2019 Event Schedule

Summary of Events

* Introduction to Dharma / April 28th

* Bodhisattva Retreat / May 31st – June 2nd

* Saga Dawa / Chenrezig Retreat June 12-14,  

   Nyung Ne Retreat June 15-17 

Summer Teachings and Chakrasamava Practice / July 12th – July 19th
   with Khenchen Konchok Gyaltsen Rinpoche
          Teachings: July 12th – 14th
Chakrasamvara Empowerment: 2pm July 14th
Chakrasamvara Practice: July 15th – 19th

Chakrasamava 3-week Practice Retreat – July 21st – August 11th

* Vipassana Retreat / August 15th -19th

* Amitabha Mantra Accumulation Retreat / September 21st -22nd

* Yoga/Chi Gong / Dharma Retreat   October 25th -29th

* Vajrakilaya Empowerment and Drubchen / November 16th -24th

* Month Long Vajrakilaya Retreat /November 26th – December 22nd

Winter Teachings / December 29 – January 5th 2020

* Ngondro Preliminary Practice Retreats 

* 100 Day Retreat / August 1st –  November 8th

*  4 Thoughts That Turn the Mind and Shamata / September 1st – 29th

Bodhisattva Retreats

Retreats on the 37 Bodhisattva Practices

Led By Lopon Barbara DuBois

May 31st  – June 2nd
September 13th -15th

Bodhisattvas are lovers.

You already have a living connection to the bodhisattva way: your natural compassion and love. The bodhisattva is coming always closer to the world, illusions of separation pierced by suffering and love. No longer turning away from the suffering of ourselves or others, our love and compassion now expand into bodhicitta, the urgent desire and intention to love and to free all beings. 

These bodhisattva retreats are sanctuary training grounds to help us nourish the seed of bodhicitta always already within. Our training manual is the 37 Bodhisattva Practices, by 14th century Tibetan monk Tokme Zangpo, a great and humble bodhisattva who distilled into 37 pith instructions the nectar of the meaning and the methods that ripen bodhisattvas.

Our setting is beautiful and secluded; our companionship is dignified, intimate, and awake; our methods include study, contemplation, meditation, discussion, and silence; and our aspiration to benefit all beings propels us forward – without regard to outcome.

In each retreat we will work with a section of the 37 Bodhisattva Practices, until we have completed the entire text – so each retreat will be the same in purpose, but different in content and experience.

All are welcome: seedling, hard-cased, ripening, and even dropping lightly off the tree into openness.

Lopon Barbara is a longtime Dharma practitioner and teacher, known for her fresh, energetic, fierce love and compassion and her ability to communicate the teachings right here, right now, as we need them. Her new book, Brave, Generous, and Undefended, heart teachings on the bodhisattva way, is forthcoming this year from Laughing Vajra Press.
It is possible to attend just one or both of the retreats as well.
COST – $180  Includes tuition and all meals.
Various accommodations are available for an additional fee.
Please contact the office for more information and to register / 928-925-1237

Chenrezig & Nyung Ne Practices

Chenrezig Practice
June 12 – 14, 2019
Nyung Ne  Practice
June 15 – 17 (concludes 8am on the 17th)

Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin

Saga Dawa, June 4th – June 30th, is considered one of the most holy times in Tibetan Buddhism. It marks the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (death) of the Buddha Shakyamuni. It is said that during Saga Dawa, the karma of all positive and negative actions is multiplied 100 million times. Thus, it is a tremendously auspicious time to engage in virtuous practice, and perform acts of kindness and generosity. Because of this multiplying effect, this is a golden opportunity to accomplish vast merit and virtue in a short amount of time.

This year, the Garchen Institute will celebrate Saga Dawa with a Special three day Chenrezig Practice, June 12 – 14, followed by our annual Nyung Ne Retreat, June 15 – 17.

You may attend any portion of the Chenrezig Practice, but you must attend the entire Nyung Ne Retreat, as it is one complete practice.


Nyung Ne is a special practice of the thousand armed Chenrezig. It is a retreat of body, speech and mind which lasts two and a half days. Nyung Ne combines a commitment to fasting and silence, with prostrations or circumambulations (as your physical conditions allows). The eight Mahayana precepts, or “Sojong” vows, are taken for two days, wherein we vow to abstain from killing, stealing, lying, intoxicants, etc. In our busy lives, we rarely have an opportunity to take and fully keep these special vows, and the benefit of all practice is increased while holding these vows. So this is a truly precious chance.

Developed by the nun Gelong-ma Palmo several centuries ago, this is a powerful method for purifying the negative karma of yourself and all sentient beings, as an act of loving generosity. To engage in the profound Nyung Nepractice during the multiplying time of Saga Dawa is a rare and precious opportunity indeed.  The benefits of this practice are incalculable for the purification of eons of negative karma for ourselves and others. 

The first day we take one vegetarian meal at noon (no meat, onions, garlic, radishes or eggs). Light beverages can be taken throughout the day. (No juice with pulp. A little milk may be added to tea or coffee, but a glass of milk may not be taken.) The second day, we do not eat and we maintain complete silence. Because Garchen Institute is in the desert, you may drink water. The fast and silence is broken on the morning of the third day, with a celebratory breakfast.

 We hope you will join us in this practice which will achieve the two-fold benefit of self and other. May all beings benefit!

Registration Opens May 13th at 11:00am Arizona time.

Retreat Program:

Common Preliminaries and Ngondro Retreats

So many students have the aspiration to put into practice the extraordinary teachings that H.E. Garchen Rinpoche has tirelessly given over the last 20 years in the West.
Garchen Institute is pleased to continue our new Preliminary Practice Retreat Program that will help students fulfill their aspirations.  We will be using the expanded retreat facilities for retreats of varying lengths, which encompass the scope of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and, in particular, those of the Drikung Kagyu tradition as taught by H. E. Garchen Rinpoche.
We will begin by offering preliminary practice retreats in the spring of 2019. These provide structure and support and are the method for developing the foundation of practice. The full program of preliminary practice retreats are designed to build on each other.  If you are interested in attending the next Three Year Retreat at the Garchen Institute, some of the program’s pre-requisites can be met by the offerings below.
Please look for more information in the new year.
Group Ngondro Practices 2019
There are so many benefits to doing group retreat with a qualified guide and fellow practitioners.  Practicing together helps each participant gain extra stamina and momentum from a shared group dynamic and develop the necessary skills to deeper their practice.  This is an excellent opportunity to engage in and, depending on your situation, even complete your Ngondro practices! 
You may engage in any one retreat,  or  attend all four! This program gives you the flexibility to accomplish your Ngondro as your life and schedule allow.

The retreats and dates:

I. Refuge and Prostration:  April 19 – May 29, 2019
II. Mandala Offerings:  June 4 – July 4, 2019
III. Vajrasattva:  July 15 – August 30, 2019
IV. Guru Yoga:  Sept 2 – Oct 14, 2019

Venerable Khenpo Tenzin will guide participants with instruction and commentary on the ngondro practices which are essential for purifying and accumulating merit. Each participant has their own bedroom, shared bath and will pay for and cook their own food in a shared kitchen.  The Institute will do the food shopping for each retreatant.


$1200 – One Ngondro Retreat
$4000 – All 4 Ngondro Retreats 

Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind & Shamatha 2019
* Month-long Retreat or 
* 100-Day Retreat

This retreat is designed to help develop renunciation and bodhicitta, which require a deeply contemplative look at your life. Shamata is a meditation practice that develops mindfulness and attention which leads to more peace in the mind.  These qualities are the foundation of a successful meditation practice which leads to greater happiness.

Venerable Khenpo Tenzin will guide each participant in their solitary retreat and will give group teachings and meditation instruction.  Retreatants will pay for and cook their own food in one of the two kitchens in the retreat village. The Institute will do the food shopping for each retreatant.

The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind Retreat is offered in two formats:

100 Days Retreat Format 
This 3-month-long retreat is recommended for our 3-Year Retreat Program. 
Dates:  August 1 – November 8 2019
Cost:   $1800

One-Month Format
September 1 – September 29, 2019
Cost- $800

TESTIMONIAL from participant in the first ngondro retreat at Tashi Gatsal Ling House“Being in the Southwest Buddhafield’s protective sphere, in the joyful compound of Tashi Gatsal Ling house, was like having a wish fulfilling jewel placed in the palm. Having my own personal space and yet being surrounded by a community doing the same practices, was the perfect mix of a solitary and group retreat. Khenpo Tenzin was immensely kind, supportive and sensitive to the needs of our particular group. It is hard to imagine a more conducive circumstance for performing the profound and transformative preliminary trainings of the practice lineage. In these uncertain times, when the shortcomings of modern life is in the forefront of everyone’s awareness, let us arouse confidence in the dharma, and take advantage of the inconceivable opportunity to practice in retreat for our own and others benefit!”

If you are interested in attending any of these retreats please email for an application to questions@garchen.net

Policy for Attending Events and Retreats

The facilities of the Garchen Buddhist Institute are available only to persons who are accepted as students participating in a specific event or program relating to Buddhist studies or specific retreat.

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