Gyalyum Chemo and The Great Mother Archetype is the compelling life story of Dekyi Tsering, the mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The Tibetan people call her “Gyalyum Chemo” or “Great Mother.” During the course of her extraordinary life, she gave birth to sixteen children, seven who survived, two of whom were recognized as incarnate lamas, and one who has been recognized by millions around the globe as one of the world’s leading ambassadors for peace.
Dekyi Tsering's story embodies the generosity and wisdom of the “Great Mother” archetype in action. By following the journey of her life and times, we can see the gifts that mothers can and do give when there is nothing left to give; how a mother’s love survives regardless of loss; and how simple gestures of encouragement and support can profoundly impact the course one’s life. These are the qualities of motherhood that not only keep a family together, but have also helped to keep a nation together as it faced cultural genocide and exile. They are also the qualities that helped inspire the strength to preserve culture, family and tradition while in exile.
The film weaves together a rich life history of anecdotal threads and personal reflection from her children, grandchildren and friends who share the details of her long and full life. We are guided and inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who speaks candidly of his admiration and respect for his mother and the powerful impact she had on him.
Our film also explores the mythic stories of the Great Mother archetype throughout history with commentary from three acclaimed storytellers including Marion Woodman, Alice Walker and Angeles Arrien. They each describe how the Great Mother archetype manifests in all aspects of our lives and in the art and iconography from all religious traditions and cultures to inform our sense of a mythic and mystical realm.
Dekyi Tsering’s story, as seen through the larger lens of the universal Great Mother, powerfully conveys how the greater forces of love, generosity, and mercy are constantly called into being.