Growing up, Thubten Jhampa had no idea that he would become a Buddhist monk.
He says that he had a “normal upbringing with football and trips to the rubbish tip”.
How he ended up in Wellington, he said, came back to his teacher’s encouragement of Tibetan Buddhist monks to live in small rural areas.
“It’s good for people to be aware of other ways of life,” he said.
Often Jhampa spends time talking to people in local shops and while he said Dubbo has been quicker to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to his meditation workshops, there is still a lot of interest in Wellington– even if it comes down to being asked “what are you” in the library.
Jhampa’s own teacher Yeshe Thub will be coming to Wellington to run a de-stress workshop this weekend on Sunday May 6 at 1.30 to 3pm at 81 Simpson Street.
“Most people are feeling mentally and physically exhausted because we push ourselves so much,” Jhampa said.
“We do so many things that our minds are racing around and there’s no time to be aware of it.”
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Those who ask him about Buddhism often want something simple and concrete. He says that it Buddhism isn’t elusive people, but people make it complicated.
“It is not a faith based thing and not within a book; it is experiencing it within ourselves.”
“In the East the mental and physical are very different and there’s a long tradition of examination of the mind whereas in Western culture we are often unaware of what is behind the lens. Science doesn’t even know what consciousness is.
While he doesn’t offer any answers, he says that the classes are enriching and focus on the here and now.
“We want life to be full of adventure but being aware of breath the natural rhythm of breath only listening to the body is just as special.”