Having Confidence in Our Potential: an Interview with Ven. Robina Courtin

17 02 2012

Some days I feel like this is an amazing trip that I am on. I’m thankful for this little blog that it allows me to meet and communicate with people for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration. This is a blessing for me in many ways and I hope it will be beneficial for you.

Back in 2000, I saw a wonderful documentary called Chasing Buddha (If you can get a hold of a copy, do yourself a favor and watch it) about a very interesting Australian born Tibetan Buddhist nun named Robina Courtin. The documentary captivated me and helped to really grow my interest in Buddhism. It told the very fascinating story of a woman who was raised Catholic and as a child was interested in becoming a Carmelite nun. In her young adulthood she trained as a classical singer. Later she had periods of time as a hippy, a socialist, an activist and eventually became very involved with prisoners’ rights, especially with those incarcerated on death row. For over thirty years now, the Venerable Robina Courtin has practiced Buddhism and travelled the world teaching. She is also the editorial director of Wisdom Publications, the editor of Mandala Magazine and the founder and former Executive Director of Liberation Prison Project. She is a well known figure in the world of Tibetan Buddhism and it was recently my extreme privilege to be able to ask her the following questions:

JS: When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, what steps can one take to prepare themselves mentally to increase their chances of being sucessful?

V.RC: I think the main practice is to be optimistic, to really have confidence in your own potential to achieve the goals you set yourself. This is what we all need to do. In fact, it’s our lack of confidence, our identification with our problems rather than our potential that holds us all back.

JS: Is there a meditation or something we should be thinking about while we are eating?

V.RC: A good way to approach eating food is to offer it to others: this make the action very beneficial. So, before eating, imagine a big container of delicious nectar in the sky in front of you, then you just imagine all the beings of the universe, human, animal, etc., then you imagine happily offering this nectar to them and they experience the pleasure of eating it. Then you enjoy it yourself, thinking that the main reason you’re eating is so that you can be healthy so that you can be of benefit to yourself and the world. Love and courage to you.

I would like to thank Ven. Robina for taking time out of her very busy schedule to answer my questions.

Ven. Robina can be found online at: http://robinacourtin.com
Please consider supporting one of her many worthwhile projects.
More information about the Liberation Prison Project can be found here: http://www.liberationprisonproject.org/



2 responses

22 02 2012

I love this. Thank you for posting. I feel like I will have a new sense of joy and happiness while eating!

22 02 2012

That’s awesome! I’m so glad you got something out of it!

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