standing on the edge

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1 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Venerable Chris Roberts is a Tibetan Buddhist Nun and has been studying Tibetan Buddhism since 1980. She has been the resident Teacher and President of the Australian Institute of Tibetan Healing Practices since it was founded in 1992 by her Teacher, H.E. Khejok Tulku Rinpoche. Venerable Chris is his oldest non-Tibetan student. As a Buddhist Teacher in a medical and healing Institute, Ven-erable Chris recognised that she would be teaching Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Consequently, she also saw the need to study Western problems and their causes and to explore the most appropriate solutions for Westerners. She studied West-ern problems and the use of spirituality for healing for two years while she held classes in the Uniting Church, Ashfield, where the Rev. Bill Crews ran a benevolent organisation. She then moved to a club on the campus of University of Technol-ogy, Sydney for four years where she continued her investiga-tions of Western mind and problems. After six years of inves-tigation, she began to write courses for Westerners. Venerable Chris has represented the Buddhist community on the Womens Interfaith Network. She has given guest lectures to a diverse range of organisations, extending from attitudinal healing groups through to universities, hospitals and commu-nity groups. She has taught to doctors, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, counsellors, and the physically and mentally ill. She has also taught many groups from all the ma-jor schools of Buddhism (embracing the whole spectrum of Buddhism), as well as other religious and philosophical organi-sations. Venerable Chris has not studied Western psychology, psychia-try or therapies, nor has she watered down the Buddhist teach-ings to suit the Western mind. Instead, she has solely applied Tibetan Buddhism to developing teachings, approaches, tech-niques and methods that are powerful antidotes, specifically designed for the Western mind and Western problems. 2 3 Stundlng on the Ldge `))uII Ch)1: ToI)!: `))uII Ch)1: ToI)!: `))uII Ch)1: ToI)!: `))uII Ch)1: ToI)!: No Problems Publishing Incorporated 4 First published in 2003 Second publication 2004 Copyright 2003 No Problems Publishing Inc. (NSW) All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. Front cover illustrations No Problems Publishing Inc. 2003 Photograph back cover No Problems Publishing Inc. 2003 Tibetan Symbols by Pauline Stirzaker 2003 Printed and bound by Queensland Micrographics, Australia ISBN 0-9751059-0-6 For more information please contact: The Australian Institute of Tibetan Healing Practices (Sydney) website: www.buddhanet.net/tibetan-healing email: noproblems@primus.com.au Tibetan Buddhist Healing Practices, North Queensland (Townsville) email: truian@beyond.net.au Disclaimer This book has been prepared by No Problems Publishing Incorporated for personal use. The information and exercise protocols contained therein are based on current knowledge and similar practices as at the date of publication. They are intended as a general guide only. The author and No Problems Publishing Incorporated accept no responsibility for the contents of the book or for any consequences of applying or using the information and exercises. Application and use are entirely at your own risk. Each person is different, and the way each person reacts to a particular exer-cise may be significantly different from other people. If you are unsure how you might react to a particular exercise, it is important that you speak with a Mental Health Professional to advise you on your specific situation. 5 SPECIAL THANKS EDITOR Beverley Weynton ASSISTANT EDITOR Helen Tobler PHOTO BACK COVER Trish Brownett LINE DRAWINGS INSIDE Pauline Stirzaker AND Jeannie Kasis Robert Hamilton Leanne Perdriau Queensland Micrographics Pauline Stirzaker Venerable Stuart Osborne Tim Hoogwerf Carol Odell Suzanne Mildren Thank you to all the others that helped SPONSORS Dr Jeanette Hughes Moya Hicks Robert Hamilton Pauline Stirzaker Tim Hoogwerf Leanne Perdriau Roy Dundon Monica Hicks Ian Judd Thirani Thevar Jeannie Nevin Tibetan Buddhist Healing Practices, North Queensland 6 Dedicated to H. H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama H.E. Sermey Gyalrong Khensur Ngawang Thekchog Rinpoche H.E. Khejok Tulku Rinpoche May this book benefit and bring happiness to all 7 8 9 CONTENTS Prologue...Venerable Stuart Osborne.................................... 11 Introduction...Helen Tobler................................................... 14 Questionnaire........................................................................ 18 Foreword............................................................................... 23 PART ONE Chapter 1: Finding Buddhism............................................... 27 The Early Years................................................... 28 Chapter 2: The 1970s............................................................ 31 Chapter 3: The Sandshoe Era................................................ 43 Chapter 4: The 1980s............................................................ 49 Chapter 5: The 1990s............................................................ 63 Chapter 6: Choosing Your Path............................................ 71 PART TWO Chapter 7: The 1970s Part 2................................................. 85 Chapter 8: The 1980s Part 2................................................. 95 Chapter 9: The 1990s Part 2.................................................111 Chapter 10: 1992-1995.........................................................117 Chapter 11: 1995..................................................................123 Chapter 12: 1996..................................................................133 Chapter 13: Standing on the Edge of Happiness ................137 Chapter 14: Being Realistic..................145 Chapter 15: Healing Through Love and Compassion..........169 Chapter 16: Healing the World.............................................177 Chapter 17: The Future.........................................................185 10 EXERCISES Exercise 1.. 55 Exercise 2.. 55 Exercise 3.. 58 Exercise 4.. 58 Exercise 5.. 74 Exercise 6.. 78 Exercise 7.. 78 Exercise 8.. 103 Exercise 9.. 140 Exercise 10. 141 Exercise 11. 142 Exercise 12. 154 Exercise 13. 155 Exercise 14. 155 Exercise 15. 158 Exercise 16. 158 Exercise 17. 162 Exercise 18 A. 164 Exercise 18 B. 164 Exercise 19. 165 Exercise 20. 170 Exercise 21. 171 Exercise 22. 173 Exercise 23. 176 Exercise 24. 176 11 PROLOGUE I have been with Venerable Chris now for more than seven years and I can say that it has always been interesting. When I first came into the Institute, as far as I was concerned, I was a scholar and a yogi. But now that dream has been blown out of the water and Ive never been happier or more grateful. The more I grow, the more I appreciate what a re-markable person she is. Like many people, when I first met Venerable Chris, I was loaded down with trust issues and preconceptions. My own ego had made me almost completely blind to the qualities that she has developed. Because she was dyslexic and jum-bled up her words, I mistook this as a sign that she didnt know what she was talking about. Her humility I saw as a lack of confidence. Her humour I saw as undignified. I couldnt help but love the classes, because there was so much truth in them. But I kept my you know that stuff, but I know this stuff attitude handy if her teachings got too close to the bone. As I grew, I began to see past some of my own prejudice. As I let go of some of my fear and preconceptions, I saw that she was unaffected by what people thought. She was compas-sionate and dedicated and as straight as an arrow, with no pretences. What you saw is what you got. She was also very insightful and quite unselfconscious. This was everything I was not, with all my airs and graces and my clever rhetoric. 12 Then I started to notice that she would know when a student was upset or going through something, and would call them straight away. It didnt matter where they were or what she was doing or how sick she was. She was always right and al-ways gave them just the right advice (maybe not what they wanted to hear but certainly what they needed to hear). She would have dreams and describe something, and sure enough, it would come true. One day I saw her tell a students boy-friend that his mother was sick because she had a big electricity transformer outside her bedroom. As she lived in America and he hadnt been there for a while, he said he couldnt remember but rang up and checked. Sure enough, there was a transformer outside his mothers bedroom window. When I heard this I thought, Hang on. Theres something amiss with my knowledgeable mind. I cant use my mind in this way. All these things I had observed about Venerable Chris are not that important in themselves but it showed me that I was look-ing at her very superficially. It was some time before I let Ven-erable Chris talk to me about me. I was very afraid, but when I did let her in it was quite a surprise. She was very gently tell-ing me my past. The things I had long forgotten. She was making things click one after another, it was the strangest thing. Parts of my life were being laid out before me and I cou