Chodron, Thubten 1950–

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Chodron, Thubten 1950–

PERSONAL: Born September 18, 1950, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Bernard and Adele Greene; name in religion, Thubten Chodron. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1971; graduate study at University of Southern California; earned California teaching credential. Religion: Buddhist. Hobbies and other interests: "Inter-religious dialogue, communication and conflict resolution, meditation."

ADDRESSES: Office—Sravasti Abbey, 692 Country Ln., Newport, WA 99156.

CAREER: Ordained Buddhist nun, 1977; worked as a teacher at public schools in Los Angeles, CA; Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa, Pomaia, Italy, worked as spiritual program director; Dorje Pamo Monastery, France, served as director; Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore, resident teacher; Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle, WA, teacher, 1992–2002; Sravasti Abbey, Newport, WA, founder and abbess, 2003–. Participant in Second Gesthemene Encounter, a Catholic-Buddhist dialogue, 2002, subsequent dialogues dubbed Nuns of the West; volunteer worker in prisons.

MEMBER: Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Citation among best spiritual books of 2001, Spirituality and Health, for Working with Anger.


(With Alexander Berzin) Glimpse of Reality, NUS Buddhist Society (Singapore), 1989, Buddhadharma Meditation Center (Hinsdale, IL), 1991.

Open Heart, Clear Mind, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 1990.

Taming the Monkey Mind, Tynron Press (Singapore), 1990.

What Color Is Your Mind?, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Transforming the Heart, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 1999.

Blossoms of the Dharma: Living as a Buddhist Nun, North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, CA), 1999.

(Editor) Choosing Simplicity: A Commentary on the Bhikshuni Pratimoksa, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2000.

Buddhism for Beginners, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2001.

Working with Anger, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2001.

Taming the Mind, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2004.

How to Free Your Mind: Tara the Liberator, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2005.

Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenresig, Snow Lion (Ithaca, NY), 2006.

Author of the books I Wonder Why and The Path to Happiness, and editor of Pearl of Wisdom, Books 1-2, Heruka Body Mandala, and Spiritual Sisters, all for Amitabha Buddhist Centre (Singapore). Contributor to books, including Buddhist Women on the Edge, edited by Marianne Dresser, North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, CA), 1997; Encounters with Buddhism, edited by Dhammika Bhikku, Heian International, 1999; Women's Buddhism, Buddhism's Women, edited by Ellison Findly, Wisdom Publications, 2000; and Walking on Lotus Flowers, edited by Martine Batchelor. Contributor to periodicals, including Tricycle: Buddhist Review, Mandala, Shambhala Sun, and Turning Wheel.

Some writings have been published in Russian and Chinese, as well as European languages, including Spanish and French.

SIDELIGHTS: Thubten Chodron once told CA: "I graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1971. I traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, and Asia, taught in the Los Angeles city school district, and did post-graduate work in education at the University of Southern California. I came into contact with Tibetan Buddhism and studied under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and other Tibetan masters for many years in India and Nepal. In 1977 I was ordained as a Buddhist nun, after which I served as a spiritual program director at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy and director of the Dorje Pamo Monastery in France. I was a resident teacher at the Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore, and was the resident teacher with the Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle for ten years." She recently added: "Now I have founded Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastic community, which is dedicated to creating peace in a chaotic world."

In her original commentary, the author said: "I also teach Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation internationally. I was present during the Jewish delegation's visit to Dharamsala, India, in 1990, which was the basis for the book and documentary The Jew in the Lotus, and I am active in Jewish-Buddhist dialogue and inter-religious dialogue in general. I have participated in several mind/life conferences, during which Western scientists and scholars dialogue with the Dalai Lama. A co-organizer for the 1996 training program of Western Buddhist nuns in Bodhgaya, India, I am active in the effort to reinstate the lineage of full ordination for women in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. I also counsel people, teach Buddhism to prisoners, and speak in schools.

"I never imagined being a writer because, throughout my education, my teachers inevitably returned my essays filled with red ink. However, while living in Singapore in 1987, I was asked to write about Buddha's teachings and meditation. Much to my surprise, people loved it! My confidence increased, as did the requests to write more, and thus several books and articles were published. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and my other teachers have been my greatest inspiration when writing. The purpose of my writing is to benefit others, for I believe that our lives should focus on joyfully solving problems and contributing to the welfare of others, rather than struggling for ephemeral pleasure. All royalties and profits from my writing are used for charity work; none is kept for my private use."



Sravasti Abbey: A Buddhist Monastic Community, (November 7, 2006).

Venerable Thubten Chodron's Home Page, (November 7, 2006).