Contemplative Classes to
Integrate Body & Mind

Contemplative practices such as Lüjong (body-mind integration practice), debate, Mudra Space Awareness, Tibetan language, and art are an integral part of the curriculum at Nitartha and ensure a holistic experience. At the Summer Institute you start your day with Lüjong before engaging in meditation and study.

These elective classes give students the opportunity to integrate various approaches and allow for an enriching experience on all levels. These complementary electives are part of the daily schedule, usually occurring during period 5 (14:00–15:10) just after lunch.

And stay tuned for information about the art offering at Summer Institute 2020, as renowned thangka painter RD Salga is scheduled to return!  We will confirm details soon.


every morning 6:30–7:00 (optional)

Lüjong, or body training, is a series of physical exercises developed by the Tibetan Buddhist meditation master Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche to help students enhance their health and synchronize their body and mind. They serve to increase energy and pliancy, both physically and mentally. The wakefulness developed by the exercises often brings a meditative quality to ordinary activities throughout the day.

Offered first thing in the morning every day (before breakfast), Lüjong is taught by Scott Wellenbach and others. (This class is optional).

Mudra Space Awareness

Mitra Lee Worley
Sessions 1 & 2

Mudra Space Awareness is a series of physical and vocal exercises derived from the Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions of Tibetan Buddhism as presented in the West by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. They utilize the body to train for a meditative mind and can help you to deepen your practice in formal meditation sessions and in daily life.

Mudra Space Awareness is taught by Mitra Lee Worley who learned these practices directly from Trungpa Rinpoche.

Debate Practicum

Sessions 1 & 2

BUD 553/554/555 Debate I/II/III

Debate at Nitartha a method for cultivating wisdom arising from contemplation. It is using a strict logical form practiced in the Buddhist universities of India and Tibet, translated into English and other Western languages. This form allows for cultivating clarity in debaters´ expression, while utilizing a minimal number of words and thus limiting discursive speech. Foundation and Intermediate levels of progressive training in Debate will be offered based on student demand and interest. Practiced in pairs, it is a wonderful and fun way to deepen one’s understanding.

Introduction to
Tibetan Language

Gerry Weiner
Session 1 & 2

LAN 500 Introduction to
Tibetan Language

This course is oriented toward beginners who have little knowledge of Tibetan but would like to gain some familiarity with the language and how it is translated into English. We will cover the alphabet and pronunciation. We will then select a few songs or liturgies connected with practice at Nitartha, learn how to chant them in Tibetan, and at the same time investigate their meaning in both Tibetan and in English. By looking into the Tibetan behind the English, we expect to gain a richer understanding of the underlying subject matter. The songs and liturgies presented this summer will be different from the material presented in summer 2018.

Tibetan Text Reading

Mark Seibold
Session 1/2/3

LAN 510 Tibetan Text Reading

In this course we will read sections from various texts from the Nitartha shedra tradition. Applicants should know the Tibetan alphabet, spelling rules and have a functional grasp of Tibetan grammar. The course will focus on acquiring and developing reading skills; interesting and important grammatical points will be explained in the context of specific passages. Students will be asked to translate a short passage from Tibetan to English to help the instructor determine their proficiency.