The revered American Buddhist monastic, author, and teacher, Ven. Thubten Chodron returned to Singapore in December, where she gave her first in-person public teachings since the start of the pandemic.
In a busy schedule from 10–23 December, Ven. Chodron gave a series of teachings on a range of topics at venues across Singapore. Following the visit, Ven. Chodron departed for Bodh Gaya, India, to attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings.
“Ven. Chodron’s purpose is always to share the Dharma, and her schedule between teachings was also full,” Sravasti Abbey in Washington State, of which Ven. Chodron is the founder and abbess, noted in a statement shared with BDG.
Ven. Chodron was accompanied by Singapore-born Ven. Thubten Damcho as her assistant, with additional support from Canadian anagarika (renunciate trainee) Thubten Donyo, from Canada.
Donyo wrote of the visit: “We had just picked up our suitcases at the airport and were rolling our way to the exit where two dozen very excited people were waving at us on the other side of the glass wall, waiting impatiently with khatas, flowers, drinks, and offerings in their hands. Needless to say, you could feel how they had missed their teacher. What also struck me is the deep respect and reverence they have toward Venerable. Truly beautiful.”
The following teachings from Ven. Chodron’s visit have been made available:
Four Close Placements of Mindfulness (YouTube)
Searching for the Self (YouTube)
Practicing the Dharma in Difficult Times (audio only)
Finding Your purpose in Life (audio only)
Healing from the Heart (YouTube)
“The Friends of Sravasti Abbey Singapore (FOSAS) have maintained close connections with the Abbey via Zoom throughout the pandemic. They organized events for this visit, and rejoiced in Ven. Chodron’s return to give a full schedule of teachings,” Sravasti Abbey shared. “Amid this very full teaching schedule, Ven. Chodron caught a cold but pushed through to speak on ‘Healing from the Heart’ at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery. She shared inspiring stories of both perpetrators and victims of crimes healing through restorative justice and forgiveness.” (Sravasti Abbey)
Born in California in 1950, Ven. Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, one of the first Tibetan Buddhist training monasteries in the United States. Ven. Chodron was ordained as Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977 and received full ordination in the Gelug tradition in 1986. She has studied under His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and Lama Thubten Yeshe.
Ven. Chodron established Sravasti Abbey in Washington in 2003 as an American Buddhist monastic community where female and male monastics and lay students can study, practice, and live the Buddha’s teachings. She has also been a central figure in the restoration of the full ordination of female monastics.
A revered Dharma teacher, Ven. Chodron is renowned for her warm, practical, and humorous explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. Ven. Chodron, has authored and co-authored numerous books on Buddhist philosophy and practice, among them: Approaching the Buddhist Path; The Foundation of Buddhist Practice; Samsara, Nirvana, & Buddha Nature; Following in the Buddha’s Footsteps; In Praise of Great Compassion; and Courageous Compassion.