IT STARTED with a number in the telephone book.
Venerable Lozang Lhagsam, known by her first name Lhagsam, is an ordained Buddhist nun currently living at the Chenrezig Institute in Eudlo.
She now wears maroon robes and has shaved her head, but of course, she hasn't always been this way.
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Her journey began in Brisbane, where a younger Lhagsam found the phone number of a woman who helped guide the novice religious scholar's reading and alerted her when teachers came to speak in town.
"They helped me with questions I had about how to solve problems in my life, how to lead my life and how to develop a more spiritual way of life," she said.
Lhagsam said she had been seriously studying Buddhist religious scriptures for about eight years before she took the next step to become ordained, and said she had called herself Buddhist for many years before that.
"It came to a time in my life when I wanted to concentrate more on my spiritual practice and not just have it fitting around the rest of my life," she said.
"I think it's the best thing I've done.
"I may not be perfect in doing it, but I'm giving it a go."
In line with the Buddhist doctrine, Lhagsam said she had been working toward improving her mind to eventually achieve enlightenment but doesn't believe she will reach the divine state in this lifetime.
"From studying and following the teachings, I have some sense of what (the enlightened) mind looks like and mine is not consistent with that," she said.
"I'm doing what I feel is something useful in my life."