Ngakpa Training

The 5 year curriculum of Ngakpa Training offers an in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga, and Dzogchen.

For more information or to apply, email

Course Format
The self-paced modules and quizzes can be taken on your own timing and in linear fashion.

Upon passing the quizzes of the self-paced modules, students may enter the live online classes.

Live online class meets twice a month online, in addition to reading assignments, practice requirements, oral presentations and debates on Buddhist philosophy.

This class is open to students who have completed the following requirements:

  • Foundations of Buddhist Philosophy Series
  • Buddhist Meditation Series
  • A period of six months in Vajrayana Training or attending three retreats with Pema Khandro
  • Application & Interview

To schedule an interview email

Pema Khandro takes a practical and philosophical approach to her role as a teacher. She sees herself primarily as an educator and her relationships with students is based on mutual respect, trust, and dharma friendship.

Topics Include

  • Sakyamuni Buddha’s Life as told variably in the 3 Yanas
  • Intro to Tibetan Buddhism
  • The 4 Noble Truths & Vajrayana
  • Path of Buddhist Yogis; Historical Overview
  • Freedoms & Advantages
  • Impermanence of Life
  • Defects of Samsara & the Purity of Everything
  • Actions to be avoided and cultivated; Conduct for Buddhist Yogis
  • The Goal of the Path in the Three Yanas & the Benefits of Liberation
  • Yogācāra
  • Madhyamaka & 2 Truths
  • MahaYoga & the History of Tantra
  • Ati Yoga: Definitions
  • Understanding Mind
  • Buddhist Answers to the Big Questions
  • Introduction to Dzogchen
  • Buddha Nature in Dzogchen
  • Play of Experience
  • Abandoning Hope & Fear
  • Dzogchen Lineage
  • Dzogchen Base, Path & Fruit
  • Ati Yoga: Divisions
  • Dzogchen and origins of dissatisfaction and freedom from it
  • Dudjom Rinpoche’s “Correction of Misconceptions About the Nyingma”
  • Longchenpa’s Mirror Revealing Crucial Points
  • Treasure Revelation, the Visionary History of Nyingmapas
  • Yidam Practice Essentials
  • The Five Certainties
  • Gender in Buddhism
  • Dharma Protectors
  • Gompopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation

Stages of Study
Most students take the Ngakpa Training on an ongoing basis as a support for serious long-term study of Buddhism and as a source of connection to the Lama, the sangha and the wisdom of the path.

For students who also wish to take on leadership roles, the following stages of accomplishment are recognized.

  • Upon completing two years of the curriculum, the students are qualified to act as mentors in the Vajrayana Training and as long as they are continuously enrolled, they are qualified to lead the community classes, discussion groups and an Introduction to Buddhism curriculum composed of eight sections.
  • Students who have: completed five years of the curriculum, completed Ngondro, acted as mentors in Vajrayana Training for at least two years and have completed an oral exam are entitled to wear the three panel red and white Ngakpa shawl, representing the lineage of Tibetan Buddhist Yogis.
  • Students who have earned their Ngakpa shawls may also eligible to apply for ordination in the Ngakpa Tradition.

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