Workshops:  January – April 2020

Please note that due to health concerns, we are holding programs online only. Please register in advance for workshops; there are minimum enrollment requirements. Learn more. 

Saturday workshops begin at 10 AM and conclude at 4:45 PM unless otherwise noted, and include a vegetarian buffet lunch. They are open to all levels of students unless a prerequisite is specified. 

Workshop participants may arrange to stay overnight in one of the Institute’s comfortable guest rooms. Overnight guests are offered complimentary Sunday morning meditation and Tibetan Yoga class. Learn about our rooms and rates

Please register as early as possible in order to ensure that your workshop will run, as programs must meet minimum enrollment conditions.

Kamalashila and the Stages of Meditation (DHS419) Online Only  
Saturday, March 21, 10 AM – 4:45 PM

Kamalashila accompanied Santaraksita to Tibet in the 8th century at the request of King Tri-song Detsen. He played an important role in establishing Buddhism in Tibet and was the principal defender of the Indian gradual way of enlightenment over the Chan method of sudden enlightenment. In a great debate at Samye monastery c. 793, Kamalashila bettered his opponent, who advocated a direct awakening of mind through meditation, by arguing for a gradual path that required training in the whole field of Buddhist study. Kamalashila thereby established the Indian tradition of study and practice in Tibet and the gradual path of development. In this workshop we will examine a principal writing of Kamalashila on the stages of meditation, the Bhavanakrama. Lecture, practice, and discussion will bring this key text in Tibetan history to life.

Cost: $80. Instructor(s): Mark Henderson and Hugh Joswick. 10 AM—4:45 PM, with lunch included.


Tibetan Yoga Intensive 1: Introduction to Kum Nye Teacher Training (KNR430) Online Only  
Sunday, March 22, 10 AM – 5 PM

Both for those who would teach Kum Nye and/or for those who want to explore it thoroughly, integrating active relaxation and healing into their lives.

“Through neglect, our senses have toughened like an elephant’s hide, diminishing the fullness of our sensory capacity. Until we gently soften this ‘toughness’ by developing the natural energies of our feelings and sensations, we cannot open to the full field of experience. When we really know this, we can participate in the natural flow of the universe, for we understand that we depend on nature, and nature, indeed the whole universe, depends on us. The world will be balanced when we are balanced.” Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga, 7-8

In September 2020 the Nyingma Institute will launch a year-long intensive teacher training program centered on Tarthang Tulku’s first Kum Nye book, Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga. Through this program, the Nyingma Institute joins the international Kum Nye community and draws on over four decades of teachings introduced to the West by Tibetan lama Tarthang Tulku in the 1970’s in Berkeley, California. This is the first of three “preview” events—day- long intensives that introduce foundational elements of Kum Nye and that can count toward a teaching certificate.

A yogic and meditative system that works with energy, Kum Nye heals body and mind, relieving stress and opening deep relaxation. It is a means to meditation and self-knowledge. By inviting the mind into the body, through poses, movements, breathing practices and visualizations, inner experience comes alive. Kum Nye includes breathing, massage, postures, and movement exercises that release blockages and allow energy to flow unobstructed through body and mind, restoring the wholeness of being.

Cost: $80. Instructor(s): Abbe Blum, Santosh Philip. 10 AM—5 PM. Please bring your own lunch. Prerequisites: For those interested in teaching or those who wish for a thorough and intensive education in Kum Nye. Learn more. 


Healing and Pain Workshop (TSK401) Online Only  
Friday, March 27 (7 – 9 PM) and Saturday, March 28 (10 AM – 4:45 PM)

The purpose of this workshop is to explore our inner embodiment, our body of knowledge. Through the use of meditation and creative imagination we will begin to change our relationship to ‘pain.’ We will delve into four exercises that are drawn from Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche’s Dynamics of Time and Space, a visionary teaching that challenges conventional ways of knowing and being.

These four exercises can be practiced effectively separately, but practicing them as a unit enhances their ability to bring about healing of both emotional and physical pain.

Cost: $110. Instructor(s): Santosh Philip. Lunch on Saturday is included. Please contact us if you’d like to stay overnight on Friday. Rooms are $150/night.


Vajrasattva Purification Workshop (DHS423) Online Only  
Saturday, March 28th, 10 AM – 4:45 PM

Through mantra, prayer, and visualization we call on Vajrasattva to purify defilements of the mind and cleanse our karma, including the accumulated baggage, patterns, and obscurations that prevent us from seeing clearly.

All beings carry some negative karma that may present obstacles to the accumulation of merit and wisdom. This workshop will focus on the invocation of Vajrasattva as a powerful means of purification of the negativity of body, speech and mind. The practice of the Four Reliances and prayers, mantras and visualizations related to Vajrasattva offer a process of deep purification of both gross and subtle imprints of the history we carry in mind. As karmic bonds loosen in the brilliant light of bodhicitta, mind experiences ease and renewed vigor to continue the path of liberation.

Cost: $80. Instructor(s): Lama Palzang, Pema Gellek. 10 AM—4:45 PM, with lunch included.


Being in the Center: Meditations for Everyday Life (MED421) Online Only  
Saturday, April 4th, 10 AM – 4:45 PM

According to Tarthang Tulku, meditation is a way of opening our lives to the richness of experience. Meditation can teach us to embrace and learn from whatever arises in experience. However, all too often we find meditation blocked by our own mental projections and the grasping of I, me, and mine. Using Tarthang Tulku’s Openness Mind and Dimensions of Mind as our guides, we can explore ways to stay in the center of experience and overcome obstacles we have set in place that prevent access to deeper levels of understanding.

Cost: $80. Instructor(s): Hugh Joswick. 10 AM-4:45 PM, with lunch included.

The Joy of Mindful Vegetarian Cooking (WEL408) Postponed 
Saturday, April 11th , 10 AM – 1 PM

Elegant Spring Lunch: Create a richly colorful and flavorful vegetarian meal from scratch with a focus on seasonal and local produce.

How can we deeply nourish body, mind, and senses? This 3-hour workshop consists of hands-on, engaged learning in the kitchen with masterful chefs and restaurateurs Tony Gruska and Rhonda Gruska, a delightful couple who work together in a deeply attuned dance of creativity and calm collaboration. Learn their ways of conceptualizing an elegant vegetarian meal, whether for 2
or 30, and observe a variety of techniques that will take your culinary creations to the next level.

Broaden your culinary horizons and discover the delights of food: balancing the textures and flavors of unusual ingredients, fine-tuning the timing and rhythm of preparing a plentiful meal, and seeing the bigger picture of how food can be a heart-felt offering that builds community. You will enjoy the exquisite, delicious vegetarian meal that you’ve helped create.

Instructor(s): Tony Gruska, Rhonda Gruska. Cost: $65. This cooking workshop is 3 hours, from 10 AM – 1 PM, with lunch following at 1 PM. Minimum class size is 4, with a maximum of 12. Learn more. 


Sample Schedule

  • 10:00 AM Instruction Session
  • 11:30 AM Tea Break
  • 12:00 PM Instruction Session
  • 1:00 PM Vegetarian Lunch
  • 2:00 PM Instruction Session
  • 3:30 PM Tea Break
  • 4:00 PM Instruction Session
  • 4:45 PM Workshop Concludes