Vessantara was born in London in 1950. Interested in Buddhism since his teens he first had direct contact with Buddhists in 1971. In 1974 he became a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly the Western Buddhist Order) and was given his Buddhist name which means ‘universe within’. He has a particular interest in Tibetan Buddhism and has had several Tibetan teachers. He holds an MA in English from Cambridge University and a professional social work qualification. He is the author of eight books including The Breath, The Heart, Meeting the Buddhas and Tales of Freedom and has led retreats and workshops in Europe the USA India and Australasia. He is currently based in Cambridge England and divides his time between periods of intensive meditation writing and teaching.