I was born in the UK at Chatham, Kent on 13th August 1947. In 1956 my parents moved to Bristol where I eventually went to Cotham Grammar School (which was attended by both Paul Dirac and Peter Higgs), and then to Imperial College London to study Physics. At college I became interested in Buddhism and after meeting Urgen Sangharakshita in 1970 I was eventually ordained into the Western (now Triratna) Buddhist Order in 1973. I established a small Buddhist Centre in Cornwall, UK before working for five years at the new London Buddhist Centre.
In 1980 I and two friends moved to Boston in the USA where we establish our Order and movement for the first time. In particular in 1985 I founded the Aryaloka Buddhist Retreat Center in New Hampshire, and helped form a group in San Francisco. During this period I had extensive contact with other American Buddhists. This whole American period is the subject of four books that I am working on, some material from them is available here
In 1996 I returned to the UK to Padmaloka Community where I was engaged in helping prepare men for ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order and then, after a few years distributing my time between the USA, Padmaloka and Guhyaloka our mountain retreat centre in Spain, I joined the Guhyaloka community full time. Between 1999 and 2010 I was involved regularly with the annual four month ordination course for men that is held at Guhyaloka. In 2010 I acquired a narrow boat moored just outside Bath in the UK, so that I could care for my father.
I have been married once and until 2000 I was never without woman in my life. I have always enjoyed my relationships but between 2000-2005 I became increasingly convinced that I wanted to live a celibate life. I have been celibate since 2004 and in 2009 I committed myself to the practice and became an anagarika. I love the free, unattached life and often talk and write about the joys of renunciation.
My interests are, obviously studying, practising and teaching Buddhism – I particularly enjoy meditation, and the study of and reflection on the Dharma. I have spent most of my life establishing Buddhist centres and retreat centres where people can taste, or live fully, a renunciant, or at least semi-renunciant Buddhist life. I enjoy novels, film, and the outdoor life. I also take photographs fairly regularly.
At Guhyaloka I had a much loved little hut on the side of the mountain, but since I moved to the UK in 2010, to care for my father, I have lived on narrow boats. The first one, Tom Thumb, was moored on the River Avon close to where my father lived, but when he died, at the age of 94, I moved onto Stowford, a bigger boat, moored at Saul Junction, just south of Gloucester.
On December 10th 2016, my father’s birthday I set off from Saul Junction to begin an open ended period of cruising the cut and after a few months I gave up my mooring at Saul Junction and became officially homeless.