Our World: Finding what’s missing

Scott McIntyre/Staff
Resident teacher Kelsang Jangchen of the Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers meditates along with her class at their center on Thursday April 11, 2013.

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Scott McIntyre/Staff Resident teacher Kelsang Jangchen of the Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers meditates along with her class at their center on Thursday April 11, 2013.

Fourteen years ago, Kelsang Jangchen had no plans of being a Buddhist nun. She wasn’t even a Buddhist at the time. She was in Albuquerque, N.M., teaching English and looking for her spiritual path.

“Everything was fine in my life, I was happy with it — but I just felt like something was missing. I was looking for meaning,” Jangchen said.

She was referred to a meditation class at a Buddhist temple, where a teacher changed her life. The class focused on solving anger in everyday life.

“I thought like most people, frustration and irritation was normal, and from what I learned, it doesn’t have to be,” Jangchen said.

Within a few days, Jangchen noticed her life changing. The normal things that would bug her weren't there anymore. After that class series, she looked forward to every class. Three years of meditation classes later, she followed the path to ordination.

She traveled to England to begin learning and accepting the lifestyle of a Buddhist nun.

Afterward, Jangchen returned to Albuquerque and was eventually invited to become the resident teacher at the Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center in Fort Myers as well as teach classes at Unity Church and Bija Yoga in Naples. Since she arrived only a few weeks ago, Jangchen has not slowed down in meeting people and bringing her outlook of Kadampa Buddhism to her students.

“The purpose of my life is to benefit others,” she said.

Jangchen brings the same teachings of overcoming daily obstacles that she began learning 14 years ago. She’s not expecting the people who come to her classes to become Buddhists.

“We have, through Buddhist teachings … practical advice that helps people improve their relationships. I mean, that’s huge. That’s what everyone wants,” she said.

Jangchen relates her life journey to the way many other people search for meaning. She was awakened after searching for so long to what her true calling was.

“I feel like all those dreams I had were rekindled and more,” said Jangchen.

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