Fall Workshops and Retreats

Workshops and retreats offer fresh insights and spiritual refreshment in a gentle, meditative atmosphere.

Saturday workshops begin at 10 AM and conclude at 4:45 PM unless otherwise noted, and they include a vegetarian buffet lunch. Workshops are open to all levels of students unless a prerequisite is specified.

Workshop articipants may arrange to stay overnight in one of the Institute’s comfortable guest rooms for an additional $45 per night. As a retreatant, overnight workshop guests are offered complimentary Sunday morning meditation and Tibetan Yoga class.


Fall 2015 Workshops And Retreats


November 21, Inner Alchemy: Transformation through Tibetan Yoga (KNR412), 10 AM–4:45 PM*

Remarkable transformation occurs through Tibetan Yoga (Kum Nye), mobilizing the body’s natural healing as Kum Nye literally remakes the physical body. The movement exercises introduced in this workshop stimulate subtle flows of energy that can lead to lasting changes in body and mind.

Cost: $80. Instructors: Jack van der Meulen and Donna Morton. Suitable for all levels of students.


November 27–29, Cultivating Compassionate Love Retreat (NPR402), Friday, 10 AM–Sunday, 3 PM

We can learn to love ourselves and others more deeply through actively cultivating compassionate love. This kind of love heals the painful divisions between living beings, allowing us to forgive others and to cleanse ourselves of ill-will. The retreat introduces gentle visualization, mantra, and meditation practices given by the Buddha.

Cost: $235 (non-residential); $350 (residential). Friday 10 AM–9 PM; Saturday, 10 AM–5 PM; Sunday, 10 AM–3 PM. Instructor: Olivia Hurd. Suitable for all levels of students.


December 5, Touching Pure Experience (MED416), 10 AM–4:45 PM

“A thought is born in the open expanse of mind,

But thought and openness are not apart:

Like water and ice, they are the same.

“Without realization,

Grasping at truth through thoughts:

Endless running around.

“With realization,

Knowing openness free from thoughts:

Release from suffering.”

--Written by the twelfth-century Tibetan master, Godtsangpa.

Our thoughts and emotions may now seem as unyielding as ice, but, with patient exploration through meditation, they are recognized as inseparable from the pure nature of mind itself. With this realization, the struggle between thought and meditation disappears. “This understanding is true integration, a genuine connection of our whole being with the reality of experience, with the ‘now’ which is unlimited by time or space.” (Tarthang Tulku, Openness Mind.)

This workshop presents meditation and awareness practices that can bring us closer to pure experience. It includes sustained practice of Kum Nye and meditation practices that illuminate the nature of mind.

Cost: $80. Instructors: Sylvia Gretchen and Hugh Joswick. Based primarily on Tarthang Tulku’s Openness Mind. For advanced meditators. Prerequisite: three years of meditation experience or consent of the instructors. Note that this is a good companion workshop for the December 12 “Nectar for Refining the Mind.”


December 12, Nectar for Refining the Mind (MED411), 10 AM–4:45 PM

“The wider our concept of mind becomes, the more experience we can accept without making judgments. This acceptance itself becomes meditation, and we realize that meditation is an integral part of our experience… Whatever we see, hear, taste, or feel—whatever comes to us in life—becomes rich and alive.” Tarthang Tulku, Hidden Mind of Freedom.

Advanced meditation techniques focus on contacting clarity and bliss, allowing us to extract a special kind of inner joy and meaning from all kinds of experiences. This workshop presents practices that utilize the power of mind to reshape itself through visualization and mantra. Through these meditative techniques, we shift away from interpretations and images, remaining with the pure energy of mind. Then, like a raindrop falling into the ocean, mind merges with Being.

Cost: $80. Instructors: Sylvia Gretchen and Hugh Joswick. For advanced meditators. Prerequisite: three years of meditation experience or consent of the instructors.


December 12, How to Meditate (MED401), 10 AM–1 PM

This half-day workshop provides basic instruction in meditation and allows time to discuss how to sustain or renew a regular meditation practice. You will learn how to sit and focus the mind in silent meditation. You will also learn techniques from Tibetan Yoga that help quiet mind and calm the senses. This workshop is a good introduction to the unique Nyingma approach to self-development, which emphasizes individual responsibility and freedom.

Cost: $45. Instructor: To be announced. Includes lunch at 1 PM. For beginners and those wishing to reinvigorate their meditation practice.


December 28–January 2, Tasting Relaxation Retreat (KNR501)

Tibetan Yoga (Kum Nye) practice opens the senses to feeling. This flow of feeling can loosen even chronic tension. In this retreat we learn to relax so deeply that we can ‘taste’ the healing nectar of relaxation as it flows through body and mind. Gentle movement, breathing, and awareness practices help us to discover this relaxation.

Cost: $470 (nonresidential); $700 (residential). Instructors: Santosh Philip and the Nyingma Institute faculty. Retreat begins Monday at 10 AM and concludes on Saturday at 4:45 PM. Includes the “Renewing and Refreshing the Senses” workshop on January 2. Suitable for all levels of students.


January 2, 2016, Renewing and Refreshing the Senses (KNR401), 10 AM–4:45 PM

Celebrate the New Year with a day of restorative Tibetan Yoga to relax and refresh body and mind.

Cost: $80. Instructor: Jack van der Meulen. Based on Tibetan Relaxation. Suitable for all levels of students.

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*Courses or workshops marked with an asterisk meet the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFT’s and LCSW’s as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider: Nyingma Institute #2513