The 11th century teacher Machig Labdrön developed several different lineages during her lifetime, including one called the Magyu, the Mother Lineage. This lineage was unique to her as many of the practices came through her meditation experiences with direct transmissions from deities. Both men and women held these lineages. Machig’s second son, Tönyöm Samdrub, was the main lineage holder of her Mother Lineage. At Tara Mandala, Lama Tsultrim Allione has been inspired to follow this model by introducing Magyu: the Mother Lineage Program.
Magyu has an open structure–students work their way through the retreats and practice commitments according to their own timing. This allows flexibility for having a baby, an illness, or some other life-changing situation. This open, more flexible structure also allows those with available time to move ahead more quickly. You may join the Magyu path at anytime, once you have completed the application process and have been accepted. Magyu offers a living connection with the supportive Magyu sangha of practitioners which has its own Facebook page, regular tele- and web-casts, and a buddy system; a personal Kalyanamitra (spiritual friend/mentor) helps guide your path of practice.
The Magyu Program is an invaluable opportunity to enter this extremely fresh stream as taught by Lama Tsultrim Allione and her Senior Teachers. This path cultivates both the spiritual and emotional awakening of the practitioner, integrating the ancient Tibetan Buddhist practices with modern teachings appropriate for our western disposition. The psycho-spiritual integration work in this path inherently distinguishes it from other traditional Buddhist paths. The Magyu Program works directly with each individual through helping them to identify their encumbered emotional patterns and apply relevant practices to transform those patterns.
Each student enrolled in the Magyu Program will receive a “Kalyanamitra” or Spiritual Friend, who is authorized to provide personal practice support, email contact, Skype or phone calls as well as personal meetings. You should meet with your Kalyanamitra once a month in person (phone or Skype is fine) to check in. These monthly check-ins may be anywhere between 15-90 minutes depending on your needs. This is meant to support your practice and development throughout the program, therefore you can determine how long your meetings will be depending on your needs.
The Mother Lineage is oriented toward dedicated practitioners who wish to walk a spiritual path with guidance and support. It includes solitary retreats, group retreats and dedicated daily practice, but without a specific daily practice requirement. There are special webcasts and tele-teachings for those enrolled in the Magyu Program. The Magyu Program is a path of personal development and individuation, as well as a path of spiritual evolution leading to the stabilization of the recognition of the ground of being and its display.
Before applying to the Magyu Program, we ask that you attend at least one in-person retreat (a weekend program or longer, at Tara Mandala or elsewhere) or an online program taught by Lama Tsultrim Allione or one of Tara Mandala’s Senior Teachers. After your entrance interview, acceptance and completion of the enrollment process, you will consult with your Kalyanamitra and begin to take the required courses and retreats, establish a daily practice, and accumulate the required meditation hours. You will set up a regular meeting time with your Kalyanamitra approximately once a month. Those who have completed Kapala Training Levels 1, 2 or 3 or other required retreats prior to entering the Magyu Program will not have to repeat them, but will need to document the practice hours required for each level. From Kapala Training Level 3 and higher, each Magyu student will also have personal interviews with Lama Tsultrim as part of the program. Both women and men are welcome to participate in the Magyu Program.
A Mother Lineage practitioner should be prepared to commit to a daily practice, with occasional retreats and day-long sessions, as well as all the necessary group retreats. The path follows five levels of Kapala Training beginning with such practices as Feeding Your Demons® and Prajñaparamita, then going more deeply into the Nature of Mind practices taught by Machig Labdrön. It also includes other practices and retreats. Due to the fact that this is a fresh and evolving lineage there may be some additions and variations as time goes on. The Magyu Program (Mother Lineage) can be a complete path by itself or it is possible to combine it with the Gateway Program or some other practices such as the Dzinpa Rangdröl Ngöndro for those students with the time, inclination, and endorsement of their Kalyanamitra and Lama Tsultrim Allione.
The Magyu community continues to grow, with new members joining from around the world every month. We are business leaders, mothers, long-time Dharma practitioners, retired engineers, beginning meditators, teachers, artists…drawn together to integrate a path of deep practice with the calls of everyday life.
Tara Mandala is growing its online offerings, making Magyu path teachings and practices available at all times of the year and accessible anywhere. These are helpful stepping stones to the deeply enriching land retreats at Tara Mandala or with Tara Mandala sanghas in the US and abroad.
This past year we began offering monthly and bi-monthly telecasts or webcasts with Lopön Chandra and Lopön Charlotte, in addition to the bi-annual webcasts with Lama Tsultrim Allione.
Magyu participants send in a spectrum of engaging questions, from detailed requests for clarification on specific practices to broad inquiries into core Dharmic teachings. Our virtual connection will also allow us to have more regular Magyu “council” calls in which members can share their experiences, insights and reflections. The Magyu Facebook page has developed as a helpful platform for Dharmic community-building.
We look forward to deepening our path together and welcoming our new Dharma sisters and brothers in the year ahead.