Born in Chicago in 1950, Venerable Thubten Chodron grew up near Los Angeles. She graduated with a B.A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1971. After traveling through Europe, North Africa and Asia for one and a half years, she received a teaching credential and went to the University of Southern California to do post-graduate work in Education while working as a teacher in the Los Angeles City School System.
In 1975, she attended a meditation course given by Lama Yeshe and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and subsequently went to Kopan, their Monastery in Nepal, to continue to study and practice Buddha’s teachings. In 1977, she received sramanerika (novice) ordination from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan.
She studied and practiced Buddhism of the Tibetan tradition for many years in India and Nepal under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other Tibetan masters. She directed the spiritual program at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Italy for nearly two years, studied three years at Dorje Pamo Monastery in France, and was resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore. For ten years she was resident teacher at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle.
Ven. Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma: North America, Europe, Latin America, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and former communist countries. Seeing the importance and necessity of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she founded Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community north of Spokane, WA and is the abbess there. It is the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western monks and nuns in America.
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