By Anushka Fernandopulle, Thubten Chodron, Kaira Jewel Lingo — 2020
Question: Buddhist teachers, including the Dalai Lama, often speak of happiness as a goal (if not the goal) of Buddhist practice. I don’t begrudge anyone happiness, but making it so central to spiritual life feels self-serving. Am I misunderstanding what’s meant by “happiness”?
Often, when teaching a new idea or practice, it helps to try to boil it down to its essentials. Getting to the pith of things is very important and being able to do so in a way that reaches and sticks with others is a sign of genius.
La Sarmiento has been a leader of American LGBTQ and people-of-color Buddhist communities for close to a decade. I caught up with the trans, queer Filipino teacher before a silent retreat to discuss the dynamics of race and gender in a world that is typically White, cisgender and straight.