May 04

Birthday of Machig Labdrön

“Love, compassion, and the resolve for enlightenment—these three are the life tree of my dharma system. Don’t be without these three attitudes even for a second.”

~ Machig Labdrön, from Machik’s Complete Explanation by Sarah Harding

A Thousand Years of Wisdom

Machig Labdrön was an 11th century Tibetan yogini whose teachings and practices of Chöd have profoundly influenced all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. She was unique in being both a woman and Tibetan, diverging from the traditional norm of male, Indian Buddhist masters. Her life is an inspiring story of a committed practitioner, at-times beggar woman, brilliant teacher, mother and lineage founder.

This extraordinary yogini lived from 1055-1153, and her birthday is celebrated on the 15th day of the 3rd lunar month in the Tibetan calendar, which this year falls on May 5th, this Friday!

Below are some ideas for honoring Machig’s life and legacy on her birthday. Tune in to the Tara Mandala Network for these community activities, and enjoy all of our celebrations on May 5! Browse these activities below:

  1. Accumulate the practice of Chöd: whether on your own or with a group online, immerse yourself in the experience of this profound practice; and if you don’t know it yet, you are welcome to participate in a session offered by one of our sanghas – just come, rest and receive the healing blessing of this practice. To join the practice sessions marking this special day, click here
  2. Take Chöd outside: this is a wonderful opportunity to do this “charnel ground practice” in a place where suffering has been great and where you may feel a deep sense of fear, anxiety, sadness or self-clinging.
  3. Engage in a Prajñaparamita practice: as the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom was Machig’s primary inspiration and the founda­tion of her teachings, dedicate your time to meditate on the Great Mother
  4. Go through the Feeding Your Demons® process with a partner: look for a person in the network to hold each other in the FYD process employing principles of the Chöd practice. Click here
  5. Make offerings: celebrate Machig’s birthday by paying homage with a Tsog (feast offering) by yourself or while connecting with fellow network members
  6. Sponsor flowers: make a flower sponsorship accompanied by a prayer request dedicated to a loved one, special event, or anything that resonates strongly in your heart. We shall be reading all prayer requests during our community practice on Friday. To make an offering, click here
  7. Decorate your altar: set up an image or a statue of Machig, place related practice texts and auspicious gifts of water, incense, fruits and flowers
  8. Watch the specially selected video on the life of Machig: join us for a pre-recorded teaching session from Lama Tsultrim Allione on Machig Labdrön’s personal life and her spiritual devel­opment. This video will be available on the Tara Mandala Network this weekend. Click here
  9. Contemplate Machig’s slogans: choose a verse that resonates most with you and offer it to others as an opportunity for reflection. Share here
  10. Offer Long Life Prayers for Lama Tsultrim: join us in making aspirations of long life and good health for Lama Tsultrim, recognized as an emanation of Machig Labdrön. To view Lama’s Long Life Prayers, click here.

Share in the above activities and celebrations with us on the Tara Mandala Network. To visit the network, or to register, click here »


Offerings to Honor and Support the Flourishing of Chöd

Compose an Aspiration or Prayer with your Flower Offering, to be recited on Friday in the Tara Temple. Click here »

Lama Tsultrim offers an hour long video teaching on the Life of Machig, available on the Network through the weekend. Click here »

Raise your drums and voices in the chorus of the resounding rhythms cutting through the duality of hope and fear. Save 20% on all Chöd Drums, now until June 18th, with discount code DRUM20. Click here »

Retreats to Connect Deeper With Machig Labdrön and Chöd

Heart Essence of Profound Meaning: A Chöd Study Intensive

With Lama Sarah Harding • May 27 – June 17

Online Study Intensive

The Heart Essence of Profound Meaning is the root of most of the later instructions on Severance (Chöd), the enactment of the perfection of wisdom. We will delve into these teachings – the root verses and an extensive auto-commentary written by Jamyang Gönpo, a disciple of Machik’s son Gyalwa Döndrup, making them possibly the earliest such explanations. Lama Sarah Harding will provide in-depth instructions based on this comprehensive commentary, which she is currently translating, as well as providing the historical background and context in which these teachings developed … Read more »

CNNR Chöd Daylong Practice Intensive

With Lopön Karla Jackson-Brewer, M.S. • June 17

Virtual Daylong Retreat

Devoted Chöd practitioner and Teacher Lopön Karla Jackson-Brewer will offer a special opportunity for seasoned and brand new Chöd practitioners to receive support in their practice, ask questions and receive advice with helpful tips and reinforcement … Read more »

May the teachings and practices of Machig flourish and radiate out in all directions, offering beings a guide into living with fearless compassion and limitless love.

~ With Blessings,
The Tara Mandala Family

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