When Machig Labdrön asked Padampa Sangye how to best serve sentient beings, he answered:
“Approach that which you find repulsive,
Whoever you think you cannot help, help them,
Go to the places that scare you, like cemeteries,
Find the Buddha inside yourself.”
One thousand years later, the teachings of Machig Labdrön and Padampa Sangye continue to have great relevance. Their lineage of Chöd and Zhije Dug-ngal is practiced widely in the Tibetan tradition and has evolved through both kama (oral) and terma (revealed treasure) traditions. Considered one of the “Eight Great Chariots of Spiritual Accomplishment” in the Tibetan tradition, this lineage offers a paradigm of integration rather than opposition that can be applied at all levels of human life and society.
This Historic First International Chöd-Zhije Conference will draw together leading scholars and practitioners researching and teaching this unique lineage in its various manifestations. Keynotes, panel discussions, and small group sessions will be held. They will explore the teachings of 11th century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön and her teacher, the renowned Indian yogi Padampa Sangye, the developments of the lineage over the last millennium, the role of women, as well as the application of these teachings to our modern world. Dharma teachings and performances of Chöd songs and dances will foster a rich and engaged experience. Follow-up retreats will offer the opportunity to learn some of the different Chöd practices.
Never before have scholars and practitioners of this lineage gathered together for a conference. The conference represents a major step in understanding the depth of this tradition and current research. It is designed for those with scholarly interests as well as Dharma practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of Machig Labdrön’s lineage, and anyone interested in bringing this ancient wisdom into our modern world.
Machig Labdrön (center) and Padampa Sangye (top-left)