Lama Tsultrim Allione is an author and teacher who has studied in Tibetan Buddhism's Karma Kagyu lineage.
She was born in 1947 in Maine under the name Joan Rousmanière Ewing. She first travelled to India and Nepal in 1967, returned in 1969 and January 1970 she became one of the first American women to be ordained as a Tibetan nun.
She was given her vows by the Karmapa, from the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, who gave her the name Karma Tsultrim Chodron. Allione gave back her monastic vows four years later and married.
She has given birth to four children, one of whom died from sudden infant death syndrome.
Tsultrim Allione continued her studies and Buddhist practice, which led to the 1984 publication of her book Women of Wisdom, a collection of the namtar of six Tibetan Buddhist yogini such as Machig Labdrön, Ayu Khandro Dorje Paldron (1839–1953), Nangsa Obum, Jomo Menmo (1248–1283), Machig Ongjo and Drenchen Rema.
This is the work she's most well known for and it has since been translated from English into several foreign languages and expanded in a revised 2nd edition.
In 1993, with her husband, David Petit, Tsultrim Allione founded Tara Mandala, a retreat center in southern Colorado, in the United States.
As well as offering retreats at Tara Mandala, Allione regularly teaches in the United States and in Europe.
Chöd practice is a practice developed by a Tibetan woman teacher named Machig Labdrön in the 11th century.
What is Chöd?
Chöd is a confrontation process with fear and then pushing through it to achieve freedom.
In other words, Chöd is a practice of feeding, not fighting, that which assails us.
In the traditional practice, you are transforming your body into a nectar and then feeding it a series of guests (fears).
Who can practice Chöd?
The type of person .
Karma Kagyu lamas are recognized for being masters of the practice of Mahamudra, a mystical path of Tibetan Buddhism that aims to achieve enlightenment by realizing the essence of mind.
They are often referred to as the "whisperers of Mahamudra," in reference to the oral transmission of these teachings which is done confidentially and intimately between the teacher and student.
Origin of the Karma Kagyu lineage
The Kagyu school, also transliterated as Kagyü, or Kagyud, which translates .
In Vajrayana Buddhism's Tantric teachings, the rituals require the guidance of a teacher.
The teacher is considered essential and to the Buddhist devotee, the guru is the "enlightened teacher and ritual master".
The teacher is known as the vajra guru (literally "diamond .
Buddhist convents also called Gompas have historically been well established in Tibet, certainly from the twelfth century and with traditions reaching back as far as the eighth century.
Traditional education in the nunneries included reading, writing, and lessons in ancient scriptures and prayers taught by the senior nuns or lamas from monasteries.
Traditional activities for the nuns included performance of rituals requested by the lay community and crafts such as embroidery and sewing.