Buddhist Women – the Dalai Lama’s Mother

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November 28, 2018
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Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

December 5, 2018
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

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December 12, 2018
Guided meditation and discussion with Pema Khandro. This 30 minute online class is free and open to Buddhist Yogis Sangha Members only. Click Here to become a Member Join online for this monthly class to practice meditation and discuss esoteric Buddhism with Pema Khandro. This class is a joyful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist Yogis […]
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December 26, 2018
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

The Dalai Lama’s Mother

Today is the birthday of the extraordinary and inspiring leader, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

However, since this month’s articles are all about women, this is a brief excerpt from the story of the Dalai Lama’s mother.

The Dalai Lama’s mother was named Diki Tsering (1900-1981). She was the mother of sixteen children, though only seven of them survived. She was born in 1901, the daughter of peasants. At birth, her name was Sonam Tsomo. She grew up in Amdo, Tibet and then she was wed in an arranged marriage at the age of sixteen. After her son was recognized as the tulku, the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, in 1939, she moved to Lhasa, central Tibet. Later she escaped into exile in 1959.

Though she was illiterate, her story was recorded and written down by her grandson Khedroop Thondup.

Here is an excerpt from her autobiography:

“It was both faith and fate that propelled me into my unbelievable life as the mother of the Dalai Lama. When it happened, it seemed as if I had lost all my courage and confidence and I became afraid, like a little child at the formidable task that lay before me. But once I began to tell myself I was Diki Tsering, the name that was given to me on my wedding day and means “ocean of luck,” a kind of rebirth kindled all the forces of determination within me. I was no longer afraid, and I willingly challenged fate, determined not to be submerged by the tide.

“Today I am a tiresome old woman, my body feverish with rheumatism. But however debilitated you become physically, the spirit of youth is constant and alive. It never deserts you, even in the face of the greatest suffering.” (1)


Footnotes and References:

(1) Tsering, Diki, and Khedroob Thondup. Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother’s Autobiography. New York: Viking Adult, 2000. Print. 16.

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at: https://www.pemakhandro.org/pema-khandro-extended-biography/