October 19, 2022 6:00pm

Nature of the Heart: Awakening Our Innate Wisdom and Compassion | Oct. 2022

Chandra Easton | Nina Rao




Wednesday, October 19, 2022
6–8pm ET
$25 | Online via Zoom

Chandra and Nina share a deep interest in the complementary wisdom and devotional traditions of Tibet and India honoring the divine feminine. In this ongoing series, they weave together mystical stories, visualizations, meditations, mantra repetition, and singing chants.

In this October gathering, Chandra will teach the Mahayana compassion practice called tonglen (sending and receiving) in Tibetan. This is a very powerful technique for cultivating bodhichitta, the heart of awakening for the benefit of self and others. We engage with this practice based on the premise that most people, whether they be friend or foe, wish to be happy and free of suffering. From the basis of this understanding, we breathe in suffering and breathe out healing; we breathe in that which we would normally push away and breathe out that which we would normally keep for ourselves. Without expecting anything in return, feeling how tonglen affects us helps to make us less self-centered, less reactive, and more compassionate to everyone, including yourself, often our worst enemy. If this practice has a positive effect on the other, that’s wonderful, but that is a bonus.

This year, Devi Navratri — a 9 night festival in India celebrating the goddess — runs from September 26 through October 4. So to continue in the beautiful trail of the skirts of goddess, Nina will share meditation and prayers from the Chandi Pāth inviting Her into our being, invoking her presence by naming her qualities, and bowing down to Her great presence within each one of us in service to all beings as Compassion, Wisdom, and Strength. We will chant songs of praise to Durga, Sarasvati, and Lakshmi.

All registered participants receive a recording of the session post-event. Open to all!

Nature of the Heart: Awakening Our Innate Wisdom and Compassion | Oct. 2022

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 06:00 PM


Teacher Bios

Chandra Easton

Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton, Buddhist teacher and translator, studied Buddhism and Tibetan language at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB’s religious studies department at which time she co-translated Sublime Dharma, A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published by Vimala Publishing, 2012. From the very beginning of her Buddhist studies, Dorje Lopön Chandra recognized the profound need to bring forth the voice of the sacred feminine in Buddhist theory and practice. Due to this, in 1999 during her first pregnancy, she met and then later began to study with Lama Tsultrim Allione, pioneering female Buddhist teacher, national best selling author, and founder of Tara Mandala Retreat Center. Dorje Lopön Chandra is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Authorized Teacher at Tara Mandala Retreat Center. She serves on the Tara Mandala Board of Trustees, develops programs and curricula for Tara Mandala, as well as teaches nationally and internationally. In September of 2015, during the final day of the White Dakini Drubchen, Dorje Lopön Chandra was enthroned as the Dorje Lopön (Vajra Teacher) of Tara Mandala under Lama Tsultrim Allione and given the name Lopön Yeshe Dawa Zangmo by H.E. Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche who presided over the ceremony with Lama Tsultrim. Dorje Lopön Chandra has had the good fortune to study with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, Jennifer Welwood, B. Alan Wallace, Gyatrul Rinpoche, A.dzom Paylo Rinpoche, and Lama Pema Dorje. Lopön Chandra is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the San Francisco Bay Area. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her family. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com or www.taramandala.org for more info.


Nina Rao

Nina Rao learned traditional chants (bhajans) from her grandfather in a village in south India when she nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. For many years Nina has been Krishna Das business manager and assistant, often touring with him playing cymbals and singing. In 2007, she recorded the track ‘Nina Chalisa’ on Krishna Das’ CD “Flow of Grace” and in January 2013, she released her debut album, “Antarayaami – Knower of All Hearts“. She released her second album “Anubhav” in 2018. You can find her interviews on a number of podcasts, online courses, and documentary films on Bhakti Yoga, kirtan, and chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. Nina regularly leads retreats, kirtan, and chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York and beyond. When Nina met Lama Tsultrim she felt immediately drawn to the stories of the wisdom women in the Tibetan tradition and the Five Dakini Wisdom mandala practice. Tara Mandala is one of her most favorite sacred lands ever visited, reverberating with beauty and depth of practice. For more information visit NinaRaoChant.com