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Chod Retreat

At Dakini Mountain
with Pema Khandro

June 1-4, 2023

Chod is the profound method of psychological transformation in esoteric Buddhism. Chod means cutting, referring to cutting through fictions to authentic presence.

The 2023 Chod retreat is a profound occasion of the sangha gathering for the first in person retreat since the pandemic at the glorious land of Dakini Mountain in the scenic Tahoe National Forest of Northern California. We will also celebrate Saga Dawa, the birthday and enlightenment day of the Buddha together in person with spiritual community!

The Dzogchen Chod Tradition

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.

Mornings will focus on the Dzogchen Chod, known as Khandro Geykyang, the Laugher of the Dakinis, the concise version. Pema Khandro will give the transmission, lead the practice sessions and lead workshops on cutting through fear through the secret chod practice.

Midday sessions will focus on Troma practice, the profound deity yoga meditation on the black wrathful dakini from the Jeweled Garland of Chod, (the Rinchen Trengwa).

Evening sessions will focus on the Secret Chod – a path of profound psychological and embodied transformation. It is a direct path to healing through fear done in solitary practice and small community workshops.

About the Teacher

Pema Khandro, PhD

Pema Khandro, PhD

Founder of the Buddhist Studies Institute

Pema Khandro is an internationally renowned teacher and scholar of Buddhist philosophy. 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, an early twentieth century yogini from 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 meditation and Buddhist Philosophy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Master’s degree specializing in Tibetan studies, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Virginia. Her scholarly research focuses on the history of Dzogchen and on Women in Tibetan Buddhism.

Retreat Format

In Person Event with Additional Self-Paced Material
This retreat will include access to dozens of online self-paced videos on how to practice Chod. Watch the videos in advance to prepare for the retreat or watch them afterwards to continue your learning!

Due to covid safety concerns, retreat participants will stay off site. Please book your lodging in nearby Nevada City. Or, you can stay at the campground down the road called White Cloud Campground, a few kilometers away on Highway 20.

Meals will be available for purchase. We are grateful to work with a local nutritionist as our caterer who serves only the best ingredients – organic, vegan-vegetarian, local, gluten-free, and seasonal as much as possible. We have bears, they like to break things and even walk on cars to get food. We ask that you please avoid bringing food and use the meal service instead.

On Saturday night, there will be a special dinner and the Tsok feast.

Click Here to Purchase Meals – must be completed by May 31st.

Please bring clothing layers and plan for both cold and heat. Dakini Mountain weather is unpredictable! You will need clothes you feel comfortable moving in and sitting in for meditation sessions. On Saturday night, everyone dresses up in their beautiful clothing for the Tsok feast and Saga Dawa Celebration!

Chod Drums & Bells
Chod is a dynamic practice performed with traditional Vajrayana instruments, the drum, bell and vajra. If you do not have these, you can purchase high quality ones directly from Dakini Mountain. Contact to make your reservation for your items in advance, supplies are limited to those who preregister for their instruments.

Whenever possible, practices and group sessions will happen outside on the beautiful meadow and outdoor stage for the safety of all guests. They may also happen on the deck on the lodge and if you are in the lodge, masks will be available. For the safety of all guests, and for liability reasons, Covid testing with a negative covid test result within twenty-four hours of the retreat beginning will be required to enter onsite.

Seva Day (Optional)
Help us set up! 12pm-4pm PST (Thursday)
Help us clean up! 12pm -4pm PST (Monday)

Contact to help with seva.

Retreat Schedule

Approximate Retreat Schedule – Times listed are Pacific Time (UTC-7)

5pm registration
5:30-7:30pm Lung and Chod Dances

10am-6pm Chod Retreat

10am-10pm Chod Retreat (including Saga Dawa, Tsok, and Celebration Festivities)

10am-4pm Chod retreat
4pm-6pm Closing ceremony
6:30pm Dinner in Nevada City


Retreat at Dakini Mountain

Early Enrollment closes April 20, 2023 – $395

General Registration closes May 20, 2023 – $495

Last-minute Registration through May 31, 2023 – $595

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, Scholarship applications are available. Applications must be received in advance. Programs are always free for monastics. Financial Aid Application: