Born in London in 1954, Ratnaprabha (Robin Cooper) developed an early fascination for natural history. After obtaining a first in physics from Sussex University, he went on to study the history and sociology of science, and then joined the Physics department of the Open university.
He was already becoming increasingly drawn to Buddhism and its practices. He moved to a Buddhist community in Norfolk to train for ordination, and after a total of six years of study and preparation, was accepted into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1982.
His teacher and preceptor is the Venerable Sangharakshita, who gave him the ordination name Ratnaprabha (‘The Shining of the Jewel’ in Sanskrit).
Since then he has been teaching and writing on Buddhism and meditation. He has lectured on Buddhism and related topics in Scandinavia, Spain and Singapore as well as in Britain. He helped found the Cambridge Buddhist Centre, and was its Chairman from 1990 to 1996. After seven years teaching at Padmaloka Retreat Centre in Norfolk, he joined Windhorse:Evolution to explore Right Livelihood and ethical trading with the teams who work for Buddhist companies. Since 2008 he has been the director of the West London Buddhist Centre.
Three aspirations: to encourage Buddhism and science to inform each other; to help Buddhists understand science; to help scientists understand and practise Buddhism.