We are a group of women and men in Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki dedicated to uncovering and practicing feminine wisdom in ourselves and our communities. In the fall of 2017 and 2018 we gathered informally to study Buddhist women teachers—to take a closer look at their struggles and breakthroughs, their life examples and teachings. This became a jumping-off point for exploring our own personal questions and stories.
Some of us have a connection to Tara Mandala, a Buddhist retreat centre in Colorado under the direction of Lama Tsultrim Allione. Tara Mandala is carrying forward the lineage and spirit of Machik Labdrön, an extraordinary 11th-12th century Tibetan woman whose teachings and practices continue to be influential in all Tibetan Buddhist lineages. In April 2016 Lama Tsultrim led an introductory retreat at Windhorse in Nova Scotia. Since then, we have continued to host retreats and explore practices she developed based on Machik's teachings, such as Feeding Your Demons and Dakini Mandala.
Practice and study circle, fall 2020
Mondays, 7:00-8:30 pm
Begins online September 21
Over the past few years, Lama Tsultrim Allione and other senior teachers from Tara Mandala have visited Nova Scotia, introducing the Mandala of the Five Wisdom Dakinis, Feeding Your Demons, Prajna Paramita, and other teachings and practices.
This fall we will use Lama Tsultrim's book Wisdom Rising as a jumping-off point for discovery, deepening, and community through these practices. We will explore topics such as feminine dimensions of spirituality, the mandala of one's life, dakini as sky-dancer, waking up to these times, cultivating compassion, refuge...and whatever arises.
We will combine small group sharing, short presentations and several types of meditation. The book Wisdom Rising will be supplemented with other resources and possible visits from Tara Mandala teachers.
This cycle continues through the fall and possibly beyond. There is no fee, but dana ("generosity") will be collected as an offering to any visiting teachers. All backgrounds, levels of previous meditation experience and genders are welcome in a spirit of "beginner's mind." Please order the book in time for our first meeting, and if possible read the first chapter.
Contact us for more details.
Summer 2020 practice and study circle
Reconnecting to wholeness
In her book Wisdom Rising, Lama Tsultrim Allione introduces practices that strengthen and integrate nature's elemental qualities in ourselves— the clarity and fluidity of water, the richness and groundedness of earth, the warmth and connectedness of fire, the energy and movement of wind, the openness of sky.
We will explore these practices in the context of the Tibetan Buddhist mandala, an ancient symbol of wholeness that includes everything, both wisdom and confusion. We will see how our personalities and emotions are part of the same colourful play of energies and elements that make up our world.
Mondays, 7:00–8:30 pm,
July 13, 20, 27. August 10, 17, 24, 31.
Mandala painting by Michele Tanaka
Spring 2020 WoW study circle
Waking up to where we are
From our social institutions and spiritual traditions to the environment and the future itself, so much in our familiar world is unraveling. What can we learn from each other and the wisdom and practices of the feminine about how to be and what to do in these times?
Biweekly, March 11–June 17, 7:00–8:30 pm. On Zoom.
Fall 2019 book study
In Love with the world
At the age of 36, Mingyur Rinpoche slipped through the monastery gate in the middle of the night, leaving behind the comfort, safety and claustrophobia of the structures that had defined his spiritual life.
As he ventured into the unknown, his experience paralleled the search for the life-giving, sometimes ruthless, wisdom of the feminine. Hers is the wisdom of naked awareness, birth and death, and the play of coincidence in everyday life. In this book study we related Mingyur Rinpoche's journey to our own, as well as to the collective journey now unfolding in our communities and our world. Read more...
"One of the most inspiring books I have ever read." —Pema Chodron
Real Love with Sharon Salzberg
November 8, 2018. Thank you to the wonderfully wise, funny and down-to-earth Sharon Salzberg for a great evening of stories and nuggets like these—Love is really a freedom of the heart. It is not a feeling, it's an ability. It is a bone-deep sense of connection to ourselves and one another. It is not the same as liking somebody, but knowing deeply that our lives have something to do with one another.
Listen to a clip from the talk.
Co-hosted with Mindful Magazine. Photo by Rita Wuebbeler.
Kapala Training 1
February 1-4, 2018. Who knew that our inner "demons" are allies in disguise? For four days, we immersed ourselves in the surprising and profound practices of Feeding Your Demons and Prajna Paramita. Read more about our retreat...