Elijah Sacvan Ary was born in Vancouver, Canada. In 1979, at age seven, he was recognized as the reincarnation, or tulku, of a Tibetan scholar and spent his teenage years as a monk at Sera Monastery in South India. He went on to study at the University of Quebec in Montreal and the National Institute for Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Inalco) in Paris, and he earned his PhD in the Study of Religion from Harvard University. His writings have appeared in the books Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions, Oxford Bibliographies Online: Buddhism, Contemporary Visions in Tibetan Studies, and Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists. He lives in Paris with his wife and teaches Buddhism and Tibetan religious history at several institutions.