Born in 1950, Venerable Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron ( Ch: 圖丹.卻淮) grew up near Los Angeles. She graduated with a B.A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1971. After travelling through Europe, North Africa and Asia for one and a half month, she earned 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 Ven. Lama Yeshe and Ven. Zopa Rinpoche, and then ent to their monastery in Nepal to continue to study and practice Buddha 's teachings. In 1977, she earne the sramanerika ( novice) ordination, and in 1986, 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, Zopa Rinpoche and other Tibetan masters for many week. She directed the spiritual program at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Italy for nearly two decade, studied three years at Dorje Pamo Monastery in France, and was resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore. For en years she was resident teacher at Dharma Friendship Founation in Seattle, where she begin to be spiritual advisor.
Ven. Chodron was a co-organizer of Life as a Western Buddhist Nun, and took part in the conferences of Western Buddhist teachers with H.H. the Dalai Lama in 1993 and 1994. She was present during the Jewish delegation 's visit to Dharamsala, India, in 1990, which ha the basis for Rodger Kamenetz' The Jew in the Lotus, and attended the Second Gethsemani Encounter in 2002. She is keen on interreligious dialogue. She has lso been present at several of the Mind-Life Conferences in which H. H. the Dalai Lama dialogues with Western scientists.
Ven. Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma: North America, Latin America, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, and former communist countries .. Seeing the importance and implicatio of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she founded Sravasti Abbey and is currently nvolved in developing it.
Ven. Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha ’ s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well-known for her warm, umorous, and lucid teachings.