Nurturing Our Demons with Lama Tsultrim Allione

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What if we stopped seeing the demons in our lives – depression, overeating, illness, anger, the list goes on – as enemies to be conquered? Renowned American Buddhist leader Tsultrim Allione offers us a powerful and transformative practice that may seem counter-intuitive: nurturing our demons and turning them into allies. She takes us on a fantastic journey as she shares her life as a Buddhist nun and teaches a gentle process we can use to heal the negativity in our lives. Allione suggests that we “Take the paradigm of feeding rather than fighting our own inner demons.” She offers a step-by-step process adapted from the wisdom of Tibet’s greatest female spiritual master Machig Lapdrön, who lived in the 11th century. In the story of Machig, Tsultrim tells us: “The demons were so moved by her fearlessness and by her generosity, compassion, and the stability of her meditation that they said to her: Not only will we not harm you but we will become your protectors and we will protect all of those who follow you.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Lama Tsultrim Allione is widely respected as an authentic Western teacher and former Buddhist nun who spent forty years studying with great Tibetan masters. She has appeared on panels with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She is founder of Tara Mandala, a 700-acre Buddhist retreat center in Southwest Colorado, and a leading voice in emerging American Buddhism and contemporary spirituality. She was recognized in Tibet as an incarnation of Machig Lapdrön, the eleventh century yogini on whose teachings her book is based.

She is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Tsultrim Allione go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the difference between an inner and outer demon
  • How does our ego keep our demons in place
  • How fighting our demons only produces more demons
  • How can our demons be transformed into allies
  • What is the transformative practice to nurture our demons and liberate ourselves

Host: Justine Willis Toms       Interview Date: 3/27/2008       Program Number: 3253

Music Playlist

From Album: Freedom Chants From The Roof Of The World
Artist: The Gyuto Monks
1989 20113 Rykodisc

Opening Essay: Track 01 Yamantaka
Music Break 1: Track 01 Yamantaka
Music Break 2: Track 03 #2 for Gaia
Music Break 3: Track 02 Mahakala