Robina Courtin

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Robina Courtin
Robina Courtin in 2007
Religion Tibetan Buddhism
School Gelugpa
Born (1944-12-20) 20 December 1944 (age 72)
Melbourne, Australia
Religious career

Robina Courtin (born Melbourne, Australia, 20 December 1944[1]) is a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition and lineage of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In 1996 she founded the Liberation Prison Project, which she ran until 2009.[2][3]


Courtin was raised Catholic, and in her youth was interested in becoming a Carmelite nun.[4] In her young adulthood, she trained as a classical singer while living in London during the late 1960s. She became a feminist activist and worked on behalf of prisoners' rights in the early 1970s. In 1972 she moved back to Melbourne. Courtin began studying martial arts in 1974, living in New York City and, again, back in Melbourne. In 1976, she took a Buddhist course taught by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa in Queensland.

In 1978 Courtin ordained at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala. She was Editorial Director of Wisdom Publications until 1987 and Editor of Mandala until 2000. She left Mandala to teach and to develop Liberation Prison Project.

Robina Courtin's work has been featured in two documentary films, Christine Lundberg's On the Road Home (1998) and Amiel Courtin–Wilson's Chasing Buddha (2000), and in Vicki Mackenzie's book Why Buddhism? (2003).[5] Her nephew's film, Chasing Buddha, documents Courtin's life and her work with death row inmates in the Kentucky State Penitentiary.[6] In 2000, the film was nominated for best direction in a documentary by the Australian Film Institute.[6]

In 2001, Courtin created Chasing Buddha Pilgrimage,[7] which lead pilgrimages to Buddhist holy sites in India, Nepal, and Tibet to raise money for the Liberation Prison Project[8] an association engaged for the Tibetan cause.[9]

Books edited[edit]

  • McDonald, Kathleen (2006). Courtin, Robina, ed. How to Meditate: A Practical Guide. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-341-9. 
  • Yeshe, Lama Thubten (2003). Courtin, Robina, ed. Becoming the Compassion Buddha: Tantric Mahamudra for Everyday Life. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-343-5. 
  • Yeshe, Lama Thubten (1998). Courtin, Robina; Cameron, Alisa, eds. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-136-X. 

Further reading[edit]


  • Dondrub, Thubten (2001). Spiritual Friends: Meditations by Monks and Nuns of the International Mahayana Institute. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-325-7. 
  • MacKenzie, Vicki (2003). Why Buddhism?: Westerners in Search of Wisdom. Element Books. ISBN 0-00-714228-5. 




  1. ^ Gregory, Kathleen (October 2001). "Interview with Robina Courtin". Interviews. Ordinary Mind. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  2. ^ Biography
  3. ^ "Ven. Robina". Liberation Prison Project. Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Saucy, Suzanne (May 2004). Buddhism Behind Bars. An Interview with the Venerable Robina Courtin. Common Ground. Archived from the original on 2007-03-01. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ven. Robina Courtin". Chasing Buddha Pilgrimage. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Alston, Macky (Spring 2004). "Filmmaking as spiritual practice and ministry". Cross Currents. 54 (1): 76–83. Retrieved 26 November 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Venerable Robina Courtin". Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  9. ^ Liberation Prison Project prays and protests for Tibet

External links[edit]