The Passing of Christina Monson

Christina Monson

Christina's Masterpiece

Available May, 2024

A Dakinis Counsel
Paperback | Ebook 

$26.95 - Paperback

We are deeply saddened  to share the news that Christina Monson—teacher, translator, and disciple of Chatral Rinpoche among others—passed away November 19, 2023.

Christina's book,  A Dakini's Counsel: Sera Khandro's Spiritual Advice and Dzogchen Instructions will be released May 21, 2024.  We knew she had little time left after her cancer diagnosis earlier this year.  We had hoped she could hold the book in her hand, but she knew it was in a good place.

All of us at Shambhala Publications have our palms together to Christina for her ceaseless contributions to the Dharma generally, the Nyingma tradition, the Dudjom and Sera Khandro lineages specifically.

Dzongsar Jamyang KhyentseIn the foreword to the A Dakini's Counsel, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche wrote,

In addition to receiving teachings, abhishekas, and guidance from many great Mahasandhi masters—for example, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche—Christina Monson also received decades of teachings from Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche. Therefore, I do not think of her as yet another mildly curious Dharma student but as a seeker after the truth who has been blessed and strongly influenced by many great masters, Chatral Rinpoche in particular. As such, I have no doubt that Christina made many good aspirations as she translated Sera Khandro’s words, and, as a result, now that this great lady’s words are being made available in English, there is far less chance of the meaning getting lost in translation. For this reason, my aspiration for this translation is that it will be widely read. May those who read this book not only come to know Sera Khandro and her teachings but may the reach of her buddha activities extend to infinity.

There have been an outpouring of appreciation for Christina as she was a mentor, friend, and dharma sister to so many.

Sogan Rinpoche (Sogan Tulku Pema Lodoe) composed "A Panacea for the Heart: An Incitement to Virtue Through Reflection on Impermanence" upon learning of Christina's passing.   It includes the following verse:

And when my Dharma siblings who I wished to remain here with me inseparably
Are led away without hope of intervening, by the Lord of Death himself, I feel sad
But sadness and grief don’t help; let us rouse strength of heart
And spurn ourselves to practice virtue and dedicate it with aspirations.

You can download the full prayer here.


chhojeChhoje Rinpoche in Denver wrote,

"She was a great practitioner during her lifetime and she was an example of how to be a Vajrayana student. She kept her samaya and bodhicitta mind throughout her life excellently. She was so kind and her teachings were immensely beneficial to the members of the Padmasambhava Meditation Center and many other sanghas. I am very grateful for everything she has done.

I have no doubt that Christina is in a very good place and I personally witnessed a rainbow around the sun on the day that she passed. I am personally sponsoring many practices for her.

I would request that everyone do prayers for her. Please recite Vajrasattava, Chenrezig, Guru Yoga and whatever practice you do and dedicate it to Christina's full enlightenment."


Lama Tsultrim Allione wrote,

"It’s hard to write this but important.  As we were receiving the Kudong of Wangdu Rinpoche at Tara Mandala November 19, 2023,  the great Yogini and Translator Sangye Gyalmo, Christina Monson integrated her consciousness into the Dharmakaya and passed from this world. I last met her in July and we spent ten days together.   I really wanted her to live, she had so much more to give and to translate. I wanted her to come out from the role of translator and teach and she would have, but sadly for us this was not to be in this life… but let us pray for her rapid rebirth. A great Yogini has departed from this world and she should be honored as such. One of the last things she said to me as she was dying was

'Your personal practice is all that matters in the end.'

She remained in tugdam 3 days in Oakland and left a trail of rainbows.

Her book “A Dakini’s Counsel” will come out next spring and she sent me the manuscript to write an endorsement, which I happily did. Here is a fragment from it, it is a poem from her consort Drimé Ozer about Sera Khandro. I pulled it spontaneously from the manuscript and I think it applies to Christina as well.

From "An Offering from the Vulture to the Cuckoo" by Drime Ozer:

Reflecting on all your noble qualities deepens my faith.

Seemingly I’m lost, an ordinary person
controlled by the five poisons.7
But the manifestative potency of your great bliss wisdom
automatically connects my body, speech, and mind to their vajra essences
and introduces me to undistracted luminosity,
my true dharmakaya nature.
Extraordinary is your great kindness,
Noble Lady, my Wish-Fulfilling Jewel.

The ultimate expanse
is definitely devoid of characteristics to fixate upon.
Yet, from the perspective of disciples who are training,
teacher and retinue seemingly appear.

The fundamental nature of reality
is but a single indivisible sphere.
Yet, those with impure perception
see it as distinct from confusion.

In essence, awareness transcends fears
about birth and death,
but for those who cleave to permanence,
dying and becoming seemingly appear.

Most certainly you have mastery
over the phenomena of samsara and nirvana,
yet you continuously practice
the two stages of development and completion.


Related Books

By Christina's sister Elizabeth:

Tales of a Mad Yogi

$19.95 - Paperback

By: Elizabeth L. Monson

Books Related to Sera Khandro

Refining Our Perception of Reality

$34.95 - Hardcover

By: Sera Khandro

Inseparable across Lifetimes

$24.95 - Paperback

By: Holly Gayley

Books Related to Chatral Rinpoche

Compassionate Action

$21.95 - Paperback

By: Chatral Rinpoche & Zach Larson

Christina Monson on the Naturalness of Illness, Dakini Guidance, and Chatral Rinpoche


lotswa houseChristina also translated many privately published translations, as well as contributed to Lotsawa House. which includes ten of her translations of Sera Khandro and Chatral Rinpoche.