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Becoming our own best friend

Part of a series of teachings from the Developing Compassion Retreat in 2015.

  • How to become friends with ourselves
  • Connecting with our fundamental goodness
  • Coming to terms with how our suffering is self-created
  • Developing good habits of mind will carry over into future lives
  • The self-centered thought turns us away from looking inwards
  • Learning to take refuge in the Dharma in our mind
  • Introspective awareness helps us to discern non-virtue from virtue
  • Seeing that suffering is a shared experience
  • Antidotes to the self-centered thought

Venerable Thubten Semkye

Ven. Semkye was the Abbey's first lay resident, coming to help Venerable Chodron with the gardens and land management in the spring of 2004. She became the Abbey's third nun in 2007 and received bhikshuni ordination in Taiwan in 2010. She met Venerable Chodron at the Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle in 1996. She took refuge in 1999. When the land was acquired for the Abbey in 2003, Ven. Semye coordinated volunteers for the initial move-in and early remodeling. A founder of Friends of Sravasti Abbey, she accepted the position of chairperson to provide the Four Requisites for the monastic community. Realizing that was a difficult task to do from 350 miles away, she moved to the Abbey in spring of 2004. Although she didn't originally see ordination in her future, after the 2006 Chenrezig retreat when she spent half of her meditation time reflecting on death and impermanence, Ven. Semkye realized that ordaining would be the wisest, most compassionate use of her life. View pictures of her ordination. Ven. Semkye draws on her extensive experience in landscaping and horticulture to manage the Abbey's forests and gardens. She oversees "Offering Volunteer Service Weekends" during which volunteers help with construction, gardening, and forest stewardship.