Lama Christie McNally trained in Tibetan monasteries in India and Nepal, and received extensive instruction in all the texts required for a Geshe degree, which is traditionally a 20-year course of study. From there, she immersed herself in the secret teachings of Buddhism. She is one of the first Western women to be recognized as a Lama. Through her efforts, she has begun to change the face of Buddhism that has historically been predominantly male.
She is a translator of ancient Tibetan and Sanskrit, and a professor of religious studies. She has also co-authored The Essential Yoga Sutra, How Yoga Works, and The Eastern Path to Heaven.
Lama Christie is the co-founder of Diamond Mountain University, a revolutionary effort to provide without charge a classical monastic education to westerners of all walks of life, to be used within the modern world. For the Diamond Mountain curriculum she is the author of the Bok Jinpa Series (15 Courses in Advanced Meditation) and Co-author of the Advanced Buddhist Series (15 Courses on the Diamond Way).
From 2000 to 2003, Lama Christie completed a traditional Great Retreat of 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days of silence and meditation, in the wilderness of the southern Arizona desert.