2020 Dates

The Summer Institute will be held from July 10 to August 8, 2020.
Registration opens March 1, 2020 and closes June 10, 2020.

The Summer Institute is a one-month program consisting of three 9-day sessions. Each course in the program continues throughout all three sessions. Those who attend the first or second session in person can continue their study and meditation courses at home, by viewing livestreaming or recordings of the classes. Shedra classes can be taken entirely online. More information about online courses can be found by  clicking here.

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

Session 1 Travel day/day off Session 2 Travel day/day off Session 3 Travel day
10–18 July Sunday, 19 July 20–28 July Wednesday, 29 July 30 July–7 August Saturday, 8 August
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
Thangka Painting with R.D. Salga
Mahamudra Silent Retreat with
Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is scheduled to be present July 10–28 (i.e.: throughout the first and second 9-day sessions), barring any unexpected changes in his schedule. Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will be present the whole month.

Sample Daily Schedule (Sessions 1 & 2)

Click here for the sample schedule for the thangka painting track with R.D. Salga

The schedule is subject to change, but here is an idea of what a day at the Summer Institute 2020 will look like:

Period Time Activity
1 6:30–7:00 Lüjong: Mind-Body Integration Practice (optional)
7:15–8:00 Breakfast
2 8:00–9:00 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
3 9:10–10:40 Study Class: Level 1—Mind & Its World, Level 2—Madhyamaka, Level 3 —Cittamātra and Buddha Nature
4 11:00–12:30 Teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, alternating days: sutra class (Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana) and Guhyagarbha tantra class (Luminous Essence: The Tantra of the Secret Essence*)
12:30–13:30 Lunch
5 14:00–15:10 Optional/Elective: Individual Practice, Mudra Space Awareness, Introduction to Tibetan Language, Tibetan Reading, Debate Practicum
6 15:20–16:30 Meditation Talks on Mahamudra (by level)
7 16:50–18:00 Mahamudra Meditation (by level)
18:00–19:00 Dinner
8 19:30–21:00 Optional/Elective: study, meditation, discussion group on DPR’s teachings (every 4th evening), open period

* There are prerequisites for taking this course. For details about prerequisites for Summer Institute Courses click here.

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

Session 3 will be a Mahamudra Silent Retreat led by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen (July 30 to Aug 7, with travel day on Aug 8). During this session, Mahamudra Shamatha & Vipahsyana students meditate and attend practice talks together. Students will be asked to observe silence during this session to deepen their practice experience. There will be opportunities for personal practice interviews with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, which is a wonderful chance to ask a great master about your practice questions and benefit from his insights.

Students may join this Mahamudra Retreat without having attended either of the two previous 9-day Mahamudra programs at the 2020 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 (optional)
7:15–8:00 Breakfast
2 8:00–9:45 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
3 10:00–12:00 Mahamudra Meditation with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
12:00–1:30 Lunch
4 14:00-15:30 Open or Study Class
5 15:50–18:00 Mahamudra Talk and/or Meditation
18:00–19:00 Dinner
6 19:30–21:00 Optional Mahamudra Meditation and/or Songs of Realization

Nitartha’s 3-Year Program

Meditation & Study in Union

At Nitartha’s 2020 Summer Institute, study and meditation will again be joined! The shedra and gomdra tracks at the Summer Institute will be combined into a single unified schedule and all students will participate in Mahamudra meditation practice and take a corresponding Buddhist studies class.

The program is being offered over a three-year cycle in order to allow students to progress through the Mahamudra teachings (beginning with Mahamudra Shamatha, followed by Mahamudra Vipashyana-I and Mahamudra Vipashyana-II) and the corresponding Buddhist studies classes. Below is an overview of the classes you can take over this three-year-cycle.

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

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

  Year Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Year 1 Practice Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Shamatha Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Mind & Its World Mind & Its World (continued) Mind & Its World (continued)
Year 2 Practice Mahamudra Vipashyana-I Mahamudra Vipashyana-I Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Madhyamaka Madhyamaka (continued) Madhyamaka (continued)
Year 3 Practice Mahamudra Vipashyana-II Mahamudra Vipashyana-II Mahamudra Practice Intensive
Study Cittamātra & Buddha Nature Cittamātra & Buddha Nature (continued) Cittamātra & Buddha Nature (continued)