Pema Khandro is a scholar-practitioner and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Ngakpa International and oversees its projects, the Dakini Mountain Retreat Center, the Buddhist Studies Institute and the Yogic Medicine Institute.
Pema Khandro’s academic work specializes in the history of Dzogchen, women in Buddhism, and Tibet’s Buddhist yogis. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a a Master’s degree in Religious Studies specializing in Tibet, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Virginia. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies and studies English, Tibetan and Chinese languages.
Pema Khandro is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and one of few westerners recognized and enthroned as a tulku, a Buddhist leader who carries on the lineage of a predecessor. She ordained in the Nyingma tradition and was authorized to pass this non-monastic lineage of ordained Buddhist Yogis, also known as naljorpas and ngakpas on to her students, a task which she has been dedicated to since 1999.
As a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism she specializes in Vajrayana, and Dzogchen, a contemplative and philosophical tradition which emphasize cultivating awareness and presence as the goal of the path. Pema Khandro also specializes in teaching Chod and the other esoteric Buddhist practices. She is especially dedicated to making in depth training available to lay people and householders.
Pema Khandro has been regularly featured in Lions Roar Magazine, Buddhadharma quarterly and was a teacher for the Dalai Lama Global Summit, as well as being a guest teacher in Buddhist communities in North America including Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s community, Dharmadatta, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Daily Dharma Gathering, and Zen Mountain Monastery.
For fifteen years Pema Khandro also ran a project called Ngakpa House, a charity which supported the education of children and elders in the Himalayas. Pema Khandro also emphasizes the importance of the body-mind connection, natural health and nutrition. She is certified as Tibetan Naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner, and was three times certified as an Advanced Hatha Yoga teacher during her youth.
Today, Pema Khandro continues to be an advocate of the relevance of traditions of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis as Buddhism takes shape in North America. She runs a residential center, leads a thriving community, runs a clinic and Ngakpa Intl, the non-profit organization which oversees Dakini Mountain, the Yogic Medicine Institute and the Buddhist Studies Institute. She teaches courses regularly, pursues research projects and continues to cultivate a close relationship with her students and friends who work together at the Buddhist Studies Institute.
For more details and for Pema Khandro’s full biography visit: Pema Khandro Extended Biography