Programs in Nyingma Psychology (NPS) and Nyingma Practices (NPR)
To offer practical Nyingma teachings on mind and mental development to a broader public, Tarthang Tulku compiled teachings that had proven helpful to his students into a series of books: Gesture of Balance, Skillful Means, Hidden Mind of Freedom, and Openness Mind. These books became the basis for Institute programs that emphasized the life-enriching potential of the teachings - demonstrating the benefits of supporting meditation with intellectual understanding. Programs based on the Nyingma Psychology series were introduced at the Institute in 1978, the year that Tarthang Tulku retired from public teaching. Providing a gentle approach to views and techniques that offer immediate benefits in daily life, these programs also lead many students to investigate the Buddha's teachings further.
In January 2000, Tarthang Tulku prepared a comprehensive new Nyingma Psychology program that incorporates the teachings presented in his books. This program was presented in courses, weekend workshops, and retreats. Following this curriculum, since 2002 a five-month program has been taught every Winter and Spring. It continues to introduce students and health care professionals to deeply healing introspective practices.
Programs in Knowledge of Freedom (KOF)
With the publication in 1984 of Knowledge of Freedom, Tarthang Tulku introduced a new way of examining the context of human life, questioning our perspectives on past, present, and future: society and freedom; individual choice; the structures of culture; mind and self; and other aspects of our times. A teaching manual was drafted and Tarthang Tulku granted the Institute permission to implement it. The result was the Integration Program, a two-month residential course offered in January 1985 as a continuation of a newly designed Human Development Training Program.
Currently, the Institute offers weekend workshops and quarterly classes (both ten week and five-week sessions) that introduce and deepen the topics presented in the book. Workshops and retreats have proven to be an especially powerful format in which to introduce Knowledge of Freedom.