A Heartfelt Conversation on Compassion, Forgiveness, and the Power of Second Chances
What do a Buddhist nun and a Jesuit priest have in common? It may sound like the opening to a joke, but it’s actually the question that initiated an extraordinary spiritual collaboration.
Pema ChÃ¶drÃ¶n and Father Greg Boyle met in a night of interfaith conversation for a great cause: aiding Homeboy Industries, the world’s largest rehabilitation, re-entry, and job training program for former gang members. Originally founded by Father Greg in 1992, Homeboy Industries has helped thousands of people find renewed hope after leaving gang life.
Now Father Greg and Pema’s conversation is available asCreating a Culture of Tenderness,an audio program devoted to what it means to embody one’s principles in the world. Co-teaching for the first time, here these beloved spiritual teachers offer an entertaining and inspiring dialogue on recognizing each other’s innate humanity, the power of second chances, and the profound connections between the world’s faiths.Creating a Culture of Tendernesstruly demonstrates how forgiveness and service to others can reveal the most vital spiritual truths.
Ani Pema ChÃ¶drÃ¶n was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.
While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.
Pema first met her root guru, ChÃ¶gyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. ChÃ¶gyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.
Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.
Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with Western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her nonprofit, The Pema ChÃ¶drÃ¶n Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.
She has written several books:The Wisdom of No Escape,Start Where You Are,When Things Fall Apart,The Places That Scare You,No Time to Lose,Practicing Peace in Times of War,How to Meditate, andLiving Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.
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