Intimate dialogue with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Lama Tsultrim Allione
Filmed in the Tara Mandala Temple in the summer of 2014, this intimate dialogue between two of Buddhism’s most renowned female visionaries received a tremendous response from those in attendance. It surpassed all expectations with incredible honesty, humor, and depth.
In 1964, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo became the second western woman to be ordained as a Buddhist nun, and went on to spend 12 years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas. Later, she established the Döngyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in India with the intent of creating a place for quality spiritual education for Himalayan nuns, an historically under-serviced community in a highly patriarchal society.
Just six years after Jetsunma, Lama Tsultrim Allione took ordination with HH The 16th Karmapa in Bodhgaya, and lived for four years as a nun. Inspired to become a mother, she returned her vows and started raising a family in Italy, where she met and studied with Chögyal Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche. She began teaching, and eventually found her way back to the United States, where she became one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s first authorized teachers. She is the founder of Tara Mandala, an international Buddhist community with practice groups in more than 10 countries worldwide and a 700-acre retreat center in Southwest Colorado.
Intimate dialogue with Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel and Lama Tsultrim Allione
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 Chogyan Namkha’i Norbu. 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.
Intimate Dialogue with Krishna Das and Lama Tsultrim Allione
Lama Tsultrim Allione joins her longtime friend, Grammy-nominated chant artist Krishna Das, in a fascinating dialogue during Tara Mandala’s 20th anniversary celebration weekend in September 2014.
Krishna Das, recognizable by many as the “Rock Star of Yoga,” first followed his teacher Baba Ram Dass to India in 1970, the same year that Lama Tsultrim took ordination, and he spent two and a half years studying with Ram Dass’s guru Neem Karoli Baba – known to most as Maharaj-ji.
KD (as he’s affectionately called by fans and friends) first met Lama Tsultrim in Bodhgaya while sitting Vipassana retreats with S.N. Goenka. They remained friends through their years in India. Occastionally, KD and friends would make trips to “go see Ani-la” so that they could hear stories of her mystical experiences. Eventually, both returned to the west and pioneered the integration of their own traditions into the west.
Today, Krishna Das is a worldwide icon and the best-selling chant artist of all time, with over 300,000 records sold and one Grammy-nominated album (‘Live Ananda,’ 2012). In addition to his Bhakti Yoga practice (the yoga of devotion), he continues to study and practice with a number of great Tibetan Buddhist Lamas, including Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
After four years as a nun, Lama Tsultrim returned her vows and moved to Italy to start a family. She began to teach under such illustrious gurus as Chögyal Namkha’i Norbu Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and eventually founded her own practice community in New York. In 1994, she founded the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Southwest 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.