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Robina Courtin visiting The Netherlands
Venerable Robina Courtin finally came to The Netherlands to teach!
I’ve been a big fan of this inspiring Australian nun and her work for many years and during the weekend course she gave at Maitreya Institute (Loenen, The Netherlands), I was asked to be the course coordinator and Ven. Robina’s personal assistant. I was also asked to lead the meditations in the morning by the special instructions of Robina.
Robina Courtin brings the Buddhist Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) refreshingly straight-forward – don’t be afraid to get shocked!- but she always brings it with a lot of humor. She is the founder of the Liberation Prison Project and worked there until 2009. In this project, inmates who are interested in Buddhism are guided on their spiritual path, both in and after prison, with wonderful results.
Besides the teachings she offered this month at the Maitreya Institute, Robina gave lectures to students at the VU University in Amsterdam, who want to become spiritual counselor in prisons. She also spent a day visiting the penitentiary in Zutphen to talk to the prisoners.
If you would like to listen to Ven. Robina’s teachings you can look her up on Youtube. She will probably be back in The Netherlands in 2017, but as she travels the world you can check out the teaching schedule on her website (see below).
Ven. Robina was ordained in the late 1970s, and since then has worked full time since then for the FPMT, founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She has served over the years as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and currently as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been documented in the films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom. To read more go to robinacourtin.com
The FPMT is an organization devoted to preserving and spreading Mahayana Buddhism worldwide
by creating opportunities to listen, reflect, meditate, practice and actualize the unmistaken teachings of the Buddha and based on that experience spreading the Dharma to sentient beings.
They provide integrated education through which people’s hearts and minds can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility and service. They are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite compassion and wisdom.
The organization is based on the Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught by the founder, the late Lama Thubten Yeshe and the current spiritual director, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.
To read more go to fpmt.org
Lama Thubten Yeshe
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935 an at the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet
where he studied until 1959, when as Lama Yeshe himself has said, “In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world.”
Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche -teacher and disciple since their exile in India- met their first Western students in 1965. Six years later they settled at Kopan, a small hamlet near Kathmandu in Nepal. In 1974, the Lamas were invited to start teaching in the West, which would eventually result in The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Lama Yeshe died in 1984.
To read more go to lamayeshe.com
Wisdom Publications is a leading publisher of classic and contemporary and Buddhist books
as well as practical works on mindfulness. Over 30 years, Wisdom has developed a list of over 300 beautifully produced and finely edited titles that are distributed worldwide and have been translated into more than 30 languages.
To read more go to wisdompubs.org
Liberation Prison Project
Liberation Prison Project offers spiritual advice and teachings to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism.
They also provide them with books and materials. The organization and social services project is affiliated with the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition), and since its foundation in 1996 the Liberation Prison Project has supported the Buddhist practice of over 20,000 prisoners. They are mainly active in the U.S. and Australia, but also have branches in Mexico, New Zealand, Mongolia, Spain and Italy.
To read more go to liberationprisonproject.org