The audio interview with Cecilie Kwiat, a Canadian dharma teacher, based in Alberta, is now available. Cecilie has been primarily influenced by her, now deceased, root guru, Namgyal Rinpoche, of the Kargyu Tibetan Buddhist school. She has also practiced a wide range of dharma with teachers from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Burma, India, China and Tibet, teaching from Vajrayana, Mahayana, Theravadin and Zen Buddhist schools.
In this (hour long) interview Cecilie shares how she has learned to live and work with her own physical pain and aging process and the physical and mental pain of others. She reflects on her distinctive and trusting attitude towards money, ranging over her experiences living on the street in her youth through to the last thirty or so years living “by the bowl”, dependent on free giving by others. She compares some of the basic similarities and differences between Buddhist and Western psychological approaches to suffering and healing, plus some of the similarities and differences in the relationships between therapists and their clients and teachers and their students. She emphasises the key importance of compassionate motivation and has some particularly interesting things to say about some unhelpful Western attitudes towards rituals that are seen as shaped by mystifying Eastern cultural influences but may actually be powerful vehicles for wisdom transmission, when explored with an open mind.
I hope you enjoy this stimulating interview as much as I did. I look forward to any comments or questions that it might evoke in you. Listen to the interview.