An Evening with Pema Chödrön and k.d. lang
To benefit Tools for Peace and The Pema Chödrön Foundation
June 20, 2015 | 8 pm | Royce Hall, UCLA

Inspirational Teachings and Stunning Music
in Support of Two Noble Causes

Bestselling author and beloved meditation teacher Pema Chödrön has touched the lives of millions with her down-to-earth guidance for becoming happier, “saner” people in an ever-changing and challenging world. Grammy®-winning recording artist and Buddhist practitioner k.d. lang has likewise been a source of inspiration worldwide through her music, songwriting, and soaring vocals.

An Evening with Pema Chödrön and k.d. lang is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join these two extraordinary women who are both uniquely gifted “instruments of the dharma,” helping us to soften and open our hearts. Moderated by Sounds True publisher and founder Tami Simon, this night of discovery and insight will support both The Pema Chödrön Foundation and Tools for Peace.

Our evening will begin with a dialogue with Pema Chödrön, who will share her insights into life's “big questions”—including how we can begin to face uncertainty and engage the unknown—along with practical guidance in becoming more vulnerable, authentic, and present with ourselves and with each other. Then k.d. lang will join the conversation, speaking about her personal approach to creativity and the roles that trust, devotion, and surrender play in that process, the surprising parallels between the journeys of the artist and the meditator, and more.

Our evening concludes with a special musical performance by k.d. lang, who will offer a selection of songs with a piano accompaniment, buoyed by the incredible acoustics of Royce Hall.

About Pema Chödrön

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 Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.

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. 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 served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.

Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat 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.

Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her nonprofit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.

She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places That Scare You, No Time To Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.

About k.d. lang

In 2010, k.d. lang marked the 25th anniversary of her recording debut with Recollection, a career retrospective. To date, lang has won eight JUNO awards. She has also been honored with four Grammy awards, a BRIT, an AMA, a VMA, and four awards from GLAAD. In 1996, she received Canada's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada. In 2013, she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She has appeared alongside such musical luminaries as Tony Bennett, Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, and Loretta Lynn. lang has also contributed to numerous soundtracks, and has appeared in films and television shows. In February of 2014, k.d. lang made her Broadway debut in After Midnight, at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York City.

"She's the best singer of her generation," said Tony Bennett, who has frequently toured with lang since their 2002 Wonderful World duets album. She is renowned for her live shows, prompting the New York Times' Stephen Holden to observe: "Few singers command such perfection of pitch. Her voice, at once beautiful and unadorned and softened with a veil of smoke, invariably hits the middle of a note and remains there."

About Tami Simon

Tami Simon is publisher, CEO, and founder of Sounds True. In 1985, at the age of 22, Tami Simon founded Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company dedicated to disseminating spiritual wisdom. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Sounds True has published more than 800 audio, video, music, and book titles, along with online courses and events. A two-time winner of the Inc. 500 award as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America, Sounds True is widely recognized as a pioneer in providing life-changing, practical tools that accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation. In addition to being the publisher and CEO of Sounds True, Tami hosts a free weekly podcast series called Insights at the Edge, in which she interviews Sounds True authors about the growing edge of their life and work. Additionally, Tami is a senior meditation instructor under the guidance of Reggie Ray, who teaches in the practicing lineage of the great siddha and Tibetan Buddhist meditation teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.