Venerable Thubten Damcho
Singaporean by birth, Ven. Thubten Damcho met the Dharma in the U.S. through the Buddhist Students’ Group at Princeton University, from which she graduated in 2006. On her return to Singapore, she took refuge at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See (KMSPKS) Monastery where she served as a Sunday school teacher. Struck by the aspiration to ordain, she attended a novitiate retreat in the Theravada tradition in 2007. In 2008, she attended an eight-precepts retreat in Bodhgaya, India and a Nyung Ne retreat in Kathmandu, Nepal.
After meeting Ven. Chodron in Singapore in 2008, Ven. Damcho was further inspired to pursue a monastic life. She attended the one-month course at Kopan Monastery in 2009 and visited Sravasti Abbey for 2 weeks in 2010. She was shocked to discover that monastics did not live in blissful retreat, but worked extremely hard! Confused about her aspirations, she took refuge in her job in the Singapore civil service, where she served as a high school English teacher and a public policy analyst.
Offering service as Ven. Chodron’s attendant in Indonesia in 2012 was a wake-up call. After attending the Exploring Monastic Life Program, Ven. Damcho quickly moved to the Abbey to train as an anagarika in December 2012. She was ordained on October 2, 2013. See photos of her ordination.
Ven. Damcho completed her full ordination, along with Ven. Jampa, at Miao Fa Temple in Taiwan in 2016. See the photos.
Ven. Damcho is the Abbey’s current video manager. She also manages Ven. Chodron’s schedule and website, helps with editing and publicity for Venerable’s books, and supports the care of the forest and meadows.
She shares about her life and decision to ordain as a Buddhist nun on the podcast Just Talk.