Dido Dunlop

Dido has been teaching Tibetan Buddhist meditation since 1978, and has longstanding groups in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. 

‘In 1968, H.H. the Dalai Lama asked me ‘Do you know who you are?’ At first I thought I did; as we talked, I realised I had no idea. My work grew out of that question.’ She teaches Tibetan meditation, in a way that applies inner transformation to developing a compassionate healthy world. 

Deep concern about climate chaos leads her to foster social
change, through meditation and building community. She is a
Transition Towns Trainer, and uses the work in this book for
the inner Heart and Soul work of Transition Towns. She is
involved in creating intentional community, in permaculture ecovillages and other settings; also active in reducing coal use. 

She travelled widely, and saw how different cultures live. She’s a painter, potter, singer, dancer; sitar was her first spiritual practice. The many strands in her life contribute to a vision of how we can embody a much needed paradigm shift to sustainable culture. 

Five years of psychoanalysis opened the way to meditation. She trained in counselling, co-counselling, and group work, including 1,300 hours of Psychodrama director training. She worked five years as an art therapist. One teacher, Cecilie Kwiat, said she became a teacher of compassion because of the suffering she had, from both painful emotions and health issues. This gave her thorough understanding of how to work with difficult emotions: a crucial part of facing into climate change and cultural transition. 

Most who’ve worked with her are women: she explores what works for women’s spiritual path. She is an avid seeker of the Great Mother traditions that lie obscured within Tibetan Buddhism and Western traditions. This led her to the ecofeminist model for social change. 

Her life is an experiment in how to integrate intensive spiritual practice in daily life. Her work emerged in response to what students found useful. She found what works for westerners is often different from traditional methods. She leads groups in the life-affirming partnership model, and explores creative ways of working with Tibetan practice, towards a natural spirituality accessible for people in our times. 

She’s done over six years of formal retreat, and studied with both Westerners and traditional Tibetan teachers. She received her first heart-teachings from H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama, in an hour-long personal interview in India in 1968. In 1976 she began studying Chen Yen (Chinese Tantric) Buddhism in London under Nagaboshi Tomio, who qualified her to teach the five Elements of his tradition. From 1981 she studied in the Tibetan Kagyu with Canadians Namgyal Rinpoche, Tarchin Hearn and Cecilie Kwiat. Tarchin trained her to teach in their lineage. Namgyal’s lineage brings the teachings to new places; Dido follows his example of creative exploration in teaching methods. 

Since Namgyal’s death in 2003 she’s studied with Adzom Paylo Rinpoche, a Lama who lives in Tibet, who asked her to teach selected practices of Dzogchen Nying-tig. She also studied with Chimie Rigdzin Rinpoche, Kenpo Tsultrim Gyatso, and Lopon Tenzin Namdak of Yungdrung Bön. 

She has two degrees from Oxford University: MA in Greek, Latin and English literature and philosophy; and Cert Fine Art. 


We can’t give up on precious Mother Earth when she needs us most. You can talk and include all the climate and system change you want in meditations, to me, I find them one of the few helpful, resonating, affirming, encouraging, hopeful, real help I have in coping with these challenges. Please don’t stop crafting these very precious, rare and valuable teachings of yours. Please don’t you give up on our gorgeous, beautiful, precious realm and all its beloved dear beings, especially those who need us. Kirstine

Dido has been my constant Buddhist meditation teacher for 25years. Daily I have listened to her recorded teachings, whilst weekly I have met with a group following her teachings, often with her present. This has sustained me through decades of illness and post traumatic stress.

From her extensive knowledge, and many years of meditation retreat, as well as her therapist training, Dido has formulated an accessible path for westerners into classic Tibetan Buddhist meditation. This includes a profound understanding of the psychological principles behind Tibetan iconography and a practical application of visualisation to distinguish ‘poisons’ and ‘wisdoms’.

Our group of meditators know that we can present anything that comes up in our lives for dialogue together to work it through to a wise perception and practice.

Cassandra Wall

A long friendship with Dido Dunlop  (for Dido’s website)By Rachel O’Leary As Dido sank into meditation beside the spring, the air changed around her. Peace welled up with the spring water. Robins and blackbirds came to drink, and my eyes took in the surface sparkle, many greens, deeper silence. My reverence for my friend grew.Crawling into a neolithic tomb together, we giggled – and sought the minds of the people who built these chambered cairns to link future generations to their honoured ancestors and the great goddess. Our friendship began at a workshop where we honed our listening skills. We continue to meet twice a week by video call. We take turns to listen and hold each other’s pains – and usually end up laughing like kookaburras. (This is a great way to shake out difficult emotions!) We also support each other’s writing; and have developed overlapping visions of a sustainable future. Dido brings rare intelligence to her 50 years of study of Buddhism. She understands this ancient tradition as a way to develop compassionate love, even for damaged souls. She creates nature-based guided meditations which speak to us, translating Tibetan wisdom into imagery that speaks to westerners. I love working with her on her books; it’s fun as well as moving. She offers techniques to root activist group work in wise maturity and avoid the splits that defeat movements so often. Disability and sickness often limit her energy but never her passion – to create a way of living in harmony with nature and our precious climate.Rachel O’Leary, Author 
I’m fortunate to have known Dido Dunlop for over 40 years.  She’s a complex woman. A beautiful soul, coupled with a bright mind and an aliveness that’s a joy to be around.  
She’s a great friend, a gifted artist, a deep listener, a depth eco-feminist meditation teacher for beginner to advanced meditation practitioners, and an art therapist. who?
I’m fortunate to have known Dido Dunlop for over 40 years.  She’s a complex woman. A beautiful soul, coupled with a bright mind and an aliveness that’s a joy to be around.  She’s a great friend, a gifted artist, a deep listener, a depth eco-feminist meditation teacher for beginner to advanced meditation practitioners, and an art therapist.  Dido is a has an interest in sustainable living and community development. For example, she has completed the (link: Transition Town Trainer = https://transitionnetwork.org/) course.  She has also worked with others to establish an eco-village in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The roots of her community liberation and sustainability work go way back to her time living in squats with activists in London in the 1970s. Her commitment to liberation in the inner realms – the heart, the mind – and to the outer ,-to our beautiful plant and all living things, is an inspiration to me, and to many others.   She is the embodiment of four great loves, generosity, kindness, compassion and equanimity – the latter for stepping back to get a bigger perspective.   I recommend, without hesitation, Dido to anyone interested in meditation for the cultivation of creativity, healing and liberation – for oneself and for a sustainable, just, world. Helen LynesMeditation practitioner. Certificates in Analytic Psychotherapy (Churchill Clinic), Masters Degree, International Community Development (Deakin University) Previously CEO, WA Association for Mental Health; CEO Ishar Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health; University lecturer, ECU.   Currently retired, a grandmother, a land care volunteer and a climate activist, Western Australia.  
Dido has been my meditation teacher and mentor for 25 years and I so value her constant support and direction in my life.  She has a truly individual understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, which is always fresh and profound, and her feminism has been a guiding factor in her path.
As the teacher of our small group of two (three, until recently) over the 25 years she has been able to tailor the meditations to our individual needs, always moving us on to a greater enjoyment and understanding of the Dharma.
Dido has coped with long-term chronic illness with patience and fortitude, boyed up by a great sense of humour, warmth, and an excellent intellect.
Susanna Geddes