Jocelyn Ames

“It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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This is the vision which lights me up and my mission is to be part of manifesting such communities into being. I’m passionate about the transformational potential of a community based on a culture of trust and compassion as I believe that a culture of trust allows us to be safely transparent and vulnerably honest about who we are  – even the parts we fear are ugly and unacceptable. I find it an incredibly liberating and exciting journey to reclaim my wholeness and be welcomed with it – it’s a lot more fun than pretending to be what I’m not!

A society which allows each individual to flourish into their fullest, most authentic and alive expression of themselves brings enormous personal joy. And I am confident that this is also a pathway to peace on a much larger scale. When I am supported in bringing compassion and expression to all parts of myself I start to see the same humanness in the behaviours and actions of others, and it destroys the kind of fear which sets me against another person (and myself). Once I release my judgments and step into a field free from ideas of right and wrong, I arrive in a natural state of compassion and there is no more room for violence.

My background

I was born to England but from the age of two I was raised, and continue to live and learn, in many other parts of the world including Nigeria, India, The Netherlands, Singapore, Cambodia, Australia and Guatemala. In November 2016 I moved to The Netherlands again and I now live in Utrecht.

In previous life chapters I was looking for ways to contribute to peace and justice on a political level as a student of International Development & Geography at the School of Oriental & African Studies (University of London). I graduated with a BA in 2012 and decided to follow my heart and take a more ground-roots approach to making positive change. I took a Permaculture Design Course and went to live in permaculture communities in Australia for 2 years to learn to live in an ecologically and socially sustainable way (the latter seeming to be far more challenging!). Meanwhile I also started teaching yoga and meditation, recognising that we can only live out the amount of peace which exists inside of us. The next chapter involved a lot of inward journeying as I headed to Guatemala for further yoga teacher training and took a deep dive into bhakti yoga (devotion) and karma yoga (service) for most of 1.5 years, particularly while living for 6 months at the Mahadevi Ashram as a permaculture karma yogi. My search for how to make a meaningful contribution to the world had brought me to Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings: “Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world.

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