Tara Mandala Blog
Dec 28

Year End Review (a letter from Joanne Brion, Executive Director of Tara Mandala)

Dear Tara Mandala Family,

We started out 25 years ago camping, eating from an outdoor kitchen and practicing in a tent or yurt. Now we have three beautiful buildings in which to practice, sleep, and eat. Also the land is sprinkled with solo retreat cabins with vast views of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. We hosted almost a thousand people at Tara Mandala this year! There were many new faces who connected with Lama Tsultrim through her powerful new book Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine.

We reflect on these twenty-five years with infinite gratitude for all of our donors. We could not have done it without you, and could not continue without you. Please consider making a year-end gift today. All donors will be honored with a special gift from us.


It has been two and a half years since I joined Tara Mandala as Executive Director, uprooting my life, leaving my beautiful home and thriving consulting career of thirty years and making a great leap of faith to move to this sacred place. It has been an amazing and rewarding time. Literally there is “never a dull moment” as they say.

I’ve learned how to maneuver winter and snow, get used to being covered in dirt and mud, and embrace my inner cowgirl. Everytime I step into the temple to practice I take a deep breath and take the 21 Taras into my heart. I continue to marvel at this community and its devotion, resilience and selflessness, our sangha and our dear precious teachers.

I am honored to serve Lama Tsultrim, the Board, the Community and all of you. I wanted to take this turning of the year for a moment of reflection to share some of our accomplishments over the last 2.5 years:

  • Developed an Inclusion and Diversity program with online and residential programs
  • Announced a Pay It Forward Retreat which will be the Green Tara Retreat for April 23-27, 2020 – our first purely donation based retreat
  • Created a Code of Conduct for all teachers and residents with clear guidelines on sexual harassment and ethical conduct
  • Began launching the new Ösel Nyingtig program led by Lama Tsultrim and her son Tulku Ösel Dorje. The first retreats for this program will be Dakini Ngöndro: The Excellent Path of Great Bliss on July 4-9, 2020, and Tröma Nagmo: The Path of Secret Primordial Wisdom on August 11-15, 2020
  • Revamped the Dakini Store with better pricing and beautiful new products
  • Designed a new Feeding Your Demons® Certification Program to be launched 2020
  • Following Lama Tsultrim’s lead we began to clarify our succession plan which already includes Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Magyu Lopön Charlotte Rotterdam, and Dorje Gyaltsab Tulku Ösel Dorje
  • Piloted a new Living Dharma Program successfully transitioning from volunteers to resident practitioners that attracted excellent serious students in its first year
  • Invested resources towards a growing Online Programs department and installed high speed internet on the land
  • Hired a manager to support our Global Sanghas
  • Curated an amazing team of experienced and creatively competent staff Instated new policies and programs, including new “inclusive” language for transgender and non-binary people
  • Completed the first four mandalas of 25 ceiling mandalas in the temple

But the biggest measure and reward has been when long-time Sangha members say how wonderful, calm, and stable their experiences have been on the land! We couldn’t do any of this without your continued support and donations. Thank you from all of us at Tara Mandala!

On the land, Tara Mandala continues to provide a place of refuge and empowerment, integrating the sacred masculine with divine feminine. We are honored to welcome our Authorized Teachers and distinguished guest teachers to the 2020 retreat season with programs such as:

To explore 2020 programs, click here! If you would like to share our beautiful 2020 Catalog with friends, click here for a PDF or email registrar@taramandala.org for hard copies.

As this decade and year comes to an end, it would be auspicious to make a generous gift to Tara Mandala to help us reach our goal of $55,000 for the Fall Campaign and continue all these initiatives. You can make a tax-deductible gift to our Annual Fund, here. No gift is too small, and any gift creates a connection between Tara Mandala and your karmic stream.

As a token of gratitude for your generosity, we are recognizing gifts of:

  • $2,500 or more with a cashmere shawl
  • $500 to $2,499 with a limited edition 3” Machig Labdrön Statue or a Machig Labdrön Bone Pendant (your choice)
  • $100 to $499 with a Tara Mandala Insulated Thermos

Thank you all for your support, your kindness, your encouragement, and engagement in all that is Tara Mandala. May your holidays be filled with love, joy and warmth. May we all remain connected in the Dharma and may Lama Tsultrim live a long and healthy life! Emaho!

With deep appreciation and love,

Joanne Brion
Executive Director
Tara Mandala

Photos: Stupa (Deborah Howe), Temple ceiling mandalas (Bodhi), Temple and snow (J. Brownlee)