Pema Chodron was a student of Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and teacher who founded the Shambhala tradition here in the U.S. She is highly regarded as teacher and author and in the videos below, Pema Chodron gives some background and instruction in the meditative practice of Tonglen, which uses difficult circumstances as a method for waking up or attaining enlightenment. It is a practice that can be used to develop compassion for and ease the suffering of individuals and the world.
Pema can often be found in Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia and her bio begins:
Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.
While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to England at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.
Ani Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987.
For more info on Gampo Abbey and Pema Chordron: http://www.gampoabbey.org/