Nyingje 0511GELONGMA NYINGJE GONGPEL began in the United States with the culmination of daily life confusion that leads one to want to start sitting … . She found that living in communities is the support that she needs; this led her to many types of meditation training over the years: working, singing, walking, gardening, shamatha meditation, pilgrimage, Plum Village meditations, Silent Illumination meditation. At a 2004 New Year’s group retreat in NE Scotland, she got that she was to “go to Pema’s place and cut her hair”. Ten months later she arrived at Gampo Abbey and began sitting. Just sitting in the shrine room awoke Nyingje’s connection to the abbot, the V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and to His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. Just seeing someone else’s desk top image awakened Nyingje to her teacher Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. Just taking a mahamudra Shedra course there led her to a moment. Such moments led Nyingje to remain at Gampo Abbey for eleven years, receive bhikṣhuṇī ordination from Zen Master Thích Nhât Hạnh, and graduated from the “three year retreat” at Söpa Chöling in August 2017.

GElONGMA DRIME SHIWA (Saskia Bleijendaal) started her Buddhist path in the Netherlands with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. There she led meditation groups, co-led retreats and participated in the Board of the Amsterdam Buddhist Center. In 2008 she left her job in International Relations at VU University Amsterdam and came to Gampo Abbey where she worked as Head of Education for several years. She soon became a student of Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche and studied at Nitartha Summer Institute. She also graduated from the Gampo Abbey Shedra and co-taught one of its courses. In 2011 she received getsülma vows from the V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, and gelongma vows in 2017. In August 2017, she graduated from the traditional three year retreat at Söpa Chöling.

Shiwa has always tried to find a good mix of study and practice, one informing the other and this will be something she would like to continue doing at KCCL.

At present she is one of the directors of Karma Changchub Ling.

Unknown-5GELONGMA MIGME CHÖDRÖN was a student of the late Ven. Trungpa Rinpoche and of the V.V. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. She was born in 1924 in Ottawa, Canada. After receiving her Ph.D., she spent many years in chemistry research and in palynology.

Migme loved to play the piano and harpsichord, and was a great lover of Bach, Mahler and Sibelius.

In 1973, she became a student of Trungpa Rinpoche and founded/established the Edmonton Dharma Study Group in 1974 which, in 1981, under her leadership, was given the full status of Dharmadhatu by the Vidyadhara, Trungpa Rinpoche.

She received bhikṣuṇi ordination in 1994 and was part of the first group of three year retreatants at Söpa Chöling which she completed in 1996.

She was a founding member of the Chökyi Gyatso Translation Committee. As a translator from French, she translated Étienne Lamotte’s translation from the Chinese of the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra and his translation of the Mahāyānasaṃgraha, as well as Walpola Rahula’s translation of the Abhidharmasamuccaya, André Bareau’s Les Sectes Bouddhiques du Petit Véhicule, José van den Broeck’s translation of Ghoṣaka’s Amṛtarasa. Before her passing away, she finished the draft translations of all the works of La Vallée Poussin to be published in the future volumes of The Collected Works of Louis de La Vallée Poussin.

She was the Vice-President of Karma Changchub Ling.