We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Summer Institute website. Details about the new location at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and information about courses and prerequisites for the new unified program, Meditation and Study in Union, can be found on the new website. Registration for review and prerequisite classes is now open. Summer Program registration will open in early spring.
kdL Buddhist Studies, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Foundation Curriculum, Gomdra, Intermediate Curriculum, Meditation, Science of Creativity and the Arts, Science of Languages, Science of Mind: Buddhist Studies (Shedra), Shedra, Summer Institute
Curious about the Summer Institute? Come check out our programs for one day!
On Saturday, July 14th, 2018 we are offering an Open House at the Summer Institute on the Western Washington University campus in Bellingham, WA. On this day you are welcome to attend any of the classes. You can mix and match classes in Buddhist Studies, Meditation, Thangka Painting, Mudra Space Awareness and Tibetan, as well as attend teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche!
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, about 90 minutes north of Seattle. For directions to Fairhaven College, home of Nitartha Summer Institute 2018, click here.
Saturday, July 14, 2018 anytime after 8:00 am.
For planning purposes, we kindly ask that you let us know if you are coming by filling out a short form. Register Now!
Register now for an amazing summer of Buddhist teachings and meditation!
Choose your track:
- Buddhist Studies (Shedra) with its Foundational, Intermediate and Advanced curriculum
- Meditation Intensive (Gomdra) with teachings on the Ocean of Definitive Meaning
- Thangka Painting (Science of Creative Arts)
In addition to the main classes of your track, you can choose among Lujong, Tibetan and Mudra Space Awareness for a full experience of body and mind!
Note: The main teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will be offered with Chinese translation.
The Shedra program becomes extremely beneficial and supportive for our practice. The studies we do in the Shedra classes are not just for becoming a scholar or well versed in literature. They are all connected with our practice and they help us to demystify our mind and its world. Everybody likes Mahamudra und Dzogchen, but the practice of Mahamudra und Dzogchen very much depends on the understanding that we develop through the Shedra classes.
– Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Can’t attend in person?
If you are not able to join us in person at the Nitartha Institute this summer, you can join the following online classes:
- Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
- Lama Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
Find our more on the Summer Institute’s website!
We are delighted that Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will teach two classes at the Summer Institute 2018!
The classes will be held during Module 1 (July 6-14) and Module 2 (July 16-24) and will be offered on alternating days.
Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies: A Lamp of Essential Points
This course is a systematic overview of Mipham´s teachings on the Middle Way by the influential scholar of the twentieth century Bötrül (1898-1959) of the Nyingma tradition. Bötrül’s root text, Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies, and his auto-commentary, Ornament of Mañjughoa´s Viewpoint, provide a meaning commentary on Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty.
Bötrül sets forth an understanding of “emptiness” and the Middle Way School that is unique to his Nyingma school, within a rich constellation of diverse perspectives, contrasting Nyingma views point by point with positions held by other Tibetan Buddhist schools.
Bötrül was an ordained monk and incarnate lama who taught at several monastic colleges in eastern and central Tibet. Many of his students were among the most influential leaders of the Nyingma school.
Anyone attending Shedra or Gomdra classes at the Summer Institute is welcome to come to this class.
Luminous Essence: The Tantra of the Secret Essence
The Tantra of the Secret Essence (Skt: Guhyagarbha Tantra; Tib: Gsang ba´i snying po) is the main tantra of the Mahāyoga class of tantras and is the main text on tantric view studied in the Nyingma tradition.
In this course, this tantra will be studied based on Mipham Rinpoche´s Luminous Essence (`Od gsal snying po), which is his celebrated commentary on Longchenpa´s commentary on the Guhyagarbha called Dispelling Darkness in the Ten Directions (Tib: phyogs bcu’i mun sel).
Mipham´s text presents the ground, path, and fruition of tantra, and the ten topics of the tantric path: view, conduct, maṇḍala, empowerment, samaya, activity, accomplishment, samādhi, offering pūja, and mantra with mudrā.
This course is only open to students with certain prerequisites; for details please check the Summer Institute website.
Join us for an amazing summer!
Are you a professional or an aspiring Tibetan translator? Here are 5 reasons how studying at Nitartha Institute – with its foundation, intermediate and advanced curriculum classes – can help you:
- You learn to understand basic Buddhist terminology and ideas/concepts, that are common in Hinayana and Mahayana schools. The foundation curriculum lays the ground with cognitive theory, ontology and logic. The Nitartha foundational curriculum teaches precise definitions, meaning, and usage of critical distinctions, such as when would you use “mind” or “consciousness” or “awareness” in your translations. By fully understanding the Pramana traditions, your translations will gain consistency and clarity. Make translation choices that convey the original meaning and intention.
- You learn the debate format and distinctions of logic. This helps decode the underlying way of thinking which runs through most Tibetan commentaries and will thereby help you understand these better.
- You will get an overview of the four classical fields of study of a Tibetan Shedra (with the exception of Vinaya) through detailed studies of Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, Prajnaparamita (paths and bhumis) and Pramana.
- You will go into the four philosophical tenent systems in depth, providing a context and background that is not accessible from mere comparative or summary presentations. Through in-depth understanding and broad knowledge, you will easily be able to contextualize topics for your western listeners and enable them to gain a deeper understanding.
- Many Nitartha Shedra classes are taught by translators with deep experience in presenting these topics, providing opportunities to get into the source languages right on the spot to clarify questions and discuss translation issues.
Please find below the exact dates for the Shedra sessions and the Gomdra modules at the Summer Institute 2018:
Shedra Session 1 (14 days)
July 6 (Friday) – July 19 (Thursday)
Travel Day: July 20 (Friday)
Shedra Session 2 (14 days)
July 21 (Saturday) – August 3 (Friday)
Travel Day: August 4 (Saturday)
Gomdra Module 1 (9 days)
July 6 (Friday) – July 14 (Saturday)
Travel day: July 15 (Sunday)
Gomdra Module 2 (9 days)
July 16 (Monday)- July 24 (Tuesday)
Travel day: July 25 (Wednesday)
Gomdra Module 3 (9 days)
July 26 (Thursday) – Aug 3 (Friday)
Travel Day: August 4 (Saturday)
In the Science of Creativity and the Arts track of the Summer Institute 2018, master thangka painter RD Salga will offer hands-on studio classes which focus on drawing and painting Buddhas using the guides and techniques of the Karma Gadri tradition, the painting tradition of the Karmapas noted for its elegance of form, colour, and composition.
RD Salga has more than thirty four years’ experience in composing and painting Tibetan thangkas of every major Tibetan Buddhist subject and tradition.
This is an unparalleled opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from one of the few masters of this tradition left in the world today.
We are happy to announce that Mitra Lee Worley will again offer Mudra Space Awareness at the Summer Institute 2018!
Mudra Space Awareness is a series of physical and vocal exercises derived from the Mahamudra and Maha Ati traditions of Tibetan Buddhism as presented in the West by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Mitra Lee Worley studied Mudra Space Awareness directly under the guidance of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
In 2017, for the first time, Mitra Lee had offered Mudra Space Awaress at the Summer Institute and students enjoyed this unique practice and her guidance.
In 2018, Mudra Space Awareness will be offered in modules 1 and 2. These classes are open to everyone who is interested. In module 2 there will also be some in-depth evening sessions for students who have completed at least one MSA 9-day module.
The Summer Institute 2018 will be held from July 6 – August 2, 2018 in Bellingham, Washington! Join us for another summer of incredible teachings.
The two primary tracks at the Summer Institute are complementary and feed back into each other. The Shedra track emphasizes learning the crucial distinctions about mind and processes of consciousness – like a decoder key to the pith instructions for training on the path. The Gomdra track emphasizes meditative practice as the method to discover, experience, and integrate new possibilities for being, sanity, and wisdom. As learning and insight develop in the Shedra, this enhances meditative experience. As meditative experience deepens, more advanced studies become relevant and meaningful.
Teachers at the Summer Institute include:
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, leading master of the Kagyü & Nyingma lineages and founder of Nitartha Institute and Nalandabodhi.
Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Naropa University and head teacher at Nalandabodhi.
Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl, translator and teacher at Nalandabodhi
… and many more eastern and western senior teachers & scholars!
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kdL Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Advanced Curriculum, Buddhist Studies, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Foundation Curriculum, Intermediate Curriculum, Meditation, Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, Science of Creativity and the Arts, Science of Mind: Buddhist Studies (Shedra), Shedra, Summer Institute