Willa Thaniya Reid (formerly Ajahn Thaniya, top photos), has been practising formal Buddhist meditation since the 80s. Her primary training has been through the Thai Forest Tradition of Luang Por Chah. The Forest Tradition is in harmony with her affinity for the natural world and for reflective teachings. For 18 years she was part of the monastic community of this tradition based in England. As the senior nun of Cittaviveka for eight years, she offered support to the lay and monastic community; teaching retreats in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. She brings to her teaching a love for the original suttas of the Buddha. For the previous six years she served the community in Melbourne, offering spiritual support to the dying and their families. She has a Masters degree in relationship counselling, and clinical pastoral training. In 2015 she returned to New Zealand to develop a meditation community with her partner.
How do we meet the past, the difficulties? How do we maintain hearts of love through dreadful things? If we let ourselves come into contraction then we’re not capable of the love that’s needed in the next moment. So we stay in empathetic connection to things, keeping a sense of forgiveness, understanding and kamma – cause and effect. This is our training, these acts of love.
When the heart’s deliverance is not yet ripe, a good friend is recommended. One who keeps me aligned to what’s precious, who’s respectful and shows care and connection. We seek this externally, and also internally, being a good friend to oneself – not harsh, not critical, staying connected with what is loving, kind, upright and generous. We take it as a protection wherever we go.