Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. Starting her adult life as a mother and schoolteacher, Pema began her spiritual journey when she first discovered Tibetan Buddhism and met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.
Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada, and studies under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written several books, including The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully.