When Machig Labdrön asked Padampa Sangye how to best serve sentient beings, he answered:
“Approach that which you find repulsive,
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
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.
Follow-up Retreats July 18-23, 2017
- Chöd Retreat: The Ear-Whispered Lineage of Ganden with Kunze Chimed (Mongolian scholar, writer and singer) & Chöying Khandro. Click here for more information and registration
- Tibetan Healing Chöd with Drüpon Lama Karma. Click here for more information and registration
- Lama Tsultrim Allione, founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala, is author of Feeding your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict and Women of Wisdom and a teacher of Chöd.
- Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche, lineage holder of the Longchen Nyingthig, Zhije, and Chöd traditions, is founder of the only monastery dedicated to Chöd teachings in Nepal.
- Venerable Drüpon Lama Karma is renowned as a genuine retreat master throughout Bhutan, having spent 13 years in strict meditation retreats, and has been one of the most important Bhutanese lamas to disseminate the teachings of Terton Pedgyal Lingpa. He teaches the Chöd Rinchen Threngwa and the Chöd practice of Laughter of the Dakinis from the Longchen Nyingtik Tradition, among other practices.
- Sarah Harding translated Machik’s Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chöd, and Dudjom Lingpa’s cycle of Thröma Nakmo with Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. As a fellow of the Tsadra Foundation, she recently completed the volume on Chöd in Jamgön Kongtrul’s Treasury of Precious Instructions. She is Professor at Naropa University.
- Dan Martin, Ph.D., is a literary translator for the Institute of Tibetan Classics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has written extensively on the Zhije tradition and Padampa Sangye.
- Sangye Khandro is a highly esteemed Tibetan translator; during the past forty years she has translated many of the liturgies that accompany the Dudjom Tersar terma tradition of Chöd, and has lead numerous retreats.
- Michael Sheehy, Ph.D., is the Director of Programs at the Mind & Life Institute, and an Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of “Severing the Source of Fear: Contemplative Dynamics of the Tibetan Buddhist gCod Tradition.
- Amelia Hall, Ph.D., received her doctorate at Oxford University; her dissertation translates and reflects upon the biography of HH Kunzang Dechen Lingpa and his development of a Healing Chöd practice presented in the West. She is Assitant Professor at Naropa University.
- Kunze Chimed is a Mongolian Chöd singer, and practitioner and teacher of Chöd in the Gelugpa tradition. She has published the Manual of Chöd Practice, among other works.
- Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Ph.D., is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at University of San Diego. Working with the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and the Jamyang Foundation, she is closely in touch with Chöd practitioners in India, Mongolia, Nepal, and Siberia.
- Michelle Sorensen, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Western Carolina University. Her dissertation is entitled “Making the Old New Again and Again: Legitimation and Innovation in the Tibetan Buddhist Chöd Tradition.” She continues to research and write extensively on Machig Labdrön and Chöd philosophy and practice.
- Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., teaches various meditation practices, including Chöd and Tibetan Yoga through Ligmincha Institute, founded by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He is the author of Chöd Practice in the Bön Tradition.
- Naksang Rinpoche was recognized as a tulku by HH the 14th Dalai Lama and completed the traditional three-year meditation retreat in a cave in the Indian Himalayas. He will share the unique healing Chöd ceremony from the mind treasure of Kunzang Dechen Lingpa.
- Sarah Jacoby, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She is the author of Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro.
- Ācārya Malcolm Smith is a senior student of Dzogchen masters Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and the late Kunzang Dechen Lingpa. His most recent published translation is Buddhahood in This Life: The Great Commentaryby Vimalamitra.
- Chöying Khandro, M.A., holds the complete transmissions of the “Ganden Ensa Ear-Whispered Lineage” and “The Machig Dakini Ear-Whispered Lineage” from her teacher, the late 9th Khalkha Jetsun Dampa. Over the last three decades she has brought this rare Machig Dakini lineage to the West by translating the complete texts and leading retreats.
- Tina Lang is a graduate student in Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she is focusing on the practice and study of Chöd.
- And others…
Tara Mandala is an international Buddhist organization supporting the development of wisdom and compassion, with a primary focus on the lineage of Machig Labdrön in both its ancient Tibetan forms and its modern adaptations. Founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione and David Petit in 1993, Tara Mandala Retreat Center is located on 700 acres outside of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and is home to the Trikaya Tara Temple. See www.taramandala.org.
Registration is online only. If you have questions or problems registering, please contact Sherab at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 731-3711, ext 108.
Payment plans are available and scholarships are awarded as funds become available. Financial information and application can also be found on our website by clicking here.
Chöd Retreat: The Ear-Whispered Lineage of Ganden. July 18-23, 2017
with Kunze Chimed (Mongolian scholar, writer and singer) & Chöying Khandro.
This rarely taught Chöd practice stems from one of the two Chöd lineages of the Buddhist Gelugpa tradition. Tracing their lineage from Machig Labdrön through Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa, these Chöd practices were passed down through oral transmission (“ear-whispered”) from lama to lama and remained fairly secret, practiced primarily outside of the scholarly setting of the monastery. The lineage spread from Eastern Tibet into Amdo and finally into Inner Mongolia. Kunze Chimed and Chöying Khandro received the empowerments, teachings and practices directly from the Ninth Khalka Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche, the head of Mongolian Buddhists. The retreat will offer an empowerment, transmission and commentary of the practice, and instruction in the drum and beautiful melodies of this practice.
About Kunze Chimed
Kunze Chimed, a native of Mongolia, began her study and practice of Buddhism at the age of seventeen under the tutelage of old Mongolian Buddhist masters who survived the Communist regime. She joined the Jamyang Choeling Buddhist Nunnery in Dharamsala, India for three years, and pursued further study of Buddhist texts and philosophy at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. While in Dharamsala, she began her study with the Ninth Khalka Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche, recognized by the 14th Dalai Lama as the head of the Mongolian Buddhists. During this time she received numerous Chöd empowerments, oral transmissions and teachings and engaged in Chöd retreats at various holy sites under Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche’s direct guidance. Kunze has translated and published several works, including the Manual of Chöd Practice, the Liberator Mother Tara, and the Four Preliminary Guides of Barom Kagyu Practice. She is also a well-known singer; her CDs include “Chöd,” “The Tara Sound,” and “Vajrayogini Chöd Tsog.” For the last 13 years she has been teaching Chöd in Mongolia and Russia.
About Chöying Khandro
Chöying Khandro holds the complete transmissions of two lineages, the Ganden Ensa Ear-Whispered Lineage and the Machik Dakini Ear-Whispered Lineage, from her teacher, the late Ninth Khalkha Jetsun Dampa (1932-2012). She is among the few original students of Khalkha Jetsun Dampa who was with him since the early 1990s. For the last twenty years Chöying Khandro has devoted her life to transmitting this rare Machik Dakini lineage to the West. She brings more than three decades of intense study and practice to her teachings and has completed a number of personal retreats, including the traditional 108 Springs Retreat in the Mongolian wilderness. Chöying Khandro has recently completed a three and half year solitary retreat in the forests of Oregon. She has a M.A. in Oriental Philosophy from Waseda University in Japan and a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan. With the blessing of the late Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche, Chöying Khandro is the spiritual director of the Dakini’s Whisper: A Community for the Machik Dakini Ear-Whispered Lineage.
The Chöd tradition includes numerous healing rituals and practices to cure illnesses, promote good health, remove obstructions and clear karmic patterns. In this unique retreat, Lama Karma will teach three such practices: 1. Changbu Gyatsa, the “100 handprint” torma ritual; 2. Jungzhi Zerba, a stand-alone sadhana involving torma offerings to the elemental Dakinis (such as Tara, the goddess of air); and Döntsog Guma, a longer sadhana in which feasts are offered to the nine classes of demons/obstructors.
Drüpon Lama Karma
Venerable retreat master (drüpon) Lama Karma was born in eastern Bhutan and joined the Long-Nying Chöling Monastery at a young age. His root teacher was Lama Naljorpa, the great yogi of mahamudra and Dzogchen, from whom he received numerous vows, empowerments, instructions and oral transmissions, including the Chöd Rinchen Threngwa and the Chöd practice of Laughter of the Dakinis from the Longchen Nyingtik Tradition. A heart student of Terton Pedgyal Lingpa Rinpoche, he served as the scribe for the entirety of Pedgyal Lingpa’s Kusum Gongdü treasure cycle. Drüpon Lama Karma studied with other great teachers, including H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, H.H Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and the 16th and 17th Karmapas. He has spent over 13 years in strict meditation retreats. Drüpon is renowned as a genuine retreat master throughout Bhutan and has been one of the most important Bhutanese lamas to disseminate the teachings and maintain the tradition of Terton Pedgyal Lingpa.