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How the Dharma (spiritual teachings) Turned Major Health Problems into Happiness

“Your mammogram indicates that you have an invasive carcinoma in your right breast; in other words, you have cancer. You will need to choose between a mastectomy and lumpectomy with radiation. We won’t know how much chemotherapy you might need until after the surgery”. Dr Joanne Nelson, breast cancer surgeon, May, 2006.


With these words, Kathleen Herron (Zopa), a long time student of Venerable Thubten Chodron and Geshe Kelsang Damdul, set out on a complex journey through major illness, guided by clear, concise directions from four different Buddhist teachers. This talk shares about the four instructions and how they caused a calmer mind and many moments of happiness while passing through cancer and two unexpected eye surgeries, resulting in partial blindness.


Kathleen (Zopa) came to the Dharma in 1994, took refuge in 1999 and has had the good fortune to attend teachings and retreats with Venerable Thubten Chodron, Geshe Kelsang Damdul, Geshe Lobsang Tsephel, Yangsi Rinpoche, Geshe Lhundub Sopa, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Michael Conklin and Ken McLeod among others. She was co-chair of the Friends of Sravasti Abbey, a training monastery for westerners, founded by Venerable Thubten Chodron in the tradition of the Dalai Lama.


Born in North Central Montana, USA in 1947, Kathleen moved to Portland, Oregon in 1971, graduated from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark and practiced law for 14 years. Kathleen (Zopa) taught Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and worked with Tools for Diversity, multi-cultural trainers and consultants to non-profit organizations and as a coach for leaders of non-profits.


A message from Geshe Kelang Damdul, Dharamsala, India: “I am extremely pleased and glad to learn that our STBC is organizing a talk by Kathleen (Zopa) about how the Dharma turned major health problems into happiness in her life. Kathleen (Zopa) is a sincere Dharma practitioner and has been with the Dharma for so many years. Even when she was going through so many physical difficulties…she practiced the Dharma stronger than ever before. I am sure many people will benefit from her talk. I encourage each and every one to listen to her talk. With many best wishes and love, Geshela


To hear the talk, click here! (Double click 2 times quickly to play it)

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