Do we need a god? Do we need to believe? This week we’ve been exploring the topic of spirituality and managing our thoughts and our special guest interview is with Buddhist nun Robina Courtin.
In this segment of our interview, Deborah Hutton talks to Robina about whether we need a “higher purpose”.
Robina Courtin says the actual job in being a Buddhist or a religious practitioner of any kind, is a quest for self-actualization and awareness and that is essential to being an “okay person”. (click here to watch this earlier video from Robina where she talks more about the “real job” of Buddhism)
“The actual job in Buddhism of being a spiritual person, isn’t doing a prayer, isn’t doing a mantra, isn’t walking slowly, isn’t being a Buddhist nun, they are just the tools to help you do the real job,” Robina says.
“Buddhism doesn’t use the word belief in a sense because there is no concept of a creator – it’s more of a doing job rather than a being job.”
Robina, who grew up Catholic, says she has the highest respect for anyone who has taken the time to enquire about the purpose of life and the creation of life.
“There’s a lovely saying in Tibetan, any human over the centuries who’s gone and looked into the meaning of life and looked into themselves and come up with different views of creators or what ever… they’ve done more than eat sleep and go to the toilet so Tibetans say if you do more than eating, sleep and go to the toilet, they are an okay person.”
However, Robina warns if you “believe” without taking responsibility to be a better person. As a result, you won’t reap the benefits of being a spiritual person.
“Everybody has the right and responsibility to look into these things,” Robina said.
“So some people completely have their Catholic faith, completely have their Muslim faith; amazing. But my feeling is that if you have that but don’t do the previous job; not work on your mind, not take responsibility and blame others and get resentful then you’re not a spiritual practitioner, it’s just pretending.”
About Robina Courtin
The Venerable Robina Courtin is a Buddhist nun, a social activist and global speaker with a passion for women’s rights, social activism and the search for deeper meaning.
Robina doesn’t fit the mould of what people might expect a nun to be. She’s outspoken, fiery, passionate, warm and funny and speaks with rapid-fire clarity and precision.
Deborah recently sat down with this tiny pocket rocket to talk life, balance and about her wisdom for navigating the 20th century.
A quest for truth and balance; Buddhist nun Robina Courtin discusses her life and inspiration