Celebrating Machig Labdrön’s Birthday: Practice of the Garland of Jewels (Rinchen Trengwa) Sadhana

With Lama Tsultrim Allione

May 7, 2020

In honor of Machig Labdrön’s birthday, we will practice the Garland of Jewels (Tib. Rinchen Trengwa) sadhana to celebrate and share her living oral tradition of Chöd. 

What is the Garland of Jewels or Rinchen Trengwa?

  • The Garland of Jewels holds a unique position in Machig Labdrön’s lineage. At the time of the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), Machig’s teachings had become well known and widely practiced throughout Tibet. However, in many contexts they had become mixed with other traditions, making it hard to distinguish the original Chöd teachings, which wove together the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Sutras with the Secret Mantrayana, from other non-Buddhist traditions.
  • Seeing the need to counteract the watering down of Machig’s original Chöd teachings, Rangjung Dorje decided to gather together the authentic Chöd practices from a number of sources and string them together in what he called the Garland of Jewels. This tradition became a stronghold for the authentic transmission of Machig Labdrön’s Chöd tradition. After the time of Rangjung Dorje, the Garland of Jewels also became one of the main repositories of the original and early poetry of Machig Labdrön’s Chöd tradition as well as the original melodies and rhythms so unique to Chöd. 
  • Later, the 8th Karmapa Mikyo Dorje (1507–1554) and the master Karma Chagme (1613-1678) played vital roles in editing, elucidating, and arranging the material found in the Garland of Jewels. Later, Terdak Lingpa (1646–1714) and his younger brother Lochen Dharmashri (1654–1717) continued to uphold this tradition by offering further clarification on the secret experiential oral instructions of this practice. In this way, the living Garland of Jewels tradition is one of the most authentic actively practiced traditions of Chöd that came directly from Machig Labdrön and the early lineage masters. 
  • The recitation of the Garland of Jewels is a wonderful and rare opportunity to receive the blessings that come directly from the primordial wisdom dakini Machig Labdrön.

Who Should Attend?

  • Anyone is welcome to attend.
  • For a list of local accommodations, please click here.

8:30am – 9:30am: Registration/ Check-in
10:00am – 1:00pm: Rinchen Trengwa Liturgy
1:00pm: Lunch
1:45pm: Karma Yoga
3:00pm – 7:30pm: Liturgy & Tsog Celebration

What Should I Bring?

  •  If you have a Chöd drum and bell, we encourage you to bring them or you may purchase them in our Dakini Store.
  • The use of dharma attire/ritual clothing is requested. Ritual clothing includes anything white and/or in the red color spectrum from deep purple to pink and red. A zen or ritual shawl is also worn. We have these available for purchase in the Tara Mandala Dakini Store or for loan at registration for a $30 deposit refundable upon return. You can also wear any clothes you have in this color spectrum as long as they are modest, covering your shoulders and legs.

Suggested Donation:  $108 to $1080

Location: Tara Mandala Retreat Center

Email us about program
There is no charge for this event, however you may offer a donation benefiting Tara Mandala below. There will be an opportunity to offer Dana to the teachers leading the event.


Lama Tsultrim Allione
Lama Tsultrim Allione is founder and resident lama of Tara Mandala.  She is author of Women of Wisdom, Feeding Your Demons, and Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. Born in New England to an academic/publishing family, she traveled to India in her late teens and was ordained as…
Learn more about Lama Tsultrim Allione