One Month Practice Pilgrimage to India

With Lama Tsultrim Allione

September 30 - October 30, 2012

  • $4,665.00 – Pilgrimage to India

Including Chod Empowerment with HH 17th Karmapa and P’howa Retreat with Sey Rinpoche, Dzogchen Teachings with Lama Wangdor  

As one person on hearing of the pilgrimage said, “This is a trip of a lifetime!” And it is indeed – to go to these sacred places with these sublime teachers, all of who Lama Tsultrim has a personal connection with and receive direct pith instructions, is beyond words. The emphasis on the pilgrimage will be depth practice in each place with these special Lamas. To receive and practice the P’howa in a remote monastery in Lahaul, similar to Tibet at 10,000 ft., with the sublime yogi Sey Rinpoche in Shakya Shri’s lineage, and then Dzogchen nature of mind instructions from the quintessential yogi Wangdor Rinpoche is already incredible. Then the crowning glory will be the Chod empowerment with His Holiness Karmapa in Dharamsala. Never before has he given serious teachings to Westerners. That he is doing this is very profound, especially since in his third incarnation he wrote the first commentaries on Machig’s teachings. Below is our itinerary. There will be a limit to the number who can go to keep the group to an appropriate size, registrations will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. Requirements: at least three retreats with Lama Tsultrim or special permission.

Pilgrimage Itinerary

September 30 – October 30th, 2012

September 30: 

Arrive Delhi and rest, staying overnight in a hotel

October 1:

Fly to Kullu airport early in the morning, then drive to Manali – early brunch/lunch at Naggar and Arrive at the Ambassador Hotel, Manali early afternoon.

 October 2:


Todgen Shakya Shri

Deep in the Kullu Valley Manali is known for its beautiful Himalayan views, fruit orchards, and traditional shawls. This was the seat the great Drukpa Kagyu master Apho Rinpoche, grandson of the historic yogi Togden Shakya Shri, a terton widely renowned for his skillfully combining of the two supreme views of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. 

Here we will meet Sey Rinpoche son of Apho Rinpoche and lineage holder of the Shakya Shri tradition. Apho Rinpoche Yeshe Rangdrol, was a grandson of Drubwang Shakya Shri and was born and grew up in Tibet where he became a widely respected yogi. He was a compassionate and enlightened Master with a great sense of humor who touched the hearts and minds of many people in Tibet and in the Himalayan regions.

Apho Rinpoche and Sey Rinpoche 1973 Manali

After an arduous escape from Tibet in 1959 he settled with his wife Urgyen Chodron and four children in Manali from where he revived the Shakya Sri traditions in Lahaul, Ladhak and other Himalayan lands. Lama Tsultrim studied

with him in the early ‘70s (see photos of him and Urgyen Chodron in Women of Wisdom). Sey Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Apho Rinpoche’s root Guru was Tripon Nawang Pema Choegyal (1876-1958), the main heart student of Shakya Shri and a great tantric practioner.

In Manali we will practice in the gompa of Apho Rinpoche. Apho Rinpoche’s stupa is in Manali and a small gompa holding a miraculous statue of Shakya Shri. We will stay in a hotel next

Sey Rinpoche in his home in Manali, 2011

door to Sey Rinpoche and his family. We can also climb up to see the remains of the place where Lama Tsultrim did retreat.

Ruin of Lama Tsultrim's Retreat Cabin 2011, Manali










October 3:

Lama Tsultrim’s 65th birthday in Manali with White Dakini (Tsogyal Karmo) Tsog and Empowerment from Ngawang Gelek Namgyal, more well-known as Sey Rinpoche. His Eminence is the Third Lineage Holder of Tokden Drubwang Dugu Shakya Shri, in both the spiritual and familial senses.

October 4:

Manali – rest, play day

October 5:

Manali to Lahaul

Full days’ drive moving into a Buddhist culture close to Tibet. We will drive over the the Rotang Pass (3,980 meters / 13,051 feet), and descend into Kelong, Lahaul (10,000 feet). Apho Rinpoche had several monasteries in Lahaul and spent summers there. Lahaul is known as a Dakini Land and is connected to the Chakrasamvara tantra and there are many sacred places in this Himalayan kingdom. The famous Tibetan pilgrim Gotsangpa passed through Lahoul and wrote about the Dakini power, ancient monasteries, and meditation caves. Here we will settle into retreat camp at Chuktar Gompa

October 6 – 10:

Lahaul Key Gompa

5 Day Phowa Retreat. After we receive the P’howa empowerment from the lineage of Shakya Shri, from Sey Rinpoche we will practice it intensively under Sey Rinpoche’s guidance. This is a famous and a very powerful and effective phowa lineage and Sey Rinpoche has graciously agreed to bestow it on our group at this sacred place in the seat of the lineage.

October 11:

Lahaul – visit holy dakini pilgrimage sites of Lahaul.

October 12:

Lahaul – Manali

October 13 – 14: 

Manali – rest and as you say farewell to the higher Himalayan peaks. May visit Hadimba temple and a Drukpa gompa.

October 15: 

Manali to Tso Pema – We will wind down the Kullu Valley to the kingdom of Mandi where Guru Rinpoche met Princess Mandarava and was discovered in her nunnery.

October 16 – 22:

Dzog Chen retreat with Lama Wangdor.

Lama Wangdor Rinpoche and Lama Tsultrim, Tso Pema 2011. At Tso Pema near the Guru Rinpoche cave we will have the exquisite opportunity to receive the extensive commentary on the Tsig Sum Ne Dik, “The Three Phrases that Strike the Vital Point”, Garab Dorje’s last testament, quintessential Dzogchen nature of mind teachings will be

Wangdor Rinpoche Tso Pema

given by Lama Wangdor Rinpoche and translated by his heart disciple Lama Lena. Wangdor Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist monk and teacher who came to Tso Pema after carrying (literally) his Lama Drukpa Tugse Rinpoche to safety over the Himalayas. At the time no one lived in Guru Rinpoche Cave above Lotus Lake (Tso Pema). He stayed there alone, braving mountain lions and blizzards for decades of solitary meditation. He has achieved the state which Buddhists call realization and is respected worldwide as a venerable teacher and a master of Dzogchen meditation. In solitary retreat during the early years, he was eventually joined over time by more than 50 cave-dwelling yogis and yoginis who look to him for guidance and support. Wangdor Rinpoche holds both Nyingma and Kagyu Dzogchen/Chagchen lineages and is considered a Rime (beyond limits) teacher. He teaches from heart texts on Dzogchen, the Dzogchen (Maha-ati) and Chagchen (Mahamudra yogas) which he has received in lineage from Nyala Changchub Dorje, Kunu Rinpoche and scholars Chonchok Surmang Khenpo of Trungpa Rinpoche’s line; Tugse Rinpoche and Pumdong Key Rinpoche. We will hold practice sessions and receive daily teachings.

Tso Pema

During this time we will stay down at the sacred place of Tso Pema and visit Mandarava’s cave, Guru Rinpoche’s cave, Lama Wangdor’s big, newly completed Guru Rinpoche statue, and some of the yogin’s caves. We will also circumambulate the lake that appeared when the King of Mandi tried to burn Guru Rinpoche alive after discovering him teaching Princess Mandarava and her attendants. Instead of burning, a miraculous lake formed around him and this lake is called Tso Pema (Lotus Lake). The King of Mandi then apologized and presented Guru Rinpoche with his own regal attire. Princess Mandarava traveled to Nepal and achieved the siddhi of Long Lifewith Guru Rinpoche.

October 23 – 24:

Tso Pema to Kangra Valley

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, at her Nunnery with Lama Tsultrim 2011

We plan to visit Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s nunnery, Tashi Jong and Khampagar, sit with the Kudong (Remains) of the great Togden Amtrin & other yogis, have teachings with Dorzang Rinpoche, visit Sherab Ling and Situ Rinpoche, and stay in Bir at a typical Tibetan settlement where Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has his projects, Chokyi Lodro Institute and Deer Park.

October 25:

Bir to Dharamsala – short drive explore Dharamsala seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s seat and the Tibetan community that has grown up around him.

October 26 – 28:

Chod Empowerment with HH Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley

We are overjoyed that His Holiness Karmapa has agreed to bestow the Chod Wang from Machig Labdron at Lama Tsultrim’s bequest. Never before has the 17th Karmapa given this empowerment and it is the first time he will give serious teachings to Westerners. Gyalwang Karmapa holds the closest living lineage to the historical Machig Labdron. The third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje wrote the first commentaries on Chod and we have requested that he teach from these commentaries.Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) was an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. He reportedly produced a spontaneous black crown (which would later be a symbol of the line) at the age of three and declared himself to be the mindstream re-embodiment of Karma Pakshi (2nd Karmapa). Born to a Nyingma family, he received the full transmission of the Nyingma tradition in addition to the Karma Kagyu. The third Karmapa Lama, Rangjung Dorje, was a disciple of Nyingma Kumaradza). The latter taught Rangjung Dorje the nying-thig, “heart-essence,” teachings transmitted by Padmasambhava (the Khandro Nyingtig) and Vimalamitra (the Vima Nyingtig). Therefore, Rangjung Dorje belongs to the nying-thig lineage of the Nyingma school.

His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley

His Holiness 16th Karmapa and His Holiness Dalai Lama circa 1970

















October 29:

Travel by car from Dharamsala to Delhi

October 30:

Transfer to Delhi International airport and fly home.



Please note: Those pilgrims who are electing to stay in Dharamsala on Oct 29, 30, and
31 for teachings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama will make their own return travel
arrangements with Druk Expeditions or on their own. A large group of pilgrims will be
returning together to Delhi on Nov 1st. Please contact Druk Expeditions if you wish to be
part of this group.


 Please visit our detailed Pilgrimage Itinerary here



Important: click here to read the Pilgrimage Policies completely before registering



Total cost:   $4,665

The first payment of 50% ($2332.50) is due at registration.  $500 dollars of this is non refundable. Please see our cancellation policy on this page for more information about cancellations.

The final payment of $2332.50 is due on or before June 15, 2012.

This price does not include:   —  International flights to and from Dehli —  Domestic Indian flight from Dehli to Kullu on Oct 2nd, or —  Domestic Indian flight from Dharamsala to Dehli on Oct 30th

Domestic Indian flights will be on a first come first serve basis, the sooner you pay for the flights the sooner your place is secured on these flights. You should book your domestic Indian flights (Delhi to Kullu on Oct 2, 2012 and Dharamsala to Delhi on Oct 30, 2012) early. In order to do this, please contact Druk Expeditions, our travel agents in India. They have made a group booking at best rates.

International Flights can also be arranged by Druk Expeditions. They can coordinate so that people travel on similar flights at good rates, with best links to itinerary and available domestic flights.
0091-8527223337 (mobile)
0091-11-23738359 (office landline)

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About the Teacher


Lama Tsultrim Allione

Lama Tsultrim Allione is founder and resident lama of Tara Mandala.  She is author of Women of Wisdom and Feeding Your Demons. Born in New England to an academic/publishing family, she traveled to India in her late teens and was ordained as a Buddhist nun at the age of 22 by H.H. the 16th Karmapa. She was the first American … More

Learn more about Lama Tsultrim Allione