WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE? Explained by Buddhist nun Robina Courtin


Reincarnation and karma aren’t some hippy invention, they’ve been around thousands of years and are deeply dealt with psychological principles. So how does it work?

In this video, Buddhist nun Robina Courtin explains to Deborah Hutton the Buddhism theory about death and karma.

“We have a consciousness; they don’t use the word soul or a mind – that is synonymous. That means our thoughts, feelings, emotions, unconscious, sub-conscious, instinct, intuition, even what you might call your spiritual soul,   Buddhism uses one word to cover all of it,” Robina said.

“So this consciousness of ours, Buddha says that’s not physical, he says it’s not a handiwork of a creator, it’s not the handiwork of your parents – which is a bit of a shock to us. They don’t make us; they give us a body but our consciousness, which means our thoughts, our feelings and our tendencies they come from before.”

Robina says, as a result, we come into this life programmed with our own “stuff”, and we leave this life, taking with us all the things we’ve done and said to the next.

“Karma is this process of programming. In that sense, for the Buddhist, that leaves you with an enormous sense of accountability that you make yourself – you can’t blame anyone else,” Robina said.

“So then you can change it. You’re in charge.”

Robina says when a body dies, the consciousness you’ve been cultivating transfers to another life with hours or days so death is a big deal and it’s important to help people leave this life in a “virtuous mind”.


Watch more clips from our interview with Robina Courtin

A quest for truth and balance; Buddhist nun Robina Courtin discusses her life and inspiration

3 tips from a Buddhist nun on how to calm the mind

How important is spirituality in our lives?

The myth about Buddhism that you need to know

Techniques for coping with life and the concentration meditation

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.

Robina regularly returns to Australia to speak. For more information about her schedule go here.

Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.

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