Journey into the Dakini Mandala

Journey into the Dakini Mandala: A Meditation and Writing ‘Live’ Online Course

An Online Course with Authorized Teacher Karla Jackson-Brewer, MS & Ranjini George, MA, MFA, PhD

May 5 to June 16, 2021

Webcast Schedule

Key Features

In the introduction of Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine, Lama Tsultrim Allione narrates the beginnings of Tara Mandala, a 700-acre Buddhist retreat center in Southwest Colorado. She recounts a conversation with Grandmother Bertha Grove, a respected elder of the Ute tribe. In the spring of 1994, after a sweat lodge ceremony, Grandmother Bertha said: “What you want to do is already here…I can see the temples and all the other buildings, they are hovering over the land. You just have to bring it out of the ether onto the earth.”

We dream of the lives that we wish to live and the stories or poems that we yearn to write. Sometimes we dare to begin, but we don’t finish. We lose faith in ourselves, and we can’t “bring it out of the ether onto the earth.” It takes courage, patience and wisdom to fulfil our dreams.

The Dakinis are the feminine expression of transformation and the Mandala is a tool for wholeness and connection to the universe. The five families—Buddha, Vajra, Ratna, Padma, and Karma—provide the wisdom to help us achieve a more evolved and empowered self. Utilizing generative writing practices and Dakini Mandala meditation, embark with us on this journey into your innermost being, exploring the five families, and transforming your encumbered emotions. Learn elements of the writer’s craft and discover ways to live a creative and meditative life.

In this 7-week ‘live’ online course, Karla and Ranjini will:

  • Guide you on a journey into the heart of the Five Wisdom Dakini Mandala.
  • Discuss Lama Tsultrim’s book, touching on some of the key elements of the writer’s craft: setting, scene, point-of-view, character and story.
  • Learn possible ways of structuring your story. As writers, how do we create a spine, a necklace, to hold our story together? How do we structure a compelling narrative to tell the story that we long to tell?
  • Engage with a 1,000-year-old Tibetan tradition to help inspire your life and writing through the Dakini Mandala practice.
  • Discover ways to cultivate the discipline, energy, and one-pointed attention that is necessary to bring anything to accomplishment: a novel, a memoir, a poem, a story—and an awakened and compassionate life.

Who Is This Course For?

New practitioners interested in transforming difficult emotions through meditation practice. Anyone who has previously taken Wisdom Rising and is interested in deepening this practice and nurtures an aspiration to embark or continue on a creative project. Aspiring writers who would love to kickstart their creativity and seasoned writers who wish to integrate creativity with their meditation practice, and find inspiration as they continue with an existing project or begin a new one.

You do not need prior experience with Buddhism or writing to benefit from this retreat. This retreat does not qualify for the Magyu Wisdom Rising Requirement.


  • 7 live Zoom sessions of 2 hours each (including 1 short break).
  • Audio and video recordings of guided Dakini Mandala practice (access for one year).
  • Instructor handouts of readings related to writing practice.
  • Share your writing, if you wish, in virtual breakout rooms.
  • Summary overview of each teaching session’s topics.

Materials You Will Need:

  • For live writing practice, attend with a notebook and pen.
  • Lama Tsultrim Allione’s Wisdom Rising.
  • Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Shambhala Publications, 1986.

To Prepare for This Course, We Encourage You to:

  • Begin reading Lama Tsultrim Allione’s Wisdom Rising.
  • Begin reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Shambhala Publications, 1986.
    • There will be weekly reading assignments from these books throughout the course, so please purchase the book or e-book. The first reading suggestion will be for the second week of the course.


Tara Mandala offers tiered pricing for all online courses to allow participants the opportunity to offer additional financial support. Additional support helps Tara Mandala expand access to transformational and inspiring teachings even in difficult times. We encourage you to select at the highest level within your capacity, be a part of this vision, and help cover the costs of offering these wonderful teachings. We thank you in advance for your support and your practice!

In gratitude for your consideration, upon registration you will receive automatically a 20% special discount code for select items from our Dakini Store that have been recommended by Lama Tsultrim to assist in support of your practice and learning during this course.

Tier 1: $450

Registration at this level covers the basic costs of holding this online course, including compensating our teachers and staff.

Tier 2: $495

Registration at this level covers basic costs of this online course, compensates teachers and staff, generates funds for scholarships, and ensures yearlong sustainability for Tara Mandala.

Tier 3: $540

Registration at this level covers basic costs for this online course, compensates teachers and staff, generates funds for scholarships, and also supports the development of new course content to be offered in the future.

Deferred Payment Plans and Scholarships:

Please see this page for further information.

Sustaining Sangha:

If you are currently a member of our Sustaining Sangha, you may apply your Online Course discount to this course.

Wednesdays at 11:00am-1:00pm MT (Colorado Time). Click here to see how this translates into your time zone.

May 5, May 12, May 19, May 26, June 2, June 9, June 16

There are no prerequisites for this course.