Awakening Faith in the Lotus Born Guru:  Three-Day Retreat

Thursday, May 16 – Saturday, May 18, 2024

In person at the Nyingma Institute

We invite you to join us for a three-day retreat focused on connecting with Guru Padmasambhava, the fully awakened master who established Buddhism in Tibet. Known as the Lotus Born Guru who destroys all negativity and obstacles, his unique qualities and teachings are particularly relevant for troubled times such as ours.

During this retreat, we will immerse ourselves in accessible yet potent practices such as visualization, mantra, and prayers based on instructions given by Padmasambhava himself and great Nyingma masters, including Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. By uniting our minds with Padmasambhava, we can liberate our habitual identification with body, speech, and mind from the closed loop of the self and enter into a vast vision of awakened being.

Key aspects of this retreat include:

  • Appreciating the unique enlightened qualities of Padmasambhava, particularly effective in our current era of the Kaliyuga.
  • Becoming familiar with visualization practices and mantras that hold the power to transform negativity, fear, and confusion into higher awareness and realization.
  • Cultivating a sense of sacred vision through devotional practices, easing suffering caused by our attachment to ordinary body, speech, and mind.
  • Engaging in traditional prayers such as the “Prayer for Removing Obstacles and Fulfilling Wishes,” the “Seven Line Prayer,” and the Vajra Guru mantra to invoke Padmasambhava’s blessings.
  • Reflecting upon essential instructions given by Padmasambhava himself, aimed at purifying karma and klesa within our mindstream and activating a powerful momentum of merit and wisdom to awaken our entire being.
  • Relaxing through gentle movement practices.

Rooted in the nature of mind, Padmasambhava’s teachings possess a singular directness that can transform our experience of reality. Join us to strengthen your connection with the profound vision and methods of this enlightened lineage, revitalize your faith, and open to Padmasambhava’s blessings.

This retreat is offered in person, in the serene and beautiful space of the Nyingma Institute, including the meditation garden. Due to limited availability of rooms, this retreat is primarily designed for local residents of the Bay Area who will be on site during the day and staying elsewhere at night.

Instructors: Lama Palzang, Pema Gellek, and assistant faculty.

Cost: $360 includes three full days of retreat sessions and vegetarian lunches. Partial scholarships available for those with financial limitations; please contact us for an application.

Schedule: 9:30 am – 5 pm, Thursday, May 16 – Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Sign up for Awakening Faith in the Lotus Born Guru Retreat

Dates:  May 16 – May 18, 2024 from 9:30 am – 5 pm. Cost: $360, scholarships available. 

Questions? Please email us at  

Image of Pema and Lama Palzang

Lama Palzang is a Nyingma lama who was born in the Gyarong region of Tibet, where from a very young age, he trained under Jigme Tenpa Dargye Rinpoche. He was formally educated at Minyak Lhagang Monastery in Kham and trained in the Longchen Nyingtik tradition under his root teachers, Khenchen Chodrak Rinpoche and Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche. He completed a traditional three year retreat under Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche in Beyul Yolmo, Nepal.  Lama Palzang is co-dean of the Institute and teaches classes on Buddhist Studies and Nyingma Meditation and guides traditional dharma retreats. 

Pema Gellek is a disciple of her father, Tarthang Tulku, and Chadral Rinpoche, and studied Tibetan Buddhism at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal. Working within her father’s mandala of organizations, she serves as a bridge between dharma in the East and West and has helped carry out Tarthang Tulku’s dharma activities in Asia for the past 20 years. She is co-dean at the Nyingma Institute and her areas of teaching at the Nyingma Institute are Buddhist Studies and Nyingma Psychology.