Retreat Teachers


Wendy Garling

Wendy Garling is a writer, mother, gardener, independent scholar, and authorized dharma teacher with a BA from Wellesley College and MA specializing in Sanskrit language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Woman Who Raised the Buddha, the Extraordinary Life of Mahaprajapati, with foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2021, Shambhala Publications) and Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha’s Life (2016, Shambhala Publications), a groundbreaking new biography of the Buddha that relates his journey to awakening through the stories of Buddhism’s first women.

A Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, Wendy has studied with teachers of different schools and lineages, foremost her refuge lama His Holiness the 16th Karmapa (who gave her the name Karma Dhonden Lhamo), her kind root lama, the late Sera Je Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama whom she first met in 1979. In 1991-92, she coordinated the Georgia chapter of the International Year of Tibet bringing Tibetan cultural and religious events to Atlanta and Emory University for the first time.

Pilgrimage has played an important role in Wendy’s life: in November 2023 she led a 9-day pilgrimage in Nepal and India, “In the Footsteps of Gautami and the First Buddhist Women,” with guest teacher Venerable Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. In 2007 she journeyed with Lama Tsultrim Allione in Tibet to the sites of Machig Labdron, and in 2012 and 2018 to sacred sites of the Buddha in India.

Wendy lives in Concord, Massachusetts and can be reached at