. After living in London for 15 years, she understands what it means to people to have space in their busy lives and is inspired to contribute as 'one cog' in the Dhanakosa project, helping to create the conditions for perspective and nourishment, perhaps even for people to transform their lives. And she's really looking forward to meeting those who cross our doors.
Siddhimala loves being in big landscape, mountains, sea and watching wildlife. She was ordained in 2002 and is inspired by the Bodhisattva ideal - a life in the service of a higher purpose - so living and working at Dhanakosa as Retreat Centre Manager offers that opportunity as well as the magic of the surroundings.