Paramananda was born John Wilson in North London in 1955. From an early age he was curious about Eastern ideas, but it was not until the age of 23, after the death of his father, that his interest in Buddhism was aroused. At this time, the focus of his life shifted from the world of politics, in which he had been active, to more spiritual concerns.
Throughout his twenties Paramananda worked mostly as a psychiatric social worker. He has also been involved in various types of voluntary work, including the Samaritans, drug detox, and more recently in a hospice.
In 1983 he came into contact with the Triratna Buddhist Order and two years later was ordained within the Order itself. Since then he has been teaching meditation and Buddhism full-time in San Francisco and in London, where he now lives. He sees meditation and Buddhism as power tools for both individual and social change, and believes that service to the community is a vital aspect of spiritual practice.
Paramananda is author of Change Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation (2005), The Body (2007) and A Deeper Beauty (2002), all published by Windhorse Publications.