Two Month Retreat B: Integrating Practice and Life

Monday, October 21 – Saturday, December 14, 2019 (Eight Weeks)

This two-month retreat opens up our vision of the path of the Bodhisattva and explores how we can come to embody the teachings through work, relationships, and our interactions in the world. It focuses on Rinpoche’s distinctive approach to Skillful Means, exploring how to integrate practice with daily life and work.

The retreat’s curriculum is rooted in traditional Dharma teachings on how to manifest skillful ways of practice in daily life, highlighting how to activate the six paramitas. We will explore the Buddhist paramitas as applied practices, with the support of classics such as the Bodhicaryavatara and excellent commentaries like Path of Heroes, Atisa’s Lojong, 37 Practices of the Bodhisattvas, and Words of My Perfect Teacher.

The retreat also draws from Rinpoche’s new books CaringDimensions of Mind, and Lotus Trilogy. Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche is a master who has made remarkable and historical contributions to the preservation of Tibetan culture. Drawing upon his principles of how we can use work as spiritual practice, we will delve into his vision of Skillful Means. His special approach relies on a unique understanding of caring as the foundation of Skillful Means, and offers a methodology that integrates view, meditation, and conduct. You will encounter practices that can offer unique insights into mind, showing us how to go beyond ordinary mind.

Open up depth of purpose in your life, meaningful action to benefit others, a greater ability to tap into and direct creative energy, and development of a different kind of knowing. Go beyond the structured realm of relativity, reason, and analysis — ordinary mind — into direct inquiry and total engagement with the field of opportunity in time and space that is each person’s unique life.

This is an unparalleled opportunity to engage with special aspects of Rinpoche’s teachings in a sustained format, available only here at Nyingma Institute.

You will benefit from a tranquil, supportive environment, the care of dedicated instructors, ongoing engagement with a work-practice project as a means to explore the teachings, vegetarian meals, and individual mentor check-ins.

No specialized knowledge is required – only a willingness to take a journey of the mind.

Skillful Means

Knowledge in action is the essence of the Skillful Means teaching, where work is used as the ground for observing and learning from each experience.

New  teachings

The Two Month Integrating Practice and Life Retreat draws from instructions and contemplations found in these new books from Rinpoche:

Dimensions of Mind (2016) — This book presents a model of self-observation, self-communication, in which mind freely dialogues with Mind. An open, curious approach to Mind can surprise us, releasing great creativity and vitality into our lives. It is even possible for our most difficult emotions to be transformed into precious inner resources. This great treasure of Mind lives within you, and is yours to discover.

Caring (2018) — Caring is something we and our world urgently need. We know real caring when we experience it, but our way of life – or perhaps our way of relating to our minds – seems to leave us feeling profoundly un-cared for. Lacking care ourselves, we begin to lose our ability to care for others. In reflections that range from the simple to the challenging and profound, Caring shows us how caring can ease our hearts, strengthen our spirits, and transform our sense of what is possible.

Lotus Trilogy (2018) — This new series offers us a vision of Lotus Body, Lotus Language, and Lotus Mind. Lotus Body explores the inner mystery that inhabits our most familiar experiences, including the nature of shape and form, and the roles played by time and space in everything that appears. Lotus Language investigates the fundamental importance of language and meaning for human experience. Take an in-depth look at the powerful role language has played in patterning up our potential. Could we open up the meanings that have shaped our lives, and create something new? Lotus Mind, the final volume of the Lotus Trilogy, turns the inquiry back toward the inquiring mind. In the process, we are introduced to a new understanding of mind, and encounter an open field at the heart of knowledge.

“The nectar of caring is available to us — and through us, to others.”

From Caring, by Tarthang Tulku.


Monday – Friday

  • 7:00 – 8:15 AM / Kum Nye Yoga morning practice
  • 8:15 AM / Breakfast and clean-up
  • 9:15 – 10:45 AM / Guided group session
  • 11:00 – 11:30 AM / Morning job
  • 11:30 – 12:30 AM / Individual study and practice time
  • 12:30 PM / Vegetarian buffet lunch and clean up
  • 12:30 PM / Lunch and clean up
  • 2:00–3:30 / Work Practice
  • 3:30-4:00 PM / Tea break
  • 4 – 5:15 pm / Guided group session
  • 5:30 / Vegetarian buffet dinner and clean up
  • 7:00 – 8:30 PM / Optional evening class

Saturdays include morning practice and a regular workshop schedule from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sundays are a day of rest. 


The Two Month Retreat is led by an experienced team of Nyingma Institute faculty members who have been immersed in Tarthang Tulku’s teachings for many years.

Your team of instructors includes the Deans of the Nyingma Institute:  Lama Palzang and Pema Gellek, long time students of Tarthang Rinpoche and Chadral Rinpoche, offer fresh perspectives on traditional Dharma practices and provide insight into how to develop spiritual values in contemporary life.  

Three retreatants on front porch of Nyingma Institute.

What to Expect

  • Engagement with a work-practice project to help integrate what you’re learning with ‘regular’ tasks
  • A full schedule with multiple sessions of guided group practice each day
  • A mix of slow movement Kum Nye yoga and sitting practices
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Individual mentor check-ins
  • A supportive and tranquil environment


If you have significant financial constraints, please contact us to apply for a scholarship. Payment plans are available.

Learn More / Register

Our Front Desk is open 10 AM – 6 PM, PST. We look forward to hearing from you.

Phone:  (510) 809-1000