Milton-Ulladulla residents have the opportunity to listen to one of Australia’s most selfless Buddhist nuns at two public talks in August.
Robina Courtin will be the guest speaker for talks at the Manjushri Centre on August 21 and 22.
Robina grew up in Australia and, like so many others, her youth was directionless, some of it even as a hippie and an activitist.
As a classically-trained singer she moved to London for four years and while she was there she became involved in work for prisoners, and by the time she returned to Australia she also had begun studying martial arts.
At the heart of her story is her quest for a spiritual path. In 1976 Robina attended a Tibetan Buddhist course in Queensland. The following year she travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal for further studies, and in 1978 she was ordained a Buddhist nun.
Robina said she felt like she was coming home to her true calling.
“When I met Buddhism I felt like I had found something I had lost,” she said.
In 2000 Robina founded the Liberation Prison Project to help prisoners transform their lives so that they might be able to cope with incarceration.
Today she spends her time visiting grim and desolate prisons in Australia and the United States to speak to groups and meet with prisoners individually.
Many of prisoners had lived desperate lives in street gangs and were serving life sentences or were held in maximum security prisons on death row.
It is difficult for us to imagine such a life of selfless duty, though the way she explains her motivation.
“I have such admiration for people who struggle to deal with the difficulties of life,” she said.
She is touched and inspired by their determination to come to terms with life in prison. Indeed, an award winning film, Chasing Buddha, documents Robina’s life and work with death row inmates in the Kentucky State Penitentiary.
Needless to say she is not just passionate she is also a tough and outspoken Buddhist nun who isn’t afraid to meet those that search for inner peace where they are.
Her sole purpose in life is to work tirelessly to fulfill the purpose of her Buddhist vows. This is an Australian Buddhist nun who walks the talk, devoting her entire life to helping others.
Robina will also meet Ulladulla High School students and teachers during her visit.
Her first talk titled Be Your Own Therapist will focus on helping people open up to their potential for contentment and love in themselves. It will be held from 5 to 9pm.
The second talk titled Courageous Compassion will explore ways to develop genuine compassion that includes all living beings. It will be held from 5 to 9pm.
Seating is limited. For bookings and enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Manjushri Buddhist Centre was also pleased to report it raised $820 for the Ulladulla Resource Centre Men’s Support Projects at the talk about a Buddhist’s perspective on mental health.