Season of Practice

Explanation of ‘Season of Practice’ by Pema Khandro

Held each year from November 1st – Tibetan Lunar New Year (Losar)

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MIT: Nov 2022- Mar 23

Meditation Instructor Training 2022-2023

The Meditation Instructor Training Live Course Begins November 5th 2022.

Start the self-paced material below anytime.

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The Missing History of Women in Tantric Buddhism

Pema Khandro, Holly Gayley, Judith Simmer-Brown, Sarah Jacoby, Amy Langenberg, and Damcho Diana Finnegan.


This is the missing history of women in Tantric Buddhism. This course addresses the fascinating story of nuns, mothers, teachers, consorts, prophets, and disciples. Taught by scholar-practitioners whose groundbreaking research on women and Buddhism has changed the way we think of Buddhist history. This course will address the history of women in Buddhism, the history of yoginis and dakinis in India and Tibet, the stories of important Buddhist women, Buddhist philosophy on gender, sex, and sexuality, and the role of the consort in historical Tibet, and contemporary manifestations and so much more.

COURSE CONTENT

Course Videos, Dialogues, and Articles




Introduction with Pema Khandro

    • The History of Women in Buddhism
    • Women in Tantric Great Perfection (Dzogchen)
    • Women in Buddhism: Current Issues

Course Content with Holly Gayley

    • Gender and Sexuality in Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet
    • Dialogue with Holly Gayley and Pema Khandro
    • Revisioning the Sacred Consort
    • Fake Lamas

Course Content with Sarah Jacoby

    • Dakinis’ Encouragement in the Life of Sera Khandro
    • Dialogue with Sarah Jacoby and Pema Khandro
    • This Inferior Female Body

Course Content with Judith Simmer-Brown

    • Dakini Wisdom: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism
    • Dialogue with Judith Simmer-Brown and Pema Khandro

Course Content with Amy Paris Langenberg

    • Buddhism, Birth, and Abortion: Dialogue with Amy Langenberg and Pema Khandro
    • What does Buddhism Say About Abortion?

Course Content with Damcho Diana Finnegan

    • Buddhism After #MeToo: Dialogue with Damcho Diana Finnegan and Pema Khandro

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

Click the Images below to read Teacher Bios and Learn More

Pema Khandro

Pema Khandro

Teacher, Scholar, Humanitarian, and Founder of the Buddhist Studies Institute
Holly Gayley

Holly Gayley

Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies. Translator of contemporary Buddhist literature
Judith Simmer-Brown

Judith Simmer-Brown

Professor and Author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism
Sarah Jacoby

Sarah Jacoby

Author and Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Languages & Cultures
Amy Langenberg

Amy Langenberg

Author of Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom and Associate Professor
Damchö Diana Finnegan, PhD

Damchö Diana Finnegan, PhD

Co-founder of Dharmadatta Community and Instituto Budadharma

Frequently Asked Questions

A La Carte tuition – Access is granted for 1 year-Life depending on the training or course

Membership Access – Access is granted for every benefit in the chosen membership level as long as the membership is active and in good standing. Access is no longer available if or when membership is de-activated.

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At the website, simply click the Login button in the Top Menu.

Enter your credentials and navigate to the course you want to view. Course content is generally at the bottom of the page. Click on the course content to access all aspects of the course layout.

Self-paced courses are all pre-recorded and able to be completed at the participant’s own pace.

All participants who purchase a Self-Paced Course automatically become “Free Members” and receive access to the associated benefits: Open Teachings, Presence as the Path, Guided Meditation, newsletters, etc.

Technical assistance is available if needed, for help with accessing the course online:
Email Info@BuddhistStudiesInstitute.org.

For questions related to the teaching topic:
We recommend attending Vajrayana Training – an online live training with Pema Khandro that meets twice a month and in which Members can ask questions directly.

Self-paced courses can be purchased individually or via Membership.

There are no additional costs for Self-paced courses.

With All Access Pass – All tuition is covered for classes, training, and retreats. Additional costs are only applied for instances of lodging, meals, or guest teachers.

All tuition, registration, and donations are non-refundable.

Credits may be applied if participants cannot attend live or online teachings due to emergencies, COVID, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Email Info@BuddhistStudiesInstitute.org for support or further information.

ACCESS OPTIONS

Course Tuition – Choose One-Time Free or Membership Options

  • Women in Tantric Buddhism
  • 180$
    1 year access
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Access this course anytime for life.
  • Watch again and again
  • *Fulfillment of Pre-requisites may apply.
    **Does not include costs for lodging, meals, or guest teachers.
  • Annual meeting with Pema Khandro
  • *Fulfillment of Pre-requisites may apply.
    **Does not include costs for lodging, meals or guest teachers.
  • Online Access Pass
  • 150$
    per month
  • Instant Access to Online Classes and Self-Paced Courses
  • 50% Discount on Tuition for trainings and residential retreats, with 6 month commitment
  • Invitation to Member-Only Events
  • *Fulfillment of Pre-requisites may apply.
    **Does not include costs for lodging, meals, or guest teachers.
  • Annual meeting with Pema Khandro
  • *Fulfillment of Pre-requisites may apply.
    **Does not include costs for lodging, meals or guest teachers.
  • All Access Pass
  • 250$
    per month
  • Unlimited access to all online and in-person courses, trainings, retreats
  • 100% Discount on tuition for courses, trainings and residential retreats, with 6 month commitment
  • Unlimited access to all videos, audio recordings, and digital downloads
  • Invitation to Member-Only Events
  • Annual meeting with Pema Khandro
  • *Fulfillment of Pre-requisites may apply.
    **Does not include costs for lodging, meals or guest teachers.

Finding Comfort and Ease

August 19-21st, 2022
9am-12pm PST | 12-3pm EST


“Unconfined, beyond all partiality,

Not trammeled in the snare of tenets,

Free from the discursive mind,

Non-dual, perfect, great equality,

The wisdom of the Conquerors,

The vast expanse beyond extremes—

This is what practitioners should fully recognize.”

~ Longchenpa. “Finding Comfort and Ease In Meditation.”

A time to contemplate expansive peace and innermost presence, this retreat will focus on cultivating deep rest through advanced relaxation practice and study of Dzogchen teachings and meditation. This is an opportunity to connect with the beautiful poetry of esoteric Buddhism at its best through vantage point of Longchenpa.

The Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease was written by Longchenpa, the great fourteenth century Dzogchen master. These instructions lay out the path from its foundations to the experience of deep contemplative awareness and experience beyond grasping. It includes guidance on the stages of meditation and the ways to unravel and find rest in the nature of mind. This is a path of encountering innate wisdom through letting go in its sweetest sense, the letting go of effort and tension to rediscover an uncontrived presence. This is meditation in its esoteric form taught in the Tibetan tradition as a method to find the uncontrived state of natural innate wisdom.

Join Lama and Dzogchen scholar, Pema Khandro in this three day immersion in Longchenpa’s works along side guided practice of Dzogchen semdzin, precious practices for holding on to the nature of mind which have been taught annually at this retreat for the last decade. The annual Dzogchen retreat is usually held in person, but this year due to Covid-19 concerns, is being made available online in an accessible short format of morning sessions.

Recommended pre-requisites for this retreat are Vajrayana Training, Ngondro and Buddhist meditation experience, however, registration is open to all.

Tuition and Financial Aid Considerations

General Tuition $180
Late Tuition (after 8/12) $210

50% Discount for Snow Lion Members or FREE with Sustainer Membership, All Access Pass*

*Members can Apply Member Discount Codes at Checkout

The course costs are set at a minimum fee already, with financial aid built into all tuition rates. Because we are a non-profit organization, the costs of all activities and overhead of our organization must be covered by the participants of the courses or donations and all courses are offered at below cost. For those who are experiencing genuine financial hardship and wish to enroll in the course, Financial Aid applications are available. (Applications must be received in advance. There are two Financial Aid Scholarships available for this program.) Financial Aid Scholarships receive a 50% discount on tuition. 

Submit Financial Aid Scholarship Application Here (link)

For Ordained Monastics: Submit the Monastic Scholarship Application Here (link)

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Buddhism After #MeToo

A dialogue between two Buddhist teachers and scholars, making sense of Buddhism, lineage, transmission and devotion in light of abuse revelations in the #metoo movement. This conversation focuses on how these issues have shaped our approaches to dharma practice and teaching. This is not prescriptive advice, but instead a conversation and reflection on how our practice and teaching approaches have changed and will continue to change with great concern for all survivors and for the future of women in Buddhism.

Damchö Diana Finnegan

After a career as a journalist based in New York and Hong Kong, Damchö Diana Finnegan ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1999. In 2009, she received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a thesis on gender and ethics in Sanskrit and Tibetan narratives about Buddha’s direct female disciples in the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya. After completing her dissertation she worked closely with the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, serving as co-editor on various publications, including Interconnected: Embracing Life in a Global Society and The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. In 2007, she co-founded Dharmadatta Nuns’ Community (Comunidad Dharmadatta), a community of Spanish-speaking Buddhist nuns, based first in India and later in Mexico. Together with the other Dharmadatta nuns, she leads a large Latin American community with a commitment to gender and environmental justice as part of its spiritual practice. At the same time, Damchö continues to participate in academic circles, presenting at conferences, editing books, and engaging in various research projects. The most recent publication on which she collaborated, a translation from Sanskrit and Tibetan of the manual for conferring full ordination to women, was published in 2021 by Hamburg University’s Numata Center for Buddhist Studies under the title: “The Buddhist Nuns’ Ordination in the Tibetan Canon.

Pema Khandro

Pema Khandro is a teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree specializing in Tibetan buddhism and she is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar and currently a Ford Foundation Fellow. Her scholarly research focuses on the history of Dzogchen and on gender studies. Pema Khandro is also the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects, The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned as a tulku to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, an early twentieth century yogini in Eastern Tibet. She has led a vibrant world-wide community since 1999. Through the Buddhist Studies Institute, she also offers a complete curriculum of training in Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and practice.

Saga Dawa

 

 

Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Pema Karpo Meditation Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Having completed thirty years as a monk, fourteen years of teaching experience, and nine years of study at the Buddhist University of Namdroling Monastery in South India, he holds a Khenpo degree, the Buddhist equivalent of a PhD. Gawang Rinpoche came to the United States in 2004 at the invitation of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Shambhala International. He proudly became an American citizen in 2012. Rinpoche is the author of Your Mind Is Your Teacher (Shambhala Publications) and The Sadhana of Shakyamuni Buddha (Jeweled Lotus Publications). He co-translated with Gerry Wiener the text, The Excellent Path to Enlightenment by Longchenpa which is available through Amazon.

Pema Khandro is a teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree specializing in Tibetan buddhism and she is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar and currently a Ford Foundation Fellow. Her scholarly research focuses on the history of Dzogchen and on gender studies. Pema Khandro is also the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects, The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned as a tulku to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, an early twentieth century yogini in Eastern Tibet. She has led a vibrant world-wide community since 1999. Through the Buddhist Studies Institute, she also offers a complete curriculum of training in Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and practice.

Vajrayogini Empowerment & Teachings

Women in Tantric Buddhism

This is the missing history of women in Tantric Buddhism. This course addresses the fascinating story of nuns, mothers, teachers, consorts, prophets and disciples. Taught by scholar-practitioners whose groundbreaking research on women and Buddhism has changed the way we think of Buddhist history. This course will address the history of women in Buddhism, the history of yoginis and dakinis in India and Tibet, the stories of important Buddhist women, Buddhist philosophy on gender, sex and sexuality, the role of the consort in historical Tibet and contemporary manifestations and so much more.

Women in Tantric Buddhism – Online Classes

History of Women in Buddhism Free Introduction with Pema Khandro

Love and Cultural Trauma – Dialogue with Pema Khandro and Holly Gayley

Dakini’s Warm Breath – Dialogue with Pema Khandro and Judith Simmer-Brown

Dakini’s Encouragement in the Life of Sera Khandro – Dialogue with Pema Khandro and Sarah Jacoby

Buddhism, Birth and Abortion – Dialogue with Pema Khandro and Amy Langenberg

Women in Tantric Buddhism – Self Paced Coursework

Gender and Sexuality in Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet with Holly Gayley

Dakini Wisdom: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism with Judith Simmer-Brown

Dakinis’ Encouragement in the Life of Sera Khandro with Sarah Jacoby

 

Course Tuition

$270 General Tuition

Member Discounts
Click on “Have a coupon?” and apply your discount code to receive your member discount. Learn more about Membership Here.

Teacher Bios

Holy Gayley

Holly Gayley, Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, is a scholar and translator of contemporary Buddhist literature in Tibet and Himalaya. Her research areas include gender and sexuality in Buddhist tantra, ethical reform in contemporary Tibet, and theorizing translation, both literary and cultural, in the transmission of Buddhist teachings to North America. Gayley is author of Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2016), co-editor of A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Rimé Masters of Tibet (Wisdom Publications, 2017), translator of Inseparable Across Lifetimes: The Lives and Love Letters of the Buddhist Visionaries Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tāre Lhamo (Snow Lion, 2019), and editor of Voices from Larung Gar: Shaping Tibetan Buddhism for the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming in 2021).

Dr. Gayley‘s numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals explore the emergence of Buddhist modernism on the Tibetan plateau and a new ethical reform movement spawned by cleric-scholars at Larung Buddhist Academy in Serta. Her recent publications on the topic include “Controversy over Buddhist Ethical Reform: A Secular Critique of Clerical Authority in the Tibetan Blogosphere” (Himalaya Journal, 2016), “Non-Violence as a Shifting Signifier on the Tibetan Plateau” (Contemporary Buddhism, 2016 with Padma ‘tsho), “Reimagining Buddhist Ethics on the Tibetan Plateau (Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 2013), and “The Ethics of Cultural Survival: A Buddhist Vision of Progress in Mkhan po ‘Jigs phun’s Advice to Tibetans of the 21st Century” in Mapping the Modern in Tibet (International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, 2011).

In addition, Dr. Gayley is co-founder of the Tibet Himalaya Initiative at CU Boulder, co-chair of a five-year seminar on “Transnational Religious Expression: Between Asia and North America” at the American Academy of Religion, and part of the founding team for the Contemplative Resource Center at CU Boulder.

Judith Simmer Brown

Judith Simmer Brown
Raised a minister’s daughter in Nebraska, Judith Simmer-Brown began meditation practice as a student of Suzuki Roshi. It was while teaching religion and Buddhism at Western Washington University in Bellingham that Judith received a flyer inaugurating The Naropa Institute. Meeting the Vidyadhara at that first summer session in 1974 “blew her world apart,” and Judith fled back to Bellingham, “not sure whether to hide or pack.” But when offered a position in the new Buddhist Studies M.A. program at The Naropa Institute in 1977, Judith accepted one-week’s notice to join the tiny faculty. She never left.

During her early years of teaching at Naropa, Judith worked with the Vidyadhara on various projects. He always encouraged her to trust her own experience, to teach, and to “not care so much what other people think.” Judith taught at Seminaries, served on the founding faculty of the Ngedon School, directed a series of Buddhist-Christian conferences, and influenced Naropa Institute through its early, difficult years. Judith continues to teach at what is now Naropa University, chairing the religious studies department; guides the Ngedon School; and serves on several international Buddhist-Christian dialogue groups. Judith founded Naropa’s Engaged Buddhism program, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Shambhala International since 1995.

In 1980 Judith married Richard Brown, chair of the education department at Naropa. They have two children, Owen and Alicia. Judith’s special passion has long been the Vidyadhara’s teachings on “feminine principle,” which led her to research and write Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism, published by Shambhala Publications in 2001.

Sarah Jacoby

Sarah Jacoby studies Asian Religions with a specialization in Tibetan Buddhism. She received her B.A. from Yale University, majoring in women’s studies, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies. She joined Northwestern University in 2009 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. Her research interests include Indo-Tibetan Buddhist doctrine and ritual in practice, studies in gender and sexuality, Tibetan literature, autobiography studies, Buddhist revelation, the history of emotions, Buddhism in contemporary Tibet, and eastern Tibetan area studies.

For an overview of Professor Jacoby’s research and teaching, see the article “Treasure Seeker” recently published by Northwestern News.

Professor Jacoby has received an American Council of Learned Sciences (ACLS) Fellowship and an American Academy of Religion International Collaborative Research Grant. Her research has also been funded by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Writing Fellowship, the Fulbright Hays Dissertation Research Fellowship, and multiple Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS).

Her first monograph Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro (Columbia University Press, 2014) is the winner of the 2016 E. Gene Smith Book Prize from the Association of Asian Studies for books on Inner Asia and a finalist for the 2015 American Academy of Religion Book Award for Excellence in Historical Studies. Love and Liberation is the first study in any language of the autobiographical and biographical writings of one of the most prolific female authors in Tibetan history, Sera Khandro Künzang Dekyong Chönyi Wangmo (also called Dewé Dorjé, 1892–1940). She was extraordinary not only for achieving religious mastery as a Tibetan Buddhist visionary and guru to many lamas, monastics, and laity in the Golok region of eastern Tibet, but also for her candor. This book listens to Sera Khandro’s conversations with land deities, dakinis, bodhisattvas, lamas, and fellow religious community members whose voices interweave with her own to narrate what is both a story of love between Sera Khandro and her guru, Drimé Özer, and spiritual liberation.

Her other books include Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience (Oxford University Press, 2014, co-authored with Donald Mitchell), and Buddhism Beyond the Monastery: Tantric Practices and their Performers in Tibet and the Himalayas (Brill, 2009, co-edited with Antonio Terrone). Her current book project examines rare biographical and ritual texts written by the early 18th-century Tibetan religious hierarch Lelung Zhepai Dorjé.

In 2015 and 2018 Professor Jacoby was voted by Northwestern students onto the ASG Faculty Honor Roll. In 2014 she was awarded a Searle Center for Advanced Learning and Teaching Innovation in Teaching Grant. In 2012, she was voted onto the ASG Faculty Honor Roll and awarded a teaching excellence award from the Department of Religious Studies. Courses she teaches include Introduction to Buddhism, Buddhism and Gender, Buddhist Auto/biography, Tibetan Religion and Culture, Theory and Methods in the Study of Religion, Religion, Sexuality, and Celibacy, and Feminist Theory and the Study of Religion.

For information about the Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies Lecture Series that Professor Jacoby is chairing, see here.

Pema Khandro

Pema Khandro is a scholar and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the founder of the non-profit organization Ngakpa International and oversees its projects, the Dakini Mountain Retreat Center,  the Buddhist Studies Institute and the Yogic Medicine Institute as well as Ngakpa House, a charity which supports the education of children and elders in the Himalayas.

Pema Khandro’s academic work specializes in the history of Dzogchen and as well as the culture and literature of  Tibetan yogis. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a  a Master’s degree specializing in the study of Tibetan Buddhism and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. She speaks English, Tibetan, Chinese and Spanish languages.

Pema Khandro is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and one of few westerners recognized and enthroned as a tulku, a Buddhist leader who carries on the lineage of a predecessor.

She ordained in the Nyingma tradition and was authorized to pass this non-monastic lineage of ordained Buddhist Yogis, also known as naljorpas and ngakpas on to her students, a task which she has been dedicated to since 1999.

As a teacher of Vajrayana, she specializes in Dzogchen, a contemplative and philosophical tradition which emphasize cultivating awareness and presence as the goal of the path. Pema Khandro also specializes in teaching Chod and the other esoteric Buddhist practices for lay people and householders which focus on direct access to cultivating intrinsic wisdom.

Pema Khandro emphasizes the importance of the body-mind connection, natural health and nutrition. She is certified as Tibetan Naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner, and is three times certified as an Advanced Hatha Yoga teacher. She has led dozens of courses in nutrition, yoga teacher trainings, yoga therapy trainings, meditation trainings and courses in natural medicine for health practitioners from every field.

Today, Pema Khandro continues to be an advocate of the relevance of traditions of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis as Buddhism takes shape in North America. She runs a residential center, leads a thriving community, runs a clinic and Ngakpa Intl, the non-profit organization which oversees Dakini Mountain, the Yogic Medicine Institute and the Buddhist Studies Institute. She teaches courses regularly, pursues research projects and continues to cultivate a close relationship with her students and friends who work together in Ngakpa Intl and the North American Community of Buddhist Yogis.

For more details visit: Pema Khandro Extended Biography
For answers to frequently asked questions visit: Pema Khandro FAQ

Ngakpa Training 4 – The Precious Treasury of Words and Meanings

In the Presence of Dying: Self Paced

Facing realities of dying, death and grief are central to our human experience.

This series offers Buddhist reflections on dying, loss, grief, illness and pandemics.  It includes classes on Buddhism and Dying from the point of view of experts in diverse fields such as caregiving, hospice, buddhist ministry, Tibetan Buddhist history and past-life research. It also includes a training in Buddhist funerary practices, known as Zhitro, led by Pema Khandro.


Classes led by Pema Khandro, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Chagdud Khandro, Julie Rogers, Jim Tucker, Koshin Paley Ellison, Dr. Bill McGrath

 

Pema Khandro

Chagdud Khandro

Koshi Paley Ellison

Dr. Jim Tucker

Shugyen Roshi

Julie Rogers

Dr. Bill McGrath

COURSE OUTLINE 

Buddhist Wisdom for Death and Dying: Interview & Lecture Series

  • Chagdud Rinpoche in conversation with Pema Khandro
  • Dr. Jim Tucker in conversation with Pema Khandro
  • Shugen Roshi in conversation with Pema Khandro
  • Julie Rogers in conversation with Pema Khandro
  • Koshin Paley Ellison in conversation with Pema Khandro
  • Dr. William McGrath: Buddhist Responses to Widespread Diseases in Tibet

 Instructions and Explanation on the Six Bardos: Part One

  • Introduction: The Story of Mandarava
  • The Bardo of Dying
  • The Bardo of Clear Light
  • The Bardo of Becoming 

Instructions and Explanation of the Six Bardos: Part Two

  • The Bardo of Existence
  • The Bardo of Dreaming
  • The Bardo of Meditation

Introduction to the Zhitro – Tibetan Buddhist Funerary Practice

  • Overview of the Teachings, Lineage and Source Text
  • Lung (Oral Transmission) of the Zhitro Practice
  • Explanation of the Zhitro
  • Guided Zhitro Practice


ABOUT THE TEACHERS

Pema Khandro is a teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia. Pema Khandro is  the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects, The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned as a tulku to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, an early twentieth century yogini in Eastern Tibet. 

Chagdud Khandro is the spiritual director of Chagdud Gonpa in Brazil. She was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist teacher in 1997, by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche—a great master of the Nyingma school.   Khadro and Chagdud Tulku were married in 1979. She remained his devoted student for twenty-three years. She has taught the meditation of Phowa, transference of consciousness at
the moment of death, since 1986.

 

Jim Tucker, M.D. is Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives.  A board-certified child psychiatrist, Dr. Tucker worked with Dr. Stevenson for several years before taking over the research upon Dr. Stevenson’s retirement in 2002.

 

 

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, abbot and resident teacher of Zen Mountain Monastery. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals.

 

 

Julie Rogers has been a student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche since 1983. She is the author of TLC’s end of life manual ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’, published in 2007 (vimalatreasures.org). Julie received hospice and bereavement training at Ashland Hospital in Oregon where she volunteered for two years, and was employed as a caregiver for elders and developmentally disabled adults for over twenty years.

 

 

Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison is an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and ACPE Certified Chaplaincy Educator. After more than a decade as a chaplain and psychotherapist, Koshin co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care.The non-profit center offers contemplative approaches to care through education, carepartnering, and Zen practice.

 

 

 

William McGrath M.D. is the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at New York University. His research interests include Buddhism in East and Central Asia, Tibetan and Chinese medical traditions, Tibetan language and history, and the intersections of religion and medicine. He recently edited a volume entitled Knowledge and Context in Tibetan Medicine.


 

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Special Thanks to our producers of this program at the Buddhist Studies Institute: Pema Khandro, De’dzin Drolma, FaJun Real and Satya Shiva.

Resting in Dharma Poetry

A one day meditation retreat online devoted to gentle quiet, deep rest and introspection.

Pema Khandro and the Buddhist Studies Institute come together for a day of guided meditations, restorative yoga, chanting the White Tara meditation and contemplating dharma poetry. Drawing on the great poets of Buddhism, Pema Khandro will teach on Longchenpa’s instructions for Finding Comfort and Ease in the nature of mind.

We will do restorative yoga focusing on establishing deep states of rest and ease in the body. Be sure to have a space ready for yoga and a blissful corpse pose, with blankets, pillows, and meditation cushion. You will find more information to help you prepare in the first course lesson, “How to Prepare for Dzogchen Meditation Retreat”.

Please email info@buddhiststudiesinstitute.org if you have any questions or need any assistance.

MIT 2022

Welcome to Meditation Instructor Training  

Start the Self-Paced Course Material Below Anytime.

We recommend beginning with the Introduction to Buddhist Meditation.

 

Pema Khandro’s Birthday Celebration – Texts

Buddhism & Trauma

Both Buddhism and Trauma Studies have asked questions about human suffering. Both explore the profound journey of getting free from the bonds of negative experiences of the past. This series focuses on the dialogue between Buddhism, trauma, and cross-cultural reflections on psychology. Enjoy these engaging dialogues with scholars and teachers on the compelling topic of Buddhism and Trauma.

This series culminates in a day long teaching focusing on Medicine Buddha & Trauma. Co-hosted by The Buddhist Studies Institute and The Yogic Medicine Institute, this daylong will offer buddhist philosophy and yogic methods for relating with trauma in the body and mind.

Opening Rituals

Ngondro Training, Module 4 – Intrinsic Wisdom

Entering the Heart of the Vast Expanse

Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

This is the Course page where all training materials, webinar access, recordings and texts for Module 4 will be posted.

 

 

Dzogchen Retreat with Pema Khandro

Meditation Instructor Training: 2021-2022

150 Hour Certification Training – with Pema Khandro

Registration is Open  –  Starts March 26, 2022

Self-paced Module Available Now!

What People are Saying about Meditation Instructor Training

“I can’t imagine a better,  more thorough teacher training available to people online. The ease of being in the comfort of our home is amazing. The depth of the dharma teachings are brilliant, it goes far beyond a simple meditation training class. It is an immersion into Buddhist thought in a deeply experiential way. WELL DONE!”

“I enjoyed the guided meditation practice. It was very good for me to get back into a strong daily practice. It is very beneficial as a student and prospective teacher. There is a lot of great curriculum and the teachers are very accessible and knowledgeable.”

“This course was superbly done, and so much more than I could have expected. It was wonderfully rigorous—which contributed to my respect for the process and my motivation along the way—and, at the same time, totally doable. The lesson series was comprehensive and left me feeling extremely well-prepared.”

“I recommend this training heartily without any reservation to anyone who wants to share meditation with others and deepen their own practice. Most definitely, you will learn how to meditate like no other training. Your own practice will accelerate hugely. You will learn how to teach with maturity, right attitude, confidence and integrity – this is greatly needed. Five stars!”

“I love having the format, the context and the massive inspiration that the training offered me. I cannot say enough of how the training benefited me!!! Thank you!!!! I look forward to working with everything I have learned in an ongoing way.”

“I enjoyed all of the lectures with Pema Khandro. She is really clear in her way.  I also enjoyed the practicums with Satya and Aruna. They helped me to feel really welcome and free to ask questions for the purpose of learning. I would recommend this training.  It was good for me to begin to understand a framework for all of this wisdom.”

“Such an incredibly clear course in such a supportive and positive environment. Such a wealth of experience, expertise, and accomplishment. I enjoyed both learning about the purpose and nature of meditation and the goals, and also the joy of teaching.”

“I would recommend this training very strongly, simply because you will come out of it with such resources, agency and edification. It creates a world of context to continue to deepen your study of meditation and will without doubt give you the tools you need to teach meditation. It is hard work but it delivers.”

“This training provides instructions on meditation methods that have been tested, developed and used for thousands of years. The methods are simple but deep as you may go. The instructors are experienced, professional, knowledgeable, and spiritual. The Lineage stands with you. I recommend this course to anyone serious about meditation.”

“I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge and personal practice of Buddhist meditation. Also to gain the compassion and confidence to share it with all sentient beings.”

“I understand the purpose and benefits of meditation so much clearer now than before. This is such a simple and compassionate method that can really be used by anyone. The teachings were totally comprehensive, thorough and easy to understand.”

“This training has deepened my practice and helped me to understand how I can be more supportive in helping others to learn to meditate. I’m sure the benefits for me will continue to ripen as I continue my practice.”

LETTER FROM PEMA KHANDRO

It has been a long time since the beginning of the mindfulness movement began. It was catalyzed by groundbreaking early pioneers, for example, John Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs in the 70’s and his inspiring book, Full Catastrophe Living, which was published in 1990. So much has changed since then. This was before the internet. It was before the internet became integrated with the fabric of our lives. This was before we were talking about the impacts of orientalism and colonialism in the appropriation of Buddhist traditions. This was before we were collectively thinking through the lens of trauma and addressing the question of why it is that we don’t always feel better when we meditate. This was before we were talking about power structures in teacher-student ethics. This was before the #metoo movement in Buddhism and before the collective awakening to racial trauma. This was before we had collectively woken up to the need for racial healing and diversity skills in the meditation class. These are defining concerns that change what the meditation teacher of the future is. It is why I developed the Meditation Instructor Training, with a deep wish to empower meditation teachers to meet the urgent and pressing contexts of our time. 

Some things do remain the same since the beginning of the mindfulness movement. The persistent suffering, the emotional dysregulation that dominates a life, and the sense of disembodiment and alienation that can overshadow a life. The power of meditation to stabilize and heal the body and mind is only more and more evident due to so much research. It is clear to me that, perhaps more than ever, there is a great need for meditation instructors who can serve as a soothing balm in these troubled times. But there are all these new questions that must be cared for in the training of new meditation instructors, or they will be ill equipped and underprepared for the great challenges that await. 

I originally initiated the Meditation Instructor Training with the intention in mind that Buddhist philosophy and ethics should be kept intact with meditation. As a scholar of Buddhist philosophy, I have long been impressed at how often people who were exposed to mindfulness training also longed to experience the fuller context of Buddhist philosophy and ethics. The curiosity and appetite for that knowledge is unending and I reimagined the training of the meditation instructor to return to that source material. Going beyond the artificial and ethnocentric construct of a secular/religious binary, imperative questions about the context of meditation loom large for meditators. What is meditation for? What is mind? How do we work with emotions? How is our consciousness conditioned by our values and actions? What is the point of meditation? How do the obstacles to meditation relate to our identity, to our body and to our society?  These are just a few of the issues that Buddhist philosophy and ethics weigh in on and why I felt that they must be taught in tact with the meditation methods that were shaped by these very concerns. 

When Satya and Aruna joined me as co-teachers of the MIT, we developed the teaching into an online format to make it more accessible to people with full and demanding lives. I felt likewe were standing together to face the challenge of nurturing and supporting the meditation instructors of the future. And that commitment has been expressed thoroughly in our new expanded training format.

Now as we are poised to begin our next cohort of training, I am also proud to celebrate that our training addresses those invisible yet overwhelming factors that sit alongside us on the meditation cushion. We are always doing meditation practice in the context of power, sexuality, race, trauma and technology. This is not just a training in techniques, but instead in the robust array of traditional Buddhist meditation practices in tact with philosophy and ethics along with a deep care for how meditation teaching and practice intersects with issues of power, sexuality, race, trauma and technology. We are training the meditation teachers of the future.

The new beginning of this program is good news in a time when it is so easy to be overwhelmed by all the stories of suffering and sorrow that appear in our news feeds everyday. I draw encouragement and relief from this beautiful project of creating empowered meditation instructors. It gives me great relief to know that they will be leaders that bring compassion, care and wisdom to a world that so sorely needs it and to know that they will be prepared and ready to meet the turbulent times ahead.

With joy, 

 

 

ABOUT MEDITATION INSTRUCTOR TRAINING

  • Robust, 150 hours of In-Depth Training
  • Self-Paced Curriculum & Live Classes
  • Weekly Mentoring & Teaching Practicum
  • Traditional Meditation + Buddhist Philosophy + Buddhist Ethics
  • Completely Traditional + Completely Current
  • For Teachers Facing A Diverse Tumultuous World

The Meditation Instructor Training supplies the fundamental knowledge and experience necessary to lead meditation classes and one-day meditation intensives.

People all over the world have turned to Buddhist meditation as a source of wisdom. Meditation offers a powerful method to access a sense of spaciousness, peace and authentic presence.

The practical benefits of meditation are well documented. Research shows it improves mood, reduces stress (Brown & Warren 2003), it improves memory, visuospatial reasoning, sustained attention and executive brain function (Zeidan et al. 2010). It reduces sub-clinical depression and anxiety (Schreiner and Malcolm 2012). 

From a Buddhist point of view, when we know how to meditate, we learn how to work with mind and emotions. We have a practice for unraveling conditioned scripts and unconscious habits. Meditation is a pathway to discovering human goodness by making peace with our mind. Ultimately it is a method for getting free from dissatisfaction, resolving confusion and waking up to see reality more clearly.

MEDITATION TEACHERS NEEDED

Equanimity, calm, peace, inner strength, resilience, centeredness… there are so many reasons the world needs meditation teachers.

Meditation Teachers can offer important tools for relating to these tumultuous times.

Meditation promotes mindfulness and equanimity – the ability to let emotional states arise and pass without becoming overwhelming. With mindfulness, we are able to become aware of our mind-states, rather than carried away by them. It promotes the state of equanimity, the ability to respond skillfully to situations. Instead of responding with knee-jerk reactions, blame, resentment and anger we can choose healthier responses, such as loving-kindness and compassion.

There are so many places where meditation can be taught. It can add a profound benefit to temples, yoga centers, health centers, schools, corporations, communities and healthcare settings. This training offers meditation instructors copious knowledge, both practical and experiential – so that you can offer high-quality classes in any setting.

ABOUT THE FORMAT

The training includes a study of the postures for meditation, breathing techniques, the five key meditation techniques from Zhine, (also known “Calm Abiding), common obstacles to meditation, remedies for obstacles of meditation and more. We will also review the most important Buddhist teachings to support meditation practice – looking to the wealth of Buddhist philosophy for new perspectives on what is mind, how to work with thoughts and emotions, what is the body-mind connection and how body and mind can be harnessed for awakening.

ORIENTATION
Live Online – 3 Hours

  • Oct 30, 2021, 10am-1pm PT


MODULE 1 – NOVEMBER 2021

Self Paced Courses & Quizzes 

  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Coursework
    • Introduction to Buddhist Meditation -(4 hours)
    • Excellent Path to Enlightenment – Module 1 – (8 hours)
    • Buddhist Ethics (6 hours)
    • Teachings on Karma (3 hours)
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – (1 hour)
  • Live Workshops – Saturdays at 10am pacific
    • Nov 6 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Nov 13 – Trauma Informed Meditation Teaching w/ Pema Khandro, 10am-1pm
    • Nov 20 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Nov 27- Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
  • Book Reading & quizzes on power structures, racism and trauma sensitive meditation instruction (15 hours)


MODULE 2 – DECEMBER 2021
Learning to Teach – 35 hours

  • 22 Videos & Quizzes – 30 min/day
  • Includes Study with Meditation Instructor Manual, 47-page digital download
  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – 1 hour
  • Live Workshops – Saturdays at 10am pacific
    • Dec 4 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Dec 11 – Online Workshop with Aruna & Satya, 10am-1pm
    • Dec 18 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Dec 25 & Jan 1 – No Classes

WINTER BREAK
DEC 23 – JAN 2

  • Daily Meditation Online Continues

MODULE 3 – JAN & FEB 2022
Teaching Practicum – 37 hours

  • Teaching to Family & Friends – 3 hours
  • Teaching in Your Community – 3 hours
  • Teaching Daily Meditation Online – 3 Sessions
  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – 1 hour
  • Live Workshops – Saturdays at 10am pacific
    • Jan 8 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Jan 15 – Online Workshop with Pema Khandro, 10am-1pm
    • Jan 22 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min
    • Jan 29 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

FINALS – FEB 2022
Final Exams & Graduation – 9 hours

  • Final Exam Online – 2 hours
  • Final Teaching Practicum Group 1 – Sat, Feb 5, 10am-2pm PT
  • Final Teaching Practicum Group 2 – Sat, Feb 12, 10am-2pm PT
  • Final Transmission w/Pema Khandro, Teaching Vows & & Graduation – Sat, Feb 26, 10am-1pm PT

TOTAL COURSE HOURS = 150

 

BONUS ELECTIVES – SELF PACED & OPTIONAL
Additional Supports for your Practice

  • Introduction to Tantric Buddhism – AUDIO (1 hour)
  • Non-duality in Tantric Buddhism – AUDIO (1 hour)
  • Cultivating Lasting Change – AUDIO (30 min)
  • Peace, Power & Meditation – VIDEO (1 hour)
  • Bliss Yoga videos to support your body for meditation (2 hrs)
  • Articles by Pema Khandro (2 hours)

DATES FOR LIVE MEETINGS 

SATURDAY GROUP WORKSHOPS Attendance of all workshops is required for certification. *International Students may request to attend via recording.

Saturdays, 10am PT

October 31, Orientation – 3 hours

Nov 6 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Nov 13 – Online Workshop w/ Pema Khandro, 10am-1pm

Nov 20 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Nov 27- Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Dec 4 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Dec 11 – Online Workshop with Aruna & Satya, 10am-1pm

Dec 18 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Dec 25 – No Workshop

Jan 1 – No Workshop

Jan 8 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Jan 15 – Online Workshop with Pema Khandro, 10am-1pm

Jan 22 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Jan 29 – Phone check-in with MIT faculty – 30 min

Feb 25 – Final Teaching Practicum Group 1 – 10am-2pm PT

Feb 12 – Final Teaching Practicum Group 2 – 10am-2pm PT

Feb 26 – Final Transmission w/Pema Khandro, Teaching Vows & & Graduation, 10am-1pm PT

 

GROUP WORKSHOPS or OPTIONAL PRIVATE COACHING If you must miss one or all of the scheduled group workshops due to timing, timezone, professional or family life, you may elect to receive private coaching in its place.

For each group workshop missed, you may schedule an hour of private coaching from  MIT faculty at the rate of $100 per session. Scheduling is based on the availability of the training instructors. To elect for this option, please contact Info@BuddhistStudiesInstitute.org

 

OVERVIEW OF KEY ASPECTS

Orientation & Introduction – Live Online

  • Welcome
  • How the Course works, Practical Overview and Questions
  • Meeting with each of the participants
  • Why Meditation Training? Why Online?
  • What is Mind? A Buddhist Point of View
  • Expectations
  • Q&A

Lessons & Practice Videos

  • Study the crucial points of meditation practice from home, at your own pace.
  • You will receive new video lessons each week covering the essential points of Meditation practice and Meditation Instruction.

Exams

  • Students will complete online quizzes reviewing the major principles of the video lessons they have received.
  • Students will complete a final exam online at the end of the Fall quarter in order to progress to the teaching practicum.

Daily Journal Students will be required to submit journal entries documenting practice sessions. Students are expected to maintain a daily meditation practice of at least 24 minutes per day throughout the entirety of the course. Journal questions include:

  • What time you started practicing, what time you finished practicing
  • What were the positive things about your practice today?
  • Name one challenge about your practice today?
  • Where did you practice?
  • Which practice did you complete today?

Workshops – Live Online

  • Students will meet with the instructors for online workshops, discussion, and evaluation. During the workshops, students will have opportunities to lead meditation and receive feedback from the instructors.
  • Students will also meet with a study-buddy once a week to practice leading meditation.

Teaching Practicum 

  • Each student will lead 6 hours of meditation classes to friends and family, and submit review forms.
  • Once confirmed by instructors, each student will lead 6 hours of meditation classes in a local community setting. It is the student’s responsibility to organize and arrange these classes within their local community. Due to COVID and public class restrictions, BSI will also offer alternative options for completing the practicum online in the Daily Meditation Program.
  • Students must also lead 6 classes in the Daily Meditation Online format, and submit review forms.
  • Students will be given instructions for which practices to lead and will discuss these experiences in Saturday workshops.

Final Transmission & Graduation – Live Online

  • Students who complete all aspects of the training will be invited to the final transmission class and graduation.

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW 22 LESSONS

Introduction Lesson Zero: What is Mind?

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
    • What is Mind According to Buddhist Thought
    • Understanding the factors of perception, experience, unconscious and identity
    • How the ten factors of mind take place
    • How does meditation work with the factors of mind?
    • Tibetan Yoga – Naljorpas – Remaining in the Real
  • Technical Overview Taught by Satya Shiva
    • Meeting the participants and expressing the purpose of the training
    • Overview of the Practicalities of the Course
    • Answers to Technical Questions

Lesson 1: How to Sit – The Seven Point Posture of Vairocana

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Detailed introduction to the 7 Point Body Posture and Bodhisattva posture
  • A good seat – a good mind
  • Daily Practice
    • Guided Calm Abiding – 21 Breaths Meditation

Lesson 2: What is Meditation – Why Meditate? 

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Popular Goals for Meditation
    • Meditation for relieving stress
    • Health benefits for meditation
    • Meditation as a spiritual practice
    • Meditation as withdrawing the senses
  • Goals for Meditation in Buddhism
    • What is wakeful presence?
  • What is Calm Abiding Meditation?
    • Settling, Tranquility, and Equanimity
    • Why is calm abiding necessary?
    • Is calm abiding enough?
    • Is non-thought the goal? Why or why not?
    • The function of calm abiding
    • The benefits of finding calm when coping with change, illness and death
  • Daily Meditation
    • Calm Abiding 21 Breaths

Lesson 3: Tradition & Context of the Practice

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • The Orientations of Buddhist Meditation
  • Tibetan Buddhism: Distinctions in the Practice
  • Tibetan Yogis and Contemplation (Nyingma Ngakpa)
  • Overview of frameworks of contemplative traditions
    • Why different methods to meet different needs
  • Calm Abiding vs Insight Meditation
    • Calm Abiding (Tib. Zhine, zhi gnas; Skt. Shamatha)
    • Sequence of calm abiding and insight
  • Preparing for Calm Abiding
    • The importance of enlightened intent (Skt. Bodhichitta)
    • Methods for cultivating enlightened intent
    • Lifestyle and ethical considerations
    • The goal of discovering self-existing wakefulness
  • The Body Context
    • Introduction to the mind-body relationship framed as winds, channels and spheres. (Skt. prana, nadi, bindu; Tbtn. rtsa, rlung, thigle)
    • The importance of phases of meditation practice
    • Brief introduction to the opening and closing contemplations
    • The Meditation Tradition & Establishing Context for Clarity & Calm
  • Daily Practice
  • Preliminary Practice 2: Double the Exhale
  • Calm Abiding Exercise 1: Twenty-one Breaths

Lesson 4: Ideal Place and Time

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Ideal Times to practice
  • Ideal Durations of Practice
  • Ideal Clothing
  • Ideal Seat
  • Teaching in Non-Ideal Conditions
  • Overview of the prayers for opening and closing the Practice
  • Ideal Place – Traditional & Modern Considerations
  • Preliminary Practice 4: Tactile Sensations

“If the conditions of tranquility are impaired, one may meditate intensively for as long as a thousand years without achieving tranquil absorption.” -The Bodhipathapradīpa

  • Daily Meditation
    • Finding a stable posture
    • Preliminary Practice 1: Regulating the breath
    • Calm Abiding Exercise 1: Twenty-one Breaths

Lesson 5: Mastering the Posture

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin
  • Preparatory practices for sitting
  • Secrets to the 7 Point Posture
  • How to sit on the cushion
  • How to sit in a chair
  • Helping Others to Sit
  • Props as Sitting Support for Tight Hips or Back Problems
  • Half Lotus and Full Lotus
  • Correct placement of the ankle in half lotus and full lotus
  • Solutions for Pain and Body Limitations

Lesson 6: Preparation for Practice

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Introduction to the preliminary somatic practice
  • Preliminary Practice 3:  Nine purification breaths
  • Why Inner Yoga Practices settle the mind

Lessons 7: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm
  • Common factors in all the Calm Abiding Methods
  • Structured exercises, unstructured spaces and non-elaborate meditation techniques
  • Importance of periods of non-guided meditation
  • What is ‘bad’ meditation, making sense of the dullness, agitation and impulses
  • Meditation as a space for encountering what we are

Lessons 8: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm continued
  • Overview of four of the five preliminary exercises for synchronizing body and mind
  • What is calm or tranquility? How is it distinguished from dullness?
  • Step by Step Detailed Instructions for the 5 Main Methods to teach for accessing meditative presence
  • Does meditation make the mind more busy?
  • Practicing in ease versus practicing in tension and aggression
  • Dealing with fidgeting and body movement, how much movement or stillness is required?
  • Discerning distractions as soon as they arise
  • The liberating power of focusing the mind
  • Defining mental freedom as the power to concentrate on chosen objects
  • Balance between effort and relaxation
  • Quality vs Quantity – why it’s important
  • What to do if the students are all distracted or struggling in the middle of the session
  • Sticking with one method at a time

Lessons 9: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm
  • Samten (Dhyana) meditative stability
  • Daily prayers opening prayers part 1 and Refuge prayer
  • Refuge prayer without the word Refuge
  • Concrete objects to tune into the non-concrete presence
  • Rigpa – the Intrinsic quality like the wetness of water
  • How to calm the emotional poisons which distort our vision, disturb our mind
  • Formless meditation instructions and theory

Lesson 10: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm continued
  • What is the difference between Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and other meditation techniques
  • How does lifting the gaze change the meditation
  • Meditating on an external object
  • The forceful aspect of Forced Calm Abiding
  • What is the Ah Thigle? What is the benefit of using the Ah Thigle as an Object
  • Step by Step Detailed Instructions for the 5 Main Methods to teach for accessing meditative presence
  • Tips for Instructing Meditation for beginners and advanced audiences

Lesson 11: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Two factors that lead to the meditative state
  • The importance of enlightened intent (bodhichitta)
  • The intentional factor that leads to the meditative state
  • Subtle Body as Mind
  • Mind riding the Wind
  • The Five Vital Winds
  • Practicing with Body Speech and Mind
  • The Symbolism and meaning of Om Ah Hung Practices
  • Expressing enlightened intent in the opening and closing of practice
  • Calm Abiding Practice with Sending Light

Lessons 12 – 14: Obstacles and Antidotes

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Primary obstacles to meditation and their remedies
  • Considerations for preventing obstacles to meditation
  • Recognizing the source of obstacles
  • Working with special cases – tips for students with depression, addiction, and trauma
  • Uprooting every teacher’s worst obstacle
  • Cultivating ethics & Discovering consciousness as ethical

Lesson 15: Obstacles and Antidotes in Diet & Lifestyle

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Dietary & Lifestyle Considerations for preventing obstacles to meditation

Lesson 16: Teaching Methodology

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Avoiding common pitfalls in teaching
  • Discovering your authentic voice
  • Integrating Meditation Teaching into your coaching practice, medical practice and other careers
  • Facilitating groups in welcomes, check-ins, and discussions
  • Avoiding sexist language and actions
  • Skills for addressing Racism & Bigotry
  • Remaining relevant

Lesson 17: Tips for Teaching in the Meditation Practicum

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin and Satya Shiva
  • Finding places to teach classes
  • How to set up your 3 hour meditation practicum
  • The importance of serving under-served communities
  • Identifying and approaching underserved communities

Lesson 18: The Stages of Meditation

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Stages of developing practice
  • The nine stages of developing the meditative state of calm abiding
  • Signs of success on the path
  • Practices for adapting to the stages of meditation

Lesson 19: The Goal of Meditation

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • The Goal of Meditation as a Buddhist Practice
  • Advanced Considerations
  • Understanding the mind, perception and its objects
  • Non-self and open-ended experience
  • Non-conceptuality, bliss, and clarity
  • Working through meditative experiences without grasping

Lesson 20: Questions and Answers

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin

Lesson 21: Instructor Parameters

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Secrets to Personal Discipline & Developing a Strong Practice
  • Working with students
  • Teaching Ethics – A Code to Live By
  • Scope of Practice

Lesson 22: Bonus Class

  • Taught by Pema Khandro

Final Words of Advice

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Keeping a discipline after the course
  • Developing ongoing education
  • Values for a Meditation Instructor
  • Heart Advice for Meditation Instructors

ABOUT TUITION

  • Early Bird Tuition – Enroll by Jan 20, 2022: $1895; Payment plan: $2220 paid over four months @ $555/month
  • Regular Tuition: $2195; Payment plan: $2300 paid over four months @ $575/month
  • Late Enrollment Tuition – after Feb 28, 2022: $2495; Payment plan: $625/month
  • All Access Pass / Sustainer Members: AAP Members wishing to join the training and be certified as a meditation teacher may sign a one-year contract with automated payments, and be certified upon completion of all payments and course requirements.
  • Additional Member Discounts Available: See Membership for details
  • Registration Fee: $500 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration to reserve space in the course.
  • Suggested teacher donations: $108

Financial Aid Considerations The course costs are set at a minimum fee already, with financial aid built into all tuition rates. Because we are a non-profit organization, the costs of all activities and overhead of our organization must be covered by the participants of the courses or donations and all courses are offered at below cost. For those who are experiencing genuine financial hardship and wish to enroll in the course, Financial Aid applications are available. (Applications must be received in advance.) Financial Aid Scholarships receive a 50% discount on tuition. 

  • POC Scholarships: Two Person-of-Color scholarships are available for this training. 
  • Open Scholarships: Two Financial-Aid scholarships are available for this training. 

Submit Financial Aid Scholarship Application Here

OVERVIEW OF OTHER COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Submit Application
  • Submit Release of Liability Form
  • Complete all homework and assignments
  • Daily practice throughout the duration of the course
  • Must attend all live classes to graduate or:
    • Missing Classes
      • If a student must miss one or all of the scheduled group workshops due to timing, timezone, professional or family life, they may elect to receive private coaching in its place.
      • For each group workshop missed, you may schedule an hour of private coaching from MIT faculty at the rate of $100 per session. Scheduling is based on the availability of the training instructors.
  • During Practicum:
    • Complete teaching 6 hours of free meditation classes to friends and family
    • Complete teaching 6 hours in an underserved community
    • Complete 6 classes within the Daily Meditation Online program
  • Graduation is subject to approval by faculty
  • Tuition and dana (teaching donation) for the entire course must be complete before graduation
  • Successful completion of all quizzes, final exam, and final teaching practicum
  • Daily practice and completion of the daily journals must be complete before graduation
  • All 150 course hours required for certification.

PREREQUISITES

  • Minimum of three years of meditation practice experience or equivalent is suggested
  • Ability to devote time and energy to the program, to attend and complete all course components, to take time away from work and other commitments in order to complete the study, practice and attend group sessions.
  • Maintenance of a harmonious relationship with Instructors, Pema Khandro, co-leaders, and student community at the Buddhist Studies Institute.
  • Ability to cover tuition and practice of Dana (teaching offering) in support of all program components (see tuition for details).
  • Psychological health and stability:
    • a history of emotional maturity and personal development, psychological development
    • a history of psychological stability and well-being for the previous ten years.

CONSISTENCY OF CONDUCT

The Buddhist studies institute advocates for observation of Buddhist ethics, maintaining personal discipline and observing practices necessary for suitable health throughout the course and throughout one’s teaching career.

  • Embodying Buddhist principles:
    • generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, compassion, equanimity
    • respect for teachers and sangha
    • harmony with teachers and sangha.
  • Ethical integrity:
    • upholding the five precepts and Commitment to Buddhist ethics
    • especially maintaining sobriety (in terms of being free from substance addictions)
    • and refraining from sexual misconduct (includes refraining from romantic relationships with students and refraining from breaking vows or causing others to break their vows.)
    • Refraining from hate speech (including hate speech on social media).
  • Ethical commitment to refrain from engaging in sexual relationships with any students.
    • The Buddhist Studies Institute follows a zero tolerance for abuse policy. Sexual relationships with students is grounds for having certification revoked.
  • Continuing psychological and emotional stability and well being throughout the duration of the course.
  • A wish to lead, based on service, gratitude, humility, and kindness rather than ego-driven ambition or narcissism. This includes:
    • a conscious awareness of one’s own limitations;
    • understanding the scope of one’s competence and authority;
    • the willingness to draw on support from teachers and other professionals;
    • adopting the practice of referring when students have needs outside one’s scope of competency; attribution of credit to sources/teachers when repeating or using their works.
  • Personal and interpersonal maturity:
    • ability to maintain a harmonious relationship with teachers and peers, emotional maturity to work through difficulties in practice and interpersonal difficulties, maintaining respect for past teachers and dharma community
  • Respect for diversity:
    • Respect towards other religious views, expressing kindness towards all beings regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or sectarian affiliation; respect for all types of Buddhism.
    • Completion of required self-paced modules on anti-racism, anti-sexism, and trauma informed teaching

ABOUT THE TEACHERS

The course curriculum is designed and led by Lama Pema Khandro Rinpoche, internationally renowned teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. Pema Khandro has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree specializing in Tibetan buddhism, she is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies. Her scholarly research focuses on the intellectual history of Buddhist meditation in Tibet, the history of Dzogchen and on gender studies. She is the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects, The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. In her work as a Buddhist teacher she is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, a twentieth century yogini in Eastern Tibet. She is certified in two systems of natural medicine, Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine as well as three times certified as an Advanced Yoga teacher, and she has led dozens of courses in nutrition, meditation teacher trainings, yoga teacher trainings and natural medicine courses for health workers from every field. In her humanitarian work she has supported children, orphans and elders in the Himalayas.  She has led a vibrant world-wide community since 1999. Through the Buddhist Studies Institute, she also offers a complete curriculum of training in Tibetan meditation and Buddhist Philosophy.

 

Aruna Rig’dzin was ordained in Nyingma Lineage by Pema Khandro Rinpoche in 2007.  She is one of the Directors of Ngakpa International and the Community of Buddhist Yogis, as well as Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and has over 19 years’ experience as an Advanced Yoga and Meditation Instructor.  Aruna is passionate about healing, sustainable living and giving people the tools to live a vibrant, healthy and joyous life.


Dr. Satya has been studying with Pema Khandro since 2001. She is the Director of Operations for Ngakpa International since 2010, and is a board member. Satya is the Clinic Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute since 2004, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Panchakarma Specialist. Her Doctoral Research specialized in acupuncture & herbal treatments of the endocannabinoid system to modulate pain and inflammation for healthy aging and longevity.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have to miss a portion of the Saturday Live Online Group Sessions?
A student can make up missed Live Group Session by purchasing a 1-hour private session with a facilitator.
At what point will I be ready to begin offering my free meditation classes to my community?
You may begin the Teaching Practicum in your community at the midpoint of Module 4, after completion of hours teaching to friends and family, and on recommendation of facilitators or teaching assistants. Students must arrange and organize these classes for themselves.
 
What if I am not able to lead the required hours of meditation classes in my community within the time period of the training?
A student may schedule meditation classes in their community at any time that works for their schedule, however, they will not be certified as a meditation instructor until these hours are completed and confirmed by the facilitators. If the hours are not completed by the scheduled graduation, an extension of 30 days may be granted, however, all coursework, practice hours and make-up sessions must be completed within that timeframe.
 
What are the daily meditation journal questions?
1. What time did you start practicing today, and what time did you finish practicing?
2. What were the positive things about your practice today?
3. Name one challenge about your practice today?
4. Where did you practice?
5. Which practice did you complete today?
 
Example entry:
  1. I started practicing this morning at 7:30am and finished practicing at 8am.
  2. My knee problems didn’t bother me, my body felt good and stable!
  3. My mind was very active today.
  4. In the meditation room upstairs by the window, I found the light helped.
  5. I practiced the 21 breath practice. Also, the preliminary exercise was double breathing.
If I have the All-Access Pass (AAP) – can I still attend the training pieces that I chose even if I don’t want to become a Certified Meditation Instructor?
Yes. AAP who have been in good standing for at least 1 year may attend any and all portions of the MIT by watching the videos – except the workshops and exams. Live Workshops and exams are for registered students only. New AAP members who wish to be certified will sign a contract for 1 year of membership and will receive certification upon completion of 1 year member terms and all course requirements.

If I complete the training, will I automatically be a Certified Meditation Instructor and authorized to lead classes and one-day meditation retreats?

  • Graduation is subject to approval by the faculty.
  • Successful completion of all exams 80% or above, plus completion of the practicum.
  • Daily practice and completion of the daily journals
  • Documentation and completion meditation classes in your community.
  • Satisfaction of all prerequisites.
  •  

 

Dzogchen Series: Longchenpa’s Life & Teachings

Dzogchen Series
Longchenpa, His Life & Teachings

One of the most celebrated scholars of Tibetan Buddhism was Longchenpa, a fourteenth century philosopher-yogi who wrote about Dzogchen.

Dzogchen is the esoteric tradition of Tibetan contemplation, regarded as the highest and most precious body of knowledge held by the Nyingma tradition. It emphasizes teachings on intrinsic buddha-nature as the ground of reality, as well as contemplative relationship with the elements and environment.

Longchenpa’s work on Dzogchen defined the tradition as it is practiced today. Longchenpa’s extensive collected works synthesized the Dzogchen teachings and their relationship to the exoteric Buddhist philosophical movements.

This series features lectures, scholars and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism specializing in the works of Longchenpa and Dzogchen. These classes will focus on the life and teachings of Longchenpa, followed by a day-long meditation course, all online. Join us in celebrating the history of Dzogchen and reflecting on its developments, views and contributions in the life and works of Longchenpa.

Dzogchen Series
Longchenpa’s Advice to Dzogchen Yogis

with Pema Khandro

Join Buddhist Scholar and teacher, Pema Khandro, online for a day-long meditation retreat and study of Longchenpa’s advice to yogis from The Precious Treasury of Essential Instructions. Longchenpa, one of the greatest masters in Tibetan history explains the essence of sutra, tantra and Dzogchen as essential advice including what to avoid and cultivate on the path of awakening intrinsic wisdom. This includes special wisdom for yogis who live outside monasteries, who require vigilance, mental agility and freedom from extremes. From advice for entering the path and to facing death, as well as how to integrate the variety of Buddhist teachings into their essence, and Longchenpa’s final teaching before his own death, Longchenpa’s advice addresses the practical and profound concerns of living life within the profound view of Buddhist practice. This day long online retreat will explore the teachings of Longchenpa, great luminary of the Nyingma lineage and the great synthesizer of Dzogchen Philosophy who shaped the Dzogchen Heart Essence tradition in the 14th century.

  • As this retreat does not include restricted practices, there are no pre-requisites. Anyone is welcome.
  • Participants will be invited onscreen for portions of the retreat during group practice, small group discussions and large group discussions.

Medicine Buddha & Trauma

Focusing on Medicine Buddha & Trauma. Co-hosted by The Buddhist Studies Institute and The Yogic Medicine Institute, this daylong will offer buddhist philosophy and yogic methods for relating with trauma in the body and mind.
Orgyen Menla, the Medicine Buddha, is the expression of loving compassion and the capacity to heal. He is the form of the Buddha that relieves suffering and disease.

 

Ngondro Training, Module 3 – Mountain of Jewels

Entering the Heart of the Vast Expanse

Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

This is the Course page where all training materials, webinar access, recordings and texts for Module 3 will be posted.

 

 

2021 Vajrayogini Empowerment & Practice

Vajrayogini

Empowerment, Teachings and Practice with Pema Khandro & Drupon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

Dzogchen Retreat: Finding Comfort & Ease

Daily Meditation Resources

Welcome to Daily Meditation

The following resources are everything you need to follow along with your instructor. Daily Meditation is a Free Service to the public. Please donate if you can so we can continue to offer meditation, buddhist education and support for well being through all of our projects.

The Bardo Teachings

Bardo refers to the experience of rupture- of endings and uncertainty – that leave us suspended in the liminal spaces between what was and what will be. Bardo refers to dying and post death as well as to states of radical transformation in life. Pema Khandro teaches on the six bardos, Buddhist instructions for how to live wakefully in the phases of change within our lives.

Bardo Teachings: Death & Dying with Chagdud Khadro & Pema Khandro

Instructor Resources

 

 

Ngondro Training, Module 2 – Purifying the Mind

Entering the Heart of the Vast Expanse

Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

This is the Course page where all training materials, webinar access, recordings and texts for Module 2 will be posted.

Empathy Training for MIT

At the time when It is needed most, do you know how to comfort your loved ones? Take care of your own anxiety and anger? Deal with numbness or compassion fatigue?

Internationally renowned Buddhist teacher, Pema Khandro Rinpoche, offers this online Empathy Training as part of the Meditation Instructor Training. This training focuses on how to be there for oneself and others through tough emotions, in stressful times and even when empathy is most difficult to come by.

This training is also led by Aruna Rig’dzin Ross and Satya Shiva, Co-Directors of Ngakpa International, the Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain, and the Yogic Medicine Institute.

What you will gain

  • Tools for becoming a better person
  • Learn to deal with high emotion
  • Learn to meditate
  • Learn to Self-Regulate
  • Learn to listen deeply
  • Tools to resolve interpersonal conflict
  • Set appropriate boundaries
  • Know how to ask for what you want and need
  • Tools to take charge of your state of being
  • Develop self-awareness
  • How to deal with suffering
  • Vocabulary for identifying and expressing emotions
  • How to work with your own emotions
  • Ability to communicate in times of high emotion
  • Assessing appropriate contexts for deep communication
  • How to know when not to communicate
  • Recognizing control dramas
  • Steps and practices for healing relationships

 

The Deep Retreat with Pema Khandro

Online Restorative Meditation Retreat with Pema Khandro

After a year of obstacles and stress, we invite you to join us for a weekend of restoration, serenity and serene contemplation of the ultimate purpose of life.

Buddhist Philosophy
Pema Khandro teaches on The Mirror Illuminating the Heart, Dzogchen Nyingthig teachings on the vast view. These beautiful teachings consider the fundamental nature of mind and reality.

Group Meditation Classes
Pema Khandro teaches from the 27 Practices for training for Dzogchen meditation from the sems nyid ngal gso, Longchenpa’s instructions on Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind.

Heart Sutra Chanting
Remember the profound teachings that unravel it all at the root. Afternoon Heart Sutra chanting will be led in English by Buddhist Studies Institute Faculty.

Dharma Conversations
Spiritual community is an important aspect of Buddhist practice, and it is even more important during the times of pandemic when in-person gatherings are limited. Join your fellow community members in dharma conversations during afternoon tea breaks (bring your own tea!). These are guided, small group conversations led by the teaching assistants.

Restorative Yoga
Unwind, let go of stress and give your body support. This simple, slow, bliss yoga class is designed to give rest and release to your body and mind. Each afternoon session will begin with an optional yoga class for you to do at home led by Buddhist Studies Institute Faculty.

Deep Practice
Unplug. Disconnect. Take space for inner silence and chanting meditation. Share silence together. Enjoy deep dharma study. This retreat includes guidance and support for taking a break from social media and news to create space for reflection and to declutter the mind. There is an optional one hour social media period suggested each day for those who want to reduce but need to stay plugged in.

Tuition
Sliding Scale: $270-395
50% Discount for Snow Lion Members
Free with Sustainer Membership, All Access Pass
*Apply Member Codes at checkout for Membership Discounts


Financial Aid

Financial aid scholarships are available.
The course costs are set at a minimum fee already, with financial aid built into all tuition rates. Because we are a non-profit organization, the costs of all activities and overhead of our organization must be covered by the participants of the courses or donations and all courses are offered at below cost. For those who are experiencing genuine financial hardship and wish to enroll in the course, Financial Aid applications are available.

Email to Apply at Info@BuddhistStudiesInstitute.org. Applications must be received in advance.

Teacher

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, humanitarian and scholar specializing in the philosophy and practice of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Her mission is to make in-depth Buddhist education accessible, to open the doorway to the great treasures of philosophy, meditation, medicine and art contained in Tibetan Buddhism. Pema Khandro is the spiritual leader of the Community of Buddhist Yogis in North America, she is the founder of Ngakpa International, the Buddhist Studies Institute, the Yogic Medicine Institute, Dakini Mountain, and Ngakpa House, a charity which supports the education of children and elders in the Himalayas. Pema Khandro is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of…  Learn more about Pema Khandro

Apply to Teach with the Buddhist Studies Institute

Valid Cognition with Geshe Sonam

Pramana Study
Valid Cognition Course with Geshe Sonam

What is Valid Cognition?
What are reliable Ways of Knowing?

Study Buddhist logic and epistemology to understand how mind knows, (in Sanskrit, Pramana or in Tibetan, tshad ma) and identify how wrong knowledge causes cyclic suffering. This is the study of a classic text on Valid Cognition, the Pramanavaritika, translated into English by Geshe Sonam.

YMI – Dosha in Body, Speech & Mind

Dosha in Body, Speech and Mind

DOSHA IN BODY STRUCTURES

VATAPITTAKAPHA
FRAMEThin physique, unusually tall or short, possibly extremeMedium build, moderately developed physiqueLarger build, stout, stocky, well developed physique, hold weight
WEIGHTLight weight, difficulty holding weight, prominent bones and veins, variable weight gain and weight lossStrong medium muscles, tend toward even weightHeavy, tends towards weight gain, easily accumulate fat and water
COMPLEXIONDarkish, dull tinge, lack lustreReddish, ruddy, flushedLight, pale, pearly
SKIN TEXTUREDry, thin, rough, cracked, prominent veins, wrinklesWarm, moist, pink with freckles, moles, acne/rashes, sunburn easyThick, pale, moist, cool, damp, soggy, soft smooth
HAIR QUALITYCourse, dry, darker, slightly wavy, scanty, may have dandruffFine, soft, moderate, early gray or bald, ruddy head sensitive to sunThick, abundant, oily, very wavy, full of luster, may have excessive body hair
HEADSmall, long, thin, unsteady, tend toward stiff neck, rigidity of head or excess mobility, erratic movementsAngular, moderateLarge, stocky, steady, round, square, least head movements
FOREHEADSmall, wrinkledWith foldsLarge, broad
FACEThin, small, long, wrinkled, dusky, dull, gaunt, weatheredModerate, ruddy, sharp contours, penetrating lookLarge, round, fate, white or pale, soft contours, moon-like face,
NECKThin, long, may develop neck problems with loose tendons, may crane or bend the neckMediumLarge, thick, square, not very long
EYEBROWSSmall, thin, unsteadyModerate, fineThick, bushy, many hairs
EYELASHESSmall, dry, firmSmall, thin, fineLarge, thick, oily, firm
EYESSmall, dry, thin, brown, dull, unsteady, blinking, possible tremors, excessive eye movements, difficult to concentrate eyes on one point for long durationMedium, thin, red – inflamed easily, green, piercing and penetrating, sensitive to lightWide, prominent, thick, oily, white, pearly, attractive, tear easily, may have mucous discharge, movements steady not sharp
NOSEThin, small, long, dry, crooked, narrow, pointedMedium, sharp or pointedThick, big, firm, oily, wide nostrils
LIPSThin, small, darkish, dry, unsteady, tend to thin lips, may bite lips, frequently chappedMedium, soft, red, ruddy lips and face, Thick, large, oily, smooth, firm, big, attractive
TEETH & GUMSThin, dry, small, rough, crooked, receding gums, may have space between teethMedium, soft, pink, gums bleed easily, may suffer inflammatory diseases of the mouthLarge, thick, soft, pink, oily, white
SHOULDERSThin, small, flat, hunched, tend to tight musclesMediumBroad, thick, firm, oily
CHESTThin, small, narrow, slight development, narrow epigastric angleMedium, medium epigastric angleBroad, large, well or overly developed, broad epigastric angle
ARMSThin, overly small or long, slight development, may have pronounced elbowsMedium, wiry armsLarge, thick, round, well developed, fleshy arms and forearms
HANDSSmall, thin, dry, cold, rough, fissured, unsteady, tend toward narrow hands with many lines and pronounced knuckles, or irregularity in shape of fingers, prominent veinsMedium, warm even in cold weather, pinkLarge, thick, oily, cool, firm, big square or round without many lines
THIGHSThin, narrowMediumWell-developed, round, plump
LEGSThin, excessively long or short, prominent knees, may suffer lack of coordinationMediumLarge, stocky, able to stand for long periods of time
CALVESSmall, hard, tightLoose, softShapely, firm
FEETSmall, thin, long, dry, rough, fissured, unsteady, needs to be oiled regularlyMedium, soft, pink, good skin tone and circulationLarge, thick skin on soles, hard, firm
JOINTSSmall, dry, thin, unsteady, cracking, prominent jointsMedium, soft, looseLarge, thick, well built
NAILSSmall, thin, dry, rough, fissured, cracked, darkishMedium, soft, pinkLarge, thick, smooth, white, firm, oily
URINEScanty, difficult, colorless, bubbly or frothy, may be difficult to dischargeProfuse, yellow, red, burning, tend toward urinary tract infectionModerate, whitish, milky, thick urine may have mucus in it
FECESScanty, dry, hard, difficult or painful, gas, tends towards constipation especially in the elderlyAbundant, loose, sometimes yellowish, tends toward diarrhea, may have burning sensation, may get constipated during feversModerate, solid, sometimes pale in color, mucus in stool, abundant, soft
SWEAT / BODY ODORScanty, no smell, seldom sweat, spontaneous sweat may occur in emotional distressProfuse, hot, strong smellModerate, cold, pleasant smell, sweat profusely during exercise
APPETITEVariable, erratic, extremes of appetite, when very hungry may get lightheaded or fearfulStrong, sharp, often can digest anything, can eat large amounts of food without gaining weight, strong appetite and possible anger when hungryConstant, low
BALANCE TASTEPrefers sweet, sour, salty, cooked with oil and spicePrefers sweet, bitter or astringent food, raw, lightly cooked without oil or spicesPrefers pungent, bitter or astringent food, cooked with spices but not a lot of oil
CIRCULATIONPoor, variable, erratic, may be prone to palpitations, cold dry extremities and abdomen, Good, warm, excellent circulation, may be prone to flushed red faceSlow, steady, consistent circulation, may have poor peripheral circulation with cold limbs yet abdomen tends to stay warm

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

VATAPITTAKAPHA
ACTIVITYQuick, fast, unsteady, erratic, hyperactive, generally exhibit some extremes of activity – hyperactivity may bring exhaustion or withdrawal, or extreme mental activity may cause outer activity to be reducedMedium, motivated, purposeful, goal seeking, active towards a particular aim, focused but not necessarily broad in what they attemptSlow, steady, stately, not always adaptable in action and may get caught in patterns of not wanting to act much or often
STRENGTH / EXERTIONLow, poor endurance, starts and stops quickly, often good runners, can develop a great deal of physical adaptability, poor at lifting / carrying weight, tire easilyMedium, intolerant of heat, enjoy demonstrating strength and power but may not have the endurance they would likeStrong, good endurance, but slow in starting, not necessarily high performance
SEXUAL NATUREVariable, erratic, deviant, strong desire bu low energy, may have few childrenModerate, passionate, quarrelsome, dominatingLow but constant sexual desire, good sexual energy, devoted, may have many children
RESISTANCE TO DISEASEFear of cold, wind, sensitive to dryness, have the greatest sensitivity to the elements and must protect themselves properly from themFear of heat, dislike of sun, fire, most tolerant of coldFear of cold and damp, likes wind and sun, do well outdoors, prefer to sunbathe or relax than work or exercise
DISEASE TENDANCYNervous system diseases, pain, arthritis, mental disorders, may suffer from pain and are very sensitive to it, diseases of the bones and nerve mainly through the large intestineFebrile diseases, infections, inflammatory diseases, burning sensation, diseases of blood and liverRespiratory system diseases, mucus, edema, susceptible to congestive disorders, particularly diseases of the lung
REACTION TO MEDICATIONSQuick, low dosage needed, unexpected side effects or nervous reactions, tend to be hypertensive, erratic reactions to herbs or drugs may be extremeMediumSlow, high dosage required, effects sow to manifest, may need strong dosages to notice any effect
PULSEThready, rapid, erratic, superficial, irregular, weak, like a snakeWiry, bounding, moderate, like a frogDeep, slow, steady, rolling, slippery, like a swan

 

MENTAL FACTORS AND EXPRESSION

VATAPITTAKAPHA
VOICELow, weak, hoarse, may be monotonous with not much strength to voiceHigh pitch, sharp, may be good orators and strong singersPleasant, deel good tone, may have beautiful singing voice
SPEECHQuick, inconsistent, erratic, talkative, may ramble on and on, may at times be silent but talking in mindModerate, argumentative, convincing, tend to talk ‘at’ rather than with, generally trying to prove a pointSlow, definite, not talkative, like to draw out the state of communication, enjoy being with people without necessarily saying much
MENTAL NATUREQuick, adaptable, indecisive, emotions change easily with fluctuating moods, better at information or abstract thoughtIntelligent, penetrating, critical, questioning nature, may have a scientific or probing mind, better at ascertaining goals or valuesSlow, steady, dull, good with broad principals, strong sentiments, much consistency, may be poor at details, dominated by feelings
MEMORYPoor, notices things easily but easily forgets, remember ideas, information, trivia, sensitive to personal remarksSharp, clear, remember hurts and insults, but also victories and achievements, memory colored by their willSlow to take notice but will not forget, remembers personal feelings, love, sentiments, intimate human interchanges, memory is colored by emotion
EMOTIONAL TENDENCIESFearful, anxious, nervous, ungrounded, may show shifting reactionsAngry, irritable, contentious, strong display of emotionsCalm, content, attached, sentimental
NEUROTIC TENDENCIESHysteria, trembling, anxiety attacks, extreme emotional expressions, may have loss of sensory or motor control to the extreme of tremors or convulsions, emotions generally transient and superficialExtreme temper, rage, tantrums, anger attacksDepression, unresponsive, sorrow, lethargic
FAITHErratic, changeable, rebel, unsteady and may go contrary to their faith which may be constantly changing, may have faith in many different thingsDetermined, fanatic, leader, may apply faith in a strong manner and become aggressiveConstant, loyal, conservative, like to stick to faith, unquestioned sense of loyalty, can be attached to the status quo
SLEEP Light, tends toward insomnia, tend to sleep less than 4 hours at a timeModerate, may wake up but will fall asleep again, may have dream-disturbed sleep, tend to sleep 4-7 hours at at timeHeavy, difficulty in waking up, sleep easily, may tend to sleep during the day, tend to sleep for 8-10 hours
DREAMSFlying, moving, restless, nightmares, frequent dreaming that may be erratic or disturbedColorful, passionate, conflict, may have dramatic dreams that may disturb sleep especially when violentRomantic, sentimental, watery, few dreams, least able to remember dreams, may have a vague sense of pleasure from dreams
HABITSLikes moving, traveling, parks, plays, jokes, stories, artistic activities, dancing, diverse and curious in their habits, sometimes eccentricLikes competitive sports, politics, debates, hunting, purposeful, competitive, seek results and achievementsLikes water, sailing, flowers, cooking, enjoy luxuriating and relaxing, or to be lazy

YMI – Simple Dinacharya

Spa

The 21 Taras

Praises to the 21 Taras

with Drupon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

Ngondro Training, Module 1 – The Field of Buddhas

Entering the Heart of the Vast Expanse

Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

This is the Course page where all training materials, webinar access, recordings and texts will be posted.

 

Teachings on Karma

Meditation Instructor Training 20/21

Buddhist Ethics

COURSE DETAILS

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.

PREREQUISITES

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

ABOUT TUITION 

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

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.

Next class tbd.

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.)

 

In the Presence of Dying

Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on Death & Memorial Service
Led by Pema Khandro

Death, Dying & Rebirth, the Tibetan Bardo Teachings 
Pema Khandro presents Tibetan Buddhist teachings on  preparing ourselves and loved ones for death.

Guiding Loved Ones Through the Bardo (Shitro)
Instructions and practice for Guiding Loved Ones Through the Bardo (Shitro) for all those who have passed away led by Pema Khandro.

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.

Intro to Buddhist Meditation

Ngakpa Training 3 – The Golden Garland of Nectar

Ngakpa Training 2 – Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

Ngakpa Training 1 – Namthars

Vajrayana Training: Module 2

2020 Vajrayogini Retreat with Pema Khandro & Drupon Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche

This page is for members only. Vajrayogini is the female buddha embodying radical presence.
The Vajrayogini Meditations are taught in this cycle, including 1) Three Dakinis Chod 2) the torma offering song from the Dakini’s Heart Essence (the mkha’ ‘gro snying thig) known as Calling the 100,000 Dakinis 3) The Generation stage Vajrayogini practice. In order to practice the generation stage Vajrayogini meditation, Drupon requires that one must have completed the ngondro, or preliminary practices of Vajrayana first. One may however, receive the empowerment before completing ngondro, but to do the practice, one has to have completed ngondro. However the first two practices  may be engaged regardless of having completed ngondro or not.

3 Dakini Chod – Rinchen Trengwa

Chod is a meditation method through meeting fear and neurosis with compassion and skill. Rather than renounce these mind states, in Chod, they are allowed to transform and be reintegrated as keys to innate wisdom.
 
This short course offers an opportunity to learn Chod through the practice of the concise Rinchen Trengwa Chod, affectionately called the 3 Dakini Chod because it engages the peaceful, magnetizing and wrathful forms of the Dakini
 
The Rinchen Trengwa is an advanced Chod meditation cycle which is complete with all the elements of Tantric meditation practice.

Tuition: $54

Conversations on Dying, Death and Post Death

Facing realities of dying, death and grief are central to our human experience. This online series offers reflections on dying, illness, loss and grief from the point of view of experts in diverse fields such as caregiving, hospice, Buddhist ministry and past-life research. 

Interviews led by Pema Khandro

Julie Rogers
Director of TLC Transitional Life Care and Author of Instructions for the Transitional State

Dr. Jim Tucker 
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at UVA

Koshin Paley Ellison 
Co-founder New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care

Medicine Buddha

MEDICINE BUDDHA WEBCAST WITH PEMA KHANDRO
Register to receive a link to the recording of this web-class, co-hosted by the Buddhist Studies Institute and the Yogic Medicine Institute. In this time of corona virus and international health crisis, Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Satya Shiva, and Aruna Rig’dzin offer this free online class focusing on Medicine Buddha practice and natural medicine tips for boosting immunity.

MEDICINE BUDDHA FOR HEALERS
When you register you will also receive this longer and more in-depth Medicine Buddha class, especially offered for support at this time by Pema Khandro.

Changing Your Karma: Self-Paced Cleanse

Cleanse & Clear Your Body & Mind in this Guided 9-Day Online Course

Real change is difficult to attain because our mental and emotional patterns are hard-wired into our bodies. But this is also our strength. By harnessing the body-mind connection, we can support mental and emotional transformation.

Cleansing is a necessity of life. Letting go of physical and emotional toxins that have built allows us to heal and open up to life, to a new day, to new ways of being.

Cleansing and healing take time, effort and expertise – and it’s difficult to do this alone. But you are not alone, give yourself the support you need! Changing Your Karma – is a guided online course that brings the experts to your own home. We invite you to join the support of this online course where you will practice meditation, apply Ayurvedic wisdom, rest your body in a nine-day detoxification diet, learn potent yoga practices and release stress and toxins from your body and mind.

Three teachers will bring you the wisdom of Buddhism, Yoga, and Ayurveda for deep cleansing to support true change in your body, heart, and mind.

Join Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig’dzin, and Satya Shiva for 9 days of cleansing practices to increase energy, clarity, and well-being. Learn what Karma is and how to change it by applying powerful yet simple practices from the Yogic Medicine Institute.


9 Day Program Includes:

  • Changing Your Karma videos and instruction with Pema Khandro
  • Wellness Evaluation Quizzes
  • Daily Cleansing Videos – Conveniently watch at home
  • Daily Health Challenge
  • AM Yoga Video – Invigorate and break through blocks
  • PM Yoga Video – Wind down with relaxation and ease
  • Changing Your Karma Daily Meditation Video with Pema Khandro
  • 4 Online Classes with Discussion and Q&A
  • Ayurvedic Recipes and Shopping List
  • Daily Self-Assessment Journal

About the Teachers

2013_PemaKhandro_ NgakpaPema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, scholar, and Tibetan naturopath. She is the founder of the Yogic Medicine Institute, learn more about Pema Khandro here. Pema Khandro will share Buddhist knowledge of karma, change, and the Body-mind connection to help guide you into a week of release and renewal.

 

 


Satya Shiva_Buddhist YogisSatya is Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Meditation Instructor, and Yoga Teacher. As the Panchakarma director of the Yogic Medicine Institute she has guided hundreds of deep cleansing retreats.

 

 


Aruna Rig'dzin_Buddhist Yogis

Aruna is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Teacher Trainer, Meditation Instructor and is ordained in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. As a faculty member of the Yogic Medicine Institute, she specializes in helping clients let go of unconscious blocks while also working with natural diet, supplements and lifestyle changes to bring about well-being on every level.

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…”

Vajrayana Training: The Teacher-Student Relationship

Teachers, Students, Masters & their Disciples; a history and philosophy of the Vajra Relationship in Tibetan Buddhism.

How do we understand issues of lineage, authority, power, and tradition in the era of disillusionment with authoritative abuses of power? What is the relationship between individual spiritual health and community life? How do spiritual intelligence, independence, personal empowerment and psychological health factor into to the path?

  1. How do we draw on tradition in a time when we have loss of faith in institutions? How can we engage Buddhist wisdom while remaining free from the dogma and fundamentalism that many people associate with religion?   What are Buddhist perspectives on these issues?  How does the modern context change these issues? What resources does Buddhism offer to grapple with abuses of power and ethical violations?

  2. How do we heal from spiritual traumas? What are ways to avoid pitfalls associated with the working a teacher and the complex mixture of spirituality, authority and power? What are possible ways to deal with breaches of truth and violation of ethics in the spiritual context?

  3. What are views of the teacher-student relationship in Vajrayana and how does this differ from other Asian religious traditions? from western traditions?

  4. Do you even need a teacher? If so how do you know you are ready? What does it mean to be a student and what should you expect from a teacher?

  5. What the different kinds of teacher-student relationships in Vajrayana history? How do you evaluate a teacher?

  6. What if the relationship breaks down? Is it possible to dissolve such relationships without breaking vows?

This is a self-paced module of the Vajrayana Training. It incorporates historical accounts of the teacher-student relationship and Buddhist debates on these matters along with important questions that emerge from the modern context. Along with lectures and dynamic discussions, Pema Khandro shares her heartfelt reflections about the student-teacher relationship from the perspective of both student and teacher in the post-modern age.

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

Vajrayana Training – Buddhism & Sexuality

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.

Resting in Stillness – Weekend

Resting in Stillness – Annual Meditation Retreat

 

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

 

Empathy Training

At the time when It is needed most, do you know how to comfort your loved ones? Take care of your own anxiety and anger? Deal with numbness or compassion fatigue?

Internationally renowned Buddhist teacher, Pema Khandro Rinpoche, offers this online Empathy Training. This four week training will focus on how to be there for oneself and others through tough emotions, in stressful times and even when empathy is most difficult to come by.

This training is also led by Aruna Rig’dzin Ross and Satya Shiva, Co-Directors of Ngakpa International and the Yogic Medicine Institute.

What you will gain

  • Tools for becoming a better person
  • Learn to deal with high emotion
  • Learn to meditate
  • Learn to Self-Regulate
  • Learn to listen deeply
  • Tools to resolve interpersonal conflict
  • Set appropriate boundaries
  • Know how to ask for what you want and need
  • Tools to take charge of your state of being
  • Develop self-awareness
  • How to deal with suffering
  • Vocabulary for identifying and expressing emotions
  • How to work with your own emotions
  • Ability to communicate in times of high emotion
  • Assessing appropriate contexts for deep communication
  • How to know when not to communicate
  • Recognizing control dramas
  • Steps and practices for healing relationships

 

Guided Meditation Series with Pema Khandro

EXAM: Ngakpa Training Module 2 – Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro

EXAM: Ngakpa Training Module 1 – Namthars

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

Archive 2020-21 Meditation Instructor Training

150 Hour Certification Training – with Pema Khandro

Registration Open Until November 14th

Oct 31, 2020 – Feb 20, 2021

What People are Saying about Meditation Instructor Training


“I can’t imagine a better,  more thorough teacher training available to people online. The ease of being in the comfort of our home is amazing. The depth of the dharma teachings are brilliant, it goes far beyond a simple meditation training class. It is an immersion into Buddhist thought in a deeply experiential way. WELL DONE!”

“I enjoyed the guided meditation practice. It was very good for me to get back into a strong daily practice. It is very beneficial as a student and prospective teacher. There is a lot of great curriculum and the teachers are very accessible and knowledgeable.”


“This course was superbly done, and so much more than I could have expected. It was wonderfully rigorous—which contributed to my respect for the process and my motivation along the way—and, at the same time, totally doable. The lesson series was comprehensive and left me feeling extremely well-prepared.”

“I recommend this training heartily without any reservation to anyone who wants to share meditation with others and deepen their own practice. Most definitely, you will learn how to meditate like no other training. Your own practice will accelerate hugely. You will learn how to teach with maturity, right attitude, confidence and integrity – this is greatly needed. Five stars!”


“I love having the format, the context and the massive inspiration that the training offered me. I cannot say enough of how the training benefited me!!! Thank you!!!! I look forward to working with everything I have learned in an ongoing way.”

“I enjoyed all of the lectures with Pema Khandro. She is really clear in her way.  I also enjoyed the practicums with Satya and Aruna. They helped me to feel really welcome and free to ask questions for the purpose of learning. I would recommend this training.  It was good for me to begin to understand a framework for all of this wisdom.”

“Such an incredibly clear course in such a supportive and positive environment. Such a wealth of experience, expertise, and accomplishment. I enjoyed both learning about the purpose and nature of meditation and the goals, and also the joy of teaching.”

“I would recommend this training very strongly, simply because you will come out of it with such resources, agency and edification. It creates a world of context to continue to deepen your study of meditation and will without doubt give you the tools you need to teach meditation. It is hard work but it delivers.”

“This training provides instructions on meditation methods that have been tested, developed and used for thousands of years. The methods are simple but deep as you may go. The instructors are experienced, professional, knowledgeable, and spiritual. The Lineage stands with you. I recommend this course to anyone serious about meditation.”

“I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge and personal practice of Buddhist meditation. Also to gain the compassion and confidence to share it with all sentient beings.”

“I understand the purpose and benefits of meditation so much clearer now than before. This is such a simple and compassionate method that can really be used by anyone. The teachings were totally comprehensive, thorough and easy to understand.”

“This training has deepened my practice and helped me to understand how I can be more supportive in helping others to learn to meditate. I’m sure the benefits for me will continue to ripen as I continue my practice.”

ABOUT MEDITATION INSTRUCTOR TRAINING

  • Robust, 150 hours of In-Depth Training
  • Self-Paced Curriculum & Live Classes
  • Teaching Practicum & One on One Mentoring
  • Traditional Meditation + Buddhist Philosophy + Buddhist Ethics
  • Completely Traditional + Completely Current
  • For Teachers Facing A Diverse Tumultuous World

The Meditation Instructor Training supplies the fundamental knowledge and experience necessary to lead meditation classes and one-day meditation intensives.

People all over the world have turned to Buddhist meditation as a source of wisdom. Meditation offers a powerful method to access a sense of spaciousness, peace and authentic presence.

The practical benefits of meditation are well documented. Research shows it improves mood, reduces stress (Brown & Warren 2003), it improves memory, visuospatial reasoning, sustained attention and executive brain function (Zeidan et al. 2010). It reduces sub-clinical depression and anxiety (Schreiner and Malcolm 2012). 

From a Buddhist point of view, when we know how to meditate, we learn how to work with mind and emotions. We have a practice for unraveling conditioned scripts and unconscious habits. Meditation is a pathway to discovering human goodness by making peace with our mind. Ultimately it is a method for getting free from dissatisfaction, resolving confusion and waking up to see reality more clearly.

MEDITATION TEACHERS NEEDED

Equanimity, calm, peace, inner strength, resilience, centeredness… there are so many reasons the world needs meditation teachers.

Meditation Teachers can offer important tools for relating to these tumultuous times.

Meditation promotes mindfulness and equanimity – the ability to let emotional states arise and pass without becoming overwhelming. With mindfulness, we are able to become aware of our mind-states, rather than carried away by them. It promotes the state of equanimity, the ability to respond skillfully to situations. Instead of responding with knee-jerk reactions, blame, resentment and anger we can choose healthier responses, such as loving-kindness and compassion.

There are so many places where meditation can be taught. It can add a profound benefit to temples, yoga centers, health centers, schools, corporations, communities and healthcare settings. This training offers meditation instructors copious knowledge, both practical and experiential – so that you can offer high-quality classes in any setting.


ABOUT THE 5 MODULE FORMAT

The training includes a study of the postures for meditation, breathing techniques, the five key meditation techniques from Zhine, (also known “Calm Abiding), common obstacles to meditation, remedies for obstacles of meditation and more. We will also review the most important Buddhist teachings to support meditation practice – looking to the wealth of Buddhist philosophy for new perspectives on what is mind, how to work with thoughts and emotions, what is the body-mind connection and how body and mind can be harnessed for awakening.

MODULE 1 – START ANY TIME
Self Paced Courses & Quizzes – 45 hours

  • Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (4 hours)
  • Buddhist Ethics (6 hours)
  • Empathy Training (5 hours)
  • Buddhism as a Way of Life (9 hours)
  • Excellent Path to Enlightenment – Module 1 (3 hours)
  • Teachings on Karma (3 hours)
  • Book Reading & quizzes on Anti-racism, Anti-sexism & Power structures (15 hours)
  • Live Online Orientation – Sat, Oct 31, 2020, 10am-1pm PT – 3 hours

MODULE 2 – NOV 2020
Meditation Practice – 19 hours

  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Live Online Workshop – Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 10am-1pm PT – 3 hours
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – 1 hour

MODULE 3 – DEC 2020
Learning to Teach – 35 hours

  • 22 Videos & Quizzes (11 hours)
  • Includes Study with Meditation Instructor Manual, 47-page digital download
  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – 1 hour
  • Live Online Workshop: Sat, Dec 19, 2020, 10am-1pm PT – 3 hours

WINTER BREAK:  DEC 23 – JAN 1

MODULE 4 – JAN 2021
Teaching Practicum – 37 hours

  • Teaching to Family & Friends – 9 hours
  • Teaching in Your Community – 9 hours
  • Daily Meditation & Self-reflection Journals – 30 min/day
  • Study-Buddy Call – 15 minutes + Journal 1x/week – 1 hour
  • Live Online Workshop: Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 10am-1pm PT – 3 hours

MODULE 5 – FEB 2021
Final Exams & Graduation – 9 hours

  • Final Exam Online – 2 hours
  • Final Teaching Practicum Group 1 – Sat, Feb 6, 10am-2pm PT
  • Final Teaching Practicum Group 2 – Sat, Feb 13, 10am-2pm PT
  • Final Transmission w/Pema Khandro, Teaching Vows & & Graduation – Sat, Feb 20, 10am-1pm PT

ELECTIVES
Additional Supports for your Practice – Choose 5 hours

  • Introduction to Tantric Buddhism – AUDIO (1 hour)
  • Non-duality in Tantric Buddhism – AUDIO (1 hour)
  • Cultivating Lasting Change – AUDIO (30 min)
  • Peace, Power & Meditation – VIDEO (1 hour) 
  • Bliss Yoga videos to support your body for meditation (2 hrs) 
  • Articles by Pema Khandro (2 hours)

TOTAL COURSE HOURS = 150


DATES FOR LIVE MEETINGS 

SATURDAY GROUP WORKSHOPS
There are 6 Live Online Group Workshops. Attendance of all workshops is required for certification.

Saturdays, 10am – 1pm PT
October 31, 2020 – ORIENTATION
November 14, 2020 – Group Workshop
December 19, 2020 – Group Workshop
January 16, 2021 – Group Workshop
February 6, 2021 – Final Practicum Group 1
February 13, 2021 – Final Practicum Group 2
February 20, 2021 – GRADUATION

GROUP WORKSHOPS or OPTIONAL PRIVATE COACHING
If you must miss one or all of the scheduled group workshops due to timing, timezone, professional or family life, you may elect to receive private coaching in its place. 

For each group workshop missed, you may schedule an hour of private coaching from one of the instructors or their assistants at the rate of $100 per session. Scheduling is based on the availability of the training instructors. To elect for this option, please contact Info@BuddhistStudiesInstitute.org

 

OVERVIEW OF KEY ASPECTS

Orientation & Introduction – Live Online

  • Welcome
  • How the Course works, Practical Overview and Questions
  • Meeting with each of the participants
  • Why Meditation Training? Why Online?
  • What is Mind? A Buddhist Point of View
  • Expectations
  • Q&A

Lessons & Practice Videos

  • Study the crucial points of meditation practice from home, at your own pace.
  • You will receive new video lessons each week covering the essential points of Meditation practice and Meditation Instruction.

Exams

  • Students will complete online quizzes reviewing the major principles of the video lessons they have received.
  • Students will complete a final exam online at the end of the Fall quarter in order to progress to the teaching practicum.

Daily Journal
Students will be required to submit journal entries documenting practice sessions. Students are expected to maintain a daily meditation practice of at least 24 minutes per day throughout the entirety of the course. Journal questions include:

  • What time you started practicing, what time you finished practicing
  • What were the positive things about your practice today?
  • Name one challenge about your practice today?
  • Where did you practice?
  • Which practice did you complete today?

Workshops – Live Online

  • Students will meet with the instructors for online workshops, discussion, and evaluation. During the workshops, every student will have opportunities to lead meditation class and receive feedback from the instructors. 
  • Students will also meet with a study-buddy once a week to practice leading meditation.

Teaching Practicum 

  • Each student will lead 9 hours of meditation classes to friends and family, and submit review forms. 
  • Once confirmed by instructors, each student will lead 9 hours of meditation classes in a local community setting and submit review forms.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to organize and arrange these classes within their local community.
  • Due to COVID and public class restrictions, BSI will also offer alternative options for completing the practicum online.
  • Students will be given instructions for which practices to lead and will discuss these experiences in the group workshops. 

Final Transmission & Graduation – Live Online

  • Students who complete all aspects of the training will be invited to the final transmission class and graduation.

SELF PACED CURRICULUM OVERVIEW 22 LESSONS

Introduction Lesson Zero: What is Mind?

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
    • What is Mind According to Buddhist Thought
    • Understanding the factors of perception, experience, unconscious and identity
    • How the ten factors of mind take place
    • How does meditation work with the factors of mind?
    • Tibetan Yoga – Naljorpas – Remaining in the Real
  • Technical Overview Taught by Satya Shiva
    • Meeting the participants and expressing the purpose of the training
    • Overview of the Practicalities of the Course
    • Answers to Technical Questions

Lesson 1: How to Sit – The Seven Point Posture of Vairocana

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Detailed introduction to the 7 Point Body Posture and Bodhisattva posture
  • A good seat – a good mind
  • Daily Practice
    • Guided Calm Abiding – 21 Breaths Meditation

Lesson 2: What is Meditation – Why Meditate? 

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Popular Goals for Meditation
    • Meditation for relieving stress
    • Health benefits for meditation
    • Meditation as a spiritual practice
    • Meditation as withdrawing the senses
  • Goals for Meditation in Buddhism
    • What is wakeful presence?
  • What is Calm Abiding Meditation?
    • Settling, Tranquility, and Equanimity
    • Why is calm abiding necessary?
    • Is calm abiding enough?
    • Is non-thought the goal? Why or why not?
    • The function of calm abiding
    • The benefits of finding calm when coping with change, illness and death
  • Daily Meditation
    • Calm Abiding 21 Breaths

Lesson 3: Tradition & Context of the Practice

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • The Orientations of Buddhist Meditation 
  • Tibetan Buddhism: Distinctions in the Practice
  • Tibetan Yogis and Contemplation (Nyingma Ngakpa)
  • Overview of frameworks of contemplative traditions
    • Why different methods to meet different needs
  • Calm Abiding vs Insight Meditation
    • Calm Abiding (Tib. Zhine, zhi gnas; Skt. Shamatha)
    • Sequence of calm abiding and insight
  • Preparing for Calm Abiding
    • The importance of enlightened intent (Skt. Bodhichitta)
    • Methods for cultivating enlightened intent
    • Lifestyle and ethical considerations
    • The goal of discovering self-existing wakefulness
  • The Body Context
    • Introduction to the mind-body relationship framed as winds, channels and spheres.
      (Skt. prana, nadi, bindu; Tbtn. rtsa, rlung, thigle)
    • The importance of phases of meditation practice
    • Brief introduction to the opening and closing contemplations
    • The Meditation Tradition & Establishing Context for Clarity & Calm
  • Daily Practice
  • Preliminary Practice 2: Double the Exhale
  • Calm Abiding Exercise 1: Twenty-one Breaths

Lesson 4: Ideal Place and Time

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Ideal Times to practice
  • Ideal Durations of Practice
  • Ideal Clothing
  • Ideal Seat
  • Teaching in Non-Ideal Conditions
  • Overview of the prayers for opening and closing the Practice
  • Ideal Place – Traditional & Modern Considerations
  • Preliminary Practice 4: Tactile Sensations

“If the conditions of tranquility are impaired, one may meditate intensively
for as long as a thousand years without achieving tranquil absorption.”
-The Bodhipathapradīpa

  • Daily Meditation
    • Finding a stable posture
    • Preliminary Practice 1: Regulating the breath
    • Calm Abiding Exercise 1: Twenty-one Breaths

Lesson 5: Mastering the Posture

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin
  • Preparatory practices for sitting
  • Secrets to the 7 Point Posture
  • How to sit on the cushion
  • How to sit in a chair
  • Helping Others to Sit
  • Props as Sitting Support for Tight Hips or Back Problems
  • Half Lotus and Full Lotus
  • Correct placement of the ankle in half lotus and full lotus
  • Solutions for Pain and Body Limitations

Lesson 6: Preparation for Practice

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Introduction to the preliminary somatic practice
  • Preliminary Practice 3:  Nine purification breaths
  • Why Inner Yoga Practices settle the mind

Lessons 7: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm
  • Common factors in all the Calm Abiding Methods
  • Structured exercises, unstructured spaces and non-elaborate meditation techniques
  • Importance of periods of non-guided meditation
  • What is ‘bad’ meditation, making sense of the dullness, agitation and impulses
  • Meditation as a space for encountering what we are

Lessons 8: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm continued
  • Overview of four of the five preliminary exercises for synchronizing body and mind
  • What is calm or tranquility? How is it distinguished from dullness?
  • Step by Step Detailed Instructions for the 5 Main Methods to teach for accessing meditative presence
  • Does meditation make the mind more busy?
  • Practicing in ease versus practicing in tension and aggression
  • Dealing with fidgeting and body movement, how much movement or stillness is required?
  • Discerning distractions as soon as they arise
  • The liberating power of focusing the mind
  • Defining mental freedom as the power to concentrate on chosen objects
  • Balance between effort and relaxation
  • Quality vs Quantity – why it’s important
  • What to do if the students are all distracted or struggling in the middle of the session
  • Sticking with one method at a time

Lessons 9: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm
  • Samten (Dhyana) meditative stability
  • Daily prayers opening prayers part 1 and Refuge prayer
  • Refuge prayer without the word Refuge
  • Concrete objects to tune into the non-concrete presence
  • Rigpa – the Intrinsic quality like the wetness of water
  • How to calm the emotional poisons which distort our vision, disturb our mind
  • Formless meditation instructions and theory

Lesson 10: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Overview of the five main methods for finding calm continued
  • What is the difference between Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and other meditation techniques
  • How does lifting the gaze change the meditation
  • Meditating on an external object
  • The forceful aspect of Forced Calm Abiding
  • What is the Ah Thigle? What is the benefit of using the Ah Thigle as an Object
  • Step by Step Detailed Instructions for the 5 Main Methods to teach for accessing meditative presence
  • Tips for Instructing Meditation for beginners and advanced audiences

Lesson 11: Abiding in Peace and Calm

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Two factors that lead to the meditative state
  • The importance of enlightened intent (bodhichitta)
  • The intentional factor that leads to the meditative state
  • Subtle Body as Mind
  • Mind riding the Wind
  • The Five Vital Winds
  • Practicing with Body Speech and Mind
  • The Symbolism and meaning of Om Ah Hung Practices
  • Expressing enlightened intent in the opening and closing of practice
  • Calm Abiding Practice with Sending Light

Lessons 12 – 14: Obstacles and Antidotes

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Primary obstacles to meditation and their remedies
  • Considerations for preventing obstacles to meditation
  • Recognizing the source of obstacles
  • Working with special cases – tips for students with depression, addiction, and trauma
  • Uprooting every teacher’s worst obstacle
  • Cultivating ethics & Discovering consciousness as ethical

Lesson 15: Obstacles and Antidotes in Diet & Lifestyle

  • Taught by Satya Shiva
  • Dietary & Lifestyle Considerations for preventing obstacles to meditation

Lesson 16: Teaching Methodology

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Avoiding common pitfalls in teaching
  • Discovering your authentic voice
  • Integrating Meditation Teaching into your coaching practice, medical practice and other careers
  • Facilitating groups in welcomes, check-ins, and discussions
  • Avoiding sexist language and actions
  • Skills for addressing Racism & Bigotry
  • Remaining relevant

Lesson 17: Tips for Teaching in the Meditation Practicum

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin and Satya Shiva
  • Finding places to teach classes
  • How to set up your 3 hour meditation practicum
  • The importance of serving under-served communities
  • Identifying and approaching underserved communities

Lesson 18: The Stages of Meditation

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Stages of developing practice
  • The nine stages of developing the meditative state of calm abiding
  • Signs of success on the path
  • Practices for adapting to the stages of meditation

Lesson 19: The Goal of Meditation

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • The Goal of Meditation as a Buddhist Practice
  • Advanced Considerations
  • Understanding the mind, perception and its objects
  • Non-self and open-ended experience
  • Non-conceptuality, bliss, and clarity
  • Working through meditative experiences without grasping

Lesson 20: Questions and Answers

  • Taught by Aruna Rig’dzin

Lesson 21: Instructor Parameters

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Secrets to Personal Discipline & Developing a Strong Practice
  • Working with students
  • Teaching Ethics – A Code to Live By
  • Scope of Practice

Lesson 22: Bonus Class

  • Taught by Pema Khandro

Final Words of Advice

  • Taught by Pema Khandro
  • Keeping a discipline after the course
  • Developing ongoing education
  • Values for a Meditation Instructor
  • Heart Advice for Meditation Instructors

ABOUT TUITION

  • Regular Tuition: $1895 
  • Payment plan: $2220 paid over four months @ $555/month
  • All Access Pass / Sustainer Members: AAP Members wishing to join the training and be certified as a meditation teacher may sign a one-year contract with automated payments, and be certified upon completion of all payments and course requirements. 
  • Additional Member Discounts Available: See Membership for details
  • Registration Fee: $500 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration to reserve space in the course.
  • Suggested teacher donations: $108

Financial Aid Considerations

The course costs are set at a minimum fee already, with financial aid built into all tuition rates. Because we are a non-profit organization, the costs of all activities and overhead of our organization must be covered by the participants of the courses or donations and all courses are offered at below cost. For those who are experiencing genuine financial hardship and wish to enroll in the course, Financial Aid applications are available. (Applications must be received in advance.)

OVERVIEW OF OTHER COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Submit Application
  • Submit Release of Liability Form
  • Complete all homework and assignments
  • Daily practice throughout the duration of the course
  • Must attend all live classes to graduate or:
    • Missing Classes
      • If a student must miss one or all of the scheduled group workshops due to timing, timezone, professional or family life, they may elect to receive private coaching in its place.
      • For each group workshop missed, you may schedule an hour of private coaching from one of the instructors or their assistants at the rate of $100 per session. Scheduling is based on the availability of the training instructors. 
  • During Practicum:
    • Complete teaching 9 hours of free meditation classes to friends and family
    • Complete teaching 9 hours in an underserved community
  • Graduation is subject to approval by faculty
  • Tuition and dana (teaching donation) for the entire course must be complete before graduation
  • Successful completion of all quizzes, final exam, and final teaching practicum
  • Daily practice and completion of the daily journals must be complete before graduation
  • All 150 course hours required for certification. 

PREREQUISITES

  • Minimum of three years of meditation practice experience or equivalent is suggested
  • Ability to devote time and energy to the program, to attend and complete all course components, to take time away from work and other commitments in order to complete the study, practice and attend group sessions.
  • Maintenance of a harmonious relationship with Instructors, Pema Khandro, co-leaders, and student community at the Buddhist Studies Institute.
  • Ability to cover tuition and practice of Dana (teaching offering) in support of all program components (see tuition for details).
  • Psychological health and stability:
    • a history of emotional maturity and personal development, psychological development
    • a history of psychological stability and well-being for the previous ten years.

CONSISTENCY OF CONDUCT

The Buddhist studies institute advocates for observation of Buddhist ethics, maintaining personal discipline and observing practices necessary for suitable health throughout the course and throughout one’s teaching career.

  • Embodying Buddhist principles:
    • generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, compassion, equanimity
    • respect for teachers and sangha
    • harmony with teachers and sangha.
  • Ethical integrity:
    • upholding the five precepts and Commitment to Buddhist ethics
    • especially maintaining sobriety (in terms of being free from substance addictions)
    • and refraining from sexual misconduct (includes refraining from romantic relationships with students and refraining from breaking vows or causing others to break their vows.)  
    • Refraining from hate speech (including hate speech on social media).
  • Ethical commitment to refrain from engaging in sexual relationships with any students.
    • The Buddhist Studies Institute follows a zero tolerance for abuse policy. Sexual relationships with students is grounds for having certification revoked.
  • Continuing psychological and emotional stability and well being throughout the duration of the course.
  • A wish to lead, based on service, gratitude, humility, and kindness rather than ego-driven ambition or narcissism. This includes:
    • a conscious awareness of one’s own limitations;
    • understanding the scope of one’s competence and authority;
    • the willingness to draw on support from teachers and other professionals;
    • adopting the practice of referring when students have needs outside one’s scope of competency; attribution of credit to sources/teachers when repeating or using their works.
  • Personal and interpersonal maturity:
    • ability to maintain a harmonious relationship with teachers and peers, emotional maturity to work through difficulties in practice and interpersonal difficulties, maintaining respect for past teachers and dharma community
  • Respect for diversity:
    • Respect towards other religious views, expressing kindness towards all beings regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or sectarian affiliation; respect for all types of Buddhism.
    • Completion of required self-paced modules on anti-racism, anti-sexism, and trauma informed teaching

ABOUT THE TEACHERS

The course curriculum is designed and led by Lama Pema Khandro Rinpoche, internationally renowned teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. Pema Khandro has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree specializing in Tibetan buddhism, she is currently completing her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies. Her scholarly research focuses on the intellectual history of Buddhist meditation in Tibet, the history of Dzogchen and on gender studies. She is the founder of Ngakpa International and its three projects, The Buddhist Studies Institute, Dakini Mountain and the Yogic Medicine Institute. In her work as a Buddhist teacher she is an authorized Lama and lineage holder of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions and was enthroned to carry on the lineage of her predecessor, the first Pema Khandro, a twentieth century yogini in Eastern Tibet. She is certified in two systems of natural medicine, Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine as well as three times certified as an Advanced Yoga teacher, and she has led dozens of courses in nutrition, meditation teacher trainings, yoga teacher trainings and natural medicine courses for health workers from every field. In her humanitarian work she has supported children, orphans and elders in the Himalayas.  She has led a vibrant world-wide community since 1999. Through the Buddhist Studies Institute, she also offers a complete curriculum of training in Tibetan meditation and Buddhist Philosophy. 

Aruna Rig’dzin was ordained in Nyingma Lineage by Pema Khandro Rinpoche in 2007.  She is one of the Directors of Ngakpa International and the Community of Buddhist Yogis, as well as Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute. She is a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and has over 18 years’ experience as an Advanced Yoga and Meditation Instructor.  Aruna is passionate about healing, sustainable living and giving people the tools to live a vibrant, healthy and joyous life.


Dr. Satya has been studying with Pema Khandro since 2001. She is the Chief Operating Officer for Ngakpa International since 2010, and is a member of the Board of Directors. Satya is the Panchakarma Clinic Director of the Yogic Medicine Institute since 2004, a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Oriental Medicine, as well as a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Panchakarma Specialist. Her Doctoral Research specialized in Healthy Aging and Longevity, and she is a consultant helping to transition traditional “Residential Care for the Elderly” businesses toward more ecologically sustainable and alternative medicine based practices. 

 

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have to miss a portion of the Saturday Live Online Group Sessions?
A student can make up missed Live Group Session by purchasing a 1-hour private session with a facilitator.

At what point will I be ready to begin offering my free meditation classes to my community?
You may begin the Teaching Practicum in your community at the midpoint of Module 4, after completion of hours teaching to friends and family, and on recommendation of facilitators or teaching assistants. Students must arrange and organize these classes for themselves.
 
What if I am not able to lead the required hours of meditation classes in my community within the time period of the training?
A student may schedule meditation classes in their community at any time that works for their schedule, however, they will not be certified as a meditation instructor until these hours are completed and confirmed by the facilitators. If the hours are not completed by the scheduled graduation, an extension of 30 days may be granted, however, all coursework, practice hours and make-up sessions must be completed within that timeframe.
 
What are the daily meditation journal questions?
1. What time did you start practicing today, and what time did you finish practicing?
2. What were the positive things about your practice today?
3. Name one challenge about your practice today?
4. Where did you practice?
5. Which practice did you complete today?
 
Example entry:
  1. I started practicing this morning at 7:30am and finished practicing at 8am.
  2. My knee problems didn’t bother me, my body felt good and stable!
  3. My mind was very active today.
  4. In the meditation room upstairs by the window, I found the light helped.
  5. I practiced the 21 breath practice. Also, the preliminary exercise was double breathing.
If I have the All-Access Pass (AAP) – can I still attend the training pieces that I chose even if I don’t want to become a Certified Meditation Instructor?
Yes. AAP who have been in good standing for at least 1 year may attend any and all portions of the MIT by watching the videos – except the workshops and exams. Live Workshops and exams are for registered students only. New AAP members who wish to be certified will sign a contract for 1 year of membership and will receive certification upon completion of 1 year member terms and all course requirements.

If I complete the training, will I automatically be a Certified Meditation Instructor and authorized to lead classes and one-day meditation retreats?

  • Graduation is subject to approval by the faculty.
  • Successful completion of all exams 80% or above, plus completion of the practicum.
  • Daily practice and completion of the daily journals 
  • Documentation and completion meditation classes in your community.
  • Satisfaction of all prerequisites.
  •