With Karla Jackson-Brewer and Ranjini George

September 19 – 22, 2019

In the introduction of Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine (Simon & Schuster, May 2018), Lama Tsultrim Allione narrates the beginnings of Tara Mandala, a 700-acre Buddhist retreat center in Southwest Colorado. She recounts a conversation with Grandmother Bertha Grove, a respected elder of the Ute tribe. In the spring of 1994, after a sweat lodge ceremony, Grandmother Bertha said: “What you want to do is already here…I can see the temples and all the other buildings, they are hovering over the land. You just have to bring it out of the ether onto the earth.”

We, too, dream of the lives that we want to live, the book or poem or story that we hunger to write. But we feel stuck, lose focus, and can’t “bring it out of the ether, onto the earth.” In this retreat, we will journey into the heart of the Five Wisdom Dakini Mandala. The Mandala is a tool for wholeness and connection to the universe. The Dakinis are the feminine expression of transformation—midwives of our emotional growth. The five families—Buddha, Vajra, Ratna, Padma, and Karma—provide the wisdom to help us achieve a more evolved and empowered self.

Through generative writing practices and Dakini Mandala meditation, we will journey into our innermost being, explore the five families, and transform our encumbered emotions. As we discuss Lama Tsultrim’s book, we will touch on some of the elements of the writer’s craft: setting, scene, language, character, and story. As writers, how do we create a spine, a necklace, to hold our story together? How do we create a compelling narrative to tell the story that we long to tell?

Drawing on the magic of this land and the potency of a 1,000-year-old Tibetan tradition, we will work at healing and transforming our lives through the Dakini Mandala practice and listen to the beautiful sounds of the ancient practice of Chöd. As we heal ourselves, we will connect to the spirits of this land and our authentic voice.

In this retreat, we will discover ways to stay inspired and cultivate the discipline, energy, and one-pointed attention that is necessary to bring anything to accomplishment: a novel, a memoir, a poem, a story—and an awakened and compassionate life.

This retreat is open to all.

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