Paula Chichester’s Teachings & Advice

As a teenager studying Buddhism in Berkeley High School, California during years of political unrest, Paula concluded that the way to heal our planet and its inhabitants was to liberate egocentric delusion. A decade later, inspired by the example of the meditators in Dharamsala and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, she devoted the next 38 years to following the guidance of amazing teachers, primarily H.H. Dalai Lama, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche and Kyabje Ribur Rinpoche. — which included 24 years preparing for and completing long retreats — 2 of which were 4 year solitary great maha-anuttara yoga retreats.

Her earlier years of university study in systems theory and ecology prepared her to apply a wholistic approach of integrated body/mind/culture/environment to this ancient contemplative discipline of Buddhist Sutra and Highest Yoga Tantra. — which gave her the unique skills required for living in extended wilderness retreat isolation.

She studies with teachers from all 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Her goal in life has been steady since childhood: to realize Mahamudra and do all she can to bring peace and environmental justice to our world.

Find out more about Paula and many other materials and resources which can support you in your practice on her website:


As well as doing her own retreats, Paula has offered many teachings and groups retreats at FPMT centres across the world. Here are some tasters of what you can find on her website where you can find more.



Guided Meditation at Thubten Kunga Ling

Green Tara Retreat at Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds

The Power of Retreat at Guhyasamaja Buddhist Centre

English Chanting

Paula is a big believer in chanting Tibetan texts in English. She shares “Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche said that chanting is an important element in Tibetan Buddhist rituals because it allows us to reflect on the meaning; it brings bliss to the senses and thereby develops clarity and stability in the experience; it also helps us memorize the words—memorized practice is so much deeper than practice that is read from a text, there is no comparison between the two.”

The text has to be condensed in order to fit the 9 or 7 syllable format of Tibetan verse. The sadhanas include Tibetan phonetics, literal translation and chanting verses. People really enjoy chanting in a language they understand, it opens the heart.

Below are a few examples for you to try. Please click here to find all recordings of her chanting the Vajrayogini practices (accessible to those who have received the Vajrayogini initiation).


During her long retreats, Paula took 8 Mahayana Precepts everyday that forbid singing and dancing. As someone who was born to sing and dance, after a few months, she realized that she could sing dharma instead of worldly songs. Lorne Ladner offered her his guitar before starting retreat which she kept under her tiny bed in the 7×7 ft. (2.1 meter) retreat hut.

One day a song was born after her meditation session, then another and another. Lama Zopa encouraged her to record them with George Galt and a band. Years later, the recording karma ripened with the help of Scott Tulsa, who was a young recording engineer at the time working at a studio in San Francisco. Everyone volunteered their time on those two projects. David Gould put them on SoundCloud in 2016.

To hear more of her songs and to read the lyrics please click here