2019 Event Schedule

While it is ideal and most beneficial to attend the entire retreat, it is possible to attend as your schedule allows.

Tuition Packages:
Entire Event: $180
Daily Rate:  $60
Half Day:  $30

 Packges include:
Entire Event or One Full Day:
3 vegetarian meals per day
Half Day: 2 vegetarian meals.

Daily Rates without meals:

Full Day: $35
Half Day: $17

Accommodations are available for an additional fee.

To Register Please Contact the Office


Training on the Bodhisattva Way:

A Bodhisattva Retreat 

Led By Lopon Barbara DuBois

September 13th -15th
9am – 5pm daily


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 fourteenth 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 White Cloud Press.



Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin

September 21 & 22

9am – 5pm daily

It is the heart wish of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche & Drubwang Konchog Norbu Rinpoche that we conduct the practices of Amitabha, Chenrezik, & Guru Rinpoche each year. These three practices are the condensed essences of the three kayas of the Buddha. All three of these practices are powerful methods to alleviate the suffering of self-grasping, and to cultivate Bodhicitta; the intent to benefit all sentient beings.

Amitabha is the Buddha of Infinite Light, thus named because the light radiating from his body pervades all the pure lands of all the Buddhas of the ten directions.  

Amitabha presides over the western Buddha realm, the Pure Land of Great Bliss, known as Dewachen, Sukhavati. His pure land is the easiest in which to be reborn, and once reborn there beings have the optimum circumstances for accelerating on the path to liberation. Thus, Amitabha is considered the protector of beings who call upon him as they experience death. He is also central to the practice of Phowa (the transference of consciousness at the time of death). 

Venerable Khenpo Tenzin trained in monasteries in Tibet and India,
earning a Ph.D. in Buddhist Philosophy. He is well known and loved
for his clear, insightful teachings, loving kindness, humility and humor.
Ven. Khenpo Tenzin often teaching in English. 

Through Amitabha practice, our deluded grasping and attachment are transmuted into the clear-sighted warmth of true loving compassion. The ego’s selfish demands yield to our deepening commitment to others’ well-being and enlightenment. Amitabha practice can also ward off obstacles to long life. 

Tuition Packages:
Entire Event: $148
Daily Rate:  $74
Half Day:  $37
Packages include:
Entire Event: 3 vegetarian meals per day plus 1 night
indoor or outdoor camping.

Full Day: 3 vegetarian meals per day
Half Day: 2 vegetarian meals

Daily Rate without meals:
Full Day: $35
Half Day: $17

To Register C
ontact the Office:

Email: questions@garchen.net
Phone:  928-925-1237

Sacred Chants to Tara

Led by Mercedes Bahleda

                                          and Will Duncan

Offered for the first time!  Don’t miss this special evening gathering.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

  7:00-8:15pm  Dakini Day!

 Join us for a fun, informal and inspiring evening of sacred songs, stories and Buddhist mantras sung kirtan style. Learning to sing and open the heart can have a profound effect on your mind and environment. Come learn the traditional style of kirtan (call and response singing) with Mercedes Bahleda and Will Duncan who trained for over 20 years with their teachers in both India and America. 

Chant both Tibetan Buddhist and Sanskrit mantra melodies and hear the history of their meanings and origins. We will also listen to inspiring tales of the Yogis of ancient India and their tests of faith along the path to freedom. 

All Levels Welcome! 

By Donation  / Cookies and Tea to follow 

 Mercedes Bahleda’s art of song is a devotional heart opening inspiration. She has performed her music in over 32 countries giving concerts and teaching voice. Her albums include best-selling “Mercy Songs” and  “Path To Bliss”. She is well known for her White Tara Song from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche’s life story movie. She has studied Classical Indian music, yoga, meditation and Buddhist Philosophy extensively in monasteries in the Himalayas and South India for over a decade and has spent over a year combined in solitary silent retreat. 

 Will Duncan is an accomplished tabla player and meditation teacher.  Founder of the Sofia Community at Skull Valley Lavender Farm, Arizona.




Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin,

Joyanna Maria Ananda and Paula Macali

October 25th – 29th 

 To really cultivate the heart, one needs to tame the mind!

Through breath and movement, focus and concentration, we will share cultivations and practices to support the body and mind to fully embody the Dharma. This powerful combination of qigong, yoga and meditation instruction and practice is being offered for the first time due to popular demand. 

Welcoming beginners as well as seasoned yogis, to learn tools to bring your meditation practice into a more embodied , grounded, heartfelt state.

Our qualified and gifted guides will enrich, instruct and inspire your experience in this transformative five day retreat.

Venerable Khenpo Tenzin has trained in monasteries in Tibet and India, earning a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy. He is the resident lama at the Garchen Buddhis Institute and is well known and loved for his clear, in depth teachings, skilled meditation instruction, loving kindness, humility, insight and humor. Venerable Khenpo has practiced yoga in his monastery training and teaches in English.

Joyanna Maria Ananda has woven Qigong and Yoga as fundamental practices into her life.  As a student, practitioner and guide for most of her adult life, she has been blessed to have studied with Master Teachers in China, Tibet and India, deepening her experience and understanding.   Inspired in the natural blend of these eastern sciences, her classes are unique and spontaneous, joyfully creative and alive.

Paula Macali has spent her adult life immersed in the study, practice, and teaching of yoga.  She studied extensively with  Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and T.K.V. Desikachar in Ashtanga Yoga and Viniyoga passed down and transmitted from Krishamacharya. She is a practicing  Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Zero Balancer and Cranial Sacral Therapist.  She is beloved for her loving kindness and healing touch.



Package Pricing:
Entire Retreat: $385

Includes full tuition, 3 vegetarian meals per day, 4 nights indoor camping.

Full Day Package: $77 per day.

Includes tuition, 3 vegetarian meals, 1 night indoor camping.

     Half Day: $30 per half day
Includes tuition, and one vegetarian meal.
A La Cart Pricing:
Full Day Tuition: $40
Half Day Tuition: $20
Breakfast: $6
Lunch: $10

Dinner: $9


Online registration opens on
Sept 25th 
Phone:  928-925-1237

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


Teachings & Empowerment

By H. E. Garchen Rinpoche
and Garchen Institute Lamas
November 16 – 24, 2019

Vajrakilaya is a wrathful manifestation of Vajrasattva, the buddha of purification, and Vajrakilaya practice focuses on removing intense inner and outer obstacles. In today’s difficult times, anxieties about our personal life and world conditions can create disturbing thought-forms. With billions of people consumed by the same concerns, our shared thoughts create an interwoven web of great turmoil around the world. This can give rise to afflictive emotions, creating inner obstacles to spiritual practice and happiness, which, in turn, manifest as outer obstacles in life.

Vajrakilaya practice is especially helpful and suitable during this time and is a perfect way to prepare for the New Year. Sincere participation in this practice is said to generate merit and potential realization. Dedicating the practice to all sentient beings extends this benefit and enhances world peace and prosperity.

Registration Opens October 17,

1:00pm Arizona Time 

Register Online.
A link will appear here and on our home page.

Tuition: $35/day
All Meals: $25/day
Breakfast: $6
Lunch: $10
Dinner: $9
Accommodations costs will vary by type

For more info contact the Office:
Email: questions@garchen.net
Phone:  928-925-1237


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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