Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s Teachings

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will teach two different courses on alternating days at the 2020 Summer Institute:

  • Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana, by Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, is open to all students attending the Nitartha Summer Institute.
  • Luminous Essence: The Tantra of the Secret Essence, by Lama Mipham, is only open for students who fulfill certain prerequisites. This will be the third year that Rinpoche will teach on this text. The first two years of teachings are available as a pre-summer online course for students who are attending the 2020 Summer Institute and who have taken this course previously or have completed ngöndro. (Click here for details about pre-summer online courses.)

Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle:

Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana by Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo

In 2020, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will teach on the text Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana, by Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo. Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo wrote this treatise in the eleventh century during the renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet that was spurred by the influx of new translations of Indian Buddhist texts, tantras, and esoteric transmissions from India. Using the kinds of philosophic and linguistic analyses favored by the new schools, he demonstrates that the Great Perfection is indeed the culmination and maturation of the Mahāyāna, the Great Vehicle. The central topic of the work is the notion of illusory appearance, for when one realizes deeply that all appearances are illusory, one realizes also that all appearances are in that respect equal.

This course is open to all students who attend the Summer Institute.

Luminous Essence:

The Tantra of the Secret Essence by Lama Mipham

The Tantra of the Secret Essence (Skt: Guhyagarbha Tantra, Tib: Gsang ba´i snying po) is the main tantra of the Mahāyoga class of tantras and is the main text on tantric view studied in the Nyingma tradition. In this course, this tantra will be studied based on Mipham Rinpoche’s Luminous Essence (‘od gsal snying po), which is his celebrated commentary on Longchenpa’s commentary on the Guhyagarbha called Dispelling Darkness in the Ten Directions (Tib: phyogs bcu’i mun sel). Mipham’s text presents the ground, path, and fruition of tantra, and the ten topics of the tantric path: view, conduct, maṇḍala, empowerment, samaya, activity, accomplishment, samādhi, offering pūja, and mantra with mudrā.

This is a precious opportunity to study this profound text on the views of the Nyingma tradition.

This course is open to students who have previously attended Luminous Essence or who have completed ngöndro. Applications for eligibility will open soon (required if you have not previously attended this course).

Mahamudra Silent Retreat

During Session 3 (July 30 –August 8, 2020), Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will once again lead a Mahamudra Silent Retreat.

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

Students who have attended Session 1 or 2 of the Summer Institute will continue to have a daily class in Buddhist studies. Those who are only attending Session 3 will be fully immersed in the practice retreat with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen.

Click here for a sample schedule for the Mahamudra Silent retreat.

Thangka Painting

R.D. Salga is scheduled to teach tangha painting at the 2020 Summer Institute!

R.D. Salga is a renowned master of the Karma Gadri tradition of thangka painting. Through the years, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has commissioned Salga-la to paint all of the major lineage thangkas used to support meditation and study at Nalandabodhi, including Padmasambhava, Tara, Vajrasattva, Milarepa, and the “Golden Rosary” of Kagyu lineage masters.  Stay tuned for details!

Summer Institute registration opens March 1, 2020