Rigpa offers a complete and graduated path in the Buddhist teachings and practice. The program aims to guide and support students along the path- from establishing a strong foundation in meditation, to opening the heart of compassion, and awakening the mind to the truth of our fundamental goodness.

The Essence of the Buddha’s Teaching

The teaching of the Buddha is vast, yet at the same time it can be essentialized in a very profound way. When Buddha himself was asked to summarize his teaching, he said,

Commit not a single unwholesome action,
Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
To tame this mind of ours,
This is the teaching of all the buddhas.

Even this can be further essentialized into the single line, “to tame this mind of ours”. Many great Buddhist Masters often say that this one line captures the essence of the teachings of the Buddha. Because if we can realize the true nature of our own mind, then this is the whole point, of both the teaching and our entire existence.

Profound Common Sense

Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease, slowly, to be deluded. And being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming at last a true human being.

Whoever you are, you too can experience the nature of your mind, and it is that experience that will give you the fearlessness to negotiate life and death. But what is the best, quickest, and most efficient way to set about it? The first step is the practice of meditation. It is meditation that slowly purifies the ordinary mind, unmasking and exhausting its habits and illusions, so that we can, at the right moment, recognize who we really are.

Foundation Courses

The Foundation Courses are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the practice and understanding of meditation. They also delve into the logic and practice of compassion and explore death & dying from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective, leading to an introduction to the wisdom of the Buddhist teachings and how they are still very relevant to our lives today.  

The Meditation Series

Meditation, the supreme antidote to distraction, brings the mind home and enables it to settle into its natural state.

Led by experienced meditators, this series offers a complete introduction to meditation and shows how it can unlock our natural confidence, compassion and creativity. Students will be given the tools they need establish a regular meditation practice and take the benefits into every aspect of their life.

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Compassion

Compassionate Living

Courses

Explore what compassion is and why it might be beneficial to us and the world around us. In this workshop we examine how we can make compassion a sustainable part of our everyday life and considers the reasons for doing so.

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Death & Dying

In the Mirror of Death

Courses

An Introduction to the Tibetan Buddhist Understanding inspired by ‘The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying’. This course guides participants through the essential teachings on dying and death from the Buddhist tradition of Tibet. It offers a glimpse of this practical wisdom and sacred inspiration, which is so beneficial for today’s world.

Upcoming Courses:

Fri 31

In the Mirror of Death- Weekend Retreat

March 31 @ 4:00 pm - April 2 @ 1:00 pm

Introduction to Buddhism

Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World

This course will give you a simple introduction to Buddhism, its vastness and profundity, its relevance to modern life and the principles governing Buddhist thought and action, as well as an intellectual grasp of its framework.

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Further Studies

The Further Studies Courses build on the Foundation Courses by exploring the lojong practices of training the mind to respond to all situations with wisdom and compassion. They continue by diving into the heart of the Buddhist teachings and exploring the essential instructions on following the Path.

Prerequisites: For Students who have completed a year of Foundation Courses.

Lojong: Mind Training

The Eight Verses of Training the Mind

The Eight Verses of Training the Mind, by Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054 – 1123), is one of the most important of the many teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition which offer the means for transforming our self-centered attitudes into genuine altruism. The Eight Verses give the basis for a systematic training in both the methods for cultivating compassion and bodhichitta, the heart of the enlightened mind, and also for cultivating the wisdom that enables us to see the true nature of reality.

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment

In today’s uncertain world where fear and anxiety are so prevalent, there are profound meditation teachings which offer everyone a way to take the difficulties of life onto their path of spiritual development. One such teaching by the third Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Jikmé Tenpé Nyima, a renowned Tibetan meditation master of the mid-1800s, provides essential instruction on incorporating the difficulties of life and challenges in spiritual practice into the path to enlightenment. This classic text, Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment, brings together the most essential instructions in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition on training our mind in wisdom and compassion.

The Seven Points of Mind Training

‘The Seven Points of Mind Training’ belongs to the category of teachings known as lojong. The essential meaning of the term lojong is ‘training or transforming the mind’. The lojong teachings help us to deepen our practice of bodhichitta and also show us how to bring bodhichitta into everyday life in a very practical and direct way. In the foreword to Transforming the Mind by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it says: “The central themes of the lojong teachings include, amongst others, the enhancement of compassion, the cultivation of balanced attitudes towards self and others, the development of positive ways of thinking and the transformation of adverse situations into conditions favorable to spiritual development.”

The Buddhist Path

Treasury of Dharma

Diving deeper into Sogyal Rinpoche’s heart advice on meditation, this series also explores the Buddhist practices of mind training, and how we can take any situation onto the spiritual path.

“It has always been my deepest wish for my students to be able to study the teachings and to know the Dharma fully. When we enter the Buddhist path, however, the teachings can often appear to be quite complex. Here, therefore, I have brought all the teachings together in a clear and complete structure, so that everyone can follow and study them, in the most accessible way possible.” — Sogyal Rinpoche

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Ngöndro- The Vajrayana Preliminaries

After developing a strong foundation in meditation and compassion, as well as grounding ourselves in a spiritual understanding, we can embark on the Vajrayana Preliminary practices. These purification practices, called Ngöndro in Tibetan, have been skillfully designed to effect a comprehensive inner transformation.  These are indispensable for opening the heart and mind to the realization of the state of Dzogchen.

Prerequisites: 2 years of Foundation and Further Studies courses or equivalent, or have attended a retreat on an introduction to the Ngöndro or are a Rigpa Mandala student.

The Four Thoughts

The ngöndro practices begin with a series of life-changing contemplations—the outer preliminaries—embracing:

  • the uniqueness and opportunity of human life
  • the ever-presence and deeper meaning of impermanence and death
  • the infallibility of the cause and effect of our actions, karma
  • the repetitive cycle of frustration and suffering that is samsara

These contemplations are known as the “four thoughts” and form the foundation for the practices to come.

Upcoming Courses

Sat 25

Impermanence, Samsara, Karma

January 11 - March 29

Refuge

Taking Refuge is the foundation of, and entrance to, all buddhist practice. It is the basis of all vows and it marks the distinction between buddhists and non-buddhists. It involves taking refuge in the Buddha as the guide, the truth of his teaching (the Dharma) as the path, and the example of his practitioners (the Sangha) as companions on the path, so awakening a confidence and trust in our own inner buddha nature.

Upcoming Courses

Wed 19

Refuge, part 1

April 19 - June 21

Bodhichitta

This series looks deeply at Bodhichitta, the heart of the enlightened mind—and how we can begin to give birth to this compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. With the support of practices and contemplations on love and compassion, we training the mind to work with ourselves, with others, and with the difficulties of life.

Upcoming Courses

Wed 29

Vajrasattva

Meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva, which is common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, is a practice of purification and healing which removes illnesses and obscurations of all kinds through meditating on Vajrasattva and reciting his mantra.

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Mandala Offering & Chö

In this practice we accumulate merit and wisdom by developing universal generosity and creating auspicious circumstances, through symbolically offering the entire universe to the field of merit (and Cho).

Upcoming Courses

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Guru Yoga

In the practice of guru yoga, which is the most crucial, moving and powerful practice of all, we unite our mind with the wisdom mind of all the buddhas and so awaken the wisdom of realization.

Upcoming Courses

Vajrayana

Will add more courses as they become available.