by Alta Brown, Ph.D.

This website offers information about the everyday practice of chöd for ordinary people, with contributions by ordinary people who do this practice. Chöd is often portrayed as so complicated, exotic, and esoteric that only highly-trained lamas can hope to become regular practitioners. But three groups of ordinary people do this practice regularly-two groups practice once a week in Boulder, and one group practices once a week via conference call. All of these groups practice in English. The practice we do is called, "Offering the Body."

We have been trained by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, who learned the practice from Kalu Rinpoche. Ours is the same practice taught by the fourth Trungpa, Kunga Namgyal, and was the principal practice, along with Chakrasamvaratantra, of the Trungpa Rinpoche who created Vajradhatu International and the Shambhala practices.

Because this form of chöd is the union of sutra and tantra, it can be practiced by both Vajrayana practitioners and those who have not yet been introduced to tantra. The main difference between these two groups is that experiences available through introduction to the Vajrayana do not usually open to those who have not received "pointing out" instructions. Some of the articles on this site will be written from the perspective of that latter group.

The first four articles on this website were written by Alta Brown, Ph.D. and published by the Shambhala Center in Boulder in The Mirror. These articles introduced chöd to the Shambhala community. Alta has been asked by Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche to lead practice groups and teach people about chöd.