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Beginning Nyingma Meditation Program
Description: The Beginning Nyingma Meditation program introduces students to the fundamentals of Nyingma Meditation practice and provides the support for students to develop an on-going, daily practice. Students will be introduced to the seven-gestures meditation posture, breath practices, silent sitting, walking meditation, Tibetan mantra practice, visualization techniques, and gentle Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga).
Objective: Upon completion, students will understand the basic principles of meditation, will have knowledge of basic sitting and walking meditative techniques, and should have an ongoing daily meditation practice of at least one-half hour a day.
Length: Minimum 1 year; may be completed in up to 2 years.
Program components: 6 classes, 4 workshops, 1 retreat.
Program Cost: $1,500. May be paid in quarterly ($375) or monthly ($125) installments.
5 required classes (may be taken in any order):
MED101 Beginning Meditation: Quieting the Mind
Learning to meditate is one of the best ways in which we can take care of ourselves. We develop the clarity of our minds and cultivate inner tranquility. This course presents key meditation techniques that also help balance the emotions. The focus is on quieting the stream of thoughts.
MED102 Beginning Meditation: Developing Inner Serenity
Meditation allows us to tap a deep source of inner peace that can protect us from suffering and frustration. Through sitting meditation, walking meditation and mantra practice, students learn to relax tension and cultivate equanimity. The focus is on reducing mental distraction.
MED103 Beginning Meditation: Calm and Clear
Meditation both calms the mind and leads to insight. Students learn how to foster both through clear, simple instructions for beginning or revitalizing a meditation practice. The focus is on the process that leads to insight and overcomes resistance.
MED104 Beginning Meditation: Self-Observation
The focus of this course is on observing the mind, emotions, and feelings. Students will learn how to stay mindful in a relaxed, but concentrated manner. Basic meditation practices will also be presented in a manner that helps make wholesome self-discovery a way of life.
MED105 Beginning Meditation: Meditation for Healing
Many health benefits come from regular meditation practice. This course focuses on meditations that stimulate natural healing.
1 elective class chosen from the following:*
KNR101 Beginning Kum Nye: Promoting Spaciousness
Kum Nye teaches us to live spaciously as it gently moves us beyond perceived limits and boundaries. Students open the senses and then navigate the space of sensations, emotions, and perceptions, moving toward an integration of body and mind.
KNR102 Beginning Kum Nye: Working with Lower Body Energy
In this course, Kum Nye exercises will be presented that energize the belly, hips, legs, and spine. Bringing awareness to the lower part of the body in this way counteracts being ‘stuck’ in our heads and brings us in touch with the vitality of our full embodiment.
KNR103 Beginning Kum Nye: Releasing Tension and Restoring Balance
Kum Nye movement and awareness exercises help release physical and emotional tension. Practices in this course will focus on giving students tools to restore balance to their lives and deepen their spiritual awareness.
KNR105 Beginning Kum Nye: Expanding Enjoyment and Ease
A series of Kum Nye practices that help to reduce physical and mental tension are combined with practices that expand the enjoyment of each of the senses.
NPS102 Transforming Negative Emotions
Introspective practices and insights from the Buddhist tradition can transform the destructive power of ‘everyday’ negative emotions. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s Openness Mind, this course gives specific antidotes for anger, fear, anxiety, and attachment.
NPR101 The Practice of Mantra
Mantras are deeply symbolic words that activate qualities of wisdom, compassion, and healing when they are chanted with a quiet mind and an open heart. This class gives students an opportunity to learn traditional mantras and short prayers.
MED416 Special Topics in Advanced Meditation
Special Topics classes link beginning meditation with other topics in Nyingma studies. Examples of topics include “Mindful in All things,” “Creativity, Clarity and Spaciousness,” and “Meditation for Creativity and Joy.”
4 elective workshops chosen from the following:*
Workshops begin at 10 AM and conclude at 4:45 PM unless otherwise noted.
MED401 How to Meditate
This workshop is for beginning students, and for anyone wanting to try meditation again. Sitting, walking, and breathing practices and simple Tibetan chanting will be introduced. (Counts as half a workshop.)
MED402 Healing Sound
There is an art of deep listening that hears all sounds as music and recognizes a vast healing silence at the very heart of all sound. This workshop blends music, mantra, and silence to inspire this realization.
MED403 Calm and Clear
Traditional methods to ease the mind into “the sky of simplicity” will be presented including meditations for calming the mind (shamatha) and meditations to expand insight (vipassana).
MED404 Unlocking Consciousness
Concentrating on an ancient Buddhist symbol for awareness, students catalyze meditation practice through visualization and mantra. Levels of consciousness emerge that are beyond words and labels.
MED406 Visualization in the Tibetan Tradition
Precise instructions for how to develop visualization will be accompanied by an overview of how these practices are used as part of the Tibetan path of mental development. Workshop will include meditation exercises that contact a higher awareness.
MED407 Foundations for Mindfulness
Mindfulness helps make life rich. In this workshop students learn about the four foundations for mindfulness: mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind, and phenomena. Participants will practice mindfulness techniques and look at advanced teachings on how mindfulness leads to wisdom.
KNR401 Renewing and Refreshing the Senses
A day of restful Tibetan Yoga exercises to refresh the senses. Students will be taught ways to nourish each of the senses, inviting an ecstatic interaction between the ‘inner’ senses and the outer object. Students will also learn how to contact feeling tones within each sense.
KNR402 Expanding Enjoyment and Ease
A coordinated series of Kum Nye practices is offered that expand the senses and foster appreciation and ease. These exercises will help students to develop joyful relaxation within daily activities, allowing them to approach the new activities with inner confidence.
KNR403 Opening the Heart
The heart holds the key to leading a happy life in harmonious and loving accord with others. Kum Nye practices open the heart to deep levels of feeling and appreciation. This workshop includes exercises that loosen physical tension in the chest and upper back.
KNR404 Balancing Emotions through Tibetan Yoga
Kum Nye exercises relax and heal both body and mind. Movement, breathing, and awareness exercises transform tension and restore emotional balance, easing the stress of everyday life. Students will master exercises that can be used both in formal practice and in the midst of activities.
KNR405 Tasting Relaxation
The relaxation that comes through Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga) practice is like a rich nectar that flows through the body and feelings. This workshop presents practices that allow participants to ‘taste’ this deep relaxation.
KNR416 Tibetan Yoga: Merging Movement, Breath, and Awareness
Tibetan Yoga teaches how to unify physical action with breath and awareness. In this experiential workshop, students learn practices that can help integrate physical and mental experience, leading to a greater sense of wellness and wholeness.
KNR420 The Art of Sitting Comfortably
This workshop is for those who have trouble sitting cross-legged on the floor. Students will be led through a motion assessment of back, hips, knees, and ankles. A variety of sitting strategies will be introduced and a program of Kum Nye exercises will be tailored for each student, taking into account his or her specific motion limitations. (Counts as half a workshop.)
NPR401 Dream Lotus Evening
This workshop offers instruction in dream yoga practice and in practices that relax tension in the throat area. An additional half hour of instruction in the practice will be given to Program students. (Counts as half a workshop.)
One elective retreat chosen from the following:*
Note: the program cost includes a nonresidential retreat only; if you wish to attend the retreat residentially, there will be an additional fee for room and board.
MED501 Silent Retreat
This retreat’s practices are done in silence with suitable instructions for meditation and study given individually to each participant. The retreat is designed to allow participants to deepen their meditation practice in the protected environment of the Nyingma Institute.
MED502 Finding Inner Peace
Meditation develops serenity. This retreat focuses on calming meditations (shamatha) and Kum Nye relaxation practices. The goal is to reduce the number of distracting thoughts and to find states of inner peace.
MED503 Developing Clarity
The focus of this meditation retreat is insight meditation (Vipassana). Analytic meditation will be introduced along with meditations to calm the stream of distracting thought.
MED506 Reflection and Insight
This meditation and Nyingma Psychology retreat teaches students how to quiet the mind, release emotional tension and establish the conditions for insight to arise. Students work with both meditative practices and analysis to relax, reflect, and set aspirations for health and well-being.
KNR406 Joy and Spaciousness
Gentle Kum Nye movement and breathing practices enhance a sense of spaciousness and develop joyous feelings. Taught mostly outdoors, the beauty of nature will help foster and expand inner joy. (Counts as half a retreat.)
KNR501 Tasting Relaxation Retreat
In this retreat, students learn to relax so deeply that they can ‘taste’ the healing nectar of relaxation as it flows through body and mind. Gentle movement, breathing, and awareness practices are introduced to help students discover this relaxation.
KNR502 Kum Nye: Breath, Energy, Feeling
In this Tibetan yoga retreat, students use breath and movement exercises to stimulate and direct the energy of body and mind, visualization practices to awaken and sustain inner vitality, and meditation practices to foster serenity.
KNR503 Kum Nye: Attuning to the Present Moment
This retreat makes use of the full range of Kum Nye exercises to help each retreatant integrate a rich array of positive feelings into body, senses, and mind.
KNR505 Tibetan Yoga for Healing and Energy Retreat
Breath and movement exercises awaken an inner vitality that is directly linked to a natural healing process. Meditation and visualization practices deepen this process.
*In individual cases, to further a student’s educational goals, elective classes, workshops and retreats may be substituted for those on these lists with the consent of the Program Director or the Chief Academic Officer.