"We think happiness is what we get when attachment gets what it wants. Buddha says happiness is what we get when we give up attachment."

Ven. Robina

Lama Yeshe

Lama Zopa Rinpoche


December 1, 2018

A THOUSAND THANKS to everyone who’s been doing the practices recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche this year for Ven. Robina’s health and long life. Ven. Robina will have a second operation on her nose December 2 in Kathmandu. While we’ve completed all of the practices that Rinpoche recommended, no need to slow down! We can continue to do them and dedicate for Ven. Robina. http://www.robinacourtin.com/practices-for-vrc-health.php

Receiving advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about the best practices for Ven. Robina's health and long life in Portland in August (left). Ven. Robina in Mumbai last week.

“I’m so very grateful to Lama Zopa Rinpoche for his incredible kindness,” says Ven. Robina. “And thank you from my heart to every single one of you for your prayers and support. Recently I’ve been wondering whether there’s much benefit in getting very old, but since receiving a White Tara Long Life empowerment from Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala in October, I’ve decided to put myself in the hands of the holy beings and to aspire to live as long as possible! I recently read about a 107-year-old man in New York who still works as a barber, standing up several hours a day doing his job, who wears no glasses, takes no medicine, looks after himself, and drives his own car. If he can do it, I can too!”

Thank you to the medical professionals and friends who’ve given advice, support, surgeries, and care.

In April, Dr. Robert Watkins, director of Rinpoche’s center in Raleigh, NC, and an old friend of Ven. Robina’s, suggested she get her heart checked after she’d experienced palpitations while staying in Laguna Beach, CA.

For years Ven. Robina has been having breathing problems, so in Laguna in May she consulted Dr. Carly Schrage, an ear, nose and throat specialist and member of Gonpo Ludup Study Group, who recommended Ven. Robina have her deviated septum straightened and her lower turbinates trimmed.

Then in Brisbane, Australia, in July, Dr. Christine Molloy organized colleagues, including GP Dr. Jack See and heart specialist Dr. John Rivers, to do various tests. All is well with Ven. Robina’s heart, it seems, but her cholesterol levels are dangerously high. However, it was discovered that less than ten percent of it forms plaque in her arteries – Dr. Rivers says she’s one of the lucky one in one hundred patients for whom this is the case!

In Sydney in August, Dr. David Caminer, husband of Nadya Caminer, who came on the trek to Lawudo with us in March, performed the sinoplasty and turbinates reduction. During the surgery, Dr. Caminer noticed what looked like adenoids blocking the entrance to her nasal passages, and wondered what role this had in the breathing problems. In late September Ven. Robina found there was little improvement in her symptoms, so he recommended she consult an ENT specialist, Professor Richard Harvey, who confirmed the presence of the growth but wasn’t sure whether it was adenoids. Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that the time was not good for a medical procedure, so Professor Harvey recommended Ven. Robina consult Dr. Chandan Bharanwal in Kathmandu.

In October, Dr. Bharanwal identified the growth as a polyp. He will remove it December 2, and will conduct a biopsy on it to see if there are any underlying problems, such as cancer.


Some of this care has been covered by donations from kind friends and others by Australian medicare, but the surgeries have cost Ven. Robina approximately USD12,000. If you would like to contribute towards these costs, you can do so through a PayPal account we’ve set up for Ven. Robina. https://paypal.me/robinacourtin


I am sponsoring a special Medicine Buddha puja for Ven. Robina at Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco on Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m. Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, one of Ven. Robina’s teachers and the former resident lama at Tse Chen Ling, will lead the puja. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP here: http://medicinebuddha.rsvpify.com


Tse Dö ~ Amitayas Long Life Sutra

We have completed 873 recitations of the Amityas Long Life Sutra.

PEOPLE IN PRISON: Carson City Correctional Facility Buddhist group, MI: 57; Casto Jackson & Friend, MI: 77; Al Adams, CA: 60; and Gerald Gaines, CA; James Bettis, CA; Mitchell Garioni, VA; Mitch Willoughby, KY; Richie Jacuinde, CA; and Henry Haro, CA are also reading the sutra. Raven Jones, ID, is reciting the sutra through Losar.

Clockwise from top: the nuns of Kari Gompa, the monastery just below Lama Zopa Rinpoche's hermitage at Lawudo, in the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal; Jeff Holloway in Vermont; Helen Getsou in Los Angeles; students at Institut Vajra Yogini in the South of France; François Lecointre, the institute's director; and Sally Colson in Wodonga, VIC.

ALSO: Jack Sonnabaum, CA: 26; Lynn Carrol, FL: 2; Christine Bohle, Kathmandu: 44; Anca Mitin, QLD: 10; Ayla Duffton, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: 10; Cindy Madray, Toronto: 60; Craig Gardner, QLD: 5; Gale Delaney, WA: 14; Ganden Tendar Ling, Moscow: 6; Glenys Hargreave, QLD: 1; Helen Getsou, CA: 8; Ionut & Stefania Harabagiu, Frankfurt: 60; Institut Vajra Yogini, Marzens, France: 161; Kate Macdonald, OR: 5; Rosemary Lancaster, QLD: 1; Sally Colson, VIC: 1; Sergey, Moscow: 4; Shahar & Keren, Israel: 2; Ven. Aileen Barry, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, India: 21; Ven. Nina & Kari Gompa Nuns, Solu Khumbu, Nepal: 100; Ven. Tenzin Thekchok, Nalanda Monastery, Marzens: 30; Ven. Thubten Jamyang, Nalanda Monastery, Marzens: 10; Zopa Noble Park Buddhists, VIC: 17; Ven. Tiziana Losa, Pomaia, Italy: 21; and Joyce Smith-Moore and James R. Moore, NY, and Karol French in Wales are reciting the sutra.

Medicine Buddha Pujas

Around the world people have offered Medicine Buddha pujas and practice for Ven. Robina: Mark Daigre & the Mule Creek State Prison Buddhist Group, CA are regularly doing Medicine Buddha practice for Ven. Robina; as is Herb Mullin of Mule Creek State Prison, CA; and Covita Moroney and the Tibetan Buddhist Center for World Peace in San Antonio, TX (the two photos above are from their center). Ganden Tendar Ling, Moscow; Donna Richeson, CA; Thab She Ling Study Group, Cyprus; Sarah Brooks, New Zealand all have offered Medicine Buddha pujas; at Nalanda Monastery in France they include Ven. Robina in their weekly Medicine Buddha puja dedications; and Institut Lama Tsongkhapa in Pomaia has dedicated five Medicine Buddha pujas for Ven. Robina.

Other Practices Offered by Friends & Students

Yangsi Rinpoche in Portland dedicated a Palden Lhamo puja for Ven. Robina (top photo); Nim Dissa in Western Australia and nuns at Dhammasara Forest Monastery dedicated for Ven. Robina (second photo); Thab She Ling Study Group in Cyprus offered White Tara Practice; the nuns of Istituto Lama Tsongkhapa, Pomaia include Ven. Robina in their prayer list dedications; and Steve Conover in Santa Cruz, CA prayed for Ven. Robina.

Drolma Yuldos Puja & Reading of The Prajnaparamitra Sutra at Drubthob Rinpoche’s Monastery in Swayambhunath Kathmandu

I sponsored both of these practices, which were completed in November. A huge thank you to Andrea Abinanti, a student of Drubthob Rinpoche's, based in Kathmandu, who generously organized and participated in both practices on our behalf.

Reading The Prajnaparamitra Sutra

Clockwise from top left: Young monks reciting The Prajnaparamitra Sutra at Drubthob Rinpoche's monastery on Manjushri Hill in Swayambhunath; Can you see Ven. Robina's photo on top of the fruit offerings in front of the Shakyamuni Buddha statue?; Andrea waits, with devotion, while Geshe Jampa Tsering blesses the offerings for the monks; Andrea makes an offering to each monk in Ven. Robina's name.

Drolma Yuldos Puja

Clockwise from top left: The monks of Drubthob Rinpoche's gompa in Kathmandu performing the Drolma Yuldos puja; the monks carry out the celestial mansion which is said to trap all of the demons and spirits; Andrea offering a katag and offering to Chenrezig on our behalf; extensive offerings to Buddha Tara.

Five Extensive Medicine Buddha Pujas & Mamur Trulku Puja at Osel Labrang in South India

I also sponsored the five Medicine Buddha pujas (top photo), and Mamur Trulku puja (second photo) at Osel Labrang, Lama Yeshe's house at Sera Je Monastic University. These pujas were completed in October. Many thanks to Geshe Ngawang Sangye who organized these pujas on our behalf.

I will keep everyone posted on how Ven. Robina's next surgery goes. And I hope to see all of you who live in the Bay Area at Tse Chen Ling on December 16!

Many thanks to everyone for the prayers, love, and support,
Kate Macdonald
The Bodhichitta Trust