Ven. Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, USA
Getsul ordination 1977
Gelongma ordination 1986
Details: Ven. Thubten Chodron
Sravasti Abbey, 692 Country Lane, Newport WA 99156, USA
Tel: 509  447-5549

Born in 1950, 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 Ven. Lama Yeshe and Ven. Zopa Rinpoche, and subsequently went to Kopan Monastery in Nepal to continue to study and practice Buddha's teachings. In 1977, she received the sramanerika (novice) ordination from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India. She received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan in 1986.

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. 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 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 was the basis for Rodger Kamenetz' The Jew in the Lotus, and attended the Second Gethsemani Encounter in 2002. She is keen on inter-religious dialogue and works with prisoners so that they can learn the Dharma.

Ven. Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma: North America, Latin America, India, Taiwan, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, and former communist countries. Seeing the importance and necessity of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, in 2003 she founded Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community in eastern Washington State, USA, where she currently serves as abbess.

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, humorous, and lucid teachings. Her website,, offers audio teachings and transcripts. offers archived video teachings as well as live Internet teachings.  

Books by Thubten Chodron:

Buddhism for Beginners (Snow Lion Publications)
Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chen rezig (Snow Lion Publications)
Glimpse of Reality (with Dr. Alex ander Berzin)
How to Free Your Mind: Tara the Liberator (Snow Lion Publications)
Open Heart, Clear Mind (Snow Lion Publications)
The Path to Happiness (Texas Buddhist Association)
Taming the Mind (Snow Lion Publications)
Working with Anger (Snow Lion Publications)
Guided Meditation on the Stages of the Path (Snow Lion Publications)

Books edited by Thubten Chodron :

Blossoms of the Dharma: Living as a Buddhist Nun (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA)
A Chat about Heruka, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives)
A Chat about Yamantaka, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives)
Choosing Simplicity: A Commentary of the Bhikshuni Pratimoksha, by Ven. Bhikshuni Master Wu Yin (Snow Lion Publications)
Heruka Body Mandala: Sadhana and Commentary, by Ven. Lati Rinpoche
Interfaith Insights (Timeless Books, New Delhi)
Pearl of Wisdom, Books I and II: Buddhist Prayers and Practices (Sravasti Abbey)
Transforming Adversity into Joy and Courage: An Explanation of the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, by Geshe Jampa Tegchok (Snow Lion Publications)