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Karma and Emptiness - Teachings with Venerable Robina Courtin

We spend our lives being seduced by the outside world, believing completely that happiness and suffering come from “out there.” But “everything we experience is our own karmic appearance,” says Lama Zopa Rinpoche. “Everything is made up by our own minds.”

By understanding emptiness – that everything occurs in dependence upon causes and conditions (in other words, karma) and that, crucially, there’s nothing intrinsic in anything 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.

With clear and practical teachings, Venerable Robina Courtin presents an overview of karma and emptiness. This public talk and retreat includes meditation, lecture, and discussion.

Appropriate to those new to Buddhism and those who wish to deepen their spiritual understanding and practice.

Dates and Times:

Friday, December 6
Public Talk: 7pm – 9pm

Saturday, December 7
Morning Session: 10am – 12:30pm
Afternoon Session: 1:30pm – 4pm

Sunday, December 8
Morning Session: 10am – 12:30pm
Afternoon Session: 1:30pm – 4pm

Suggested Donation:

Public Talk only or individual sessions: $20
Retreat (including talk): $100, which includes light refreshments, lunch, and materials

Tibet House, Nalanda Institute, and IDP members: $90 for entire retreat; $18 for public talk or individual sessions

Donations may be made online or at the door.


Please register in advance so that we may plan for materials, lunch, etc. Thank you.

About the Teacher

Ven. 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.

Ven. 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.

About Shantideva Meditation Center

Shantideva Meditation Center is dedicated to cultivating wisdom and compassion through the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism within the New York City area community. We are affiliated with The Foundation for the Preservation of the MahayanaTradition (FPMT), which is based on the Gelugpa tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught by Founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

For more information, please email Shantideva Meditation, or visit our website!

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  • Al G.

    Very clear and lucid teaching. Venerable Robinas' explanations of emptiness expanded my understanding to include... Emptiness is not nothingness. It has always been difficult for me grasp the concept until this presentation. Thank You.

    December 9, 2013

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