Rigpa Online Courses

About Rigpa’s Online Course Program

Rigpa Online Courses offer a complete path of study and practice in Tibetan Buddhist meditation, wherever you are in the world.

The Rigpa Online Courses – America program is intended to provide guidance and support in the areas of study and practice for students who are not able to take courses at established Rigpa centers. While students are encouraged to develop a daily practice, and to engage with regular study of the course curriculum, students are free to participate in the ways and extent that fit their circumstances. 

Rigpa Online Instructors are all experienced senior instructors who have been studying and practising meditation for over twelve years under the direction of Sogyal Rinpoche and many other masters. Several of these instructors have also completed a three year retreat.

The courses are generally 8 to 12 weeks in length, with one session per week. Students post answers to a weekly assignments which the instructors read and respond to. The instructor will also post a weekly summary. Many students have commented that a weekly cycle is very helpful in developing and maintaining a regular study and practice schedule.

For more information about the available courses, please see our courses page, browse our curriculum list to the right, or contact your online center coordinator, at onlinecourses-us@rigpa.org

I am amazed at how far I have come in my practice of meditation in just 10 week.

Mandy, U.K.
After going through this course, I see how my understanding of the true nature of meditation has changed: that meditation has the definite purpose of helping us to find our innate goodness and that we bring our meditation into our everyday life, not as a means to escape from it.
Merriann, U.S.A.
I find the communal environment of the course very stimulating. This has been very humbling in a way, as I have come to realize that such a diverse group of people all face the same problems that need to be overcome. It has helped me greatly in my own understanding of what meditation is all about.
I begin to see the interconnectedness of how we use our minds and emotions, how what we do and think affects not just us, but everybody and everything we encounter.

Kim, U.S.A.

How online courses work

Established since 1999, the program offers structured courses, suited for individual circumstance.

Every week, in your own time, you will:

  • Study a new topic

  • Watch one or more videos of teachings

  • Receive individual study and meditation practice advice from an experienced instructor

  • Have the option of interacting with other students

The course is designed to enable you to study at your own pace, within a clear framework.

Students usually begin with a 10-week course on meditation. A whole series of courses is then available for those who wish to deepen their meditation practice and understanding, as well as study compassion. See below for more details.

Meditation & other courses

Open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom, and with the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rigpa offers those following the Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice, along with the environment they need to experience the teachings fully.

Courses begin with meditation. Should you wish to continue, your instructor will then help you to choose the most suitable course.

Foundation Courses

What Meditation Really Is

We all want to be happy. But often the relentless pace and challenges of life make it impossible to know where to look for happiness.

Through the wisdom of meditation, however, we can find peace and contentment. To our amazement, we discover a profound stillness that is always with us, beneath the turbulence of all our thoughts and emotions.

When we allow our mind to settle, quietly, in its own natural peace, then what happens is quite extraordinary. This unique course has been specially developed by Sogyal Rinpoche after many years of teaching in the West. It brings together over 2,000 years of Buddhist wisdom and experience in a way that is authentic, accessible and completely relevant to modern life.

Led by experienced meditators, it offers a complete introduction to meditation and shows how it can unlock our natural confidence, compassion and creativity.

Students will gain a genuine experience of meditation and all the tools they need to take the benefits into every aspect of their life.

Ancient Wisdom for a 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.

An Introduction to the Practice of Loving Kindness

Practical training in loving kindness in a rich and profound, yet simple and accessible way. The teachings and the practice will be based on teachings by Sogyal Rinpoche including Chapter 12 of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Meditation practitioners will find that it is an excellent complement to sitting practice.

Further Studies

Essential Advice for a Spiritual Life

Mengak Study Pack I – Inner Peace and Contentment

The Mengak Study Pack is an in depth study of Sogyal Rinpoche’s heart advice on meditation.

Mengak Study Pack II – Ground and Path

The Mengak Study Pack is an in depth study of Sogyal Rinpoche’s heart advice on meditation

Simple Formula

The teachings on the ‘simple formula’ are based on the instructions of the great Dzogchen masters of the past. They are a helpful introduction for newer students setting up their practice, and can also be of great benefit to more experienced students. The teachings consist of instructions on how to create the right environment, practise meditation in formal sessions and integrate the practice in your everyday life.

Turning Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment

In today’s uncertain world where fear and anxiety are so prevalent, these are profound teachings offer everyone a way to take the difficulties of life onto their path of spiritual development.

Compassion and Bodhichitta

The Bodhichitta Mengak Pack I & II

Compassion, when developed to its deepest extent and linked with wisdom, is embodied in what is called bodhichitta. The success of our path to enlightenment depends entirely upon this compassionate intention. The complete training in bodhichitta is presented in this course, step-by-step and in depth.

The Eight Verses of Training the Mind & The Seven Points of Mind Training

These two courses belong to the category of teaching known as lojong. The essential meaning of the term lojong is ‘training or transforming the mind’.

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 favourable to spiritual development.”

Ngöndro Series

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.