Free Programs


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Below is a list of our free programs. Click on the title or scroll down for details and descriptions.


 Inner Peace Walk (morning of October 9) and Chanting the Words of the Buddha (October 9-11)
October 9 - October 11

For three days in October the wisdom and inner peace of the ancient Buddhist tradition will come alive in Berkeley, and you are invited to participate. In an historic first for the Western hemisphere, a silent Inner Peace walking meditation will be followed by an international gathering of Buddhist monastics and lay people in order to recite the words of the Buddha from the Pali Tipitaka.

We join our voices and hearts with those of the monastics. Chanting these sacred words connects us to an ancient lineage that stretches from the time of the Buddha when large gatherings would recite his teachings. The chant will be in Pali, and free Romanized copies of the texts will be provided. You can follow the chant or sit in silent contemplation of the sacred wisdom being expressed.

The Inner Peace Walk and Tipitaka Chant are sponsored by the Nyingma Institute and our sister organizations, the Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International (LBDFI), Mangalam Centers, and Dharma College. The lead sponsor, LBDFI, is working closely with the Thai, Burmese, Laotian, and Sri Lankan Buddhist communities to make this event a convocation of exceptional vitality. Together we nourish a sacred seed of awakening for the benefit of all.

See for full information.

Click here for details.


Every Sunday evening at the Nyingma Institute:

Tibetan Chanting
5-6 PM
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.

Sunday Lecture Series

6-7 PM

A talk on Nyingma teachings is presented by a Nyingma Institute faculty member or visiting scholar. For a schedule and description of these talks, click here.


Nyingma Institute Open House

Upcoming Date:Sunday, October 5, 2014
3-5 PM.

Quarterly open houses introduce Kum Nye, and meditation, and provide the opportunity to meet Institute faculty and staff. The open house program runs from 3-5 PM with light refreshments, followed by our regular Sunday chanting at 5 pm and talk at 6 PM. Come for some or all of the activities. All open house events are free.

  • Prayer wheel and meditation garden tour
  • Tibetan Relaxation (Kum Nye yoga) demonstration
  • Talk on the Nyingma Institute, its programs and activities
  • Class and program counseling
  • Reception with light refreshments


Full Moon Chant
Each month, 8-9:30 PM

In many Buddhist lands, the full moon is a time to gather for prayer and meditation. We continue this tradition at the Nyingma Institute through holding a chanting ceremony on full moon nights. Join Nyingma students and friends in chanting the Vajra Guru Mantra interspersed with periods of meditation. The chant is held in one of our classrooms and is led by a faculty member, from 8 - 9:30 PM.

Upcoming Full Moon Chants in 2014

  • Wednesday, October 8
  • Thursday, November 6
  • Saturday, December 6

Free Meditations and Classes 2014

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 courses. These sessions are free and are open to all.


“Following the Buddha’s Peaceful Way”

A Week of Free Classes and Events Celebrating the Nyingma Institute’s forty-second anniversary

September 29-October 5

All classes and events are free and open to the public.

The Buddha’s teachings awaken us to our own joyful, wise mind. They show us a way of acting in the world based on integrity and compassionate values. This peaceful wisdom has flowed into our lives in the West through the Nyingma Institute for the past four decades. We invite you to join us in celebrating our forty-second anniversary with a week of free classes and events. Let the Institute be your gateway to inner peace.

Monday-Friday, September 29- October 3: Free classes at 7 and 8 PM every evening.

Saturday, October 4, 10 AM-4:45 PM: free workshop

Sunday, October 5: A Free Daylong Event


Schedule of Events

Monday, September 29: Calm and Clear

7:00-7:45 PM: “Calming the Mind,” meditation class with Sylvia Gretchen.
A crucial component of Buddhist practice, the peaceful silence of meditation fosters new ways of knowing. Sylvia will outline basic approaches and techniques.

8:00-9:00 PM: “Sustaining Meditation,” class with Hugh Joswick.
Meditation yields its fullest benefit when it is practiced regularly. Hugh will discuss how to sustain and deepen your meditation.


Tuesday, September 30: Virtue and Insight

7:00-7:45 PM: “Toward an End to Suffering,” Buddhist Studies class with Sylvia Gretchen.
Paradoxically, the Buddha’s path to the cessation of suffering begins with the recognition that our present ways of living are intimately bound to its causes. This talk will focus on the first Noble Truth presented by the Buddha and include practices that can lead us toward release from suffering.

8:00-9:00 PM: “Waking up to Goodness,” Skillful Means class with Santosh Philip.
Finding our deeper purpose is essential to resolving the conflicts and struggles that arise in daily tasks. Exercises and discussion emphasize ways to make true goodness the core of our actions.


Wednesday, October 1: Increasing Joy and Balance

7:00-7:45 PM: “Finding Balance,” Tibetan Yoga class with Donna Morton.
Elements of a classic meditation posture bring balance into our daily routines.

8:00-9:00 PM: “Expanding Feeling,” Tibetan Yoga class with Jack van der Meulen.
Relaxing movement and breathing exercises will be presented that expand positive feeling tones.


Thursday, October 2: Compassion and Knowledge

7:00-7:45 PM: “Compassion as a Way of Life,” Nyingma Psychology class with Olivia Hurd
Compassion begins by activating love within oneself. As inner love strengthens, we can make a gift of it to others and tap into its immeasurable benefits.

8:00-9:00 PM: “Unlocking the Secrets of the Tibetan Tradition,” Tibetan Studies class with Mark Henderson
This class is an introduction to some of the literary gems found within the Tibetan tradition, including poetry and lively stories.


Friday, October 3: Confidence and Ease

7:00-7:45 PM: “Attaining Inner Confidence,” Nyingma Psychology class with Hugh Joswick.
The Buddha insisted that his followers test his teachings in the inner laboratory of experience. Thus, we gain confidence in our own ability to recognize truth when it presents itself.

8:00-9:00 PM: “Path of Ease,” Tibetan Yoga self-massage class with Santosh Philip
Learn soothing techniques of Tibetan self-massage.


Saturday, October 4: Expanding Awareness

10 AM-4:45 PM: “Expanding Awareness” workshop

When we touch each sense within the silence of meditation, deep feelings emerge that can be expanded beyond all boundaries. This workshop utilizes mantra and visualization practices to help each participant contact a higher awareness, alive and healing. Read More.

FREE. Instructors: Nyingma Institute Faculty. Workshop is open to all at no charge as part of the Institute’s forty-second anniversary celebration week. Note that all participants must register at least two days in advance by calling (510) 809-1000. Space is limited. Prerequisite: some experience with meditation.


Sunday, October 5: Free Daylong Event (as part of the celebration of the Nyingma Institute's 42nd Anniversary)

9:00-9:45 AM: Meditation Session (includes instruction)

10:00 AM-Noon: Tibetan Yoga for Relaxation and Health

3-4:45 PM: Fall Open House

5:00-5:45 PM: Tibetan Chanting

6:00-7 PM: Talk: "Mastering the Art of Happiness" with Sylvia Gretchen. In the same way that an artist cultivates beauty, we can cultivate happiness. The present moment is our canvas and it is colored by a rich palette of sensation, thought, and feeling. Our inner experience becomes a work of art, pervaded by joy. Sylvia Gretchen, the co-dean of the Nyingma Institute, will present ways to practice this art.




Meditations on Joyfulness
December 15-17, Monday through Wednesday
7-8 PM

Meditations from the Tibetan tradition will be presented that increase deep joyful feelings that are not dependent on external circumstances. (Details and descriptions to be announced.)

Note that the Institute will be closed for the winter holidays December 18-27.

Renewing Inner Energy through Tibetan Yoga

December 29, 2014-January 2, 2015, Monday through Friday
7-8 PM

Tibetan Yoga practices to refresh and renew. (Details and descriptions to be announced.)


New Year’s Eve Chant
Wednesday, December 31, 8 PM through Midnight

Celebrate the new year with chanting and meditation. Participants unable to stay for the entire chant may leave during short breaks held at hourly intervals.


Please feel free to contact us at (510) 809-1000 or email us at