I began studying the Shambhala Path in 2006, taking my Buddhist vows in Spring, 2017. Later that year, I moved to Kathmandu, Nepal and began studying traditional Tibetan Buddhism, specifically studying the Path of the Bodhisattva by Santideva. In 2018, I was oh-so-privileged to study for a month at Kopan Monastery, with a variety of wonderful teachers. This culminated in taking my Bodhisattva Vows and the opportunity to travel to India to receive teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, specifically on the text by Santideva.
The November Course is somewhat famous in the Tibetan Buddhist (Western) world. People travel from all over the globe to attend, and I feel unbelievably lucky to have been accepted into the Course.
Me: neurotic drama queen saddled with middle age, menopause, anxiety, and huge guilt over my unemployed status.
Thanks to my teacher husband, I’m living in the teeming metropolis of Kathmandu, Nepal, where monkeys mess with my wi-fi connection and I can’t walk out my door without confronting abject poverty and tragedy.
Instead of reducing me to my life-long struggle with despair, my sojourn in the developing world has given me new-found courage, compassion, and clarity. I’m discovering my inner Indiana Jones — who knew?
I’ve given up the Quest for Serenity — life gets in the way and I’m too nervous. Instead, I’ve discovered the Quest for Fortitude and the magic of discomfort. I’m currently *trying* to write a book about all of this. Pray for me. :)
Chogyam Trungpa, Pema Chodron, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The course will start with building bridges between scientific findings and Buddhist psychology and philosophy of the world of the mind and how things actually exist. After this exploration, the stage of the path to enlightenment will be explained, the spiritual development up to obtaining nirvana and enlightenment, achieving everlasting happiness for self and others. This path to enlightenment, sometimes called Lam Rim, includes: understanding our human potential, the nature of samsara and the cycle of suffering, the four noble truths, freedom from suffering, love and compassion, bodhicitta, the concentration of shamatha and the ultimate reality of dependent origination and emptiness. More information: https://kopanmonastery.com/courses-retreats/courses/november-course/more-information
I really wrestled with whether it was ok for me to keep asking for help with my Buddhist studies -- after all, it's usually the same people taking care of me and what do they really get out of it? However, I am going ahead for several reasons:
1) Offering a financial break to my poor hubby
2) Giving people a chance to be generous -- one of the six perfections and good for the soul.
3) You'll make me have to finish the book so I can offer my donors a copy.
4) Perhaps most importantly, you'll be supporting this amazing Monastery and the Tibetan refugees who people it.
Bonus: last year, I genuinely spent a significant amount of time remembering my donors in my Maitri and Compassion practices. So you'll have that going for you. ;)
$600 tuition, room & board
$40 fundraising expenses
- Kate Clarke
- Eugene Heathman
- Shirley Faith
- Annie Tyler
- Mary Carter
- Emily Bennett