- Underberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
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Tsondru is from South Africa, is a nun in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in 2007. She first realized that she must be a Buddhist in the early 1990s through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After studying and working as a lawyer and environmental scientist - OK, and a farmer (in Underberg!), she left it all behind to go to Spain with Lama Tsondru in 2003.
There she entered a traditional three and a half years closed retreat (reserved for Spanish practitioners, necessitating a rapid learning of not only Tibetan, but also Spanish!), followed six months after the end of that retreat by a second closed retreat, this one of four years. Leading up to and during this time she received the traditional teachings and transmissions of the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist lineage from HH Karmapa 17th, Situ Rinpoche, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Drupon Rinpoche, Akong Rinpoche, and the retreat Lamas, Lama Tsondru and Lama Jinpa.
Since returning to Cape Town Tsondru has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute (SAFCEI, a multi-faith NGO), and also been its Executive Director. Safcei is at the forefront of the efforts, and successful application to the High Court, to prevent the SA government from pursuing ill-founded, un-needed, and probably corrupt attempts to enter into agreements that imply spending a trillion rand on nuclear power developments.
In 2015, Tsondru spent a 10-day intensive with Joanna Macy in California, engaging with the Work that Reconnects (WTR). After returning, she began to offer the first Work that Reconnects workshops in Cape Town and South Africa. Tsondru’s journey at the moment is to bring her spiritual practice into the world. Her particular interest is eco-philosophy and activism and the role that spirituality and ethics must play if we are to transform our economic and social systems in protection of Earth. She dedicates her time to being of service to SAFCEI, helping people reconnect with inner wilderness through leading contemplative Wilderness Within trails in the iMfolozi wilderness area, and teaching WTR, weaving it into the practice and teaching of Buddhism and meditation.
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Forget like a child any injury done by somebody immediately. Never keep it in the heart. It kindles hatred. Swami Sivananda