Khenmo Drolma is a bhikshuni in the Drikung Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the abbess of Vajra Dakini Nunnery in Lincoln Vermont.
Khenmo Drolma is a heart student of Ven Dhyani, studying with her for over 20 years. She has trained with the foremost spiritual teachers of our time including H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche (head of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage), and Ven Pema Chodron. In 1995 she made a pilgrimage to India and stayed 3 months at Namgyal Monastery studying Tibetan, Lam Rim texts and sand mandalas at the Tibetan Library of Works and Archives. She returned to India in 1996 to take Novice ordination with HH Chetsang Rinpoche. She then received many cycles of Drikung empowerments and made a 5 month retreat in the mountains. Returning to the US she was the Dean of Buddhist studies for Sunray Meditation Society. From there she traveled to Nova Scotia for training at Gampo Abbey and studied with Ven. Pema Chodron. She spent the next two years in shedra studying Buddhist classics of philosophy including the Abhidharmakosa, Dudra, Lorig, Tarig The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, the Uttara Tantra, Tenet systems, classical Tibetan and debate. While there she created a statue of Gampopa for the Stupa and directed monastic training. She returned to Sunray to supervise the building of a Peace stupa. During her next trip to India she received the full cycle of Drikung lungs and Empowerments at the Snake Year Teachings.
In 2002 Khenpo Drolma was invited to come to India to fulfill the vision of HH Chetsang Rinpoche, to make a statue of King Songtsen Gonpo based on a dream of the 10th Panchen Lama. This statue originally was to have been installed in the main square of Lhasa, Tibet; but due to the invasion of China all plans were abandoned. She became the Art Director for the creation of all the art works for Songtsen Library. To actualize H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche’s artistic vision, Khenpo Drolma led an international team of 16 artists in creating 40-ceiling Thangkas, an elaborate entry door and numerous statues using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials dating back to the 1500’s. Khenpo Drolma, aware of the significance of the statue and importance of historical accuracy of the depiction of King Songtsen Gampo researched details in the great libraries of India to document 7th century fabric, clothing, jewelry and horse harnesses.
HH Chetsang Rinpoche encouraged Khenmo to take full ordination as a bhiksunni in Taiwan at the Ji Yu Chen Monastery, becoming the first fully ordained nun in the Drikung Lineage. At the request of Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo, Khenmo returned to the US to begin working on establishing Vajra Dakini Nunnery. In 2004 she made a pilgrimage with Ven. Dhyani to Lumbini in Nepal to attend the Monkey Year teachings. There on Chitrul Duchen she was installed as a Khenmo in the Drikung lineage, becoming the first westerner to hole the responsibility of abbot. Following that she again went into retreat for 3 months. Since then she has worked continuously to establish Vajra Dakini Nunnery and teach the Dharma internationally.
A former college professor, she has a wide scope of experience ranging from Tibetan arts to Buddhist philosophy as well as stories of adventures within the Tibetan community and while traveling throughout Asia. Khenmo spent many years in the Hospice field serving as an Art Fellow at the Connecticut Hospice and on the board of Hospice of Maine. A cancer survivor herself, she has unique insights in the area of arts and healing. Because she is a modern woman committed to living within ancient wisdom systems, she carries words of inspiration that reflect the integrity of their lineage while being easily understandable to people of all ages, from any walk of life. The lectures are interdisciplinary and suitable for many areas of student interest including art history, philosophy, anthropology, women studies, healthcare and social workers.