A monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three year, three month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. 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 is also a recognised teacher of the University of West Scotland and teaches on the MSc Teaching Mindfulness and Compassion.
He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2012, entitled ‘Mindful Compassion’ that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. In 2016 he completed a one year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.
Choden has also co-written 2 other books: The Mindfulness Based Living Course with Heather Regan-Addis and From Mindfulness to Insight – with Rob Nairn & Heather Regan-Addis.