- Creating a
Aotearoa New Zealand
CULTURE OF AWAKENING
Study course using talks
by Stephen Batchelor
Seven Monday evenings
21 Oct–2 Dec 2013
WellingtonMore information here
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I met Sonam Tsering at a performance of traditional Tibetan music and dance in Dharamsala. With tan skin and hair tied up in a knot at the top of his head, his samurai looks don’t give any clue to his story. He jokes constantly, exuding ease and directness while showing off a broad and shiny smile; but when a friend of his makes a reference to Buddhist philosophy, he startled me with a confident discourse that is not easy to find in the average Tibetan.
How do we comes to terms with the fact that one day we’re going to die? Tibetan monks are taught to include a contemplation on the fact that while death is certain the time of our death is uncertain. Here’s a wonderfully inspiring video on the last days of British Labour peer and strategist Philip Gould.
It’s hard to find a quiet cafe in McLeod Ganj, but we did. Likewise, it is difficult to find someone like Karma Yeshe Rabgye. It might not seem strange nowadays to hear a Western Buddhist say you don’t need to believe in rebirth to practice the dharma, that nirvana or enlightenment is not his goal, and that he practices for this life. It is, however, uncommon to hear such words from someone in the red robes of a Kagyu Tibetan monk.
In June this year, the Dalai Lama visited Aotearoa New Zealand. Face Television took him to Otago University, where he recorded an extended interview with Lloyd Geering. A meeting of minds, it was engaging and provocative as the two men have a lot in common.
Journalist and commentator Ian Harris interviewed Stephen Batchelor when he was in New Zealand recently. His article, Adaptive Buddhist viewpoint relevant to modern world, was published in the Otago Daily Times on 9 March 2012, and can be found here: http://www.odt.co.nz/print/200654