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Chöying Khandro


Chöying Khandro is the founder and spiritual director of Dakini's Whisper, a primarily online Buddhist community devoted to the Tantric practice of Chö (Chod) according to the Ear Whispered oral lineages as well as subtle body training, advanced body-oriented practice. As authentic  teaching of the Buddha, Chö practice was revealed by Tibetan yogini, Machik Labdron (11-12th cent), and has been continually transmitted without interruption up to the present time. Chö is a radical Vajrayana method for cutting through the confusion of ego-fixation, root of suffering, and cultivating compassion and fearlessness.  


Chöying Khandro was drawn to the Buddhist path from a young age. In her home country, Japan, she studied Buddhism at Waseda University under the well-known scholar Professor Akira Hirakawa. Her deep yearning to embody Dharma led her to India, where she immersed herself in traditional Buddhist study and practice under some of the great masters who had fled Tibet in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. While studying at Sarnath and other Himalayan places in India, she also received many teachings and transmissions from teachers from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. 


After many years of study, practice, and retreat, in 1993  Chöying Khandro finally met her root teacher, the Late Ninth Jetsun Dhampa Khalkha Rinpoche (1933- 2012), spiritual head of Mongolia. Through Rinpoche, Khandro-la was introduced to the authentic practice of Chö and received the complete transmission of  Chö according to the two rare ear-whispered lineages - the Mount of Bliss and secret Dakini. Khandro-la has embraced Chö ever since. This practice takes us to the core of the meaning of Buddhist practice through a radical exploration and confrontation with the psyche and beyond. "When I connected with the  Chö, my spiritual life radically transformed".    


Khandro-la translated all the primary lineage texts, engaged in retreats, and became proficient in the techniques associated with this tradition. Khandro-la completed all the protocols required of the Dakini Lineage, including the Seven Night Wilderness retreat and the One-Hundred Spring Wandering Retreat which culminated in the traditional and demanding four-month wandering retreat in Mongolia in 2011. Khalkha Rinpoche authorized Khandro-la to carry this rare Dakini Lineage in the West. Khandro-la has also completed the traditional three and a half year tantric retreat in Oregon. Having completed these milestones on the Buddhist path, Khandro-la has now founded Dakini’s Whisper in 2018 to actualize a vision of bringing ancient wisdom to our modern-day lives as well as holding the uninterrupted current of lineage blessings.  


While strongly grounded in the Dharma teachings as a holder of two master degrees - Oriental Philosophy from Waseda University and Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan, Khandro-la is also well versed in traditional disciplines and has been teaching since the early ’90s. Khandro-la  has a unique style that is both courageous and gentle, traditional and contemporary, and experiential and inquisitive, strongly emphasizing authenticity and integrity. As a female practitioner and teacher, Khandro-la fearlessly holds a traditional style of Chö practice as received from her teacher. In the spirit of Chö, Dakini’s Whisper exists without the backing of big and powerful institutions. By discarding some of the more conventional discourse-centered approaches to Buddhism, Khandro-la delves into the experience of self-inquiry, encouraging her students and friends to "explore their deepest longings and their deepest fears." 


Dakini’s Whisper holds an inclusive and accessible approach that is expressed in weekly online series, events, weekend intensives as well as annual residential retreats. Master Courses in an eLearning platform have just launched to further make ancient teachings available to a wider audience. Khandro-la leads the Five-Year Program called the “Cho Mastery Training” which is a comprehensive program of the entire path of Chö and Buddhist teachings. Khandro-la’s book series on Chö - The Heart of Cho: Volume 1 - Chö Foundations was published in 2020. The Heart of Chö: Volume 2 - Dakini Journey was published in 2023.

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