Gen Kelsang Nyema is an American Buddhist nun who believes the gift of happiness truly lies within our own hearts and minds.
A resident teacher in the New Kadampa Tradition, Gen Nyema’s aim is to help seekers develop inner peace by offering meditation classes and practical Buddhist advice suitable for busy modern life. When asked about her TEDxGreenville experience, she is happy to have shared her message with a wide audience.
“I agreed to participate in TEDxGreenville because I hoped it would show people that Buddhist teachings are mainstream, practical, and useful for everyone, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, religious or non-religious,” she says. “I did the best I could with the 15 minutes I had. I hope it benefited, and continues to benefit, others. I hope it introduces people to Buddhist teachings in a way that’s more personal and meaningful than reading something in a book.”
In the nine months since it was first posted, Gen Nyema’s TEDxGreenville video has received almost 6,000 views.
“That’s cool, I guess. But I’m not one of those views. I’ve never seen my talk. Don’t want to. To be honest, I don’t even really remember what I said. I didn’t have a script, and most of the talk that I gave really only came together for me in its final form in the couple of hours before it was time to walk onto the stage.”
Surprisingly, she admits she had the most fun doing something that many TEDxGreenville nominees dread. “You know what I did have a fun time doing, have watched more than once, and still get a chuckle out of? My audition video.”
During the third round of the program team’s decision making process, speaker hopefuls are asked to create a 2- to 3-minute video that succinctly explains their TED-like idea worth spreading while giving the team a peek at their personalities.
“Nyema and her friends certainly went the extra mile,” said Curator Lisa Marie Corley. “We emphasize to nominees that scripting and producing a video really makes no difference in the decision to send someone to the stage, but we got a chuckle out of how much fun they had with it.”
Curious? Gen Nyema invites you to watch the video at right.
Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center South Carolina when she presented at TEDxGreenville last year, Gen Nyema is transitioning to a new role as Resident Teacher at Vajrayogini Buddhist Center in Washington, DC.
Watch Nyema’s talk below, and browse the TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped Flickr album for more pictures of Nyema, fellow presenters, attendees, and volunteers.