Note: Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, the center's programs are now being offered online only. Other programs may be cancelled. Click here for details.

Teachings with Venerable Robina Courtin

How To Love Your Problems

Tuesday June 9, 7-8:30pm EDT (UTC-4)

One of the most powerful methods to go beyond ego and attachment—for our own sake and so that we can effectively benefit others—is to happily greet our problems. As Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “The thought of liking problems should arise naturally, like the thought of liking ice cream!” Why think this way?

We all experience one kind of problem or another. They seem to come without warning, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Essentially, a “problem” is getting what attachment doesn’t want, so we assume it’s bad and do everything we can to push it away, and when we can’t, we suffer even more.

But given that our job as Buddhists is to lessen attachment, anger, and the other painful emotions and grow our compassion, wisdom, and the rest, it follows logically that the perfect opportunity to do this is when things go wrong.

When we’re clear about our goal—the fulfillment of our own marvelous potential and the capacity to benefit others—welcoming our problems and transforming them into happiness is without a doubt the quickest path to success. While it’s the most difficult practice and the most radical, it’s also the most rewarding.

The Heart Sutra: A Glimpse of Freedom from Ego-Grasping

Friday June 12, 7-9pm EDT (UTC-4)
Introduction to the Heart Sutra

Saturday & Sunday June 13-14, 11am-1pm, 2-4pm EDT (UTC-4)
The Heart Sutra – A Glimpse of Freedom from Ego-Grasping

By understanding emptiness—that everything exists in dependence upon various factors so there’s nothing intrinsic in anything that can be pointed out or found that makes it what it is—we can slowly loosen the grip of ego-grasping and begin to develop our marvelous potential for clarity, contentment, love, and the other qualities that Lord Buddha says are innate within us.

Buddha’s Heart Sutra expresses clearly that we need to “correctly and repeatedly” see this truth in every thing that exists and lays out the various categories of phenomena that make up this world of ours.

This understanding, when attained, has to be combined with bodhicitta. Then it is truly the perfection of wisdom.

Weekend Schedule:
11:00am–1:00pm: Morning Session
1:00pm–2:00pm: Lunch Break
2:00pm–4:00pm: Afternoon Session

Discovering Buddhism: Death and Rebirth

Wednesday June 10, 7-9pm EDT (UTC-4)

Explore the Buddha’s teachings on the process of death and rebirth and its impact on how we live our lives. This is part of the regular Discovering Buddhism course.

Guided Meditation

Tuesday June 9, 1-2pm EDT (UTC-4)
Thursday June 11, 7-8:30pm EDT (UTC-4)

Rare opportunity to meditate with Ven. Robina.

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Text will be posted when available. 

Important Note

This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom, as the center is currently closed due to COVID-19. Zoom is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend.

After registering, an email receipt will be sent to the email address that you used to register. A login link for Zoom will be on the receipt. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login a few minutes earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

If you have questions about Zoom or on how to access the class online, please contact us at [email protected].

Schedule / Registration

Please click button to register. If it’s your first time with us, you will need to create a profile during registration.

To register for individual sessions, please select the respective schedules in the ‘Make a Reservation’ screen during registration.

Suggested Offering

Suggested: $20/session 
Other offering options: free to $30

The suggested amounts help support teacher offerings and expenses, direct costs and rent. Shantideva Member discounts or benefits will be applied automatically if you have a membership in MindBody. If you need assistance transferring your membership in PayPal, please contact [email protected]shantidevanyc.org.

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 http://www.robinacourtin.com.

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