We are so fortunate to have this collection of audio recordings of teachings by Venerable Robina Courtin given in August 2015 at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre. A description of each topic is provided below.
To listen to the audio recording of a session just click on one of the dates below:
What is meditation and why do it
As Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “We can mould our minds into any shape we like”. According to Buddhism, we all have extraordinary potential: to lessen and eventually eradicate attachment, anger, depression and the other unhappy states of mind that we wrongly assume are at the core of our being, and to fully develop love, compassion and the other marvellous qualities that we all possess. To do this we need to harness the energy of our minds by using the marvellous psychological techniques known as “meditation”.
A bird needs two wings: wisdom and compassion
Compassion is the point of a spiritual path but, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “compassion is not enough, we need wisdom.” This means we need to know ourselves deeply and well by understanding the law of karma – that we create our reality – and understanding our mind, therefore gradually becoming less fearful, less attached, less angry. This enables us to empathize with others and to gradually develop the courageous compassion to help others.
How to loosen the grip of ego by understanding dependent arising and emptiness
We spend our lives being seduced by the outside world, believing completely that happiness and suffering come from “out there”. By understanding emptiness – that everything occurs in dependence upon causes and conditions and, crucially, that there’s nothing intrinsic in anything that makes it what it is, we can gradually loosen the grip of ego-grasping and begin to develop our innate potential for clarity, courage, and the ability to benefit others.
How to help our loved ones enjoy death and go happily to their next rebirth
This title of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s book perfectly expresses the Buddhist approach to death: that this natural event is simply the transition from this life to the next. The time of death, therefore, Rinpoche says, is the very best time to help our loved ones, and he gives detailed descriptions of exactly what to do: during the months and weeks before the death, at the time of death, and the days afterwards. Learning to know how to help our loved ones, of course, prepares us for our inevitable death.