Born in 1950, Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron grew up in a "non-religious Jewish" family near Los Angeles, California and earned her B.A. in history from 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 Thubten Yeshe and Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and subsequently went to Kopan Monastery in Nepal to continue studying Buddhism. In 1977 she was ordained as a Buddhist nun by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamshala, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan.
Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has studied and practiced Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition extensively in India and Nepal under the guidance of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and other Tibetan masters and for three years at Dorje Pamo Monastery in France. She directed the spiritual program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy for nearly two years, was resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore, and for 10 years was spiritual director and resident teacher at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle, US.
Emphasizing the practical application of the Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives, Thubten Chodron tries to explain them in ways easily understood and practised by Westerners. She has worked on re-establishing the Bhikshuni lineage of Buddhist nuns, cultivating interfaith dialogue, and Dharma outreach in prisons. 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.
Thubten Chodron is also author or editor of more than 25 books on Buddhism, including two works co-written with the 14th Dalai Lama: Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions and Approaching the Buddhist Path, the first in a multi-volume collection presenting the Dalai Lama’s comprehensive explanation of the Buddhist path. Other popular works include Buddhism for Beginners; Open Heart, Clear Mind; Working with Anger; and Don’t Believe Everything You Think.
Thubten Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma: North America, Latin America, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the former Soviet countries. Seeing the importance and necessity of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she founded Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in Newport, Washington, USA, in 2003, and became its abbess.
In 2016 she was awarded the Global Bhikkhuni Award, presented by the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association of Taiwan.
Thubten Chodron permanently resides at Sravasti Abbey in Washington State, USA when she is not on her international teaching tours.
The Abbey has a yearly program of weekly teachings as well as various teaching and meditation retreats:
How to Free Your Mind: Tara the Liberator. Paperback 224 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications; (April 25, 2005) ISBN1-55939-226-6
Transforming Our Daily Activities: A Practical Guide To Practising Buddhism In Daily Life. eBook 98 pages; Publisher: Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Dharma Propagation Division, Awaken Publishing and Design; (May, 2005) ISBN9789810530037
Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig. Paperback 155 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications; (April 25, 2006) ISBN1-55939-242-8
Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path. Paperback 154 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications; (October 25, 2007) ISBN1-55939-281-9
Dealing with Life's Issues: A Buddhist Perspective. eBook 192 pages; Publisher: Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Dharma Propagation Division, Awaken Publishing and Design; (January, 2008) ISBN9789810593957
Don't Believe Everything You Think: Living With Wisdom and Compassion. Paperback 256 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications; (January 8, 2013) ISBN9781559393966
Timeless Wisdom: Being the Knowing. NTSC DVD 109 minutes; Producer: Sweet Corn Productions; (January 28, 2013) ASIN B00B79WPCY
Living with an Open Heart: How to Cultivate Compassion in Everyday Life. Paperback 400 pages; Publisher: Robinson Publishing; (November 7, 2013) ISBN9781780335421
Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions. Hardcover 352 pages; Publisher: Wisdom Publications; (November 11, 2014) ISBN9781614291275
An Open-Hearted Life: Transformative Methods for Compassionate Living from a Clinical Psychologist and a Buddhist Nun. Paperback 272 pages; Publisher: Shambhala; (March 3, 2015) ISBN9781611802115
Seven Tips for a Happy Life. eBook 38 pages; Publisher: Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Dharma Propagation Division, Awaken Publishing and Design; (May, 2015) ISBN9789810955892
Good Karma: How to Create the Causes of Happiness and Avoid the Causes of Suffering. Paperback 272 pages; Publisher: Shambhala; 1 edition (August 9, 2016); ISBN978-1611803396
Approaching the Buddhist Path. Hardcover 360 pages; Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 1 edition (August 15, 2017); ISBN978-1614294412
The Compassionate Kitchen: Buddhist Practices for Eating with Mindfulness and Gratitude. Paperback 160 pages; Publisher: Shambhala; (December 11, 2018); ISBN978-1611806342
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice. Hardcover 400 pages; Publisher: Wisdom Publications; (2018); ISBN978-1614295204
Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature. Hardcover 440 pages; Publisher: Wisdom Publications; (2019); ISBN978-1614295365
Pearl of Wisdom Buddhist Prayers and Practices: Book II. Spiral-bound 95 pages; Publisher: Sravasti Abbey; Sixth edition (December 1, 2014) ISBN9780985849825
Karmans for the Creation of Virtue: The Prescriptive Precepts in the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya. Paperback 314 pages; Publisher: Sravasti Abbey; (April 23, 2015) ISBN9781508456070
Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness: A Commentary on Nagarjuna's Precious Garland. Paperback 440 pages; Publisher: Wisdom Publications; (April 25, 2017) ISBN978-1614293248 [Note: This is the first complete English-language commentary on Nagarjuna's Precious Garland of Advice for a King.]
Bhikṣu Poṣadha and Rites to Establish the Territory. eBook 80 pages; Publisher: Sravasti Abbey; (2017)
Bhikṣuṇī Poṣadha and Rites to Establish the Territory.eBook 86 pages; Publisher: Sravasti Abbey; (2017)