According to the Buddha, we all possess the potential for mental clarity, contentment, love, and the other beautiful human qualities. In fact, he says, they are our natural state, and that the development of these qualities is the job of a spiritual practitioner. Our main stumbling blocks are the deeply held assumptions that, attachment, anger, depression and fear are innate and therefore impossible to eliminate; and, that suffering and happiness come from the outside. As long as we believe this, we will always remain victims. By understanding Dependent Arising and Emptiness as expressed in the Buddha’s Heart Sutra, as well as understanding the logic of the law of karma that says that we create our own suffering and happiness, we can slowly loosen the grip of ego-grasping and begin to experience our marvellous potential - for our own sake and the sake of others.
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Robina Courtin took her first vows as a Buddhist nun from the Tibetan Lama Zopa Rinpoche in early 1978. Since then she has worked full-time for the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), the organization of her teachers, serving at different times as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and, since 1987, as a teacher of Buddhist philosophy and practice. She now teaches throughout the year at FPMT centres worldwide and continues to edit the books of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Her life, as well as her work with prisoners, have been featured in the documentary films - Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.