Wisdom Dharma Chats | Ven. Sangye Khadro

In this Wisdom Dharma Chat, host Daniel Aitken interviews Ven. Sangye Khadro, a Tibetan Buddhist nun and author of How to Meditate: A Practical Guide

Originally from California, Ven. Khadro (Kathleen McDonald) tells us of her early interests in spirituality, and how she felt a strong pull towards Buddhism beginning in her teenage years. This led her to travel to Dharamsala, India in 1973, to begin studying with Tibetan lamas. She goes on to describe the particular people, ideas and practices that captured her imagination during that initial voyage, including meeting with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe for the first time.

The following year, Ven. Khadro became a nun in Nepal and received full (bhikshuni) ordination in 1988. At the request of her teachers, she began teaching in 1980, and since then has been teaching Buddhism and meditation in various countries around the world, occasionally taking time off for personal retreats. She served as resident teacher for Buddha House in Australia, for two years and Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore for eleven years. From 2008–2015 she followed the Masters Program at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute in Italy.

Throughout the conversation, Ven. Khadro also touches on the process of writing her bestselling book, How to Meditate, and the ways in which she tries to explain meditation very clearly for Westerners who typically come to Buddhism in adulthood. She also describes different varieties of meditation and offers suggestions for those with little experience trying to begin their own practice. Ven. Khadro speaks on her favorite aspects of monastic life, and how it allows for an enhanced practice of ethics within a supportive community.

Finally, during the Q&A session, Ven. Khadro answers questions from the audience on topics ranging from the role of the sangha and finding a teacher to advice for quieting the mind and living an ethical lifestyle.

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