Sister Maria - a nun at Skanda Vale Monastery

Sister Maria

Our beloved Sister died peacefully at home on 5th November 2020, aged 87.

Sister Maria joined the community in the late ’80s, having already been a nun in a Buddhist monastery. She had many roles in the community over her time. She organized the Seva for devotees and spent many years answering the phone in reception.

She arranged flowers, mended clothes and most memorably she cleaned. So many devotees and community members can say they learnt how to clean ‘Swiss-style’ from her! She always saw the absolute best in everyone and was endlessly patient. She was meticulous, resourceful, conscientious and a total perfectionist and this could be seen in everything she was involved in.

She had a great sense of humour and was never offended when people laughed at her interesting take on the English language. (Scouring sponges will always be known as ‘scary sponges’ in this community!)

Sister Maria played a key role at the beginning of the seminars in Switzerland. She had wanted to introduce Guru to her friends, and what started as a small gathering at a friend’s home, grew into regular seminars and eventually the purchase and development of Somaskanda Temple in Fideris, Switzerland.

Without doubt, the greatest of her achievements was her ability to be unattached to her body. She had the most amazing willpower and determination and would not let her physical condition dictate her daily life. She had been repeatedly told by Guru to transcend her body and never complain, and this lesson certainly paid off at the end of her life.

She had endured many health problems in her time, and rather than complaining or being depressed, she was able to say ‘The body is in pain but inside I’m happy.’ Right until the last few days, she would still tell us this with total sincerity. Even whilst in pain, she was happy, as she was, in her words, ‘dancing in and out with the Divine.’

Sister Maria will be fondly remembered by all who were blessed to know her. Her contentment, inner strength, endurance and surrender were an inspiration for us all.

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