Ven. Thubten Chodron & Sravasti Abbey
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Venerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, one of the first Tibetan Buddhist training monasteries for Western monks and nuns in America. She grew up in Los Angeles, graduated with honors in History from the University of California at Los Angeles, and did graduate work in education at the University of Southern California. She taught elementary school before becoming a Buddhist and ordaining as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977.
Ven. Chodron has studied extensively with His Holiness The Dalai Lama and other Tibetan masters. Before starting Sravasti Abbey, she was the resident teacher and spiritual adviser at Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore and Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle. She has started a prison Dharma outreach project at the Abbey, through which she teaches people in prisons. For several years, she served on the board of Youth Emergency Services, a local organization to help homeless teens.
Ven. Chodron also teaches worldwide and is known for her warm, practical, and humorous explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation in several languages, and is currently assisting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the writing and publication of The Library of Wisdom and Compassion, a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path. Her Buddhism for Beginners and Open Heart, Clear Mind are widely recommended introductory books.
To learn more about Ven. Chodron, you can watch this interview conducted by Innercraft Co-founder Andres Valdivieso. It’s available in both video and audio.
Sravasti Abbey Monastics
Ven. Sangye Khadro
California-born, Venerable Sangye Khadro ordained as a Buddhist nun at Kopan Monastery in 1974, and is a longtime friend and colleague of Abbey founder Ven. Thubten Chodron. She has studied Buddhism with many great masters including Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, and Khensur Jampa Tegchok. Ven. Sangye Khadro has authored several books, including the best-selling, How to Meditate, now in its 17th printing, which has been translated into thirteen languages.
Ven. Tenzin Tsepal
Venerable Tenzin Tsepal was a student of Venerable Chodron’s in Seattle from 1995 to 1999 and attended the Life as a Western Buddhist Nun conference in Bodhgaya as a lay supporter. Her interest in ordination surfaced after she completed a three-month Vajrasattva retreat in 1998. She then lived in India for two years while continuing to explore monastic life. In 2001, Ven. Tsepal received sramanerika ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She received bhikshuni ordination at Fu En Si Temple in Taiwan in 2019. While Ven.Tsepal was in India, some Australian friends introduced her to the five-year Buddhist Studies Program at Chenrezig Institute (CI), an FPMT center north of Brisbane, Queensland where she subsequently lived and engaged in intensive residential study from 2002-2015. As the Western Teacher at CI, she tutored weekend teachings and retreats, and taught the Discovering Buddhism courses, but always had her eye on what was happening at the Abbey. In January 2016, Ven. Tsepal returned to the U.S. to participate in Sravasti Abbey’s winter retreat, and subsequently joined the community the following September.