His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his mother

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his mother, Dekyi Tsering. She is also referred to as Gyalyum Chemo, The Great Mother.

A documentary on the life of Dekyi Tsering, the mother of the Dalai Lama, entitled “Gyalyum Chemo – The Great Mother” will be aired by various public television stations in the United States, beginning from May 7, 2006. In the Washington, D.C. area, it will be shown on May 11 at 9:00 pm on WHUT.

According to Rosemary Rawcliffe, Producer/Director of the documentary, the film is the first of a trilogy on Women in Tibet and “recounts the compelling life story of Dekyi Tsering, the mother of one of the world’s leading ambassadors for peace, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. During the course of her extraordinary life, Dekyi Tsering, known by Tibetans as “Gyalyum Chemo” or “Great Mother,” gave birth to 16 children, only seven survived, three of whom were recognized as incarnate lamas.

The film weaves together a rich life history of anecdotal threads and personal reflections from Dekyi Tsering’s children, grandchildren and friends who share the details of her long and full life. With never before seen photographs from their family collections and rare footage of Tibet, our film offers a rare glimpse into Tibet’s first family and the woman who inspired them. His Holiness talks about how his mother helped shape the man he is today and the relationship between healthy family and healthy humanity, and how it all begins with a mothers love. Dr. Marion Woodman (Addiction to Perfection), Alice Walker (The Color Purple) and Angeles Arrien, (The Second Half of Life) link this unique Tibetan story to a much broader perspective of how Mother and the Great Mother archetype touches all our lives.”

The documentary will have its world premiere at the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival in Colorado on May 28, 2006 at 2:00 pm.

American Public Broadcasting TV Stations airdates of the Documentary

Gyalyum Chemo – The Great Mother

  • San Francisco: KQED May 7, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Sacramento, CA :KVIE2-Cable 7, May 7, 2006 at 9:00 p.m.
    encores Monday, May 8, 2006 at 2:00 a.m.
  • Las Vegas, NV, : KLUX and KLVXDT, May 8, 2006 at 10:00 p.m.
  • Rohnert Park, CA: KRCB and KRCBDT, May 9, 2006 at 9:00 p.m.
  • Salt Lake City, UT : KUEN, May 10, 2006 at 9:00 p.m
    encores Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11.00 p.m.
  • Washington, DC : WHUT, May 11, 2006 at 9.00 p.m.
  • San Mateo, CA : KCSM, May 11 @ 8:00 p.m.
    encores May 14 @ 03:00 a.m. and May 17 @ 12 midnight
  • Portales, NM : KENW and KENWDT2, May 11, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh, PA : WQED, May 12, 2006 at 10:00 p.m.
  • New York, NY: WNYE, May 12, 2006 at 12 noon
    encores Friday, May 12, 2006 at 11:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 5:00 a.m.
  • Buffalo, NY : WNED, May 14, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Albuquerque, NM : KNME, May 14, 2006 at 2 p.m.
  • San Bernardino, CA (Los Angeles DMA) : KVCR, May 14, 2006 at 11 p.m.
  • Indianapolis, IN:WTIU, May 14, 2006 at 11:00 p.m.
  • Colorado Springs/Pueblo, CO : KTSC and KTSCDT, Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 12 noon
  • Grand Junction/Montrose, CO : KRMJ and KRMJDT, May 14, 2006 at 12 noon
  • Denver CO: KRMA, May 14, 2006 at 12 noon

The Women of Tibet film project consists of three one-hour documentary films revealing potent historical moments of past and contemporary Tibet. The films touch on themes of women’s endurance and their struggle for freedom, social justice, peace, and human rights. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, the Women of Tibet film trilogy shows the strength and perseverance of a people dedicated to the principles of peace, non-violence, and compassion. The other two documentaries in the trilogy are Incense Broken…Country Lost and Women, Wisdom and Spirit.

Incense Broken…Country Lost is “the account of women who have lost everything and then survived the perilous escape from Tibet across the high Himalayas. From their principal refuge in Dharamsala, India, to small settlements scattered across the globe, these women have become the architects and builders of the new Tibet. Their goal is singular–to impart to Tibetan children the strength and knowledge of their cultural heritage and spiritual wisdom.”

According to the producers, “In Incense Broken…Country Lost, His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks candidly about the powerful significance of the women in his family and of his admiration and gratitude for his countrywomen in their fight for Tibet’s freedom. We meet Tibetan elders, their daughters, and granddaughters as they continue working to develop schools, clinics, and community. We hear what it was for them to lose everything and begin anew, how they have transformed the brutality of invasion while facing the complex issues of the modern world. The story of these remarkable women spans past, present, and future.”

Women, Wisdom and Spirit “highlights the wisdom, devotion and strength of women both past and present, East and West, who practice a tradition that has been shrouded in mystery and mysticism for most of Western history.”

According to the producers, “This hour-long documentary, shot on location in India and North America, features rare interviews with today’s most important leaders in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Respondents include: His Holiness, the Dalai Lama; the Venerable Khandro Rinpoche; and, Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding, whose personal story of heroism and courage as a dharma teacher and mother of five is an inspiring example of juggling a full spiritual practice with the demands of family life.”

“Throughout the film spiritual leaders and practitioners explore what it takes to pursue a spiritual path and how an ancient culture and spiritual tradition can be redefined in the face of 21st century challenges. They include Ani Tenzin Palmo, the British-born Tibetan nun who undertook a twelve-year retreat high in a Himalayan cave and the late Ani Pachen whose whispered prayers helped her withstand years of imprisonment and torture by the Communist Chinese. Distinguished Buddhist scholars Dr. Elizabeth Napper, Anne Klein, and Judith Simmer-Brown discuss the powerful transformative tradition of the female Dakini figure in Tibetan Buddhism and its continuing influence on women of all ages and traditions.”

More information about the trilogy can be found at www.womenoftibet.org.