Kelsang Lhachog • Resident Teacher in Sydney

Kelsang Lhachog has been practicing meditation and Buddhism for over 20 years. She became the Resident Teacher of Mahasiddha Kadampa Meditation Centre, in Sydney, in 2014

1)  How long have you been involved in Kadampa Buddhism, and what first drew you to the classes?
I first started going to Kadampa Buddhism classes in London 20 years ago. I had become a bit disillusioned with life having realised that I would never be able to solve the world’s problems through politics and charity (my previous vocation). So I decided to go travelling around the world to work out what to do with my life – who knew the answer was going to be ‘become a Buddhist nun’?!

2)  How would you explain the benefits of meditation to someone new?
Meditation is the only way we can experience real peace and give ourself a well deserved break from the incessant busyness of our mind. Even when we’re sleeping our mind is working overtime. Through meditation we can let go of our usual thoughts, experience space & stillness and re-learn how to think in more positive, constructive ways.

3)  Has there been an aspect of Buddhism or meditation that has really struck a chord with you?
love everything about what Buddha taught! I think that was the thing that struck me most when I first started hearing Buddha’s teachings – it not only all made sense but it was a complex & complete explanation of… everything! There is nothing that cannot be understood and explained through Buddha’s wisdom. It’s extraordinary.

4)  Has meditation changed your relationships, and if so, how?
Completely. Through Buddha’s teachings I’ve learnt so much about myself and others – how we function, why we suffer and how to be happy. That wisdom makes a profound difference to how I relate to both myself and others on so many levels. And then there are Buddha’s extraordinary teachings on compassion. Buddha not only encourages us to cherish every living being but he explains precisely how to do this. Learning how to sincerely and deeply care about others is a real game changer when it comes to our relationships with others.

5)  Do you feel that Buddhism has something to offer the world today?
Buddhism is able to offer the world hope. Through practising Buddha’s teachings, everyone – whether Buddhist or not – can come to experience deep inner peace and, through that, they can begin to understand that it really is possible to accomplish world peace and a solution to all our problems.

6)  Have people noticed a difference in you since you started meditating?
Definitely! I am a far nicer person now than I was 20 years ago, without a doubt. Ask my mum.

7)  Do you have a burning question about meditation or Buddhism that has yet to be answered?
I’m pretty good at getting my questions out as soon as they arise so, no, none at this moment 🙂

8)  Can you use 3 words to describe the benefits of meditation?
Peace, beauty, joy.

9)  Do you have a favourite quote from one of Geshe Kelsang’s books?

“If everyone practiced cherishing others, many of the major problems of the world would be solved in a few years.”