Ani Pema joins New Life team as a life coach

Ani PemaAni Pema joined New Life Foundation in April 2016 offering her services as a meditation teacher, yoga therapist particularly working with conditions of anxiety and depression, and as a life coach.

She has been living in Thailand for three years, spending long periods in meditation retreat near Chiang Mai. Coming to New Life she felt very inspired to see people seeking to make changes in their life through yoga, mindfulness, awareness, meditation, service to the community through agricultural work, and being in a safe community to explore friendships based on acceptance, mutuality and respect for differences.

Her journey began in her late 20’s when after a career in fashion in New York, she dropped out, became a yoga teacher and opened a yoga studio in San Francisco. From there she met her Indian teacher, a well known master of kundalini yoga and meditation. She traveled to India and lived a traditional yogic ashram life under his guidance for eight years, also traveling with him throughout  India, and the US. He initiated  her as a swami and teacher and she was sent to teach throughout India and the US. She was then sent to be director of a large meditation center in Sydney, Australia where she remained for six years teaching meditation in prisons, hospitals and running meditation courses.

After her teachers death in 1982 she returned to ordinary life, and undertook studies in Transpersonal Psychology in California. The study and her own therapy helped her to integrate the profound experiences of meditation into a fruitful practical life. She returned to Australia and maintained  a counseling practice assisting people with meditation and positive psychology approaches and providing communication and conflict resolution training to managers in various large corporations.

She took up the study of Tibetan Buddhism with Bhutanese teachers, and took ordination as a nun  in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in Bhutan, where she lived and practiced for long periods, teaching english and yoga to her teacher and 400 monks.  She has lived in monasteries in India, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and has great respect for the varieties of Buddhist practice in different cultures. She recently spent time in Taiwan ordaining in the Chinese tradition as a bhikunni, an ordination that  is not available in the Tibetan tradition.

In Australia she worked actively training yoga teachers in therapeutic approaches, and through a Buddhist centre as a Buddhist chaplain. She  helped train new monks and nuns in compassionate  counseling and chaplaincy services, particularly to work  with  individuals facing  the end of their life.

She appreciates the diverse community at New Life. where we discover that we are all unique individuals and bring our own special qualities… sometimes expansive, creative, insightful, and sometimes annoying to others, which serves as an excellent catalyst for developing acceptance, patience and ease in social interactions. She finds New Life a fertile ground for growth because of the diversity in practices and approaches offered to people, as well as in  the people themselves.

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