A mother herself and inspired by the Great Mother, Perfection of Wisdom, Machig Labdron lived in Tibet in the 11th and 12th centuries. Intelligent, courageous, and illuminated, she was the only Tibetan – male or female – to initiate a distinct tradition that spread back into India , the motherland of Buddhism. Machig “developed a system, the Mahamudra Chöd, that takes the Buddha’s teachings as a basis and applies them to the immediate experiences of negative mind states and malignant forces. Her unique feminine approach is to invoke and nurture the very ‘demons’ that we fear and hate, transforming those reactive emotions into love.” (Sarah Harding, Machik’s Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chöd)
I look at the Thangka every day and, just yesterday, I had friends in and they started asking me about it. I explained how long you apprenticed and how each piece of material is cut then sewn. When I look at it I see not only your hard work and the months it took you, but it reminds me of the importance of staying true to the Godly part of myself. We fortunate humans get caught up in the trappings of our everyday life of material wealth. Nice as those things are, our real wealth and value is not in our material belongings but in who we are at our core.
— Dee Robinson
commissioned Machig Labdron in 2005