Monica Esposito was born in 1962 in the Italian city of Genoa. At the age of 4, she moved with her family (father Carlo Esposito, mother Iris Barzaghi, and sister Adriana Esposito) to Padova. After graduating from High School (classics, with Greek and Latin) she studied Chinese language and philosophy at the University of Venice (Ca’Foscari), Fudan University in Shanghai, and the Ghent University in Belgium. After graduation with a thesis on Qigong in 1987, she continued her studies under the direction of Prof. Isabelle Robinet at the Department of Far Eastern Studies of the University of Paris. After obtaining the Diploma of Advanced Studies (D.E.A.) on texts of the Daoist canon in 1988, she returned to Shanghai and studied at the Academy of Social Science of Shanghai under the direction of Prof. Chen Yaoting. Her graduate studies ended in 1993 with a summa cum laude Ph.D. in Far Eastern Studies; thesis The Dragon Gate – The Longmen school of Mount Jin’gai and its alchemical practices according to the Daozang xubian (complement to the Daoist canon). During several stays in China and Tibet, Dr. Esposito conducted extensive field work on Qigong, Taiji, Daoist and Buddhist (particularly Dzogchen) practices in China.