Founder of the Overcoming Problems System
Gen Chris Ngawang Yangchen (Roberts) Tibetan Buddhist Nun and Teacher
Gen Chris Ngawang Yangchen was recognised in 2006 for starting a new system of Buddhism and this recognition was formalised in 2008 by H.H. Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche, H.E. Geshe (Professor) Khensur Rinpoche Ngawang Thekchok and H.E. Khejok Tulku Rinpoche.
Gen-la has been studying Tibetan Buddhism since 1980. Her teacher, His Eminence Khejok Tulku Rinpoche founded the Institute and is Spiritual Director. Rinpoche was an Abbot, a fully qualified Tibetan Lama (Geshe) and a Traditional Tibetan Medical Practitioner. Unfortunately, Rinpoche passed away in 2013.
Gen-la has been with Rinpoche from the first day he arrived in Australia in 1987 and is his first non-Tibetan student. She met H.H. Kalkha Rinpoche and received teachings from him in 1998. In 2007 he visited the Institute and Geshe (Professor) Khensur Rinpoche visited the Institute in 1996 and 2004.
Developing and teaching the Overcoming Problems System
In 1992, H.E. Khejok Rinpoche placed Gen-la in a unique position, asking her to teach Buddhism in a Traditional Tibetan Medical Institute.
In 1993, he prophesied that Gen Chris Ngawang Yangchen would be teaching people how to overcome problems. By 1998 her classes had evolved into the Overcoming Problems system.
Environmental, social and cultural issues
Gen-la is possibly one of the few survivors of heavy exposure in the 70’s to the herbicide 245T, which contains a dioxin that has been labelled as probably the most toxic molecule ever made by man.
In Traditional Tibetan Medicine there is a prophecy that talks about environmental degradation and mental health issues causing illness.
As the result of these two factors Gen-la is interested in environmental problems and mental health issues and their causes. The courses therefore, examine the cause of environmental, social and cultural issues and how they create problems in everyday life.
Working in the community
Gen-la has served on the NSW Cancer Council’s Ethics Committee and was the Buddhist representative on the Women’s Interfaith Network for which she was a founding committee member.
She also taught Buddhism for two years in the Ashfield Uniting Church, where Rev. Bill Crews runs the Exodus Foundation that works with disadvantaged and marginalised people.
Gen-la has made presentations at conferences, both international and in Australia. She has taught within a diverse range of organisations, including universities, hospitals and community groups to doctors, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, counsellors, and the physically and mentally ill. She has also taught many groups from all the major schools of Buddhism, and within other religious and philosophical organisations. Photo History
Townsville and Sydney centres
In 1998, Gen-la began to teach the Overcoming Problems courses and in the same year was requested to teach the courses at Tibetan Buddhist Healing Practices in Townsville, Queensland. She has been developing the Overcoming Problems System and teaching the courses in both centres ever since.