A second-generation Buddhist, Heidi grew up on an off-the-grid homestead in northern Maryland. She spent three college years in India and China and dropped out to complete a four-year meditation retreat. She went on to study Tibetan language at the Manjushri Center for Tibetan Culture in Darjeeling, India, from 1996-68, and then apprenticed herself to Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, with whom she spent six years in Nepal and India. Under his guidance, she completed the preliminary practices of the Dudjom Tersar and Longchen Nyingtik traditions. Chatral Rinpoche instructed her to study Words of My Perfect Teacher, which has been her main guidance text, and gave her permission to translate the spiritual autobiography of his root guru, Kathok Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (Wondrous Dance of Illusion, Shambhala Publications, 2013).
Under the auspices of Tsadra Foundation, Khyentse Foundation, Vajrayana Foundation, and Jnanasukha Foundation, Heidi has produced English translations of works by Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Choying Tobden Dorje, and others. She now lives in Corvallis, Oregon, with her Tibetan husband and their two children, and makes annual visits to Tibet.