Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When you sign up, are you making a commitment for five years or for one year at a time?
A. When you sign up for the Five-Year Chö Mastery Program it is assumed that you have every intention to conclude it to the very best of your ability. However, it is not a vow or a Vajra commitment to do so.
Q. I've read that Dakini's Whisper presents a unique, rare and beautiful Chö tradition of The Machik Dakini Ear-Whispered Lineage. Can I follow this tradition without being enrolled in the program?
A. The Dakini Lineage will be introduced sequentially in the 3rd year of the Five-Year Chö Mastery Program. Those who are not in the program but have the common Chö empowerment can still join the practice of Chö Whispered from the Mount of Bliss (Ganden Lineage) in our community but not the practice of the Dakini Lineage.
Q. Is it possible to get a broad overview of the program and what will be offered?
A. Yes. Please click here to access the "Lineage at a Glance."
Q. I live in the United States. Is there any possibility that residential retreats will be held here?
A. Yes, we are happy to announce a new US Pith Track Program. Please read through the information and contact us with any questions. Please also note that it is not necessary to choose a track when you make your initial application.
Q. Could you share the calendar for the Pith Track for this coming year?
A. Yes. It will be available to those who have registered.
Q. I will need to attend via the internet as it will be very hard for me to afford the travel and expenses.
A. You may attend via the internet. For the residential retreat, scholarships are also available. Please apply.
Q. Is the Seven Night Wilderness Retreat a group event, or can we do this independently?
A. Only in a group under the supervision of the teacher.
Q. I see that one residential retreat is required - is this one per year?
A. Yes, for Extended Track students.
Q. How many residential retreats should Pith Track students expect in order to acquire the necessary empowerments?
A. There are 3 empowerments which will require 3 retreats.
Q. I have a strong resonance and interest in the program but still can’t decide. What is the best way?
A. Why not set up an interview with Khandro-la and the DW team by submitting your application form first and take it from there?
Q. I feel a deep call for this lineage. But I am disabled and I won’t be able to attend any residential events physically. Can I still participate in the program online?
A. Yes, of course. DW is open to all who have a sincere wish to practice. We do our utmost to meet each student according to his or her circumstances.
Q. I practice Chö in a different tradition. Can I still join the program?
A. Of course. DW is open to all sincere practitioners regardless of their affiliations, experience levels, and spiritual maturity. For experienced practitioners, DW serves to deepen and integrate their Dharma practice. This should not conflict with any practice you already have.
Q. I have only a little experience in Vajrayana although I have a strong interest and willingness to pursue. Can I join?
A. DW provides the entire path, starting with the foundations. Students can study the Online Master Courses at their own pace to acquire the Vajrayana and Chö basics.
Q. I’m interested in female spirituality. Is this program suitable for someone like me?
A. Chö is a unique expression of the Buddhist path. To practice chö you need to have a grounding in certain Buddhist principles. The most important of these is Refuge. For the purposes of Chö practice, Bodhisattva Vows and Vajrayana Vows are strongly recommended.
Q. I'm drawn to the program. However, I have different commitments and my time is limited. If residential retreats for empowerments are offered in the United States, I'll be able to attend. Can I still join the program?
A. Yes. You can choose Pith Track and receive necessary empowerments and practice in the US and online.
Q. Are there any protocols in terms of receiving empowerments and teachings?
A. Generally, Chö and Vajrayana are taken after some understanding and training in the first two vehicles has been acquired. Traditionally, there are protocols which exist around requesting teaching from a teacher. A teacher doesn’t advertise his/her goods - it is up to students to seek out the teacher and request the teachings. In the modern world perhaps things are a little different but it’s good to keep in mind that this was the context of giving and receiving teachings. Students are encouraged to make these requests for teachings and as DW doesn’t have a fixed abode (very much in line with the spirit of Chö) then it is the responsibility of students to organize these events.
Q. I am very interested in this but wonder if you know more about exact dates, time commitments, etc.?
A. Please refer to this page for information about the program. If this does not answer your questions and you are seriously interested, then please apply here. You will have ample opportunity to ask questions in the application interview. Short, clearly defined questions, can be answered via email. When dates have been determined, they will be announced without delay.