Buddhist Ethics


How to live a good life, from a Buddhist Perspective.

The Five Precepts, from a Tibetan Tantric Perspective.

This course on Buddhist Ethics goes through the Five Buddhist Precepts. The five precepts form the basis of a Buddhist way of life and the vows that Buddhists Seek to follow. The Five Precepts are a discipline of freedom, honor and precision that cover the potent themes of life from the extraordinary perspective of non-duality.

Topics covered in this course include
  • Buddhist theories about vegetarian lifestyle vs. meat-eating, 
  • Buddhist perspectives on alcohol and drug use, 
  • Conscious use of sexual energy, Buddhist philosophy about desire
  • Handling resources, money and spirituality
  • Honesty, and the speech that takes us beyond confusion.


This is an open teaching, there are no prerequisites required to access this course.


Regular Tuition: $108

Membership Access: Click Here to View Member Benefits

    • Supporter Members
    • Snow Lion Members
    • Sustainer (All-Access-Pass) Members

White Tara Meditation

White Tara Meditation with Dr. Satya

Offered live on Tara Day and By Recording – For Members Only

Practice Dates 2020
November 23rd, 6pm Pacific

December 21st, 6pm Pacific

White Tara Meditation is a Buddhist prayer offered in times of calamities, natural disasters, wars, and major obstacles in order to bring peace and healing to the community and environment.

The live class and recording are available to all member levels.

If you are a member and have already signed up for Meditation Mondays you will automatically be invited with the link to join 24hrs before the start.

BIPOC Meditation Group

BIPOC Meditation Group with Pema Khandro is for members who are BIPOC to practice together and talk about how race impacts our lives.

If you are interested in learning more about membership, please visit Become a Member or reach out to our Membership Coordinator at membership@ngakpa.org


(If you are a member who has registered for this class, you should have received an email with your Zoom invitation and login information within 48hrs from the time of registration. If you do not see this email, please check your junk/spam folder. If you need help or have any questions, please email info@buddhiststudiesinstitute.org.)


Contemplative Care

Pema Khandro Interviews Koshin Paley Ellison on caring for people as they are dying. They discuss being at the bedside of someone who is difficult or angry in their final stage of life. Koshin Paley Ellison describes his work as a contemplative care worker and Zen Buddhist priest.

Past Life Research

Pema Khandro Interviews Dr. Jim Tucker on his book Life Before Life, which discusses scientific research documenting the cases children who remember past lives. Pema Khandro interviews Dr. Tucker about these cases and raises questions about the convergences and divergences from Buddhist theories of reincarnation. Dr. Tucker discusses examples of the cases including the fascinating case discussed in his book of the child who remembered being in a war and whose memories were then corroborated by investigation. Dr. Jim B. Tucker is a child psychiatrist and Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Pema Khandro is a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism and teacher of Buddhist philosophy.

Transitional Life Care

Pema Khandro interviews Julie Rogers. They discuss Julie’s manual on Buddhist customs for caring for the body of loved ones who have just passed away. This includes a discussion of how to keep the body at home for a period after the respiration has ceased, how long to leave the body untouched and other Buddhist customs. Julie Rogers is the founder of Transitional Life Care. Pema Khandro is a scholar and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

Eastern Ideals & Western Psychology

Pema Khandro and Harvey Aronson discuss the difference between interpretations of anger in Buddhist literature and how anger is understood in English. Harvey also shares about how he came to study bothBuddhism and Psychology. Based on his book, Buddhist Practice on Western Ground, they talk about the problems in Western interpretations of Buddhism.

Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and teacher. Harvey Aronson is a Tibetan Buddhist Lama, psychologist and author. This dialogue was filmed in 2019.

Meditation Mondays

Online Community Meditation for Members

With Tsal’gyur Starbuck and Guest Teachers

Train in Buddhist Meditation Online

Experience the power of Tibetan Buddhist Meditation. Meditation Mondays are online classes, so you have accessible instruction wherever you are.

These meditation classes include dynamic meditations which train the mind in focus and calm, meditations with mantra, prayers, and visualizations.

With attention to the body posture, breathing practice and enlightened intent, these meditations take us deep and wake us up.

Meditation Mondays are led by Tsal’gyur Starbuck.  Tsal’gyur will lead the ngondro meditation, answer your questions and support you in establishing a daily practice. Also, some special class topics may be led by Dr. Satya and other guest teachers.

All members have access to meditation classes online! 

About the Leader

Tsal’gyur Dorje

Tsal’gyur Dorje has been studying with Pema Khandro Rinpoche since 2005. She is the Membership Co-ordinator and Registrar for the Buddhist Studies Institute, and has been on the leadership team for Ngakpa International since 2010. Tsal’gyur is a certified Yoga Instructor, Meditation Teacher, and Teaching Assistant in the school. Learn More about Tsal’gyur


Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen

Online Training with Pema Khandro – Learn at Your Own Pace
Includes 5 video/audio recordings, and class slides.

Does the study of Buddhism sometimes leave you overwhelmed with questions and contradictions? What is emptiness really? What is enlightenment? Is the goal of the path to transcend or show up? Why are there sometimes contradicting messages in different Buddhist books? What is Buddhist Tantra and what is its relationship to Dzogchen?

This course investigates the major principles of Buddhist Philosophy from the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism’s great perfection teachings (Tib. rdzogs chen). In order to promote perception of oneself and reality with greater depth and perspective, it begins with an exploration of the Buddhist philosophy of personhood as a doorway to grappling with questions of ultimate reality. The classes focus on:

  • emptiness
  • the five Skandhas
  • the five elements
  • Prajnaparamita
  • the two truths and the unity of the two truths
  • prasangika madhyamaka
  • yogacara madhyamaka
  • the history of development of tathagatagarbha theory
  • Dzogchen Buddha-nature teachings.

Also included is the evolution of perspectives on the person and divine reality as it fits into the three vehicles, clarifying the questions of theism and non-theism in relationship to Buddhas, Buddhafields, Deities, Yidams, and Gods. It also focuses on the diversity, contradictions, and alternatives within various schools of Buddhist thought.

Because we are in the information age, when a wide variety of Buddhist teachings are published in books, articles and taught in courses – it can be confusing how all these notions fit together. This course seeks to remedy that. It helps to clarify which principles apply when, why and to whom. Therefore a study like this simplifies and clarifies the path. It organizes Buddhist thought in terms of history, philosophical vehicle, and tradition.

Another benefit of such a study is that it offers an opportunity to deliberately deal with contradictions. In the age of disillusionment with fundamentalist approaches to religion, a straightforward look at alternative perspectives can be exhilarating and educational. Buddhism is especially friendly to this approach. Tibetan Buddhism has housed within itself diverse paths which range from celibacy to non-celibacy, pro-ritual to anti-ritual, elaborate and non-elaborate forms. Join Pema Khandro for this illuminating journey into the rich diversity of Buddhist thought.

Enjoy one of Pema Khandro Rinpoche’s most popular courses, listened to repeatedly by students around the world. For those who love Buddhist Philosophy and wish to know more, this is the class for you!

“Because we are in the information age when a wide variety of Buddhist teachings are published in books, articles, and taught in courses – it can be confusing how all these notions fit together. This course seeks to remedy that. It helps to clarify which principles apply when, why and to whom. Therefore a study like this simplifies and clarifies the path. It organizes Buddhist thought in terms of history, philosophical vehicle and tradition to clarify the answers to the big questions…”

Buddhism as a Way of Life

Online Training with Pema Khandro

Learn at Your Own Pace – Includes 6 video/audio recordings and class slides.


Class 1  –  Tibetan Buddhism and its roots
Understand the key principles and goal of Tibetan Buddhism and learn about the lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis, a tradition which balances work and family with serious spiritual development.

Class 2  –  Courage & Inspiration
Discover the Buddhist teachings for finding calm amidst the chaos, discovering peace of mind and purpose of life. This class focuses on refuge and bodhichitta – the daily prayers from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse. It discusses the issue of how to become a Buddhist and what does it mean to be a Buddhist.

Class 3  –  A Buddhist Yogi’s Code of Honor
To live as a Buddhist is to live a life dedicated to cultivating wisdom and avoiding the negative actions that dilute you. This class covers the Five Precepts from the perspective of Tantra and Dzogchen. It also addresses the issue of spiritual responsibility, relating to teacher and community with independence and interdependence.

Class 4  –  Relationships
Relationships can be a powerful domain for deepening the lived experience of the Buddhist teachings. They can also cause tremendous suffering when they are guided by conditioned scripts (negative karma). This class focuses on the key Buddhist principles as they apply to harmonious relationships.

Class 5  –  Embodied experience
Buddhist practice and states of peace are not just mental events – they are physical, biological and ecological. This class highlights the Tibetan Medicine teachings for cultivating well being in body and mind, including teachings for relating to aging, illness, and death.

Class 6  –  Regular practices
There are many paths to integrating Buddhism into everyday life. The goal is to nourish a sense of enlightened intent, clarity and wisdom energy. For Tibetan Buddhist yogis who do not renounce, but instead engage in family and work responsibilities, what are the ideal formats for regular practice and training? This class will review the key components for discovering daily, weekly or bi-monthly practice.

Dakini Day Chod

This is a Tibetan meditation which is a potent, dynamic practice for cutting through fear and facing death. It is a practice of healing through ultimate compassion. The practice is the Dzogchen Chod, known as Khandro Geykyang, the Laugher of the Dakinis, the concise version. Rinpoche will lead the practice and discuss its meaning. This has been a monthly practice in Virginia for the last two years on Dakini Day, but in-person Chod practices are cancelled and Pema Khandro will now be offering monthly Chod practice online for the first time, in order to support Vajrayana practitioners during the worldwide pandemic.

All members may access Dakini Day Chod Recordings
Learn more about Membership

Check Upcoming Events to register for the next Dakini Day Chod class

Tibetan Dream Yoga

Considered the practice most similar to our experience at death, Dream Yoga is about navigating in the real and unreal aspects of our experience without falling asleep to awareness. It is a practice of recognizing the nature of our minds.

This Teaching focuses on the Tibetan Buddhist methods for navigating Dream, Waking Life, and Sleep.

Waking, dreaming, and deep sleep present transformations of perception and they highlight the continuity and discontinuity of experience. Through recognizing the opportunities for meditative awareness in these states, we can understand our own minds and face all our experiences with greater presence. A teaching based on the Six Yogas of Naropa – which is a system of harnessing ordinary experience for awakening.

Transforming Fear

Four Classes to Support Your Resilience

With Pema Khandro

  1. Transforming Fear
  2. Transforming Overwhelming Fear and Grief
  3. Transforming Fear in Illness and Dying
  4. Transforming Fear When Loved Ones are Dying

Pema Khandro offers these 4 classes focused on building resilience and transforming fear in times of crisis. It includes meditation, lecture, and tips for wellness. How to care compassionately for your anxiety & fear. Tips to practice self care and empathy, and how to be there for yourselves and others including:

  • Methods to calm down

  • Focus through Meditation

  • Alternatives to suppressing fear or being overwhelmed by fear

  • Uplift your mind while remaining realistic

  • Soothe and Uplift yourself others

  • Key components of a healthy diet

  • Building your immunity through diet, supplements

  • Reducing the impact of sickness


Excellent Path to Enlightenment – Module 1

Presence as the Path – Digital Download

Foundational practices of the Buddhist Studies Institute
As taught by Pema Khandro
Prepared on the Dalai Lama’s Birthday, July 6th, 2015
30 Page Restricted Text – Ngakpa International

Click the Link below to download text, or scroll down to view text.

TEXT: Presence as the Path