Get to Know Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé, Six Bridges Featured Author
Answers provided by translator, Paloma Landry
Tell us briefly about your book.
Our mind is the principal factor determining our experience, yet many people do not know what the mind is or how to use it to benefit themselves or others. This book is about the potential, or power, of our mind and how to affectively bring true and beneficial change into our lives and the lives of others.
What motivated you to write it?
During these troubled times, we face a great number of hardships. So many people are physically and mentally suffering and are constantly afflicted by disturbing thoughts and emotions. Only by knowing the operating system of our mind and how to use it can we find protection from this suffering. I have found these methods for working with our mind to be indispensable for protecting us from our mental afflictions and suffering. These techniques for training the mind are like medicine for our modern day and age. This is why I wrote this book, in order to share these methods with the world.
What kind of research went into your book?
My whole life has been spent studying the mind, which is the primary focus of Eastern philosophy and the main topic that has been studied in Tibetan culture. I have three khenpo degrees in Buddhist philosophy, the equivalent to three PhDs. I have found that of all the methods for working with our mind, these are the most relevant to our current times.
What was your favorite part of writing this book?
This book is full of advice that anyone can understand, is easy to apply, and is highly impactful. In particular, it focuses on how to take unwanted conditions, a.k.a. adversity, and transform them into positive qualities. Writing about this knowing I could share this wisdom with a greater audience was particularly joyful for me.
What are you reading now?
I am always reading several books, but mostly they are in Tibetan. Most of my reading is philosophy that explores the nature of the world and particularly the nature of the mind.
What does it mean to you to be promoting your book as a local author?
I have a great love for the Ozark Mountains. The word “Ozark” sounds the same as the Tibetan word “ozer,” which means “light rays” in English. So “Ozark Mountains” means “Mountains of Light” in Tibetan. For me, promoting this book feels like light radiating out into the world from this beautiful place on earth. So to be able to speak in Little Rock, in my home region, at the advent of this book has particular significance for me. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak at the Six Bridges Book Festival.
You’re a monk living in Arkansas; how did you find yourself here?
I came to the Ozark Mountains in 2007 because of their natural beauty. I asked a few students to seek out a place that had specific natural features such as rocks, rivers, trees, mountains, and other natural resources. When they came to the Ozarks, they found land that was just as I had hoped for. So I moved here, and my appreciation and love for this region grows with every year.
You talk about techniques to transform suffering; what is the simplest thing people can do to improve themselves?
First, don’t hate suffering. Second, change your way of thinking. These are the the most direct and impactful methods to transform suffering and improve our lives. But to learn how to do both of those, we have to learn about our mind, how it works, and methods for working with it. That’s what the talks I give and the book itself are all about.
Sponsored by John David Coulter Memorial Fund.