2019 Dates

Nitartha Summer Institute 2019 will be in session from Friday, July 5 – Saturday, August 3, 2019. We encourage students to attend the full month, as the study and meditation classes are continuous courses through all 3 sessions, but you can indeed attend one, two or all three 9-day sessions. For the sessions at which you are not present, we encourage you to join the online classes.

If this is your first time at Nitartha, we highly recommend that you start with Session 1.

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
5–13 July 2019 Sunday, 14 July 15–23 July 2019 Wednesday, 24 July 25 July–2 August Saturday, 3 August
travel day/day off travel day/day off travel day
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche &
Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
Mahamudra Silent Retreat with
Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is scheduled to be present July 5–24 (i.e., for all of 1st and 2nd 9-day programs), barring any unexpected changes in his schedule. Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will be present the whole month.

Sample Daily Schedule (Sessions 1 & 2)

The schedule is subject to change, but here is an idea of what a day at the Summer Institute 2019 will look like:

Period Time Activity
1 6:30–7:00 Lüjong: Mind-Body Integration Practice
7:00–8:00 Breakfast
2 8:00–9:00 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
3 9:10–10:30 Study Class: Level 1—Mind & Its World, Level 2—Madhyamaka
4 10:50–12:10 Teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, alternating Distinguishing the Views and Philosophies: A Lamp of Essential Points and Luminous Essence: The Tantra of the Secret Essence (Guhyagarbha Tantra)*
12:10–14:00 Lunch
5 14:00–15:10 Optional/Elective: Individual Practice, Mahayasutralamkara**, Mudra Space Awareness, Thangka Painting, Introduction to Tibetan Language, Tibetan Text Reading, Debate Practicum
6 15:30–16:40 Meditation Talks on Mahamudra (by level)
7 16:50–18:00 Mahamudra Meditation (by level)
18:00–19:30 Dinner
8 19:30–20:30 Optional/Elective: study, meditation, discussion group on DPR’s teachings (every 4th evening), open period

* Please see requirements for taking this course.
** While this is an advanced course, any interested students are welcome to attend, though they are asked to commit to attending all the classes of the course to contribute to a cohesive class atmosphere.

Sample Daily Schedule for the Mahamudra Silent Retreat (Sessions 3)

Session 3 will be a Mahamudra Silent Retreat led by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen. During this session, Mahamudra Shamatha & Vipahsyana students meditate and attend practice talks together.

Students may join this Mahamudra Retreat without having attended either of the two previous 9-day mahamudra programs in the 2019 Nitartha Summer Institute. The only requirement is that they have previous experience with mahamudra meditation, based on receiving practice instructions from a mahamudra teacher.

(schedule subject to change)

Period Time Activity
1 6:30–7:00 Lüjong: Mind-Body Integration Practice
7:00–8:00 Breakfast
2 8:00–9:00 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
3 9:10–10:30 Mahamudra Meditation or Study Class: Mind & Its World
4 10:50–12:10 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
12:10–14:00 Lunch
5 14:00–15:10 Mahamudra Practice (or optional continued Debate Practicum)
6 15:30–16:40 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
7 16:50–18:00 Meditation Talk on Mahamudra with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
18:00–19:30 Dinner
8 19:30–20:30 Open

Introducing a New 3-Year Program

Meditation & Study in Union

Starting with 2019, study and meditation will be joined at the Summer Institute! The shedra and gomdra track of the Summer Institute will be combined into a single unified schedule and all attendants will participate in Mahamudra meditation practice and take a corresponding Buddhist studies class.

In order to allow students to progress through the Mahamudra teachings (beginning with Mahamudra Shamatha, followed by Mahamudra Vipashyana and ending with Mahamudra Enhancement) and the corresponding Buddhist Studies classes, the program will be offered in a three-year-cycle. Below you will find an overview of the classes you can go through in this three-year-cycle.

You can of course also choose to attend only one summer and take the level that corresponds to your practice and study level.

Please note that not all shedra classes of the full Nitartha Institute curriculum will be taught every year but can be taken online or as local classes.

Year 1 (2019) Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Level I Meditation Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Mind & Its World Part I Mind & Its World Part II Mind & Its World Part III
Level II Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Madhyamaka Part I Madhyamaka Part II
Year 2 (2020) Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Level I Meditation Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha
Study Mind & Its World Part I Mind & Its World Part II Mind & Its World Part III
Level II Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Vipashyana
Study Madhyamaka Part I Madhyamaka Part II Madhyamaka Part III
Level III Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement
Study Cittamatra Part I Cittamatra Part II Buddha Nature
Year 3 (2021) Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Level I Meditation Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha
Study Mind & Its World Part I Mind & Its World Part II Mind & Its World Part III
Level II Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Vipashyana Mahamudra Vipashyana
Study Madhyamaka Part I Madhyamaka Part II Madhyamaka Part III
Level III Meditation Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement Mahamudra Vipashyana Enhancement
Study Cittamatra Part I Cittamatra Part II Buddha Nature