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Ven. Robina Courtin, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, March 2014. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Ven. Robina Courtin, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, March 2014. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

During March 14-16, Maitripa College welcomed special guest teacher Ven. Robina Courtin. Over the weekend, Ven. Robina taught on karma and emptiness to a devoted and enthusiastic crowd. Student and lead volunteer Anita Bermont sent Mandala this reflection from the event:

The word “reflection” has taken on new meaning since becoming a student at Maitripa College. We write reflection papers and reflective questions based on our readings for each class. These reflections allow for deep integration of what was studied, help set clear motivation, as well as reveal where obstacles may have been elusive.

Reflecting on Venerable Robina’s visit this year brings the added dimension of having served as lead volunteer. Little could I have known the impact this would have had on how the teacher and teachings would be received. The content of her teachings this visit was entitled ”Understanding Karma: A Perfect Example of Dependent Arising to Prove Emptiness.” She spoke strongly to how delusions exaggerate the aspects of the object, to include both positive and negative aspects. Surely, I was suffering from just this very thing!

Students listen to Ven. Robina Courtin's teachings, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, March 2014. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

Students listen to Ven. Robina Courtin’s teachings, Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon, US, March 2014. Photo by Marc Sakamoto.

I had quite the large construction project built up in my mind as to how specifically Ven. Robina was going to want things to go over the weekend. I showed up in complete surrender to her wishes. What I had not expected was her simple faith and trust that the volunteers knew what would be best for this situation and her complete surrender to our wishes. We met somewhere in the middle, in a place best described as mutual care and respect. With the excellent support of her attendants, everyone was able to enjoy a weekend full of rich teachings, much laughter and the deepening of community.

Maitripa College offers regular public programs and degree programs for students at the graduate level.

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