Karma of Love

We forgive on two levels, one on forgivable things and one on unforgivable things: you’ve done a forgivable thing to me, you insulted my cheesecake the other day, and I forgive you. But you broke up with me last month, and that’s unforgivable.
… I can’t forgive everybody. Personally, I can’t do it. People hurt me, and I keep it for a long time. There’s a separate word in Tibetan called tshig pa [spite] which means slow burning. I have tshig pa, someone hurt me, I’ve got tshig pa. I don’t say anything, I still get up and give nice talks, and I’m very reasonable in class, and I can sit there and pretend to meditate, everybody thinks I am. But inside I have tshig pa. How can they do this to me? How can they do this to me? I’ll never forgive them.” —Geshe Michael Roach in 2010, the year his secret marriage to Christie McNally ended in divorce

I did not realize the intensity of GM’s bitterness toward me. He is a formidable enemy, especially when you do not even realize you have one.” —Christie McNally, 2013

You can’t get a glass of water in India, you can’t get a glass of water which you can drink [without getting diarrhea]. So here is this thing, you are looking at it, will this kill me, you see. And I am talking literal, you know. We [McNally and I] were very sick there [from diarrhea] and there’s nothing you can do, because the penicillin is bad too, you see, I am not kidding, I am not kidding. Maybe somebody in the factory wanted an extra 50 cents, they threw in some rat poison or something.” —Geshe Michael Roach, 2006

Despite his secret marriage ending in divorce and the ex-wife calling him a “formidable enemy,” Geshe Michael had the chutzpah to write The Karma of Love and give talks titled “Perfect Relationships” and “Relationships Never End.” If his method really works, why did it not save his marriage or prevent “a huge number of break ups” among his most advanced students?

It is regrettable that Geshe Michael Roach is now unsupportive of McNally who taught by his side for many years and whom he had claimed to be the tantric Buddha Vajrayogini.

August 27, 2012

Dear Friends:

I have been contacted recently by a number of individuals and organizations who say that they have been approached by Lama Christie McNally with offers of special teachings and practices, and requests for funding these activities. I have been asked whether I endorse these, and whether they are connected with any of the organizations or projects with which I am involved.

As many of you are aware, Christie’s and my viewpoints and goals have developed in different directions over the past four or five years. I have not been asked to endorse any of her current activities, and I don’t feel that I can do so at this time.

At the same time, I do believe that each individual and group has complete freedom to pursue and support any spiritual path that they wish; in our tradition, this should be done after carefully examining whether it is beneficial to people and brings them happiness. And of course we all continue to pray for Lama Christie’s own success, healing, and peace of mind.

Please feel free to share this communication with anyone else whom you think may be concerned about this issue.

I would also like to take this chance to thank you all for your tireless and devoted work to share the wisdom of the Diamond Cutter, in programs attended by many thousands of people around the world in recent years. I hope that you will all set your minds to finding new ways of satisfying the demand for these programs, which continues to grow greater every week, and which I believe will take the good effort of all of our lives to fill.

With kind regards,

Geshe Michael Roach



  1. Mo

    Hello, I greatly appreciate the information you have compiled on this site. I wonder if you could help clear something up for me, and please accept my apologies in advance if this has already been addressed…. Regarding Christie McNally, do you know if she herself ever claimed to be “Vajrayogini in the flesh”? Was she aware that this was Michael Roach’s claim about her? If so, how much did she “milk” that (to use a vulgar phrase) for her own gain? She is a very troubling piece of this puzzle. Thanks very much for your help. Be well.

    • mrf

      Hi Mo, as far as I know, McNally did not claim to be Vajrayogini or view herself as such. From the Quiet Retreat interview:

      C: I don’t know if it’s the final step for me. I’m not really a very advanced practitioner. I don’t want people to get the feeling that … I don’t consider myself very advanced. I consider that I worked very hard on certain practices in my past life, which is why I’m here and I’m practicing this particular path.
      Q: So how does it feel to know that Geshe la is referring to you as Vajrayogini?
      GMR: That’s a great question!
      Q: I mean, how did you deal with that?
      C: You know, I spent many years testing him on that. Many years. Because well, that is a very interesting teaching on emptiness, to tell you the truth. It was one of my very first, very profound teachings on emptiness. Because you really can’t logically deny someone else seeing you that way, even though you don’t see yourself that way. You can debate them, and I have, all you want, but really it’s your perception against their perception.
      Q: What ground do you have to stand on?
      C: … and you really come to this understanding of how self-grasping you are. How, “No, no, no, but I’m right because I’m me!” Why am I more right than he is? Like why do I think that I have… it’s just that self-existent “me” coming up and having to reconcile that with some other perception. But I’ve also tried on another angle of the tests to be like, “OK, I’m Vajrayogini; I tell you to do this!” and see if he does it, just because you’ve got to know, like where does he stand? I’m Vajrayogini, OK, well, and you know, and he says, “Well, that’s figurative, (laughs) I don’t believe you.” And he just does whatever he wants anyway. So it’s really not for me…


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