CAROL ERMAKOVA was born in Malaysia in 1967 and much of her first two years was spent travelling with her family before they returned to live in the UK.
Carol studied modern languages and literature at St. Andrews University, Scotland, graduating in 1992 with First Class Honours. She also holds an MA in Contemporary Russian Studies from SSEES, London University (1994), and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Bath University (2005). She has worked as an English Language teacher in Italy, Russia and the UK, and has also assisted many Bönpo Geshes in their language studies, notably Geshe Gelek Jinpa, Ponlob Tsangpa Tenzin, Drubdra Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin, Khenpo Rakhyung Kalsang Norbu.
Many of her literary translations have been published in journals such as The London Magazine, Litro and Steppe. Her work has also been included in anthologies such as Squaring the Circle, Winners of the Debut Prize, 2010 and Shadowplay on a Sunless Day. Carol currently works as a freelance, self-employed translator in the North Pennines, UK.
It was as a student in St. Andrews that she first became interested in Tibetan Buddhism when a friend took her to visit Karma Kargyu Samye Ling, Eskdalemuir, Scotland. Struck by the strong spiritual energy of the rituals, Carol returned several times to sit with the monks, first in the atmospheric puja room, then in the newly-built temple. It was not until 1994, however, that she received her first Buddhist teachings, from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
She met Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche in Amsterdam in 1995, when he was teaching The General Presentation of the Outer Views in Twelve Chapters from Zhang Zhung Nyengyud Dzogchen cycle and immediately asked to attend the small retreat to be held in Wels, Austria, the following month. With the exception of 2003, Carol has attended his teachings in Europe every year since, as well as visiting Triten Norbutse several times.