From Banker to Buddhist Nun

This interesting article describes the transition that Emma Slade experienced from being a globe trotting banker, to a nun living in the kingdom of Bhutan. Having experienced a traumatic event and subsequently going through post-traumatic stress disorder, the event became a catalyst for profound transformation. She mentions:

I do think that incident propelled me to a different part, otherwise I would have carried on as a hugely successfully, articulate, well-dressed banker… once you think you are going to die you do start to live your life in a different way.

Click here to read more from the article, which also contains further reflections she’s had since becoming a monastic.

Inner Peace During Three Year Retreat

Here is an older, but still nonetheless interesting article about Ven Thubten Gyatso, an Australian monk that went into three year retreat in his 60’s. He talks about the peace he experienced, and also for those interesting in doing retreat, he gives his advice on how to prepare for such a retreat. He mentions that favorable pre-requisites for such a retreat include:

Total devotion to a guru who will tell you when or if you are to do it, purification and accumulation of merit. Find a place like De-Tong Ling which is well managed for long retreats. Kimball Cuddihy, the center director, and his helpers were absolutely wonderful.

Click here to read more from the article.

Bodhisattva Advice to someone feeling unloved

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives some interesting advice to a student that feels that nobody loves him or her. Rinpoche responds by explaining how to apply an antidote to self pity moments. He mentions:

Actually the buddhas and bodhisattvas cherish you one hundred thousand times more than you love yourself. If they did not love you and cherish you, then you would not be a human being this time, not even that. All these virtues could not be done and so much benefit to sentient beings would not happen, you would not have all this Dharma education and so forth. So much, so much, so much.

It is important to understand that those who are living in renunciation—the meditators, monks, nuns and also lay people—have inner peace and happiness. Renunciation means to renounce attachment to this life, to future lives, to samsara. They don’t feel that “Nobody loves me.” They are satisfied because they have inner peace and happiness. The stronger the renunciation, the more peace and happiness inside. Many people do not know this and they think that bringing presents, flowers and cakes makes them sooooo happy.

Click here to read more.

Female Dalai Lama

His Holiness has said on many times that its possible that the next Dalai Lama will be female. Robert Thurman, during this interview, gave his take on why His Holiness would choose to reincarnate as a female Dalai Lama.

“He is for world peace,” Thurman said. “He thinks women are less likely to use the nuclear option or go ballistic over this or that than the male, therefore it might be good to set an example to let the next Tibetan leader be a woman.”

Click here to watch and read more from the interview.

Buddhist Monk in Death Meditation

Here’s an interesting new clip from New Zealand of Thupten Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk that stayed in death meditation for several days. His body was able to retain a fresh appearance and smell for several days. There isn’t much video footage on this type of event happening, but its often talked about happening with very attained practitioners.

Click here to watch the video