Chöd of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
Jul 17

Chöd of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

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Welcome to the Chöd of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

Cut through fear, fixation and clinging, by nurturing not fighting, what disturbs our mind.


We are very happy you have chosen to join us to learn this very powerful and timely practice. May you receive the benefit of the profound healing of this practice and may that benefit be shared by all beings.


What is Chöd?

Developed in the 11th century by the great Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön, the practice of Chöd is at the heart of her lineage and has slowly transformed from an obscure practice lineage into a cornerstone of multiple schools of Tibetan Buddhism.  Instead of banishing or fighting with negative forces, Chöd facilitates the ceremonial offering of one’s own body as sustenance for the benefit of beings. Unlike the images common to many spiritual traditions where the giver gives at a detriment to their own vital force, in this offering there is neither depletion nor detriment to the giver. Through this profound act of love, one’s self-clinging is undermined and awakening naturally dawns.

A unique blend of the Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Tibetan Shamanic traditions, with deep philosophical roots in the Prajñāparamitā (Perfection of Wisdom) literature, Chöd – the practice of severance –  is a profound ritual of healing for oneself and for the world.  Chöd practitioners in Tibet were long renowned for their supreme healing capacity, especially in instances of epidemic disease.



We created self-paced online programs to meet people who are learning and practicing in the midst of the business of modern life. While this course gives you the freedom to meet the teachings within the rhythm of your own life, we highly recommend that you set a schedule for yourself that includes a regular study time (we recommend once a week) and a regular practice time (ideally daily.) Setting a schedule will support you immensely in realizing your intention for this course.

Do not feel pressured to learn it all at once!  Allow yourself to go at your own pace, taking it one step at a time: begin by learning the melodies, then add another elements, the drumming, or the bell until you can do it all together.  Whenever you feel ready, join one of our regular practice groups (see “Community” below).



  • Teaching Materials: Your registration allows you to return to access/review the lessons at your own pace through the course of your study.  Any pdfs of texts etc. are included as downloadable files.  A hardcopy of our practice text is available through our Dakini Store.
  • Ritual Items: The practice is accompanied by a Chöd drum and bell, creating a ritual environment that is rich with many layers of symbolic and energetic depth.  You can find these and other items to support your practice by visiting our Dakini Store.   
  • If you have any questions or special requests you can contact our Dakini Store directly.
    • Purchases made at the Dakini Store directly support the mission and operation of Tara Mandala as well as many talented craftsmen and artisans.
  • Become a Sustaining Sangha Member and enjoy a 5% discount all year round!



  • Online Practice Communities: Once you have begun the practice, please go to our satellite sangha practice calendar to find a group that you can practice with.  Chöd practice is offered several times a month by several of our sanghas. New practitioners are always welcome.


  • Discussion Forum:  Although this is a self-paced course, we encourage you to share your experience and reflections on the discussion forum, which is a private group on Mighty Networks, Tara Mandala’s community platform.  Especially in a virtual community, your voice is a gift that breaks the wall of anonymity and builds a bridge across time and space to fellow travelers on this path. We are students and teachers to each other. Jump in!
    • Click here to join the CNNR Chӧd Practice Community group


Note: A “Lung” is required prior to doing this practice.  It is an oral transmission which contains the blessings and energetic purity of the lineage.  It can only be received live (not by recording) and we offer them about every 3 months.  If you have not received the Lung for this practice, please go here to register for the next one.   It is a donation based event.



  • Technical Support: For any problems accessing your course please reach out to
  • Online Program Support:  For all other questions related to online programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Online Programs Coordinator at


Website Navigation:

  • You will find your individual lessons in the course content menu below.
  • The lessons must be completed in order and each page must be marked “complete” (red button at the bottom of each lesson page) or you will not be able to proceed to the next lesson.
  • If you have any difficulty navigating this portal, please refer to our step-by-step instruction in our website navigation guide or watch this short video.


    May 9, 2022 at 12:27 pm · Reply

    I cannot fully express the depth and breadth of my gratitude for these online teachings. As a mother to two boys, who homeschools her children, I fit in my practice when I can. I was so hungry for the dharma beyond what I could access reading the commentaries and texts on the Chöd practice and the Prajnaparamita. I am taking these classes at midnight some days, or marathoning two or three sessions when they spend the weekend with their grandparents. Thank you so very much!

    • sarah.thompson-1801
      May 9, 2022 at 2:12 pm · Reply

      Hi Cynthia,
      Thanks so much for sharing your appreciation, and it is wonderful that you have (and are making!) the opportunity for these teachings.
      It is so helpful that we can study them in our own time, around family commitments.
      That is the beauty of self-paced courses.
      So glad you are finding benefit in them 🙏💫✨
      Many thanks for joining us,

  2. ratna
    February 10, 2022 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    Some info on the 24 great places:

    sarva mangalam!

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      February 14, 2022 at 3:44 pm · Reply

      Thank you for this post!
      I haven’t worked with Lama Tsultrim in awhile and this slipped to the very back burner.
      I have been wanting to know these myself forever!
      Isabelle (online programs host)

  3. Alejandro Rodriguez
    January 9, 2022 at 2:14 am · Reply

    Hello! First of all, thank you so much for this self-paced course! It is really incredible and so full of insight! As I internalise my practice now, I keep on going back to watch the videos and there are always new levels of meaning or references that I had not seen before!

    I was wondering if there is a set date for the next transmission in 2022?

    Also, I was looking at the calendar and the last practice session for the Chöd of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche was in December. Are there any new sessions scheduled? I have seen there are other chöd sessions scheduled, but I think they are for a different chöd practice? 🙂

    Thank you so much everyone and stay healthy and safe!
    Love from Scotland!

  4. Katharina Vogel
    December 8, 2021 at 11:50 am · Reply

    Dear Mandala-Team
    I¨m so greatful for this self paced program. Every time I’ m going through the Chöd insturctions of Lama I discover something new.
    In the introduction part Lama talked about the 24 sacred place all over the world. Is there a map of this places? I’m very interested in that map.
    Thank you for responding

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      December 8, 2021 at 7:13 pm · Reply

      Hello Katarina!
      Happy to hear how it is for you.
      Yes. It seems there is always more that opens up to us as we go.

      I remember that comment! I will need to ask Lama Tsultrim.
      It might take me some time to get back to you, but I’m working on it!
      I would like to know too:-)
      Thank you for your practice!


  5. Barbara Solarz
    October 27, 2021 at 9:56 am · Reply

    I really appreciate being able to learn the CNNR Chöd practice in this way, being able to review different modules again and again. It’s is so well produced & organized! One of the downloads includes the three seed syllables, OM, AH, HUM; however, Lama Tsultrim also teaches a fair bit on the short AH and HAM and I am wondering if it might be possible to have a download of those seed syllables as well since they are an important part of the feast visualization. Thanks so much!

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      October 27, 2021 at 7:10 pm · Reply

      Hi Barbara
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I will check with our graphics person if we can whip something up and will post here to let you know if/where we have posted it.
      Thank you for the suggestion!
      Online Programs Coordinator

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      October 28, 2021 at 4:16 pm · Reply

      Hello Barbara
      That was quick! I have a really beautiful pdf ‘A-Hang’ from our graphics person to aid in the visualization.
      It has been posted to the “Downloads” section.

      Thank you for the great suggestion!

      • Barbara Solarz
        October 29, 2021 at 12:23 pm · Reply

        E MA HO! That was indeed really fast. Thank you and thanks to the graphics team!

        • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
          October 29, 2021 at 12:33 pm · Reply


  6. Landon
    September 19, 2021 at 11:44 pm · Reply

    Hello! Firstly, I just want to express my gratitude at having the opportunity to learn about this amazing practice in this format. It has been an invaluable help, especially considering travel has become all but impossible with COVID. Lama Tsultrim’s explanations are direct, and Lopon Chandra’s and Erik’s instrument instructions are easy to follow and very helpful. I have one question concerning the kangling. Are there any teachings from Lama Tsultrim concerning the different kangling sounds as they appear in the Chod practice text? (OM, HUM, TRAM, HRI, AH). Do they correspond with the different classes of guests or something else? I am practicing mimicking the sounds as in Lopon Chandra’s video of the practice, but just wanted to get any more info if I can.

    Thank you for your time!

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      September 26, 2021 at 2:36 pm · Reply

      Dear Shaw,
      Not being a teacher, I can not respond to your question but I will consult with one of our teachers and get back to you. We do not go into any instructions regarding the kangling because the instrument is considered an element for experienced practitioners only. In fact, one of our authorizes teachers has told me that it is said that when the student is ready a kangling will present itself. As this course is intended to be an introduction, it was not appropriate to add specific teachings here. We do have (at least several times a year) opportunities to do live day-long Chod retreats and this is an excellent place to receive teachings about the kangling and it’s use in the practice. For now, in your own practice, simply focus on the text omitting the kangling section. Thank you for your very good question in the meantime!
      Online Programs Coordinator

  7. Gwenyth James
    August 30, 2021 at 3:57 am · Reply

    For many years/decades I’ve wanted to learn Chod and I was thrilled when I finally got the opportunity. I got my drum and started practicing – it was much harder than I anticipated. Three classes in I became totally overwhelmed by the practice – it was the most complex practice I’ve ever attempted. I became frightened of it and stopped – but now I feel ready to try again. I feel it will take me a lifetime to really learn this one Chod!

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      August 30, 2021 at 1:20 pm · Reply

      So glad to hear it!
      It won’t take you as long as that:-)
      Give yourself permission to just learn one thing at a time.
      Begin with the melodies, then add the bell and finally the drum and know that it does take a LITTLE time but not a lifetime!
      Also be sure to check our practice calendar where you can join other practitioners
      Keep us posted!
      Online Programs Coordinator

  8. Lori Bessler
    March 31, 2021 at 9:43 pm · Reply

    Wow, this is an amazing history about Machig Lobdron. I just read where someone else said they were born with a birthmark between their eyes, and so was I. Mine also faded as I grew up, but wow! The synchronicities!

    • kaleigh.carter-3560
      April 6, 2021 at 11:53 am · Reply

      Hi Lori,

      What an incredible synchronicity indeed! Sounds like you found the right lineage to practice in! 🙂 I’m so glad you are enjoying this course!


    • Yonah
      April 8, 2021 at 5:18 pm · Reply

      Lori, that’s fascinating!

  9. Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli
    January 19, 2021 at 8:18 am · Reply

    I’m honoured to be taking part in this course, which I have felt drawn to for a long time. Just listening to the biography of Machig Labdrön, I felt amazed and excited — I have had the dakini heart surgery dream! I was also born with a birthmark on my forehead between my eyes, which my parents called my “bindi.” It faded in childhood. To me this somewhat explains why just hearing about chöd for the first time, I thought, “I have to find a way to do that practice, it’s not optional.”

    • Isabelle - Online Programs Tara Mandala
      January 26, 2021 at 7:28 pm · Reply

      Love hearing the various synchronicities that bring people to these practices.
      The connection seems powerful and you couldn’t be at a more perfect place (the Chod practice) to meet Machig.
      Please keep letting us know how it goes and don’t forget to search “satellite sangha practice calendar” on our website to find some of the Chod practice groups we have. They are led by some wonderful teachers and practicing in community is especially great now.

      Welcome to Chod Yonah!
      (online programs coordinator)

  10. Margaret Freier
    October 15, 2020 at 12:56 pm · Reply

    Good Afternoon,

    I’m thrilled to be able to participate in this online program. About 2000, I was completely drawn to and given antique Tibetan kangling and silver decorated scull cup, which had been smuggled out of Tibet to earn a practitioner’s ability to leave. While I deeply enjoyed the benefits from keeping the items on my meditation practice altar, I donated both items so that others – who needed to – could use them for tantric practice. Finally, taking this course, somehow I feel like I’m coming home. Hope this isn’t TMI. One question. Do we need a kangling as well?

    Best, Margaret

    • Isabelle B
      October 15, 2020 at 1:31 pm · Reply

      Hi Margaret
      Welcome! That is all VWI very wonderful information 🙂
      I love hearing everyone’s stories, and leaving it hear is like having a guestbook where we can feel the presence of all the other travelers who have passed here before. Thank you!
      As for the Kangling, you will have PLENTY to get used to with the bell and drum.
      At the beginning, just getting the melodies is good before even trying to use and instrument. Take your time.
      Lopon Chandra has told me that it is said that when the practitioner is ready for a Kangling, one will come. So I am sure your gift will come back to you at some point in some shape or form. I took this course almost a year ago and can feel that I am not yet needing, or ready for the Kangling. I have also heard that it was traditional to play 5 years before leading the drumming in Chod ceremony. So we need to expand our sense of time and relationship a bit in the West. Enjoy! It sounds very much like this practice will be a home for you.
      Glad you have joined us
      and be sure to look for practice groups on our local sangha practice calendar. We have several ongoing Chod groups.
      Isabelle (online programs coordinator)

  11. Maeve Leroux
    August 14, 2020 at 9:48 am · Reply

    Hello all! I sent an email to info@taramandala regarding this, but realize that here would be a good place to ask as well!
    My partner and I were recently introduced to the practice of Chod and immediately felt compelled to engage in it! We were heartened to find such wonderful resources here! However, we found these resources just a little after the last opportunity for Lung for the self study programme. So, the question then being: does anyone know when the next chance for lung might be for this, so that we may register? At the moment we’re gathering resources for the practice, and I am looking at making a kangling out of potentially elk bone (I read that in Tibet ox bone kangling were sometimes made, and this piqued my interest!) I understand there may not be any info on a potential ‘when’ but definitely wanted to ask!
    Thank you kindly!

    • Isabelle Bailey
      August 14, 2020 at 11:53 am · Reply

      Dear Meave
      Hello! Welcome!
      A kanglink from elk bone! Wow! You will have to let us know how that goes. I am sure Machig would approve 🙂
      The next Lung will be October 17th. I don’t have the link but I will post to your course… so look for it… or reach out to me at
      Please lmk that you received this response
      Isabelle (online programs coordinator)

  12. Colby Preciado
    August 9, 2020 at 10:10 am · Reply

    Now that I can work the damaru and bell while singing and visualizing, I have taken my practice outside. I’ve had some pretty intense experiences. The first time I practiced at night, I went out by the forest and performed on top of some kind of cistern. I usually don’t fear the dark but I did this night. It was a new moon, so very dark. I had a couple candles to light my music sheet. the mixture of the drum and bell, the sound of water underneath me, insects, and flicker of candles, created vivid illusions. I saw things surrounding me and could hear strange sounds. The air even moved around in a strange way. I was terrified. It was like being a child again, afraid of the boogeyman. Wanted nothing more than to get up and run back to the safety of my house. Then I thought: this! This is it! This is Chöd! I resolved to just let go and just let my panic flow without trying to stop it and the experience became very serene.
    I’ve realized that all the actions keep my body mind and speech so engaged that I lose myself in the act. Just by studying and contemplating the song I have come to truly understand teachings and what I read. It has opened up so many doors. I think it really does contain everything and is a path in itself. The weave, the continuation and connection that is Tantra.
    This may sound kinda crazy, but cicadas and frogs seem to sing with me. I’ve notice they will start to sing more and louder when I practice. Sometimes they even stop when I finish! I like to imagine all of their suffering be alleviated and that they move forward to liberation.

    I pray Machig Labdrön bless our fearless, vanquishing conduct!

    • Isabelle Bailey
      August 9, 2020 at 1:13 pm · Reply

      How beautiful Colby!
      How exciting! How very Machig! 🙂
      Congratulations on getting the Chod drum and bell down… I am still experiencing a little settling in with mine…. but hope to get there soon!
      Reminder that you can practice with one of our several online Chod practice groups, if you would like to experience a little sangha. Check the “Local Practice Calendar” for online practice groups hosted by some of our satellite sanghas.

      celebrating with and for you!
      Isabelle (online programs coordinator)

    • Romana Snozzi
      August 20, 2020 at 11:00 am · Reply

      Thanks for sharing! I just started to practise the different pieces. Looking forward to being able to do the whole sadhana in one 🙂

  13. elaine harding
    August 6, 2020 at 10:25 am · Reply

    In case you received a ‘spam’ message to your email that appeared to be a private message from an individual that came from our Tara Mandala address, we wanted to assure you that your account and private information have not been compromised. We were testing a new internal software that has private messaging and a small amount of spam was sent through this software. We have deactivated the software. If you have any questions, please email Thank you and apologies for the inconvenience if you did receive any spam. Elaine Harding, Manager of Education

  14. Moses Mohan
    June 26, 2020 at 11:09 am · Reply

    Dear Isabelle,

    Please could I check if there might be a video explaining and demonstrating the instructions for the Protector’s Practice (including sounding the bell)?

    I had attended the recent live virtual Chod retreat with Lama and Karla where it was explained and demonstrated, and it would be really helpful to have a video to learn and reference beyond that.


    • Isabelle Bailey
      July 23, 2020 at 11:14 pm · Reply

      Hi Moses,
      We do have a video for the Protector’s Practice.
      We just need to change the video title to include it here… it will take a week at most to get it done and posted.
      Please reach out to me at, so that I know you got this message!
      Sorry for the delay!
      I have another online programs coordinator approving messages… and I don’t think this one got passed onto me.
      My appologies!

  15. Andrea Michelle Haeckel
    June 23, 2020 at 11:53 am · Reply

    Is there a formal image of the refuge lineage with Vajradhara, dakas, dakinis, et al.? If Vajradhara is facing us, would the Dakinis be on our right (his left)?

    • Isabelle Bailey
      June 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm · Reply

      Hello Andrea
      That is a very good question… I don’t feel qualified to give a definitive answer… lemme check with someone who is.
      Online Programs Coordinator

    • Isabelle Bailey
      July 24, 2020 at 1:08 pm · Reply

      Here is the answer from a long time student of Namkhai Norbu.

      In Atiyoga (Dzogchen), the emphasis is not on the precise visualization of every detail, but more on the energy of what is being visualized. One can still visualize the refuge tree, but it doesn’t need to be a specific order of this deity here and that one there, but rather a sense of the deities who are present and to enter into the state of their presence.

      • Andrea Michelle Haeckel
        July 27, 2020 at 12:21 pm · Reply

        Great, thank you Isabelle!

  16. Chris
    June 17, 2020 at 4:25 pm · Reply

    I can get my drum to hit when the tempo is faster, such as the OM AH HUNG section, but not the regular slower beats during the chant. Any tips?

    • Isabelle Bailey
      June 18, 2020 at 5:20 pm · Reply

      Hi Chris
      I can relate personally and what you describe is not uncommon. My recommendation would be to join one of our practice sessions offered through the local sangha calendar here
      Right now we have several regular groups happening: Mondays with Karla Jackson and Wednesdays with Polly Ryan for example but I also see something in the UK. There are emails to connect with them or the sangha, so you can check-in and see if when they might do some instruction. I have received drum instruction from Polly in one of her practice sessions and it was very helpful. Basically you are learning an instrument so the age old rules apply: practice, practice, practice. Some friends here in my local sangha have said they practiced 15 min a day on just the drum while they were learning. Some specific tips I have heard are: keeping the elbow close to your body and being sure that the drum is perpendicular to the ground (record yourself and check that yours isn’t tipping).
      Hope that helps… check back in and let us know how it’s going and what worked.
      Online Programs Coordinator

      • Maura
        July 13, 2020 at 5:09 am · Reply

        Isabelle, this link does not seem to work

        • Isabelle Bailey
          July 14, 2020 at 4:23 pm · Reply

          Dear Maura
          I am sorry to hear you are having trouble.
          I am not sure to which link you are referring…can you please email me directly (and cc ‘’) and we be sure to figure it out quickly. Thank you!

  17. Graciela Montani
    June 12, 2020 at 6:40 pm · Reply

    I can’t get in the course. Please advise

    • Isabelle Bailey
      June 15, 2020 at 9:59 am · Reply

      Dear Graciela
      Sorry to hear this.
      Please reach out to Ben @
      He can help you with any technical issues.
      You will need to tell him exactly what it happening and send a screen shot if you can of any error message you are getting.
      Please follow up with me if this isn’t resolved in the next 24 hours.
      Online programs Coordinator

  18. Shaina Levee
    May 7, 2020 at 8:03 am · Reply

    Hey! I’m able to keep a beat with the drum, but in not tempo with the videos. Do you know if each drum has its own tempo (based on circumference, length of strings)? Or should I be trying to keep pace with Lopon Chandra’s drum?

    • Isabelle Bailey
      May 7, 2020 at 10:17 am · Reply

      With practice, you should be able to keep tempo with the Chod video. It would make group ceremony challenging if every drum had to play “it’s own” tempo!

  19. Diego Contreras
    April 27, 2020 at 4:59 pm · Reply

    Will you give any special discount on the next weeks?

    • Isabelle Bailey
      April 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm · Reply

      Hi Diego
      I am not sure I understand what you are asking about.
      Do you mean are we offering any more discounts on any programs in the next few weeks?
      Reach out to me at and I am happy to have a conversation.
      online programs coordinator

  20. Kate
    April 25, 2020 at 7:19 pm · Reply

    Fingers crossed that I can hop on the Chod Lung on May 2nd. I couldn’t get on last time- zoom was full. This practice is so powerful. It is so big and “meaty” and I am taking a long time to learn it- Much longer than other practices because of the Tibetan plus the instruments. I am motivated and I expect it to be life-long practice and learning. It entered my dreams before I began and I feel many blessings from this practice. I am thankful for the recordings of Lama’s teachings so I can return to them again and again, they reveal so much, they dial up “the stream.”

  21. kym chaffin
    April 23, 2020 at 7:54 pm · Reply

    Look at this Shakespeare quote i fortuitously (or synchronistically) stumbled across:
    Hamlet act two, scene 3:
    “‘Tis now the very witching time of night, /
    When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out /
    Contagion to this world. Now could I drink hot blood /
    And do such bitter business as the bitter day /
    Would quake to look on.”

    • Isabelle Bailey
      April 24, 2020 at 5:49 pm · Reply

      Oh that’s good! Perfect good!
      Going to pass that on to Polly Ryan who leads the new Chod practice group and Lopon Chandra!
      Online Programs Coordinator

  22. Myra Pieters-Engelkes
    April 7, 2020 at 1:23 am · Reply

    Good morning,

    I am interested in receiving the transmission (lung) for practicing Chöd. I was informed it will take place at April 11. Can you tell me the time and how I can attend this? Thank you very much.
    Myra Pieters (The Netherlands)

    • Isabelle Bailey
      April 7, 2020 at 2:09 am · Reply

      Hello Myra
      The lung will take place this Saturday at 10am (pacific (california) time).
      The link is Please be on time as we will close the webcast once the transmission begins.
      Please reach out to me Isabelle (online programs coordinator) via email for any other questions regarding the lung.

  23. Beate
    March 11, 2020 at 11:29 am · Reply

    I have completed the Green Tara and Chod. I have a daily full time practis. Will I have a kind of “sertificate” or maye be not 🙂 Love from Beate

    • Isabelle Bailey
      March 12, 2020 at 5:57 pm · Reply

      Hello Beate!
      Wonderful! Thank you for your practice and for taking these teachings to heart.

      We don’t do the certificates as a matter of course but we are happy to do them.
      I will put you on a list and we should have it done within the month.
      Please email me to let me know if pdf or snail mail is best.

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