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

  • Tara Mandala Tara Mandala
  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado, United States
  • May 17 - 19, 2019 (3 days)
  • Camping - $160.00 Commuting - $160.00 Dorm Yurt, Men's - $196.00 Dorm Yurt, Women's - $196.00 Prajna 3-Bed Female Dorm/Family Room - $216.00 Prajna Double - $290.00 Prajna Queen Shared-Bed - $350.00 Prajna Queen Single - $490.00

About This Event

In honor of Machig Labdrön’s birthday, on May 18th, we will gather together to practice the Garland of Jewels (Rinchen Trengwa) sadhana as a way to celebrate and share her living oral tradition of Chöd.

The Garland of Jewels holds a unique position in Machig Labdrön’s lineage. At the time of the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (contact info blocked)), Machig’s teachings had become well known and widely practiced throughout Tibet. However, in many contexts it 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 he then strung 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 (contact info blocked)) 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.

Please note: Everyone is welcome to attend. If you have a Chöd drum and bell, we encourage you to bring them or you may purchase them in our Dakini Store.

"One cannot force or grasp a spiritual experience, because it is as delicate as the whisper of the wind." - Lama Tsultrim Allione.

Venue Highlights

Bordered by the San Juan National Forest and Southern Ute Tribal Land, Tara Mandala Retreat Center is on 700-acres of rolling hills and meadows adorned with many varieties of wildflowers, ponds, and forests. The land itself is a mandala with a stunning peak in the middle surrounded by four valleys. Retreat cabins are scattered across the landscape designed for deep retreat, and at its heart, is the extraordinary three-story Tara temple which celebrates the sacred feminine. The center has a Community Building, where residents and retreatants convene for meals, and other activities.


Tara Mandala offers a large residence hall (Prajna Residence Hall) for luxurious accommodations. Rooms have single or double beds. Private or shared bathrooms are available. Toiletries and towels are not supplied, so it is recommended that retreatants please bring their own. Retreatants can stay in one of our two Dorm Yurts. These yurts house 8-10 beds. We also offer a large camp-ground, for those who want to get back to nature for their retreat accommodation. For those who are camping and staying in yurts, showers are available in the Community Building, a short walk away. There are plenty of cubicles in the bathrooms to store your toiletries and personal belongings.


  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


All meals are delicious, vegetarian, made with all organic ingredients, and served buffet style. Kitchen staff ensure an abundant offering for every meal, in a variety of styles and culinary traditions. We offer tea stations in the Community Building and Temple, with a wide selection of teas and coffee, open 24 hours.


We are 90 minutes from the La Plata County airport in Durango (DRO) and 4 1/2 hours from the Albuquerque airport. The closest international airport is Denver (DIA). Our retreat land is a 25 minute drive from Pagosa Springs. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation. There are several options for ground transportation including professional shuttle services and rental cars from the airports in Denver, Durango, and Albuquerque. For ground transport from Durango Airport to Tara Mandala, we recommend Wilderness Journeys Pagosa. With this service, group discounts can be arranged for $50 each person, each way. A custom reservation is $100 one-way, $190 round trip. In addition to the options listed, you may be able to share a ride with other retreatants coming from various locations.

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Doris Hintsteiner   June 19, 2019


    It’s a very special place to participate in retreats, whichever! The whole surroundings of land and people living and working there makes it what it is , a place to learn, practice and live there and of course the presence of two Lamas . A chance to change in a positive way , even crusted staff has a chance to solve.

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