The Buddhist path is traditionally described in terms of the three trainings: view, meditation, and conduct. Nitartha Institute’s training focuses on the first two elements, view and practice, which will subsequently strengthen conduct. Following the five traditional sciences taught at monastic Buddhist colleges, training in Buddhist art and language are also part of the curriculum.
At the Summer Institute 2018 you can therefore choose between a focus on Buddhist Studies (Shedra), Meditation Intensive (Gomdra), or Thangka Painting and enjoy additional classes in Lujong, Tibetan and Mudra Space Awareness.
Shedra: Explore your Mind through Buddhist Studies
How do we know what we know? And how do we know if this knowledge is correct? The Shedra classes will take you on a journey to discover your mind and consciousness with all its facets and functions. You will move through a well-developed progressive series of courses of the Foundational, Intermediate and Advanced curriculum to a more and more profound understanding of the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana views. The methods include presentations, discussion groups, analytical meditation and debate.
Gomdra: Awaken you Heart through Meditation
What is mind? And how do you meditate on it? The Gomdra track of the Summer Institute emphasizes meditative practice as the method to discover and experience your own nature and innate wisdom. While studying the Ocean of Definitive Meaning – a precious text on instructions on Mahamudra meditation – students will be guided in applying the received instructions in meditation sessions to deepen their practice. Discussion groups give room for clarifying questions.
The Artistic Approach of the Science of Creative Arts
The Science of Creative Arts is one of the five sciences traditionally taught at monastic Buddhist colleges and Nitartha Institute is very fortunate to be able to offer hands-on studio classes with renowned thangka painter RD Salga where students get one-on-one instructions from one of the few masters of this tradition left in the world today. Students learn to draw and paint thangkas from scratch.
A Unique Retreat Environment and Diverse Community
The unique retreat environment of the Summer Institute at Western Washington University is ideal to bring your study and meditation practice to a new level. The day starts with Lujong practice and a morning meditation for everyone after which students follow the course schedule of their own track.
Faculty and students of all tracks live together on the campus of WWU which allows for discussions among students of different levels and various backgrounds and for interaction between faculty and students outside the classes.
History of Nitartha Institute
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche founded Nitartha Institute in 1996, under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Though the focus of the curriculum is the Kagyü and Nyingma understanding of the Dharma, the Institute upholds the importance of non-sectarianism and appreciation of the many forms of Buddhism—the Institute is open to all who are interested in deepening their study and practice of Buddhism.
Besides the Summer Institute, Nitartha also offers local classes and self-paced online classes.