June 13, 2024 6:30pm

Monthly Buddhist Teachings with Venerable Robina Courtin

Monthly Buddhist Teachings with Venerable Robina Courtin

Venerable Robina Courtin




 June 13 & July 11

6:30-8:00pm ET

Hybrid | $25 per session

Co-hosted with Shantideva Center


Thursday, June 13 

One of the most powerful methods to go beyond ego and attachment — for our own sake and so that we can effectively benefit others — is to happily greet our problems. As Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “The thought of liking problems should arise naturally, like the thought of liking ice cream!”

This is the brave attitude of the bodhisattvas. Why think this way?

We all experience one kind of problem or another. They seem to come without warning, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Essentially a “problem” is getting what attachment doesn’t want, so we assume it’s bad and do everything we can to push it away, and when we can’t we suffer even more.

But given that our job as a Buddhist is to lessen attachment, anger and the other painful emotions and grow our compassion, wisdom and the rest, it follows logically that the perfect opportunity to do this is when things go wrong.

When we’re clear about our goal — the fulfillment of our own marvelous potential and the capacity to benefit others — welcoming our problems and transforming them into happiness is without doubt the quickest path to success. It’s the most difficult practice, the most radical, but the most rewarding.


Thursday, July 11

We spend our lives being seduced by the outside world, believing utterly that happiness and suffering come from “out there”. Even more fundamental than that, we assume that we are the handiwork of someone else, either a superior being or our parents. The experiential implications of this are blame, anger, and guilt, bringing ever-deepening levels of suffering and hopelessness.

Buddha’s view of reality is that we create ourselves: we come into this life at the first moment of conception in our mother’s womb fully programmed with our own tendencies and the seeds of our experiences in this life. As the Dalai Lama says, the view of karma is one of “self-creation.” We are, literally, the creators of our lives, our happiness, and our suffering. We are the boss.

With this view we realize that everything we experience is our own “karmic appearance”, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche puts it. Everything is made by our own minds, in the past and in the present.

The experiential implication of this view is empowerment, accountability, and the courage to change and, combining it with an understanding of the Buddha’s model of the mind, we gradually loosen the grip of ego-grasping and the other neuroses, thus developing our marvelous potential for clarity, self-confidence, empathy and the other qualities that Buddha says are at the core of our being.

And there is no negative karma that we can’t change, so we’ll also disucss the practice of purification, which Lama Zopa Rinpoche says “we’re insane not to do every day.” And as Lama Yeshe says, “We create negative karma with our minds and we purify it by creating positive karma with our minds.”


Additional information

Pricing Options

June 13 In Person $25, June 13 Zoom $25

Monthly Buddhist Teachings with Venerable Robina Courtin | June 13

Thursday, Jun 13, 2024 06:30 PM



Venerable Robina Courtin has worked full-time for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, since her ordination in the late 1970s. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom. Venerable Robina is known for her straightforward and energetic teaching style, helping people discover the potential of their own minds with clear explanations about Tibetan Buddhism and how to apply it to their lives. Visit her website at http://www.robinacourtin.com.

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