Every Sunday evening at the Nyingma Institute:
The practice of mantra enables us to restore a natural balance and harmony in our lives. When we chant a mantra, we are free to transcend habitual reflexes. The sound of mantra can still the mind and senses, relax the body, and connect us with natural healing energy. - Tarthang Tulku, Hidden Mind of Freedom.
Every Sunday we invite the public to join us for an hour of Tibetan chanting and meditation.
A talk on Nyingma teachings is presented by a Nyingma Institute faculty member or visiting scholar. For a schedule of these talks, click here.
Free Talks and Events
The Buddha and His Teachings
May 5 - June 7
The Buddha taught that all beings possess the potential for enlightenment, and that, with the appropriate effort, anyone can become a fully awakened Buddha. If, however, the seed of enlightenment is to take root, the ground must be well prepared. Preparation includes study of the Buddha’s teachings and contemplation of the symbols that convey non-conceptual meaning directly to consciousness.
This May and through early June we are happy to present a series of talks and events that introduce and deepen knowledge of the Buddha and his teachings. These include the celebration of the Buddha’s birth and enlightenment and the opening of a new circumambulation path surrounding the golden Stupa that stands in the meditation garden. Other special events include evening meditation and chanting sessions held from 7-8:30 PM, Monday through Friday the week of June 3-7. All talks and events are free.
Sunday, May 5, 6-7 PM: Talk
Mark Henderson on “Life of the Buddha.”
Twenty-five centuries ago, Shakyamuni Buddha was born as a prince in India and gave up worldly concerns to obtain perfect and complete awakening. Nyingma Institute instructor Mark Henderson will tell the story of the life of the Buddha and lead a chant evoking the Buddha’s compassionate wisdom.
Sunday, May 12, 6-7 PM: Talk
Hugh Joswick on "Contemplations that Transform the Mind."
“Like a bubble in a stream, life in all its aspects is completely unpredictable. Seeing this, we have a choice: We can devote our limited time to pursuit of desires, or we can inquire into what brings lasting satisfaction and meaning to human life.” Tarthang Tulku, Path of Heroes.
Our time on earth is both fleeting and precious, yet it is pervaded by dissatisfaction and suffering.The Buddha’s teachings advise us to actively contemplate the value and rarity of our lives, to honestly see the patterns of suffering that bind us and also to see what frees us from their hold.Meditation teacher Hugh Joswick will describe how these contemplations orient the heart and mind toward goodness and help us focus on what has lasting value.
Friday, May 17, 8-9 PM: Buddha's Birth Celebration
"Prayer to Shakyamuni Buddha"
We begin our celebration of the birth of the Buddha with a reading of a short prayer to Shakyamuni Buddha. This is followed by chanting and meditation.
Sunday, May 19, 6-7 PM: Talk
Sylvia Gretchen on “Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment.”
At the heart of Buddhist practice there is a beautiful vision of thirty-seven wings of enlightenment that bear us to full awakening. Each wing represents a stage in the living journey toward greater wisdom and compassion. Sylvia Gretchen, co-dean of the Institute, will speak about these ‘wings’ of enlightenment and show how they are symbolized in the sacred form of the Buddhist Stupa.
Saturday, May 25, 8-9:30 PM: Enlightenment Chant
Chanting and meditation to evoke the blessing of the Buddha on the anniversary of his enlightenment.
Sunday, May 26, 3-5 PM:
Special Event: Opening of the Stupa Circumambulation Path at the Nyingma Institute
For thousands of years Buddhist practitioners have created sacred monuments that are teachings in themselves—symbols of awakening. Prominent among them are Stupas, which are found throughout the Buddhist lands and are now appearing in Western lands.
3 PM: Slide Show on “The Stupa: Sacred Symbol of Enlightenment.” In this slide show you will see ancient and modern Stupas and learn about their sacred significance.
3:45: Tour of the Institute's Stupa circumambulation path with instructions for practice
4:30: Tea and light refreshments
Sunday, May 26, 6-7 PM: Talk
Barr Rosenberg on "Lineage of Compassion."
“Come now, I invite you to Buddha nature, and, along the way, to happiness.” Shantideva, Bodhicharyavatara
The heartfelt wish that one’s actions and spiritual practices contribute to the welfare of all beings informs the Buddhist path. Barr Rosenberg, co-dean of the Institute, will speak on the lineage of compassion that flows from the time of the Buddha to the present moment, basing his talk on a classic 7th century text, Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara.
June 3-7, 7-8:30 PM
Meditations on the Compassionate Buddha
Each weeknight evening in the first week of June a faculty or staff member will lead participants in a chant dedicated to the Buddha, followed by a silent meditation. The sessions will include instruction on a visualization practice that will further deepen the meditation.
Special Meditations and Classes
In order to bring more people the benefits of meditation and Tibetan Yoga, the Institute will be offering a series of free classes or meditation sessions between our regularly scheduled quarterly classes. These sessions are free and are open to all.
Summer: Meditations on the Compassionate Buddha
June 3-7, 7-8:30 PM: Classes
Each weeknight evening in the first week of June a faculty or staff member will lead participants in a chant dedicated to the Buddha, followed by silent meditation. The evening sessions will include instruction in a visualization practice that will further deepen the meditation.
Late Summer: Meditations on Breath
August 19-30, 7-8:30 PM: Classes
The healing power of breath takes center stage during the two-week break between our Summer and September courses. Each evening participants will be led through gentle breathing exercises that relax and re-tune body and mind.
Fall: Classes on Aging Well (at any age): The Institute's Annual Free Week of Classes and an All-day Workshop
September 30-October 4, 7-7:45 PM and 8-9 PM: Classes
Saturday, October 5, 10 AM-4:45 PM: Workshop
On September 29, 1972 the Institute was founded by Tibetan master and visionary Tarthang Tulku. We celebrate with a week of free classes followed by a free workshop in which our students, supporters and the general public are invited. As we enter our 41st year as a school we focus on the serious question of how we carry the benefits from our study and meditation with us as we age, even as we pass from this life. We also consider how we can help others facing illness, old age, and death. Classes and workshop will bring traditional teachings and the innovative methods found in Nyingma Psychology, meditation, and the Time, Space, and Knowledge vision to bear on these questions.
Winter: Meditations on Joyfulness
December 15-18, 7-8:30 PM: Classes
Evening meditations will include practices from the Tibetan tradition that increase deep joyful feelings that are not dependent on external circumstances.