Join us for teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and meditation sessions led by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen!

This year during our online Summer Institute, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will be teaching daily on Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle by Rongzom. Also, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will be leading meditation sessions each day! (During Sessions 1 and 2: July 10 – July 28)


Teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle: Dzogchen as the Culmination of the Mahayana by Rongzom

Dzogchen Ponlop RinpocheRongzom is an 11th century Tibetan scholar of the Nyingma tradition. In this amazing and profound work, he shows readers how Dzogchen is in line with a wide variety of the sutra and tantric teachings that are espoused by all Tibetan schools.

Rongzom provides both a linguistic and philosophical analysis. Among other topics, he explains the difference between illusion, mirage, dream, reflection, and emanation. And the English translation provides the Tibetan and Sanskrit terms, which is helpful to developing a deeper understanding and to learning how to distinguish the meanings on a more subtle level.

He begins with this overview of the reality of afflictions according to the various schools:

Entering The Way Great VehicleIf numerous afflictions were able to be eliminated through a single path, then meditation upon a variety of path would be rendered pointless. If a single affliction were able to be eliminated by means of numerous paths, then the Buddha’s teachings of a variety of afflictions would also be rendered pointless. If it were the case that various paths could not weaken afflictions even a little, many paths would also not eliminate them. If they did, it would not be the case that afflictions pertain to a single entity. If that were so, there would be no decisive reckoning of entities in regard to affliction. Thus, according to the Shravaka system, there is no real entity given in connection with Affliction. (p. 41 Entering the Way of the Great Vehicle)

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.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will teach on this text at Nitartha’s 2020 Summer Institute, which will be held online! Rinpoche’s class will be live streamed daily from July 10 to July 28, 9:30am -11am PDT (6:30-8pm CEST, 12:30-2am CST ~China standard time~) (no class on July 19th).

An amazing opportunity to delve into the depths of this text!

The text can be ordered as an e-book from online sources such as Amazon. Hard copies can also be purchased from the Nitartha bookstore (

Mahamudra Shamatha with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Acharya Lama Tenpa GyaltsenMahamudra Shamatha
In the afternoons, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will lead Mahamudra Shamatha sessions. These are only open to students who have previously received Mahamudra Shamatha instructions from a qualified teacher and have practice experience.

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will lead these sessions daily during sessions 1 and 2, from 5-6:30pm Pacific time (2am-3:30am CEST, 8-9:30am CST~China standard time~)

Prerequisites for this session are having:

  • taken at least one Mahamudra Shamatha session through Nitartha, or
  • completed the Nalandabodhi Mahamudra Shamatha curriculum, or
  • attended retreats where Mahamudra Shamatha was taught by a qualified teacher and practiced by the retreatants.

Am I eligible? Click here to verify your eligibility (required).

Community Meditation Sessions

Start your morning with meditation led by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen! These meditation sessions are open to all students who are registered for the Summer Institute.

They will be held every morning during sessions 1 and 2, from 8-9am Pacific time (5-6pm CEST, 11pm-12am CST).

Registration is now closed.  Self-Paced Online Courses are available throughout the year. As well as semester courses in real-time in the fall and spring. For more information about semester courses, sign up for our mailing list.

“If you want a sharper mind, the Nitartha Shedra Program is for you.  If you want the tools for a sharper mind, the Nitartha Shedra Program is for you.

If you want a sharper mind––or the tools that will help you develop a sharper mind––the Nitartha Shedra Program is for you.

If you want to experience the place, the environment, where the tools are used seamlessly by a beginner and by a master, and by all of the gradations in-between, then there is no better way to have this than by attending the Ponlop Rinpoche’s Nitartha Shedra.

If you are a Buddhist and you still have desire then desiring the best, with the brightest , is one way to be on the enlightened path while living and learning with the students and faculty at the Nitartha Shedra.

Diane L.

To put it simply,  Nitartha Institute changed my life. I did not realize how much until recently. The program has been invaluable to my studies as an MA in Indo-Tibetan Traditions and my practice as a Buddhist. In only a month I felt like I had transformed. The level of depth and understanding within the shedra and gomdra programs is astounding. 

For example, the teachers I had the humble pleasure to study with are absolutely amazing. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Karl Brunnhölzl, Phil Stanley, and so many others have been integral to my understanding of Buddhism and putting those studies to practice in my life. I spent the predominance of my time with Stuart Horn, Lama Tenpa, Jirka Hladis, Stephanie Johnston, and Karl Brunnhölzl and all of them bring their own special relationship with the dharma to their teaching. I feel tremendous gratitude to them for sharing their profundity and sensitivity to the teachings with me. “

Stephanie B.

“I’m much more aware now of the six root and 20 secondary afflictions, and the ones that arise most frequently in me. Desire. Anger. Pride (self-satisfaction). Envy. Laziness. Distraction. Regarding those last two, I’m happy to report that since Nitartha, I’ve really improved my meditation practice, which was previously pretty hit-and-miss. I feel that, thanks to the Nitartha Institute, I am on the path with some key dharmic tools.

Thank  you Nitartha!

Doug E.