Kapala Training

Kapala Training is a four-level training program designed for deeper learning and understanding about the Feeding Your Demons™ process and becoming certified to help others. The training offers an in-depth exploration of the Chöd teachings of 11th century Tibetan yogini, Machig Labdrön; related Mahayana teachings of Prajña Paramita; as well as the practice of Feeding Your Demons™ developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione. The Training is designed both for professionals, who can apply these practices to their healing work, and for individuals who wish to work deeply with their own ‘demons’ through contemplative practice.

About the book: Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict(Little Brown Co. 2008)

Lama Tsultrim brings an eleventh-century Tibetan woman’s practice to the West for the first time in her book, Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict (Little Brown Co. 2008), outlining an accessible and effective approach for dealing with negative emotions, fears, illnesses, and self-defeating patterns. Lama Tsultrim—one, among few female Buddhist leaders in America, and comparable to Pema Chödrön in the importance of her work—bridges this ancient Eastern practice with modern Western psyche. In her book, she explains how when we fight our demons they grow stronger. If we feed and nurture them, however, we can free ourselves from the battle. Through the clearly articulated practice outlined in Feeding Your Demons, we can learn to overcome any obstacle and achieve freedom and inner peace.

The Kapala Training levels

Kapala Training is a four-level training program designed to deepen one’s understanding and practice in the Feeding Your Demons™ process and become certified to help others by way of the process.

Kapala Training Level One

Kapala Training Level One is the first of the four-level training program, offering an in-depth exploration of the practice lineage of eleventh-century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön and the related Mahayana teachings of Prajña Paramita, the Great Mother (our own true nature). The Training is designed both for professionals, who can apply these practices to their healing work, and for individuals who wish to work deeply with their own ‘demons’ through contemplative practice.

You will learn a five-step practice based on the principles of Feeding Your Demons™.  The practice, which is outlined in Lama Tsultrim’s book, will be explored in this retreat in greater depth. You will learn to feed your demons, rather than fight them, so as to move beyond dualistic struggle.  Compassionate nurturing rather than battling outer and inner challenges develops the potential for deep healing and helps us move from polarization to integration.

Chöd, the ancient Tibetan practice, upon which the process of Feeding Your Demons™ is based, is widely used as a primary spiritual path with secondary applications to heal illnesses, stop epidemics, address obstacles, spiritual emergencies, and critical eruptions. Drawing on Mahayana teachings of the Prajña Paramita, Machig’s teachings also include insight into the nature of mind. These later developed into Mahamudra and into some lineages of Dzogchen.  The main practice on the nature of mind that will be taught and facilitated during this retreat is an open-eyed sky-gazing Prajña Paramita practice of mixing awareness with space.

Kapala Training Level One also introduces the nature of “the four demons” as taught by Machig and how they apply to addictions, illnesses, fears, relationship challenges, self-hatred, and other personal and collective demons. We will also explore the five steps of Feeding Your Demons™ through drawing and clay work.

Prerequisites: None

In Kapala Training Level 1 you will learn:

  • FYD (Feeding Your Demons) solo and partner work
  • Feeding Your Demons with drawing and clay
  • Prajna Paramita practice


Kapala Training Level Two

Kapala Training Level Two is for those who have completed Kapala Level One training and the interim assignments.  In this retreat, we will deepen our Prajña Paramita practice and be introduced to Jamgön Kongtrul’s text “Transmitting the Meaning of the Mother,” a practice on looking at the sky-like nature of mind, Prajña Paramita. We will also practice Machig Lapdrön’s sound method for cutting through discursive thoughts. We will continue our work with Feeding Your Demons™ in small groups, dyads and alone, as well as through guiding others. We will also work on a ‘demon map’ of family and relationships. There will be ample time during the retreat for discussion, and creative time alone, working with clay and painting. Completion of Level II allows you to apply for certification to use this method to help others by guiding them through the practice.  At the end of the retreat, work groups will be formed for meeting between sessions in person or by phone. Licensed healing professionals will learn to apply this work to their professional therapeutic settings.


  • 65 Feeding Your Demons processes: 50 solo and 15 with a partner
  • 108 hours of Prajna Paramita practice
  • planting or sponsoring a tree to be planted.


Kapala Training 2 includes:

  • making a body map (tracking where the 65 demons you did between Level 1 and 2 appeared in your body and reflecting on what you see in the body map)
  • male and female family lineage demon and ally maps
  • a hydra map looking at a constellation of demons
  • practices of “Transmitting the Meaning of the Mother” and “Supplication to Machig Labdrön Nature of Mind”
  • teachings on excerpts from the “Grand Poem of Aryadeva the Brahmin” and “Machig’s Last Instructions”
  • Taking and Waking practice


Kapala Training Level  3 

Kapala Training Level 3 goes more deeply into meditation practices from the Mother Lineage with less emphasis on Feeding Your Demons.


  • Kapala Training 1 and Kapala Training 2
  • completion of a total of 54 solo and 54 partner Feeding Your Demons processes begun after Level 1
  • 108 hours of “Transmitting the Meaning of the Mother”
  • 108 hours of  “Supplication to Machig Labdrön Nature of Mind” practice
  • Three Yana Retreat
  • 200 thirty minute sessions Taking and Waking


In Kapala Training 3 you will receive:

  • the Empowerment of Machig Labdrön
  • the practice of “Opening the Gate to Space”
  • the practice of “Dentog Chigma” from Machig Labdrön
  • Feeding Your Demons with dreams


Kapala Training Level 4


  • 200 hours of “Opening the Gate to Space”
  • one-month long solo Dentog Chigma Retreat at Tara Mandala ending with a fire puja
  • two-week group Dakini Retreat
  • 25 Feeding Your Demons with dream figures with tracking forms
  • 200 thirty minute sessions 4 Immeasurables practice


In Kapala Training 4 you will receive and practice:

  • Machig’s Direct Transmission from Lama Tsultrim
  • Movement practice


Kapala Training Level 5


  • 200 hours of “Machig’s Direct Transmission”


In Kapala Training 5 you will receive:

  • “Machig Labdrön and a Five Chakra Dakinis” practice from Lama Tsultrim