Tenzin Chogkyi (she/her/hers) is a teacher of workshops and programs that bridge the worlds of Buddhist thought, contemplative practice, mental and emotional cultivation, and the latest research in the field of positive psychology.
Tenzin is especially interested in bringing the wisdom of Buddhism into modern culture and into alignment with modern cultural values such as racial and gender justice and environmental awareness. She feels strongly that a genuine and meaningful spiritual path includes not only personal transformation, but social and cultural transformation as well. She has been exploring the presentation of traditional teachings using modern pedagogical methods such as experiential exercises, dialogue and small group interaction.
Tenzin first became interested in meditation in the early 1970s and then started practicing Tibetan Buddhism in early 1991 during a year she spent studying in India and Nepal. She worked in administrative positions in several Buddhist centers in the 1990's, and also completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period. Tenzin took monastic ordination in 2004 with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and practiced as a monastic for nearly 20 years. Since 2006 she has been teaching in Buddhist centers around the world and taught in prisons for 15 years.
Tenzin is a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training, a secular compassion training program developed at Stanford University. She also teaches the Cultivating Emotional Balance program, a secular program using contemplative techniques drawn from Buddhism for managing emotions, developed at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s request. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and is also on the Board of Advisors for this organization. She is also a training and curriculum specialist for the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz. County and is on the Sustainable Caring teaching team. In early 2023 she started teaching regularly at Insight Santa Cruz, and she is a visitng teacher at Lion's Roar Dharma Center and Diamond Light Tibetan Buddhist Group, both located in Sacramento, and the San Francisco Dharma Collective.
She received an Outstanding Woman in Buddhism 2023 award from an international committee of Buddhist scholars and monastics in recognition of her "deep and creative commitment to the use of Buddhism for personal, social and cultural transformation." (Quote from the award letter.)
Tenzin is based in Santa Cruz, California, on traditional Awaswas Ohlone unceded territory, now being stewarded by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.