Venerable Tenzin Tsepal
Venerable Tenzin Tsepal was a student of Venerable Chodron’s in Seattle from 1995 to 1999 and attended the Life as a Western Buddhist Nun conference in Bodhgaya as a lay supporter. Her interest in ordination surfaced after she completed a three-month Vajrasattva retreat in 1998. She then lived in India for two years while continuing to explore monastic life.
In 2001, Ven. Tsepal received sramanerika ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She received bhikshuni ordination at Fu En Si Temple in Taiwan in 2019. See the photos here.
While Venerable Tsepal was in India, some Australian friends introduced her to the five-year Buddhist Studies Program at Chenrezig Institute (CI), an FPMT center north of Brisbane, Queensland where she subsequently lived and engaged in intensive residential study from 2002-2015.
As the Western Teacher at CI, she tutored weekend teachings and retreats, and taught the Discovering Buddhism courses, but always had her eye on what was happening at the Abbey. In January 2016, Venerable Tsepal returned to the U.S. to participate in Sravasti Abbey’s winter retreat, and subsequently joined the community the following September.
Prior to ordaining, Ven. Tsepal completed a degree in Dental Hygiene, and then pursued graduate school in hospital administration at the University of Washington. Not finding happiness in 60 hour work weeks, she was self-employed for 10 years as a Reiki teacher and practitioner.
At the Abbey, Venerable Tsepal leads the Guest Care team. She is also compiling and editing the many years of Venerable Chodron’s teachings on monastic training, and leads reviews of philosophical tenets for the community. She helps out with painting and forest work too.