Key West Tara Mandala
      A Tibetan Buddhist Sangha
       May All Beings Benefit
Key West Tara Mandala is a Florida Keys Tibetan Buddhist 
Sangha (community) within the teaching lineage of 
Lama Tsultrim Allione 
and led by Ellen Booth Church (Yeshe Choepel).

All are welcome.
"The Eightfold Path is really the essential teaching of the Buddhist Path". 

The Eightfold Path is the Buddha's "recipe" for ending suffering.  
How do you do it?  
This is how you do it!

So if we actually follow the Eightfold Path, we would reach enlightenment, we would reach a state of awakening.  This was how the Buddha said to do it.  so if we were to just take the Eightfold Path and say, "Okay, that's what I'm going to do, I'm just going to foll these guidelines of the Eightfold Path, " that could be a very powerful and complete path.  This is something that's really important to get an idea about, to have some knowledge of, and to think about, to contemplate, this Eightfold Path because it's really the core of what the Buddha said to do.

   -- Lama Tsultrim Allione

Ellen Booth Church 
(Yeshe Chopel
is an educator and writer and 
30-year practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism.  She is the teacher for the Key West Tara Mandala sangha and travels the world spreading the Dharma of Buddhist teachings.

General  Meditation Schedule
(subject to change)

Key West

Key West Botanical Gardens, Key West, FL

Irregular Tuesdays 
(7pm - 8:30pm)

Scheduling can change 

It’s like growing lotus flowers. You cannot grow lotus flowers on marble. You have to grow them on the mud. Without mud you cannot have lotus flowers. Without suffering, you have no way to learn how to be understanding and compassionate.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Dearest Sangha family,

I am over the moon thinking about seeing you again in the Gompa. I hope you can join us Saturday morning (10:00-Noon) or stay for the full day on Saturday and/or Sunday.

I have been preparing our plan for each day with delight. I just came out of an inspiring meeting with Lama Tsultrim. It will be a pleasure to share with you some of this energy with all of you.

Please know that the day on Saturday is open for all for the first two hours. If you plan to stay longer, please plan to stay for the rest of the day (until 4:30pm). 

If you are thinking of joining me/us for Sunday, please be sure to plan to be there for the full day from 10:00-4:30pm. It is important to keep the "container" of the retreat in tact as we go deeper and deeper into meditation and awareness. 
Please write or if you have any questions. 

It will not be possible to have the Zoom connection for these days. I send my best to all the Zoomers and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Heartstreams, Ellen Yeshe

Here are the plans for each day!

On Saturday the 13th will be Choosing Peace in a Challenging Time. 10:00- 4:30 
This day will include a mixture of  practical teachings, meditation and silence. We will end the day with an offering of the CHOD.

On Sunday, January 14th from 10:00am- 4:30 pm will look at the powerful and transformational work of Wisdom's Play: The Empowered Feminine and Nature. 
I just finished a wonderful conference call with Lama Tsultrim hearing more about her work connecting the feminine with nature. We will use this information as we practice and study in the natural beauty of the Botanical Garden.
What is the concept of "wisdom's play" in the Vajrayana teachings? How does this relate to our innate nature of mind?  The concepts behind Lama Tsultrim's new book "Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine" will be key to this traditional day of Vajrayana teachings, practice and feast. Please come for the full day.

Further Information for the Retreat Days:
  • Wear comfortable clothing for sitting walking and resting.
  • You might want a beach towel for stretching out on too.
  • Please see Debra when you arrive for class at 10:00 to sign in and pay for the retreat.
    Dana is offered in the baskets on the desk.
  •  Please bring yourself a delicious lunch to eat in the beauty of the garden. There are benches and tables throughout the garden to sit in silent mindful eating.
  • We will provide you with "In Silence" labels to wear around the garden. SO if someone speaks to you...all you have to do is point to it and smile!
  • We will have afternoon snacks, tea and coffee available for you. Please bring water and your favorite mug. 
  • Art is one of the optional activities in the afternoon. If you have favorite art materials you would like to bring...please do so. We will also have a variety of markers, pencils, papers, magazines to use. 
  • It is important to honor the integrity of the container we create together as a retreat group. So we ask that no one leave the land, make phone calls or other worldly activities throughout the rest of the retreat day. It is a gift to yourself and to each other. 
  • If you are coming on Sunday, please bring a simple finger food to pass for the feast at the end of the day.
  • Sliding scale of $40- $54 per day.  Pay at the door. 
  • Dana for the teachings
  • No one is turned away for lack of funds
If you think you are interested in attending, please rsvp to this email address: and share which day or days you think you might like to attend. This will allow us to know how many materials to prepare.


The Buddha's Path
"Suppose we use a traveling metaphor for the universal spiritual quest.  The main map the Buddha offered for the trip to happiness and contentment is called the Eightfold Path, but I have often thought it should be called the Eightfold Circle.  A path goes from here to there, and the nearer you are to there, the farther you are from here.  A path is progressive . . . on a genuine path you need to start at the beginning and proceed in a linear way until the end.  With a circle, you can join in anywhere, and it's the same circle.

When the Buddha taught his path, he said it had a specific number of constituent parts; people could be sure they were going the right way if they saw any one of either special markers...The order in which traveler sees the signs doesn't matter.  If we look at any sign closely, it becomes apparent that Right Understanding, the suspicion that it is possible to be contented even if we aren't pleased, arouses Right Aspiration to make a lot of Right Effort to develop more Right Understanding...It's all connected."

--Sylvia Boorstein, It's Easier Than You Think
"All major religious traditions carry 
basically the same message, 
that is love, compassion and forgiveness . . . 
the important thing 
is that they should be a part of our daily lives."

- the Dalai Lama
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