Spring 2017 Courses

Nyingma Institute courses are offered in four quarters of ten weeks (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall) and a four-week session in September. To meet the needs of our students, almost all courses are scheduled in the evening, and some meditation and Nyingma Psychology courses are also offered during the day. The daytime sessions mirror evening courses.

New Payment Policy:

Registration and payment for the full ten week term is required, except for the Wednesday, Friday and Sunday Kum Nye classes and class audits. The cost of drop-in and audit classes is $18. per class. Sunday Kum Nye is $15 per class.  Installments are accepted with financial aid approval.

Spring Courses

March 27 – June2, 2017

Click on the section title below or scroll down for complete course schedules and descriptions.

Buddhist Studies and Practices

Buddhist Studies introduces students to Shakyamuni Buddha, his teachings (the Dharma), and the great masters (the Sangha) who link us to the path of enlightenment.

DHS201 An Awakened Vision of Being: First Class of the "Path of Liberation Program"

Tuesdays 7–8:30 (March 28–June 1)

Dynamic and alive, the lineage of the Buddha’s teachings has the power to liberate us from suffering and pain. The Nyingma Institute is pleased to offer a two year intensive program inspired by Tarthang Tulku that explores how the path of liberation is activated and applied.

We begin by focusing on embodiment: how ordinary human being can be transformed into awakened being. We then sequentially explore teachings of awakened speech, mind, qualities, and action, with each quarter deepening the understanding of the path and its practices.

Join us for the first class of this year's Path of Liberation Program. This course is a journey into the Buddha’s vision of what embodiment means. Students will explore the teachings of the Buddhist Abhidharma, be introduced to the life story of the Buddha and the symbolism of the form of the Buddha, and learn to recognize the stages on the Buddhist path.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Hugh Joswick and Mark Henderson. Students are encouraged to attend these associated workshops: DHS408 Wheel of Life, May 5–6 and NPR408 Honoring the Buddha, May 27. Open to all those with a sincere interest in the Buddha’s teachings. Register online here.

NPS108 Dimensions of Mind: Part 1

Wednesdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 29 – May 31)

Even the most seasoned Dharma student gets caught up in the realm of what is already known and established. Facing these limitations of mind may be profoundly frustrating. In Tarthang Tulku’s new book, Dimensions of Mind, we call upon the full scope of our faculties to exercise the mind in new ways that help us penetrate our projections. Seeing how the samsaric mind is thoroughly structured by language, concepts, ideas, and identity, we begin a process of questioning all points of mental projection to unfold a widening understanding. Ultimately, through discussion and exercises, a model is presented for the most rewarding conversation that we could ever have, in which mind freely dialogs with Mind.

Instructors: Pema Gellek and Hugh Joswick. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s new book, Dimensions of Mind. Register online here.

DHS113 Guide to Chanting Tibetan Prayers

Wednesdays, 1:30–3 PM (March 29–May 31)

This class presents a special opportunity for individuals to learn chanting of traditional prayers without prior knowledge of the Tibetan language. Practice materials will be provided showing the Tibetan text, phonetic pronunciation, and English translation. In addition to providing background teachings, Lama Palzang will methodically guide students in the correct pronunciation, melody, and rhythm of selected traditional Buddhist prayers, including Lama Mipham’s profound and beautiful Practice of Shakyamuni and the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Lama Palzang and Mark Henderson. Prerequisite: sincere interest in the Buddha’s teachings. Register online here.

DHS212 Thus Have I Heard: Reading of the Prajnaparamita Sutra

Thursdays, 10 – 11:30 am (March 30 – June 1)

The Prajnaparamita, or Perfection of Wisdom, Sutras propound the perplexing view of Mahayana Buddhism - shunyata, or emptiness. In this practice-oriented class, you will find no ready answers or complex explanations, but rather a conducive space to cultivate a deeper connection to what is sometimes termed the Mother of the Buddhas. We will engage the texts themselves by reciting the Heart Sutra aloud, employ meditative practices that cultivate receptivity and openness to this transcendent, non-conceptual wisdom, and come into contact with chapters of the 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Pauline Yu. Prerequisite: sincere interest in the Buddha’s teachings, and some previous engagement with Buddhism. Register online here.

Nyingma Meditation

The practice of Nyingma Meditation leads to serenity and insight. Courses provide instruction in meditation techniques and support for daily practice.

Weekday Evening Meditation Sessions

Weekdays, 6:00 – 6:45 PM (March 27-June 3, except once monthly on day of Full Moon Chant)

Monday through Friday, we offer donation-based evening meditation sessions. A brief 5-minute introduction to basic meditation posture, followed by silent sitting. We offer this to the general public and our students as a support in developing a regular practice.

Cost: $5 donation for general public, free for Nyingma Institute students. Open to all. If you’ve never meditated before, we recommend taking a Beginning Meditation class.

MED103 Beginning Meditation: Calm and Clear

Thursdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 30–June 1)

Meditation calms the mind and leads to insight. Students learn how to foster both of these through clear, simple instructions for beginning or revitalizing a meditation practice. The focus is on the process that leads to insight and overcomes resistance.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Olivia Hurd. For beginners and those wishing to review basic techniques. Register online here.

MED212 Meditation as a Gesture of Balance: A Guide to Awareness, Self-healing and Meditation

Wednesdays, 10-11:30 AM (March 29–May 31)

This class will explore practices from Gesture of Balance by Tarthang Tulku, to deepen connection to the inner resources inherent within us all. We will develop individualized practice routines that work for you to expand awareness, connect with the wisdom of the heart, and promote self-healing through balancing the energies of body and mind.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Olivia Hurd. For students with some meditation experience. Register online here.

MED203 Intermediate Meditation: Meditations to Open the Heart

Thursdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 30–June 1)

"Imagine that we could offer our hearts safety, well-being, and security. Imagine that we found ways to restore our heart to its place at the center of the inner mandala, allowing it to circulate healing energies through our whole being." Tarthang Tulku, Love of Beauty.

Genuine satisfaction, love, and beauty are found within the heart. Silent and guided meditations open the heart to feeling. Students develop new integrity and balance.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Hugh Joswick Prerequisite: one year of meditation experience. Register online here.

MED303 Advanced Meditation: The Thirty-Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas

Mondays, 7–8:30 PM (March 27–May 29)

This class will draw upon the lojong, mind training, practices presented in the text Thirty Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas by the 14th century Tibetan master, Gyalse Tokme Zangpo. This widely beloved text offers precious instructions on how to quell disturbing emotions and achieve abiding happiness through cherishing and working for the welfare of all living beings. Contemplating and practicing these instructions, we undertake a complete re-orientation of mind that embraces adversity as the catalyst for unfolding its full potential.

Cost $180. Instructor: Lama Palzang. Prerequisite: three years of meditation experience and consent of the instructor. Those attending this course will benefit from also attending the Advanced Kum Nye course.  

Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga)

The gentle movement, massage, and breathing practices of Kum Nye promote physical and emotional health as they bridge the gap between the material and the spiritual.

KNR108 Working with Energy Centers

Tuesdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 28–May 30)

This class explores how we can enhance our well-being by activating the flow of energy in the four main energy centers of the body. We can learn to contact and enliven what is dormant within us and calm what tends to be overactive. Our bodies can become more healthy, and our minds more clear.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Abbe Blum. Open to all levels of students. Register online here.

KNR302 Advanced Kum Nye: Focus on the Senses

Thursdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 30–June 1)

Advanced Kum Nye practice reaches inward toward subtle aspects of experience. Exercising mind and senses through harmonizing breath, awareness, and feeling expands the depth and appreciation of each of the senses.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Santosh Philip and Donna Morton. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s Joy of Being. Prerequisite: two years of Kum Nye practice. Students attending this course may also be interested in the The Thirty-Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas advanced meditation course offered on Mondays from 7–8:30 PM. Register online here.

KNR203 Stimulating Inner Energy

Fridays, 10–11:30 AM (March 31–June 2)

As we move and experience, even as we breathe, the energies within and around us continuously interact… When these energies are flowing smoothly, we have access to an abundance of energy, the body becomes healthy, the mind clear, and the senses vital as every aspect of our being regenerates. Tarthang Tulku, Tibetan Relaxation.

Tibetan Yoga practices in this class stimulate the free flow of inner energy, increasing health and vitality. Our embodiment grows toward the harmonious fulfillment of physical, emotional, and spiritual goals. Our body is revealed as a treasure house of experience that is already ours.

Cost: $180 for ten weeks or $18 for each drop-in class. Instructor: Peggy Kincaid. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s Tibetan Relaxation. Open to all levels of students. Register online here.

KNR107 Sunday Morning Kum Nye

Sundays, 10 AM–Noon (every Sunday)

Re-awaken a spirit of ease and appreciation through gentle Tibetan Yoga practices that relax and rejuvenate. Each session includes movement, massage, and breathing exercises.

Cost: $15 per session. Instructors: Santosh Philip, Dave Abercrombie and Abbe Blum. This drop-in class is for all levels of students.


Skillful Means

“Work teaches us to cultivate the roots of our knowledge in an organic way that fosters the continuing growth of understanding and brings it to maturity. When we know how to use work in this way, we can nourish and enjoy ourselves in any situation.” Tarthang Tulku, Mastering Successful Work.

SKM214 Working Well with Knowledge

Wednesdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 29–May 31)

To be active in our modern cultures, we need to work well with knowledge. This practice-oriented course helps us to contact the roots of our knowledge, explore the thought process experientially, and improve our thinking by involving our senses. We learn how to think productively and creatively and learn readily through experience. With the aid of innovative interpersonal exercises, we discover forms of meditative concentration that fully engage our mental resources and allow knowledge to illuminate all we do.

Cost: $200, which includes the “Resolving Problems” workshop on May 13. Instructors: Barr Rosenberg and Santosh Philip. Readings drawn from unpublished materials by Barr Rosenberg. Open to all levels of students. Register online here.

Time, Space, and Knowledge

"Space and Time are not simply backgrounds or supporting mediums for our ordinary pursuits and experience; they can provide a very special and direct form of nourishment for our “humanity” or human nature." —Tarthang Tulku, Time, Space, and Knowledge.

TSK108 Time, Space, and Knowledge: Perspectives and Practices

Mondays, 7–8:30 PM (March 27–May 29)

Enter visionary teachings on Time, Space, and Knowledge (TSK) through this thought-provoking course. Seminar-like instruction opens a path of transformative inquiry, lightly but directly probing the lived experience of time, space, and knowledge.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Ken McKeon. Open to all levels of students. Register online here.

TSK103 Inviting Knowledge

Tuesdays, 7–8:30 PM (March 28–May 30)

The presence of knowledge within our lives brings into experience light and clarity, nuance and confidence. Embodying knowledge, we are free to be creative and responsive. To realize this embodiment, we must first invite knowledge into our being. The activation of this step is the guiding intention of this course. The course entails practice, readings, and deep and honest inquiry.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Ken McKeon. Prerequisite: Background in meditation and familiarity with the TSK vision. Register online here.

Tibetan Language

Learn classical written Tibetan and unlock a treasury of wisdom–the vast sacred literature of Tibet.

TIB203 Intermediate Tibetan, Level III

Fridays, 7–8:30 PM (March 31–June 2)

Selected readings from Tibetan texts to develop comprehension of classical written Tibetan.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Mollie Hughes. Prerequisite: TIB202 or consent of the instructor.

TIB301 Tibetan Tutorial

Fridays, 4:30–6:00 PM (March 31–June 2)

Reading and translation of Tibetan texts.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Barr Rosenberg. Prerequisite: consent of the instructors.

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To register or for more information, call (510) 809-1000 or email us at nyingma-institute@nyingma.org.

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