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Everything in the Lam Rim leads to the understanding of dependent arising and the eradication of ego-grasping

Meditation retreat with Venerable Robina Courtin


Lama Tsongkhapa writes lyrically about Lord Buddha’s teachings on dependent arising – the “king of logics” to prove emptiness, as Lama Yeshe puts it. With this perfect view, Je Rinpoche says, we can never “fall into the abyss of the great mistake” of nihilism, one of the commonest misconceptions about emptiness.

Over three days, we will investigate how in his gradual path literature Lama Tsongkhapa skillfully leads us to the eradication of ego-grasping, the primordial assumption of a fear-driven, bereft, separate self, which simply doesn’t exist.

In the first scope of practice, we start by applying the law of karma – an example of the first level of dependent arising: cause and effect — which gradually counteracts our pervasive feelings of hopelessness and self-pity, causing us to realize that we are the source of our own happiness and suffering.

In the middle scope, we get to the root of the problem by delving deep into our mind — that’s where the workshop is, as Lama Zopa Rinpoche says — and identifying our delusions, especially attachment, as well as aversion, jealousy and the rest, recognizing that these distorted emotions, the main voices of the fantasy I, keep us stuck in our limited sense of self.

Finally, combining our practice with bodhichitta, we are equipped to understand the subtler levels of dependent arising and to use this logic to uproot ego-grasping altogether and to achieve our natural potential for clarity, joy and boundless compassion.


First day – September 29

  • 18:00-19:30 – Introduction & teachings.
  • 19:30-20:30 – Dinner.
  • 20:30-21:30 – Teachings & meditation.

Second day- September 30 

  • 07:30-08:15 – Meditation. (tutor)
  • 08:00-09:00 – Breakfast.
  • 09:30-12:30 – Teachings, Q&A
  • 12:30-14:30 – Lunch.
  • 15:00-16:00 – Discussion groups (students to discuss the topics among themselves)
  • 16:00 – 19:30 – Teachings, Q&A co tea break
  • 19:30-20:30 – Dinner.
  • 20:30-21:30 – Teachings & meditation. Purification meditation

Third day – October 1

  • 07:30-08:15 – Meditation. (tutor)
  • 08:00-09:00 – Breakfast.
  • 09:30-12:30 – Teachings, Q&A
  • 12:30-14:30 – Lunch.

For those following online: live streaming will be provided exclusively of the teachings with Ven. Robina (highlighted in bold in the schedule above).


In presence: ven. Robina speaks English in the hall.
Live streaming will be available on Zoom in English

How to participate

To participate in the course, it is essential to register by filling out the form, at the bottom of the page whether you plan to stay at the Institute or at the Borgo, or choose to stay outside.
As soon as you submit the form you will receive in your inbox a summary of your submitted data.
Be careful, because if you do not receive the confirmation email, it means that the form submission was not successful.
A few days after submitting the form you will be contacted by the secretary of the relevant facility who will reply to you confirming the reservation according to the preferences you indicated or, proposing an alternative.
Registrations will be opened to “course only” only for those places still available in the hall and will be handled with a waiting list ordered by the date on which the secretariat received the request for participation.

A participation fee is not required but it is recommended to make an offering (suggested from 60 euros), using
the “Donate Now” link or, once you arrive at the Institute, by dropping it off at the secretariat

It will be possible to follow the sessions with Venerable Robina online using the link:
ID: 88383680451 Passcode: 420301

PARTICIPATION FEE: A participation fee is not required but it is recommended to make an offering (suggested from 60 euros), using
the “Donate Now” link

The significance of the minimum offer:
The benefits derived from participation in a retreat are innumerable. Days devoted to an intensive meditation practice can lead to deep self-knowledge and raise awareness of how possible it is to nurture and enhance the positive attitudes that are present in every living being. For this reason, the opportunity to participate is intended to be offered to those who, while recognizing its importance for their own and others’ well-being, have serious financial difficulties.
Through the suggested offering we invite the participant to make a gesture that is ethical and conscious that compares his or her own economic possibilities with appreciation for what he or she has received from the retreat and that, with generous wisdom, may be a cause and condition for the continuation of dharma-related activities, not only for himself or herself but also for others in the future.

The request for a recommended offering can be traced back to the practice of dāna, which in Buddhist thought, has the effect of purifying and transforming the donor’s mind.
In the Dighajanu Sutta of the Pāli Canon, generosity, is identified as one of the four traits that condition happiness and wealth in the next life.

PLEASE NOTE: The form is only for people participating in attendance.
Instructions for online participation are in the dedicated section above.
Thank you


Venerable Robina Courtin

Ven. Robina Courtin, Australian-born Buddhist nun with a powerhouse personality. Her history has been one of extremes – from life as a hippie to self-declared communist to feminist before she was drawn to Buddhism.

Having initially trained as a classical singer she moved to London in 1967, where she lived for four years and became actively involved in the radical left, working mainly with a London-based support group for black and Chicano prisoners. In the early ’70s she became involved in feminist activism and returned to Melbourne in 1972 to work with other radical feminists. In her quest for a spiritual path, Robina also began studying martial arts, first in New York in 1974 and then back in Melbourne in 1976.

Later in 1976 Robina attended a Tibetan Buddhist course in Queensland and in November 1977 she travelled to Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal for further studies and became a student of Lama Yeshe. In 1978 she was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Dharamsala, India.

“When I met Buddhism I felt like I had found something I had lost, because, from a karmic point of view, it was something I’d had before, in previous lives. When I heard it again, it was like coming home.”

For the past 38 years Ven. Robina has lived and worked as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition working for FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition). As well as travelling, teaching and bringing the Dharma to people from all backgrounds she has held senior editing positions with Wisdom Publications and Mandala magazine.

In 2000 she founded the Liberation Prison Project to help transform prisoners’ lives so they may cope with incarceration. Ven. Robina regularly visits some of the roughest and bleakest quarters of prisons in Australia and the United States, speaking to groups and meeting prisoners one-on-one. Many of these men are on death row or have life sentences. Most have been in gangs, both on the streets and in prison.

“I have such admiration for people who struggle to deal with the difficulties of life,” she says. Their efforts to understand their own minds and come to terms with life in prison, touches her heart and inspires her own practice and her determination to help others.

The award winning film, Chasing Buddha, documents Ven. Robina’s life and work with death row inmates in the Kentucky State Penitentiary.

Ven. Robina’s no-nonsense,at times confronting, translation of Buddhist psychology that has created a world-wide following as she blasts apart all the usual stereotypes pervading religion and the “spiritual”.

“Being a Buddhist is being your own psychologist, being your own therapist. What that means is really learning to listen to what the hell is going on inside,” Robina says. “The main cause of the misery and the neuroses and the unhappiness in our life is not the outside, but it’s the inside.”
For more information on Ven. Robina visit her website at


September 29 | 18:00
October 1 | 12:30
Offerta minima consigliata
60 €

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