Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the Lewis & Clark College?2024-01-25T17:06:42-08:00

If you are arriving by plane, book your flight to the Portland or Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The Portland airport is roughly a 35-minute taxi drive to the college.

From the Seattle Airport:
Amtrak runs five trains a day between Seattle and Portland. Tickets cost $7 – $100 and the trip takes 3h 25m.
FlixBus can bring you from the Seattle airport to Portland curbside bus stop in 3 hours.

Check-in and housing will be at Holmes Residence Hall (corner of S Service Dr and Forest Dr)

Who is the main teacher?2023-09-26T19:10:53-07:00

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, two world-renowned Buddhist teachers, share the primary leadership and teaching responsibilities at Nitartha, including curriculum design and teaching the principal Buddhist courses at the Summer Institute. Rinpoche and Acharya graduated with high honors from the nine-year training program at Karma Shri Nalanda Institute in Rumtek, Sikkim, India (an affiliate of the Sanskrit University of Varanasi).

What is the schedule like?2024-01-26T06:13:37-08:00

The days begin with lujong (body training)for onsite students, followed by meditation and study throughout the day. After lunch, onsite students can enjoy enhancement activities, such as art and debate. The days conclude after dinner with Tibetan courses for both online and onsite students who are interested in studying the Tibetan language, as well as discussion groups on the main teaching every third day.

For more details about the schedule click here.

What is the payment and refund policy?2024-02-22T06:59:41-08:00

All payments must be made in full when you complete the Summer Institute registration form, unless a PPFA (Payment Plan/Financial Assistance) is approved (see below).

Participants with limited funds can apply for a payment plan or financial assistance (PPFA). You can choose to pay in installments prior to the Summer Institute, and/or request a discount. Applications will be reviewed usually within 14 days.  Please click here if you would like to apply for financial assistance or an installment plan.

A full refund will be given for cancellations made before the late registration deadline of June 7, 2024.

No refunds on housing and meals will be possible after June 7, 2024. However, a refund of 50% on tuition will be given for cancellations made between June 7 and June 15, 2024.

No refunds of any kind will be possible after June 15.

Are discounts available for students with limited resources?2023-05-06T09:49:48-07:00

Nitartha Institute aims to enable everyone who is interested in attending our courses to access our programs. Therefore, we established the Payment Plan and Financial Assistance (PPFA) program, which provides tuition assistance to any Nitartha participants who would not otherwise be able to attend due to financial reasons. Click here to apply.


Do I have to be a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche?2021-05-05T16:39:41-07:00

Nitartha is open to everyone regardless of their teacher-student relationships. Some Nitartha students are formal students of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, some are formal students of other teachers, and some do not have a formal student-teacher relationship with one teacher.

Do I have to be familiar with Buddhist philosophy?2021-05-05T16:40:05-07:00

While there are no requirements to attend Level 1 courses, some prior Buddhist studies would be helpful, especially knowledge about basic topics such as the Four Noble Truths, impermanence, karma, and interdependence.

Do I need to be a Buddhist in order to attend?2021-05-05T16:40:30-07:00

Nitartha Summer Institute is open to people from all types of religious backgrounds. While some of our formal practice sessions include Buddhist liturgy, you do not need to be Buddhist in order to participate.

Why are there prerequisites for some classes?2021-05-05T16:40:52-07:00

Since some of Nitartha’s classes are advanced, it is important to have the right kind of preparation in order to benefit from taking those classes. The prerequisites are designed with that in mind, to help students get the most out of their experience at Nitartha.

Are meditation sessions a requirement?2023-05-06T09:59:18-07:00

As the Buddha taught, meditation and study support each other. Philosophy greatly helps our meditation experience, and our personal experience with meditation deepens our understanding of Buddhist philosophy. We strongly recommend that students participate in both of these activities so that they can fully benefit from Summer Institute.

Can I complete Nitartha’s curriculum by taking the Summer Institute?2023-05-06T09:51:45-07:00

Not all of the courses offered by Nitartha are taught at Summer Institute. By taking 3 Summer Institutes plus 3 semester courses, you can complete the Foundational and Intermediate curricula. The curricula can also be completed through Self-Paced Online Courses.

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