Lama Tsultrim Allione joins her longtime friend, Grammy-nominated chant artist Krishna Das, in a fascinating dialogue during Tara Mandala’s 20th anniversary celebration weekend in September 2014.
Krishna Das, recognizable by many as the “Rock Star of Yoga,” first followed his teacher Baba Ram Dass to India in 1970, the same year that Lama Tsultrim took ordination, and he spent two and a half years studying with Ram Dass’s guru Neem Karoli Baba – known to most as Maharaj-ji.
KD (as he’s affectionately called by fans and friends) first met Lama Tsultrim in Bodhgaya while sitting Vipassana retreats with S.N. Goenka. They remained friends through their years in India. Occastionally, KD and friends would make trips to “go see Ani-la” so that they could hear stories of her mystical experiences. Eventually, both returned to the west and pioneered the integration of their own traditions into the west.
Today, Krishna Das is a worldwide icon and the best-selling chant artist of all time, with over 300,000 records sold and one Grammy-nominated album (‘Live Ananda,’ 2012). In addition to his Bhakti Yoga practice (the yoga of devotion), he continues to study and practice with a number of great Tibetan Buddhist Lamas, including Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
After four years as a nun, Lama Tsultrim returned her vows and moved to Italy to start a family. She began to teach under such illustrious gurus as Chögyal Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and eventually founded her own practice community in New York. In 1994, she founded the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Southwest Colorado with her late husband David, based on an early vision she had of a land devoted to intensive spiritual practice. Today, the international Tara Mandala community has practice groups in more than 10 countries, and supports thousands of practitioners worldwide.