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Tara Mandala Blog
Jul 23

The Story of Lama Karma and Drolkar

Drubpön Lama Karma and Khandro Drolkar are departing Tara Mandala this November. This is a short story on how it all began …

Lama Tsultrim met Drubpön Lama Karma at a Drubchen presided over by Tulku Sangngag Rinpoche, who is the Dharma heir of Pedgyal Lingpa, in Siliguri, India in 2016 when she invited him to Tara Mandala. Lama Karma is a renowned retreat master (drubpön) throughout Bhutan, having spent over sixteen years in strict meditation retreat and then besides presiding over drubchens and drubchös, he has been guiding others in long-term retreat for the last 10 years. He is an accomplished Dzogchen yogi and Chöd practitioner (chödpa).

Drubpön Lama Karma was born in Eastern Bhutan. Upon meeting the Dharma and his teacher in his early twenties, he went straight into retreat. 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 Trengwa and the Chöd practice of Laughter of the Dakinis from the Longchen Nyingtik Tradition.

Pedgyal Lingpa Rinpoche (1924 – 1988)

Drubpön Lama Karma has been one of the most influential lamas to maintain the tradition of Pedgyal Lingpa Rinpoche (1924 -1988), a great tertön of modern times. Lama Karma was the heart student of Pedgyal Lingpa, serving as the scribe for the entirety of Pedgyal Lingpa’s Kusum Gongdü treasure cycle.

Khandro Drolkar is born in Bumthang, Bhutan, and is the consort of Lama Karma. She was originally the consort of Lama Naljorpa, receiving many teachings and experiential trainings directly from him, until he passed away in 1994. She received many different Chöd lineages from Lama Naljorpa, and he took great pride in her ability to lead the practice. She assisted him in instructing practitioners in the Chöd melodies and rhythms. Her devotion and incredible skill with melodies has brought many blessings to Tara Mandala, and amazes all those who experience her gift, transporting them to the Himalayas and beyond.

During Lama Karma and Drolkar’s residency at Tara Mandala, they have occasionally been accompanied by their daughter Dechen Wangmo who has been studying at the University of Hawaii. It has been an honor to have a true yogi of Lama Karma’s caliber, training, and realization, accompanied by an extraordinary yogini and Chöd practitioner Khandro Drolkar, take up residence here at Tara Mandala.

Drubpön Lama Karma and Khandro Tsering Drolkar will be departing, at least temporarily, from Tara Mandala in early October having completed many wonderful teachings and especially the Rinchen Trengwa, the core lineage of Machig Labdrön, which was Lama Tsultrim’s original impetus to invite them to Tara Mandala, but they gave many more teachings.

We are so grateful for the teachings and guidance Lama Karma has provided us, and Khandro Drolkar’s guidance in melodies and drumming. It has been our great honor to host them at Tara Mandala for over two years, and we cherish our remaining time together. We hope they will return soon. We invite you to join us for these final 2019 retreats with Lama Karma.

Special Retreat: Garland of Jewels — Advanced Teachings
August 24 – 29
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Lojong – Seven Point Mind Training Retreat
September 13 – 16
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P’howa: Transference of Consciousness Retreat
with Rhonda LoPresti
September 19 – 23
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Khandro Kejang Chöd
September 26 – October 1
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