My history and influences

I graduated in physics from Manchester University in 1977, after which I moved to London. I came into contact with the Triratna Buddhist Community (then called the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) at an open day at the West London Buddhist Centre (WLBC) in Notting Hill Gate in 1988. I learnt meditation from two people who later became prominent authors within the Triratna Community: Paramananda, who wrote the best-selling Change Your Mind‘, ‘A Deeper Beauty‘, and ‘The Body‘, and Jinananda: the author of ‘Warrior of Peace‘, and Meditating: A Buddhist View, and editor, from Sangharakshita’s lectures and unpublished seminars, of  ‘Wisdom Beyond Words‘, ‘Who is the Buddha?‘, ‘What is the Dharma?’ and ‘Know Your Mind.’ In 1995 I moved to Manchester to help convert a five storey warehouse to the current Manchester Buddhist Centre. I was ordained in 1997 by Kamalashila, the original founder of the WLBC and author of ‘Buddhist Meditation: Tranquility, Imagination and Insight,when he gave me my Buddhist name Mahabodhi, which means ‘Great Enlightenment.’ The Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India, marks the spot where the Buddha gained Enlightenment.