These open-ended 60-minute discussions are an easy-going introduction to the Buddhist approach to the mind. Participants learn how to pay attention to, identify and then unpack the thoughts that inform our emotions in day-to-day life and learn how to reconfigure them, rather than focusing on the event or person that triggered them. This is the key to success in Buddhist practice. As Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, “We can mold our mind into any shape we like.”
Tuesdays: 10:00 to 11:00 AM May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Taught by Andy Weistreich
About the Teacher
Born in 1950 in England, Andy has four grown-up sons and a grandson, and lives comfortably and happily with his wife, Shan Tate in a Somerset village. The Two of them often co-lead classes and retreats. He met the Dharma in 1979 and started teaching Dharma in the London FPMT centre a few years later. He is currently teaching the FPMT Basic Programme at Saraswati Study Group, and leads a secular meditation group, and retreats. He is active in Extinction Rebellion Buddhists.
Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:00 PM May 10, 17, 24, 31 (no class May 3)
Taught By Ven. Robina Courtin
About the Teacher
Ordained since the late 1970s, Venerable Robina has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.
Sundays 7:00 – 8:00 PM May 8, 15, 22, 29 (no class May 1)
Taught by: Ven. Tony Beaumont
Tony Beaumont set off on his travels to South East Asia and India in the mid-seventies aged 25. Kopan Monastery became one of his destinations and so, most fortuitously, his path into Buddhism began. He attended Introduction to Buddhism, the now well-established month-long course held at Kopan, where he met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Venerable Tony remained in India and Nepal, intensively attending group courses and retreats for a full year before returning to Australia, where he embarked on a career in the health profession, training and then working as a psychiatric nurse. In the early eighties Venerable Tony decided to volunteer at Chenrezig Institute to experience life in a Buddhist community and to continue to learn the Dharma. Shortly after his time at Chenrezig, Venerable Tony ordained as a novice monk at the place where it all started, Kopan Monastery. Venerable Tony took novice monk ordination with Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche at Kopan in 1991 and full ordination in 1993 with Geshe Yeshe Tobden at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Italy. For the next 17 years he was based between two monasteries spanning each side of the globe: Nalanda Monastery in France and Thubten Shedrup Ling, Bendigo, Australia. Chenrezig Institute has been home base again since 2014, but Venerable Tony travels frequently to teach and lead retreats at Tushita in Dharamsala and Kopan Monastery in Nepal. He also teaches at FPMT centres around Australia, including Chenrezig. In addition to his teaching work, Venerable Tony has also served as a prison chaplain in Victoria. Students find him a warm, wise and welcoming presence. His previous work and life journey deeply inform his teachings, making them very relatable and relevant.