Summer 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 & 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.

New Classes:

Two and four week Intensive courses in Kum Nye and Time, Space and Knowledge. Evening public meditation for $5.00

To register or for more information:


Summer Courses 2017

June 12–August 18, 2017

Click on the course title below or scroll down for a complete course schedule and descriptions.

Buddhist Studies and Practices

Nyingma Meditation

Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga), (Drop-in classes available)

Skillful Means

Time, Space, and Knowledge

Tibetan Language


Buddhist Studies and Practices

“The Buddha’s teachings are close to our hearts, for they point to the truth of our nature. As we read, reflect, and practice, the Dharma can become part of our thoughts, a good friend always ready to remind us of our highest destiny.” Tarthang Tulku, Path of Heroes.

Transmitting Insight; Penetrating Illusion (DHS202)

Tuesdays 7:00–8:30 PM (June 13–August 15)

At every moment we receive messages transmitted from our body, from our mind, and from the world around us. These messages form the basis of all that we know and do. The Buddha’s teachings bring our attention to how the senses operate and how knowledge of ourselves and the world develops. This course looks at the process of transmitting and receiving information from the body, mind, and world. Abhidharma and Mind Training (Lojong) teachings provide the textual basis.

Cost $180. Instructors: Hugh Joswick, Mark Henderson and Santosh Philip. Prerequisite: DHS201 or consent of the instructors. Students are encouraged to attend the associated workshops: “Turning the Mind to the Dharma” on June 23–24, “Training for Freedom” on August 4–5. Register online here.

Dimensions of Mind: Part II (NPS109)

Wednesdays, 7–8:30 PM (June 14–August 16)

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, 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. Part II continues our reading and discussion of Dimensions of Mind that began in Part I. New students may enter the course with consent of the instructors.

Cost: $180. Instructors: Pema Gellek and Hugh Joswick. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s book, Dimensions of Mind. Register online here.


Guide to Chanting Tibetan Prayers (DHS114)

Wednesdays, 1:30–3 PM *(Six-Sessions June 14–28 and August 2–16, No classes in July)

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: $108. Instructors: Lama Palzang and Mark Henderson. Prerequisite: sincere interest in the Buddha’s teachings. Register online here.


Thus Have I Heard: Reading of the Prajnaparamita Sutra (DHS212)

Thursdays, 10–11:30 am (June 15–August 17)

The Prajnaparamita teachings propound the perplexing view of shunyata, or emptiness, which is at the heart of Mahayana Buddhism. In this practice-oriented class, we recite the 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita interspersed with periods of silent meditation. You will find that the sutra itself can be your guide to this transcendent, non-conceptual and perfected wisdom that is considered the mother of the Buddhas.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Pauline Yu. Note: Some prior experience with Buddhist teachings is helpful. We are working with Conze's translation of the 8,000 Line Prajnaparamita. Register online here.


Nyingma Meditation

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


Weekday Evening Meditation Sessions (MED000)

Weekdays, 6:00 – 6:45 PM (June 12–August 18)

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, free for Nyingma Institute students. Open to all. If you’ve never meditated before, we recommend taking a Beginning Meditation class.


Intermediate Meditation: Discovering Mind (MED204)

Thursdays, 7–8:30 PM (June 15–August 9)

Through meditation we can experience the mind as alive, sensitive, and bril¬liant. In this course, students are led through contemplative practices drawn from Tarthang Tulku’s Gesture of Balance that reveal deeper levels of mind than are ordinarily recognized.

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


Advanced Meditation: Kamalashila’s Stages of Meditation: Shamatha and Insight (MED304)

Mondays, 7–8:30 PM (June 12–August 14)

Lha-Tong (shamatha) allows the mind to become calm, continuous and one-pointed. It is the foundation for Zhi-Gnas(vipashyna, often translated as insight), which through direct analysis of the constituents of experience, can cut through the root of disturbing emotions by virtue of discerning the true nature of phenomena, which is unfixed and empty. Without the stability of Lha-Tong, it would be like trying to use the telescope of Zhi-Gnas on a boat, while experiencing turbulent water. Kamalashila is an 8th century master and student of Shantarakshita who composed the Bhavankrama, or Stages of Meditation, a fundamental Tibetan Buddhist text for studying and practicing Lha-Tong and Zhi-Gnas.

Cost $180. Instructors: Lama Palzang and Santosh Philip. Prerequisite: three years of meditation experience and consent of the instructors. Those attending this course will benefit from also attending the Advanced Kum Nye course. Register online here.



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.


The Nyingma Institute is delighted to offer a new way to participate in classes during the summer term. Intensive Six-Session Summer Kum Nye Class:

Awakening and Healing through the Senses (KNR109)

Tuesdays and Thursdays 7–8:30 PM *(June 13–June 29)

As we practice Kum Nye and more deeply relax, the physical body and senses begin to be coordinated and integrated with mind. We become acquainted with stillness, and with the presence and vitality that are the basis of our inner nature. Twice a week in June we will explore the operation of our senses as two-way channels that can help to integrate and heal the rift between our inner and outer environments.

Cost: $108. Instructor: Abbe Blum. This drop-in class is for all levels of students. Register online here.

*Intensive Six-Session Dates: June 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29.


Advanced Kum Nye: Focus on the Senses (KNR302)

Thursdays, 7–8:30 PM (June 15–May 17)

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. Instructor: Santosh Philip. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s Joy of Being. Prerequisite: two years Kum Nye practice. Students attending this course will benefit from the advanced meditation course offered on Mondays, 7–8:30 PM. Register online here.


Sunday Morning Tibetan Yoga (KNR107)

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: Jack van der Meulen, Santosh Philip, Dave Abercrombie, Donna Morton and Abbe Blum. This drop-in class is for all levels of students.


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.



The Nyingma Institute is delighted to offer a new way to participate in classes during the summer term. Intensive Four-Session Summer TSK: Two Classes a week for the second and third week of July.

TSK Right from the Start! (TSK104)

Mondays and Wednesdays, *6:15–7:45 PM

This class will be a jump start into Tarthang Tulku's open visionary teaching: Time, Space, and Knowledge. The class will promote a radical inquiry into human nature and human possibilities. Inquiry will be activated through doing varied meditative practices and considering extraordinary texts.

Cost: $108. Instructor: Ken McKeon. For all levels of students. Register online here.

Four-Session Intensive Dates: July 10, 12, 17 & 19 *Class time is 6:15–7:45 PM



Skillful Means

“True responsibility is an active caring and responsiveness to everything around us… responding to each experience with a dynamic willingness, an openness to life that springs from a deep caring.” Tarthang Tulku, Skillful Means.


Working Well with Goodness (SKM214)

Wednesdays, 7–8:30 PM (June 14–August 16)

Elevated above the powerfully cycling thoughts and emotions that drive ordinary relationships and relationship thoughts, another heartfelt way of relating is readily available within our embodiment. This is the path of simple goodness, and it can become our way of working together. This class explores how to make this our way of life through lecture, discussion, and innovative interpersonal exercises.

Cost: $200, includes the “Communicating Well” day-long retreat on August 5. Instructors: Barr Rosenberg and Santosh Philip. Readings drawn from the unpublished manuscripts, “Working Well with Goodness” and “Relationship of Respect.” Open to all levels of students. Register online here.



Tibetan Language

Developing a reading knowledge of classical written Tibetan gives access to a vast literature, largely unavailable in Western languages.


Intermediate Tibetan, Level IV (TIB204)

Fridays, 7–8:30 PM (June 16–August 18)

Readings illustrate the different styles of Tibetan literature.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Mollie Hughes. Prerequisite: TIB203  or consent of the instructor. Register online here.


Tibetan Tutorial (TIB301)

Fridays, 4:30–5:45 PM Fridays, 7–8:30 PM (June 16–August 18)

Continued reading and translation of Tibetan texts.

Cost: $180. Instructor: Barr Rosenberg. Prerequisite for the class: consent of the instructor. Register online here.