Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, Buddhist teacher and author of The Power of an Open Question: The Buddha’s Path to Freedom, joins Lama Tsultrim Allione in a fascinating dialogue between two incredible western teachers who have simultaneously walked the path of serious practice and motherhood. The discussion is warm and heartfelt, filled with many profound and practical insights from these two remarkable women.
As a student of her husband Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Elizabeth has intensively studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism for 25 years. Being born into a Buddhist family, she was integrated into the culture at a young age. After completing many years of solitary retreat, all while raising her son, Rinpoche appointed her as Retreat Master at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, Mangala Shri Bhuti’s retreat center in southern Colorado.
Lama Tsultrim Allione, founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala, followed a different path to the Dharma when she left her comfortable New England upbringing to find spirituality. After travelling to India and becoming enchanted with the Tibetan community, she took ordination with H.H. The 16th Karmapa – becoming his first American nun. After four years in robes, she returned her vows in order to start a family and moved to Italy, where she began to teach as a student of Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche. Longing to return to her roots, Lama Tsultrim moved with her children back to the United States and taught as one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s first authorized teachers. In 1994, she founded the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in SW Colorado with her late husband David, based on an early vision she had of a land devoted to intensive spiritual practice. Today, the international Tara Mandala community has practice groups in more than 10 countries, and supports thousands of practitioners worldwide.