Zhaxi Zhuoma was born in southeastern Ohio on September 11, 1940. Her parents, of German-Irish-Ojibwa ancestry, named her Carol E. Welker after her father Carl E. Welker. She has European roots in America predating the American Revolution and with even earlier indigenous roots in the Great Lakes region.
She received her early Christian training and learned the Lutheran Catechism under Rev. F. M. Koepplin. As a young girl she was always drawn to spiritual endeavors. From very early in her life she exhibited an unusual thirst to know the truth about everything. Starting in the mid 70’s, she began having mystical experiences. In the early 80′s she began to receive a series of spontaneous initiations, but at that time no one could explain what they meant. She searched for answers in many of the traditional world religions. She became active in the Unitarian Universalist church and studied yoga with a disciple of the great Swami Yogananda. She had many, many questions. She even went back to her Native American roots to gain an understanding of what was happening to her. Although the religious leaders and medicine men or shamans to whom she told of her experiences were very understanding, they could not help her or explain why she had these experiences.
She began her spiritual quest to seek an end to the suffering that she experienced and saw in others, but she could not find any answers. Someone told her that only within Buddhism would she find the answers she was looking for. This proved to be true.
On a business trip to Asia, she found the path of the Buddha and began her search for a master who practiced and taught the true Buddha-dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Starting in the early 80s she began looking for a meditation teacher. She sat with Jack Kornfield and other Theravada practitioners in Marin County and with Zen masters in San Francisco and Berkeley. In 1985 she took refuge and received her first Buddhist precepts from Roshi Jinyu Kennett at Shasta Abbey in Northern California. In 1987 she left her job in international banking to become a nun. She practiced at many monasteries in America and in Japan with several excellent Japanese, Korean, and American Masters. Dainin Katagiri Roshi gave her the Buddhist name of Hojun. However, no matter how hard she tried to practice within these traditions, she could not find what she was looking for or the answers to her questions.
She had already been introduced to the esoteric dharma when she met her Buddha Master, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu. She had finally found the perfect guru who could answer all her questions. Her ultimate Buddha Master could communicate directly with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and had the full power of the true Buddha-dharma just like Shakyamuni Buddha! She had the extremely good fortune to train intensely and directly with her Buddha Master and receive many initiations and empowerments from His Holiness. She was also very fortunate to receive teaching from Female Dharma King, Dorje Amang Nopu Pa Mu and was able to travel extensively with her to propagate the Dharma.
She has lived for many years with Great Rinpoche Akou Lamo, who came from Tibet. Ven. Akou Lamo Rinpoche is very kind and compassionate and her state of realization is very high. Akou Lamo spends most of her time in the hermitage that they share practicing dharma. Dorje Pa Mu sent both Great Rinpoche Akou Lamo and Venerable Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche to study with His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III so that they might learn the highest dharma.
Ven. Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche personally witnessed many of the holy states associated with His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III. She was present, for example, when the magnolia tree under which His Holiness was sitting began to rain nectar and continued raining nectar for three days and nights. She was also present when this happened a few years later on her Buddha Master’s birthday. She saw the various miracles that occurred at the Bathing of the Buddha Dharma Assembly including seeing her roommate and another fellow disciple lift a pool of water that weighed over two tons. She has seen the countless Buddha Lights that accompany His Holiness and appear at the Xuanfa Institute and other places associated with the true Buddha-sharma. She heard the holy vajra pill chant mantras and watched it turn into colored light and fly away. It was at that time that she saw her Buddha Master turn into a luminous blue manifestation.
Since she has began following her most magnificent Buddha Master, she has received many, many inner tantra dharma initiations.
She found that her Buddha Master, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III, is the highest Buddha in the world and why he is recognized as such by so many outstanding enlightened Buddhists in Asia and the West. However, this great holy Buddha himself says that he is “just a humble being–a most ordinary practitioner” even though the world’s most eminent monastics and dharma kings have said that His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III is the greatest holy Buddha living in the world today.
She continues to practice the dharma that she has received from this great, holy Buddha according to “What Is Cultivation?” She was given the Tibetan name Zhaxi Zhuoma (Tashi Drolma). “Zhaxi” means auspicious while “Zhuoma” means either Tara or holy (celestial) woman. Regarding the enlightenment of meditation, she has passed that level. She has studied and is very conversant in the relationships among the various lineages and how they have been transmitted to America. She also understands and is conversant in the Laws of Cause and Effect and the principles of reincarnation. She is able to “awaken” the vajra pill and cause it to do a vajra dance telekineticly. On another occasion she had a holy red vajra pill jump wildly in the palm of her hand before she contained it in a crystal stupa. Green Tara came to the mandala at that time and flashed brilliant lights. This was the same vajra pill that had turned into colored light and flew from her hand years earlier.
She was able to have her crown opened by means of a Ni-wan initiation and has the MRI images to prove it.
In 2008-2009 the rinpoche was in charge of a delegation of other monastics and lay people to propagate the dharma contained in the book H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Her experiences on that tour have been documented in the book H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Is Living in America. She is president of the Xuanfa Institute located in Sanger, California, a nonprofit established to propagate the true Buddha-dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha and is the abbot of the Vajrasana Temple and Retreat Center that is being established there. She is in the process of establishing the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University, a distant learning program to provide free or low-cost Buddhist studies to those understanding English. She has many disciples throughout America and in Europe and Asia.
She has not only found answers to her earlier questions, but being a holy rinpoche, she knows that she needs to benefit all living beings, friends and foes alike, with the dharma she has learned and received. Her job is to benefit living beings and propagate the true dharma, which she has devoted her life to doing.