Venerable Robina Courtin at Tibet House US


Co-sponsored with Shantideva Center


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How To Loosen The Grip Of Ego-Grasping By Understanding Dependent Arising, The Best Method For Realizing Emptiness
Fri Dec 15, 6:30–8pm EST

Note: Registration link via Tibet House US will be available soon.

Lama Tsongkhapa writes lyrically about Lord Buddha’s teachings on dependent arising – the “king of logics” to prove emptiness, as Lama Yeshe puts it. With this perfect view, Je Rinpoche says, we can never “fall into the abyss of the great mistake” of nihilism, one of the commonest misconceptions about emptiness.  

We will investigate how in his gradual path literature he skillfully leads us to the eradication of ego-grasping, the primordial assumption of a fear-driven, bereft, separate self, which simply doesn’t exist. 

We start by applying the law of karma – an example of the first level of dependent arising: cause and effect – which gradually counteracts our pervasive feelings of hopelessness and self-pity, causing us to realize that we are the source of our own happiness and suffering. 

Next, we get the the root of the problem by becoming our own therapists: delving deep into our mind and identifying our delusions – attachment, aversion, jealousy and the rest – and recognizing that they are fabrications rooted in ego-grasping.

Now, combining our practice with bodhichitta, we are equipped to understand the subtler levels of dependent arising and to use this logic to uproot ego-grasping itself.


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About the Teacher

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