2018 Event Schedule

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 announce a new retreat program that will help students fulfill their aspriations. 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 starting in March 2018. These provide structure and support and are the method for developing the foundation of practice. The full program of retreats are designed to build on each other. If you are interested in attending the next three year retreat at the Institute or some of the retreats offered in the program, many will have pre-requisites; including having completed the preliminary practice retreats (or equivalent) that we are offering below.


Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind and Shamatha

One month retreat and three month retreat designed to help develop renunciation and bodhicitta which requires a deeply contemplative look at your life. Shamata is a meditation practice that develops mindfulness and attention which is 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 in primitive huts (most of the huts have heat) 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.

Dates – April 1 – July 7 / Cost $1800 — This three month retreat is the equivalent of the 100-day retreat, a pre-requistie for our 3-year retreat program.

Dates -October 5 – November 5, 2018
Cost- $800

Group Ngondro Practices 2018

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 that will be offered include (see schedule below):
I. Refuge and Prostration
II. Guru Yoga
III. Mandala Offerings
llll. Vajrasattva

Venerable Khenpo Tenzin will guide a group of 5 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 the shared kitchen. The Institute will do the food shopping for each retreatant.

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!”



April 7rd – May 20, 2018 – Refuge and Prostrations

May 22 – July 3, 2018 – Guru Yoga

July 6 – August 17, 2018 – Mandala Offerings

August 20 – September 30 – Vajrasattva


$1200 – One Ngondro Retreat

$4000 – All 4 Ngondro Retreats

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


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Annual Guru Rinpoche Mantra Accumulation Retreat

Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin

April 14th and 15th   9am-5pm

Invoke the Blessings of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambava.  This practice can transform and purfiy afflictive emotions such as anger, jealousy and attachment into wisdom and compassion.  The benefits of creating great merit remove the outer, inner and secret obstacles.  Join in this precious opportunity to benefit all beings with this powerful practice.

Registration Now Open! CLICK HERE!

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Saga Dawa 2018

Saga Dawa Duchen commemorates the birth enlightenment and death( parinirvana) of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni.  All actions are multiplied millions of times,so it’s an excellent and important time to practice as much as possible.

CHENREZIG RETREAT   May 25th -27th  9am -5pm Daily

Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin and Lama Abao

NYUNE NE RETREAT   May 28th – 29th, finishes on the 30th at 8am.( May 29th is Saga Dawa)

Led by Venerable Khenpo Tenzin and Lama Abao

Registration Opens April 25th

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Instructions on Shamata and Vipassana Meditation

by Lama Drupon Tsering Rinpoche

June 23 -24    9 – 5 PM

You will learn how to skillfully cultivate a new level of mindfulness, insight and awareness into your life and practice which leads to more peace, clarity and happiness. These profound instructions are the preliminary building blocks to practicing Mahamudra.  It is a great opportunity to prepare for the Mahamudra teachings H.E. Garchen Rinpoche will give on June 30th and July 1st.

Registration Opens May 10th

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Ganges Mahamudra Pith Instructions & Chakrasamvara Commentary, Instruction, Empowerment and Retreat

by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and Venerable Drupon Rinchen Dorje

June 30 – July 8

Registration Opens June1

This summer, dharma blessings will shower down like rain! Summer Teachings will include pith instruction on the incomparable Ganges Mahamudra, followed by commentary, teaching, empowerment and practice retreat of the profound Chakrasamvara deity practice.

June 30 – July 1: H.E. Garchen Rinpoche will offer pith instruction on the Ganges Mahamudra – Tilopa’s radiant instruction to Naropa on how to rest in the pure and luminous state of our natural mind.

July 2 – July 4: H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and Ven. Drupon Rinchen Dorje will offer profound commentary and teaching on the Chakrasamvara practice, culminating with Chakrasamvara empowerment in the afternoon session of July 4.

July 5 – July 8: Garchen Rinpoche and Ven. Drupon Rinchen Dorje will lead a Chakrasamvara Retreat.

Chakrasamvara is highest yoga tantra practice in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. In the Drigung Kagyu lineage, the most popular and common Chakrasamvara deity practice is in the form of the Five-deity Chakrasamvara. The Five-deity Chakrasamvara includes the central deity of the two-armed, single-faced male Chakrasamvara deity in union with the female Vajravarahi deity (these two in union are taken as a single deity) and four surrounding dakinis in the four directions.

Ven. Drupon Rinchen Dorje has said that “…the particular unsurpassed union tantra of Chakrasamavara, the king of tantras [is] equal to space. The teacher Vajradhara rose up in the form of the fierce compassionate emanation Chakrasamvara and taught this tantra. The power of the blessings of this tantra is said to be more exalted than others. Most of the mahasiddhas of India were renowned to have attained the supreme and common accomplishments through the gateway of Chakrasamvara. In Tibet Lord Marpa taught:

The tantra of Hevajra is renowned as profound. Chakrasamvara is known as the quintessence. ….

Thus, this deity has been the practice of the oceans of Kagyü siddhas. It is the secret path that has been relied upon by the hundred of siddhas of India and Tibet. It is the swift path for those with faith, diligence, and wisdom. It is the heart nectar of the Buddha’s teachings.”

Chakrasamvara requires empowerment prior to participation in the practice.

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Led by the Venerable Drupon Rinchen Dorje

July 9 – August 5

Immediately following our Summer Teachings, where instruction, empowerment and practice retreat of the Five-deity Chakrasamvara will be given, we offer an opportunity to go deep into this profound deity yoga practice under the guidance of Venerable Drupon Rinchen Dorje. Six participants will live in the retreat village and practice three sessions a day in their own hut, and one group session in the village temple. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to properly do a deity retreat, and all the rituals involved. This retreat is a prerequisite for the three year retreat program.

Yidam practice is a very special tantric practice in which one transforms one’s normal, samsaric experience of reality into an extraordinary experience of the true state of all phenomena. While the teachings of the sutra-level consider ignorance as the root cause of samsaric existence, the tantric teachings identify the ordinary appearances as the root cause of samsara. The practice of Yidam is a special and profound method to quickly transform ordinary appearances into enlightened appearances. To be more accurate, this practice uncovers the actual state of appearances and reveal them to be pure and empty unceasingly. Yidam practice does not make ordinary appearances into something they are not — pure and empty of inherent existence. Rather, it uncovers the purity and emptiness that have always been there but obscured and unseen.

Due to the special nature of these teachings, it is best that one receive the details of these teachings directly from an authentic teacher of the lineage. Thus, this opportunity to practice in a small group, under the guidance of Venerable Drupon Rinchen Dorje, is rare and precious indeed.

The retreat village is drenched in blessings. At its center is the village temple, as well as a common kitchen building, shower/toilet, and laundry.

Cost:  $1000

If you are interested in attending this special retreat, please email for an application to questions@garchen.net

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November 10 – 18

With H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and the Garchen Institute Lamas

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December 29, 2018 – January 6, 2019

With H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and the Garchen Institute Lamas

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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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