DEEPEN YOUR MEDITATION, ENRICH YOUR VIEW

A New Unified Program

In 2020, study and meditation will be joined once again at the Summer Institute! All students will receive Mahamudra meditation instruction and a significant portion of each day will be devoted to practice. Students will also attend one study class daily to deepen their understanding of the view.

Furthermore, all students will receive teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Rinpoche will teach two different classes on alternating days at the Summer Institute 2020.

  • Meditation: Three levels of Mahamudra meditation

  • Study: Courses from the Nitartha curriculum

  • Free Electives: including lüjong (body-mind integration practice), Mudra Space Awareness, debate, and Tibetan language.

  • Mahamudra Silent Retreat with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen in Session 3!

A Month-Long Program:
In Person, Online, or both!

Nitartha’s Summer Institute is a month-long program, with courses continuing from one session to another.

Those who attend one or two sessions in person can continue their study and meditation courses at home! You can view classes in real-time as well as watch the recordings at a time that is convenient for you.

And if you cannot participate in any of Summer Institute in person, you are very welcome to attend the shedra courses online.

Stay tuned for information about additional courses offerred online from Summer Institute 2020.

“Everybody likes Mahamudra and Dzogchen, but the practice of Mahamudra and Dzogchen very much depends on the understanding that we develop through the Shedra classes.”

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

“Scholars who engage in analysis also need to engage in meditative contemplation, and meditators need to complement their practice with analysis if they want to determine how their concepts work. If you engage in analysis but do not meditate, your understanding will remain on a conceptual level. If you meditate without engaging in analysis, your meditative experiences will remain subjective. You will not receive the full benefits of meditative practice if you do not combine analysis and contemplation.”

Moonbeams of Mahamudra by Traleg Kyabgon

“In Mahamudra, we meditate on the nature of mind to attain the kind of realization that is genuine, immediate, and uncontaminated by conceptual understandings.”

Dakpo Tashi Namgyal

“Without knowing mind, forget about knowing the nature of mind.”

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

MEDITATION

Level 1: Resting in Mind

Mahamudra Shamatha

For Beginners in Mahamudra Meditation

All students of this level will receive teachings on Mahamudra Shamatha based on the 9th Karmapa’s Ocean of Definitive Meaning and engage in several hours of practice each day. You will be guided in meditation sessions and be able to address personal questions. The Mahamudra teachings of this level will be complemented by the Buddhist Studies class Mind and Its World, where students learn how to distinguish valid cognition from confusion and learn how our mind engages its world.

Students attending Level 1 of the Summer Institute have the opportunity to complete Mahamudra Shamatha in one summer and qualify for next summer’s Vipashyana teachings and thereby deepen their practice and studies even further.

Teachers: Scott Wellenbach and Stephanie Johnston

Corresponding Buddhist Studies: Mind and Its World – Valid Cognition, Modes of Engagement and Mental Factors.

All required texts will be available at the Summer Institute bookstore for purchase.

While there are no specific prerequisites for this level, it is recommended that students have some background in the study and practice of the dharma.

Level 2: Investigating Mind

Mahamudra Vipashyana-I

For Students with Prior Experience in Mahamudra Meditation

Students attending Level 2 of the Summer Institute must have prior knowledge in Mahamudra Shamatha. They will receive teachings on Mahamudra Vipashyana based on the 9th Karmapa’s precious text Ocean of Definitive Meaning (Tib. nges don rgya mtsho) and engage in several hours of practice each day. The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is the most extensive in length of the Karmapa’s three texts on Mahamudra, is exceptional for providing not only the general view and practices of Mahamudra, but also the rich methods of the oral instructions for realizing the nature of one’s mind, enlightenment. The Mahamudra teachings of this level in 2019 will be complemented by the Buddhist Studies class The Middle Way School (Madhyamaka).

Teacher: Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Corresponding Buddhist Studies: The Middle Way School (Madhyamaka)

All required texts will be available at the Summer Institute bookstore for purchase.

Prerequisites for this level apply.

Level 3: Investigating Mind (continued)

Mahamudra Vipashyana-II

For Students with Prior Experience in Mahamudra Shamatha and Vipashyana

Students attending Practice Level 3 of the Summer Institute will receive further teachings on Mahamudra Vipashyana based on the 9th Karmapa’s precious text Ocean of Definitive Meaning (Tib. nges don rgya mtsho) and engage in several hours of practice each day. The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is the most extensive in length of the Karmapa’s three texts on Mahamudra, is exceptional for providing not only the general view and practices of Mahamudra, but also the rich methods of the oral instructions for realizing the nature of one’s mind, enlightenment. The Mahamudra teachings of this level in 2020 will be complemented by the Buddhist Studies class Mind Only (Cittamatra school) and Buddha Nature.

Teacher: Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Corresponding Buddhist Studies: Cittamātra (Mind Only) and Buddha Nature

All required texts will be available at the Summer Institute bookstore for purchase.

Prerequisites for this level apply.

STUDY

The Buddhist Study classes at Nitartha Institute will take you on a journey to discover your mind in depth. You will encounter the very practical applications of the various Buddhist philosophies which can have a deep impact on your everyday life and will also help you clarify what you are working with in meditation.

Students who have not taken prior Nitartha Institute shedra classes will begin with Mind & Its World and learn how our mind engages its world and how it functions. Students who have attended shedra classes in the past will be able to take more advanced Mahayana study classes.

Overview by Session

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Level I Meditation Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Valid Cognition Modes of Engagement Mental Factors

Level II Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana-I Mahamudra Vipashyana-I Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Madhyamaka Madhyamaka (continued) Madhyamaka (continued)
Level III Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana-II Mahamudra Vipashyana-II Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Cittamatra/Buddha Nature Cittamatra/Buddha Nature (continued) Cittamatra/Buddha Nature (continued)

• Please note: During the Summer Institute, all shedra (study) courses occur on a 9-day session schedule. Other shedra courses that are part of the Nitartha curriculum will continue to be available online and through regional semester programs. If this is your first time at Nitartha, we highly recommend that you start with Session 1.