Buddhist Nun Runs Meditation Sessions at Cairns Hospital in Australia
Venerable Rinchen, nun and coordinator of the Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre (KYLBC) in the city of Cairns in the northeastern Australian staste of Queensland, provides meditation sessions at Cairns Hospital as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program and the heart conditioning clinic.
The benefits of meditation for reducing stress are well known. “Stress is the No.1 factor in most of these [cardiac] diseases. Stress raises your cortisol levels—that’s your fight and flight,” Venerable Rinchen explains. “Even low levels of stress are damaging, a bit like constantly revving the engine of a car. Learning to relax switches off the stress hormone, cortisol, and allows the body to sleep and regenerate more effectively.” (The Daily Telegraph)
Ven. Rinchen’s teachings emphasizes relaxation: “When I teach anyone to meditate, regardless of whether they’re doing cardiac rehab, the heart conditioning clinic, oncology, or palliative care at the Buddhist center, I first teach them to relax because you can’t meditate unless you know how to relax.” (The Daily Telegraph)
Ven. Rinchen says Asian societies are traditionally more acquainted with the ancient custom of contemplation because they come from more contemplative environments. Now, however, they are growing more similar to people in the West. Due to modern technology such as smart phones, laptops, tablets, television, and the Internet, people are constantly connected to the rest of the world and to their worldly concerns, struggling to find a moment of silence and concentration.
Ven. Rinchen was ordained in Nepal by the late Chogye Trichen Rinpoche in 2001. In 2003, she received full ordination in the Vietnamese tradition at the Shakyamuni Buddhist Centre in Canberra, and in 2004 she part established KYLBC, togther with other members of the Buddhist community. KYLBC is a place of peace and practice, where she teaches mindfulness meditation, kindness, and compassion.
Until June 2011, Ven. Rinchen was the coordinator of Cairns’ Maitreya Hospice Care, which was part of a broader palliative care system. She continues this work in the community and helps dying people and their families and friends to manage mental and emotional distress.
“I am often asked to talk to people about the dying process and to try to help them come to terms with how to die peacefully, to relax into it and not fight it. This is a subject that few people want to talk about, and not an easy subject to deal with,” Ven. Rinchen observed. (The Daily Telegraph)
KYLBC hosts various spiritual programs, including retreats, short courses, guided meditation, weekly practices, and Buddhist teachings open to all those interested. Ven. Rinchen leads the guided sessions to help beginners, including the Samatha Meditation, the Chenrezig practice—a prayer and mantra for sick people—Green Tara practice to dispel obstacles, and White Tara practice—a daily meditation practice.
Ven. Rinchen says courses at KYLBC, which is currently hosting its 10-day annual retreat, appeal to a mix of people who, alongside a spiritual interest, are seeking peace and relaxation. “When I teach meditation, I don’t give too much of a Buddhist overlay. Most that come . . . just want to be less stressed.” (The Daily Telegraph)
Meditation Sharpens the Brain and Even Makes the Boss Happy (The Daily Telegraph)
Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre (KYLBC Website)
Chenrezig Practice (KYLBC Website)
White Tara(KYLBC Website)
Green Tara (Puja) Ritual (KYLBC Website)
Venerable Rinchen (KYLBC Website)
Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre Facebook
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