Formally a monk for seven years within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, CHODEN completed a three year, three month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. Born as Sean McGovern, he is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher.
Choden is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He lives on the Isle of Arran.