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From the Head to the Heart: Bringing the Buddha’s Teaching Home

September 28 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Metta Convention Week: Special Q&A with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo followed by Tibetan Buddhist practices with Dr. Pema Düddul and Ven Tashi Choedup

From the Head to the Heart: Bringing the Buddha’s Teaching Home

Presenters: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, joined by Dr. Pema Düddul and Ven. Tashi Choedup (Joining online from India, QLD, and India respectively)

Thu 28 Sep | 7.00-9.00pm AEST

Location: In person at Metta Centre (Bankstown) or Online (Zoom link below)

Cost: By Donation

Metta Centre is deeply grateful to world renowned teacher and senior Bhiksuni, Jetsunma (The Most Venerable) Tenzin Palmo for accepting our invitation for a special dialogue with us, despite being retired from formal teachings. Please join us for a live Q and A (question and answer) session which will dissect the Buddha’s teaching through inquiry, questioning, and investigation. Jetsunma will directly address between 12 and 15 questions about Buddhism and its application to our lives. Send your questions to contact@mettacentre.com. Due to the anticipated high volume of questions, a selection of questions will be chosen from those received to be presented to Jetsunma. There is no guarantee that all questions will be answered. This session will be moderated by Dr. Pema Düddul and Venerable Tashi Choedup.

Following the Q&A session, Buddhist monastic and human-rights activist, Ven Tashi Choedup, will introduce the practice of Tonglen. Tonglen is also known as ‘sending and taking’. In Tibetan Tong-wa means sending your merits and happiness to others; len-pa means taking other non-virtue and suffering on yourself. This is a profoundly healing practice that comes highly recommended by many great teachers across the traditions; a practice to generate Bodhicitta (an enlightened mind) and to destroy the self-cherishing thought. Ven Tashi will lead a short practice of Tonglen and also explore what this practice means in a world where self-preservation and avoidance of suffering are the norms of life.

To close the evening, Dr. Pema Düddul will introduce us to the AH practice, a highly effective method for bringing the teachings from the head to the heart. The AH practice is an ancient Buddhist meditation that is the condensed essence of all of the teachings of the Buddha. In the Mahayana tradition, the AH mantra is known as the condensed essence of the Prajnaparamita, or Mother of Wisdom, teachings. In the Tibetan tradition it is known as a direct method for connecting with Buddha Nature (Tathāgathagarbha), our pristine awareness. As the condensed essence of the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and the Three Roots of Vajrayana (Lama, Yidam, and Dakini), it is the most direct way to relax into the joy and ease of our natural state. By reciting the seed syllable AH on the outbreath we are never separate from the essence of the Dharma. When we gain confidence in this, we can truly relax into the natural state, in full recognition that we are always and already one with the Buddha.

This special event is part of Metta Convention Week, a week-long program aimed at fostering metta, mindfulness, compassion and inner peace. Metta Convention week offers a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and learn from renowned Buddhist teachers from around the world! Register here.

About the presenters: The Most Venerable (Jetsunma) Tenzin Palmo ordained in 1964 when she was 21 years old, and became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monastic. In 1976, Jetsunma in seeking more seclusion and better conditions for practice, found a cave a couple of hours hike from Tayul, at 13,200 feet above sea level. The cave was enhanced by building enclosing walls, creating a living space around 6 feet (1.8 metres) square. In the summer months supplies were delivered from Keylong and she grew turnips and potatoes nearby. She stockpiled for winter, when the cave was snowbound. She slept and meditated upright in a meditation box. Despite many hardships and life-threatening experiences, Tenzin Palmo thrived in her solitary spiritual practice and lived in the cave for 12 years, from the ages of 33 to 45. For the first 9 years she occasionally had visitors or took trips away from the cave, while the last 3 years were spent in strict retreat. Her retreat ended in summer 1988 and after 24 years in India, she returned to Europe to stay with friends in Assisi, Italy. There she rediscovered her western roots and started to accept requests to teach.

Tenzin Palmo has been instrumental to supporting female monastics and practitioners. She is the Founding Director of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, and also took on the President’s role of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women. She is the Founding Director of the Alliance of Non Himalayan Nuns; Honorary Advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and Founding Member of the Committee for Bhiksuni Ordination. To find out more about Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s life and teachings, see: https://tenzinpalmo.com

Pema is Co-Director of Jalü Centre for Buddhist Practice. Pema has been a Buddhist for forty years, discovering at the age of eleven that his personal worldview and the tenets of Buddhism were in perfect accordance. Pema has decades of experience as a Buddhist practitioner and has taught mindfulness and meditation in Buddhist, educational and other settings since 2007. Pema has a doctorate (PhD) in Creative Writing and is co-author, along with Jamyang Tenphel, of Resting in Stillness, a book about meditation, compassion and the nature of the mind. His book of contemplative poetry Here We Settle was published by Timeless Awareness Publications in 2022 as was his book Luminous Awareness: A Guidebook to Natural Awakening Life and in Death.

Ven Tashi Choedup (They/She) is a trans-feminine Buddhist monastic (Nunk) with more than a decade of experience in human rights and community work. They are a member of the Telangana State Government’s Welfare Board for Transgender Persons. They work for Queer-Trans Wellness and Support Center at Yugantar, Hyderabad. They are currently the National Coordinator (India) at the Foundation for Preservation of Mahayana Tradition. They are an executive committee member at the Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies and a core group member of the National Ecumenical Forum For Gender and Sexual Minorities (NEFGSM) at the National Council of Churches of India. They also engage with queer folks as a peer counsellor. They are a fellow at Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum. They are one of the founding members of Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti and Queer Swabhimana Yatra. They are a student of Buddhist philosophy and psychology. Their primary areas of interest are community building, faith, religion, mental health, and queer rights.

Hybrid event: Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an interactive session in person at the Metta Centre or online by clicking on this link to access the session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83506489824?pwd=cmpNQ1ljSmFVYURLWVN1dWllYUN1dz09 Alternatively, you can dial in from your telephone (call charges apply): +61 2 8015 6011 | Meeting ID: 835 0648 9824| Passcode: 718905