About Maria Montenegro
(Ani Lobsang Choetso)

I consider myself a global citizen with broad interfaith and non-faith guiding experience. American by birth, Puerto Rican by heritage, Catholic by upbringing, Buddhist by calling, I was educated at Smith College (B.A.) and completed my Master’s in World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, having developed a keen interest in consciousness and deeper meaning in childhood after taking up the dance with death at 12 having been hospitalized briefly. A longtime student of world religions and spiritualities; universal non-harming ethics; cross-cultural, existential, and end-of-life issues, I have trained intensively under Buddhist contemplative masters since the 1980s. I am well informed about many systems of belief that inspire or inhibit individual growth and transformation, and invite you to explore your innate impulse to transcendence in whatever form suits you.

I am modestly versed in the Theravada and Mahayana systems, and offer 30+ years of editorial skills for English Dharma-related content, as well as content from a broad range of fields. I have co-translated, edited, and/or proofread Dharma texts from many Buddhist traditions, including titles by HH Dalai Lama, B. Alan Wallace, Bhante Gunaratana, Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin, and others.

I offer death doula services, spiritual care of the dying, and existential guidance on a donation or trade basis.

In 2013, after over two decades of volunteering for Dharma centers, I completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education in Vermont and New Mexico, and have served as a Spiritual Caregiver (chaplain) in health care settings and independently. I am committed to exploring the practical application of wisdom teachings I have received in a way that is relevant to contemporary life. As a Buddhist nun, I see my role not as converting you to my chosen path of practice, but as helping you awaken to your own sources of inspiration, growth, and healing through whatever framework most resonates with you.