In a world where many traditional beliefs and superstitions have disappeared, we have become rudderless and cynical. Life is often not much more than a meaningless journey from birth to certain death. Whilst it lasts, we try to acquire some happiness and avoid suffering. Is that all there is to it? Or does life happen “when we are busy making other plans”, as John Lennon so memorably said? Buddhism maintains that we are not living realistically: we are missing some fundamental truths about ourselves and the world we live in that distort and obscure what is really going on in our lives. Shouldn’t we try and find out what life is about before we die?
Tsunma Tsondru is a nun in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche. She first met Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three and a half years closed retreat, followed by a second closed retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and is now its Executive Director. She spent a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with the “Work That Connects”, and has offered the first “Work That Connects” workshops in Cape Town. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth.