Portrait of Vidyamala

My name, given to me at the time of my ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1995, means ‘Garland of Wisdom’. This is something I continue to aspire to.

My work as a mindfulness and compassion teacher, speaker and author over the past 25+ years has been dedicated to helping people who struggle with stress, pain, or illness live fuller and more meaningful lives.

Today, I am lucky to have a rich and happy life, but the journey has been long, slow and at times very tough. At age 17, I sustained spinal injuries that required multiple surgeries and left me with a complex back condition, chronic pain and partial paraplegia. After experiencing despondency, anger and hopelessness, I discovered mindfulness as a way to ease the mental torment associated with the physical pain. Soon I was meditating everyday, and the results were truly life changing and transformative.

I’ve spent the subsequent years exploring my mind with all the depth and commitment I can manage. As a Kiwi, I’m a born nature lover and mountaineer; I like to imagine that I have now become a mountaineer of the inner world, where the peaks are infinite and the vistas awe-inspiring.

  • Named one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK by The Shaw Trust’s Power List in 2019 and 2020.
  • Awarded an honorary membership from The British Pain Society for outstanding contribution to the field of pain management in 2018.
  • Mindfulness for Health (2013) was awarded first prize in Popular Medicine by the British Medical Association