Marilyn Thurrott first heard about the Vidyadhara in the early 1970's while living on a commune in the Kootenays of British Columbia. Over the years, she became a dedicated student and attended seminary in 1982. During the Seminary, she was given the refuge name, Dharma Protector Divine Lady, and was inspired to join the Dorje Kasung. She has continued her kasung service over the years while living in Halifax, Toronto, and Karme Chöling and has held the posts of Rusung and Regimental Commander. Marilyn returned to the Kootenays in 1999, where she works as a hospice volunteer and continues to teach dharma classes. She lives with her daughter and grandchildren. Her son lives nearby, and the entire family are active members of the Kootenay Shambhala Centre. Marilyn has attended Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche's programs at Karme Chöling for the past seven years and plans to enter the three-year retreat at Gampo Abby in 2004.
Julia speaks with Bill Wooding about being gay in the early Vajradhatu/Shambhala community, about the history of "Queer Dharma", and about the efforts made by a number of North American dharma groups to welcome and include the LGBTQ community as part of their sangha.