Nyingma Summer Seminar

With Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Norbu, Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel and Special Guest, Pema Chödrön.

Nyingma Summer Seminar presents a complete survey of the Buddhist path through teachings on the Three Yanas: Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. 

dzigar kongtrul rinpoche


Kongtrul Rinpoche has often called this much-loved annual event our “Thanksgiving” as a community in Mangala Shri Bhuti, a time when we gather to appreciate the richness that Buddhadharma brings into our lives. The lovely outdoor setting of the seminar under a large shrine tent offers a perfect contemplative environment. We invite you to join us in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Enroll in the whole program, come for individual days, or attend from anywhere in the world via video streaming.

Each day consists of two talks, one in the morning, one in the afternoon; guided meditation and discussion. Lunch is available to purchase each day. On July 11 Ani Pema Chodron will give a special fundraising talk for the Tara Temple Retreatplex. (Learn more.). 

General Program Information

  • VISITORS GUIDE: Read for more information about attending NSS at Phuntsok Choling. 
  • RIDES & HOUSING: For assistance with rides and housing.
  • VIDEO STREAMING: For more information about video streaming.
  • QUESTIONS: Email if you have other questions about this program.
  • LINEAGE SUPPORTERS DISCOUNT: Eligible participants receive 10% off full-program registration; contact us prior to registration to receive a coupon code.
  • FINANCIAL AID: Too apply for financial aid, complete the application and send it to Phuntsok Choling Financial Aid. Financial Aid Deadlines: Early Bird Pricing, June 1; Regular Registration, July 1. Financial Aid is not available after July 1.


Catered vegetarian lunches are available Saturday through Saturday for $14 per day and $112 for the full program.  Bottled  water, soda and ice cream will also be available for sale for $1 each.  And, you are welcome to bring your own lunch if you prefer.

A limited number of catered lunches will be available each day for sale on site, but there is no guarantee that there will be enough to satisfy the demand.  It is highly recommended that you pre-order your lunch online at NSS Lunches.  Please note that pre-ordered lunches must be ordered a minimum of two days in advance to provide time for the caterer to procure the necessary ingredients and prepare the order.

Some examples of typical catered lunches follow: however, the menu will vary from day to day depending upon the availability of ingredients, and, a gluten free option will always be available.

Typical Lunch Menus:

* Vegetarian Greek Salad; Warm Falafel & Tzatziki Sauce; Tabbouleh; Pita & Hummus
* Rice Noodles with Tofu & Vegetables; Asian Cabbage Salad; Lentils & Tamari with Edamame
* Stuffed Zucchini with Quinoa & Sautéed Vegetables; Garbanzo, Potato & Green Pea Curry; Butternut Squash
* Vegetarian Tikka Masala; Jasmine Rice; Tender Kale with Garlic

Detailed Program Description

NSS features nine days of teachings, with two talks a day. The program begins with Hinayana teachings and ends with Vajrayana teachings. The central part of the seminar focuses on Mahayana thought, the essence of which is the teachings on bodhichitta. In this year's Mahayana section, we will receive teachings on The Heart Sutra.

our three teachersTeachers

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti, leads NSS. We are delighted to have Dungse Jampal Norbu (Kongtrul Rinpoche’s dharma heir), and Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel (his wife and most senior student) join Rinpoche in co-teaching NSS.

ani-pemaPema Chödrön Morning Talk on 7/11
Available as a live video stream or in-person, Ani Pema will talk about the heart of Buddhism—wisdom and compassion. All funds from the teaching will be used to support the Tara Temple RetreatPlex.

Registation for this talk is separate from NSS program registration. To learn more and purchase your ticket, please visit: www.pemaincolorado.com

the tent at nss

Sangha Celebration

Join the sangha for an evening of non-conceptual fun, including dinner, toasts, a slideshow, and spontaneousness. The dinner will feature a vegetarian feast. Non-alcoholic beverages and dessert will also be served. All NSS participants are warmly welcome to attend the celebration. 



More about The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism

The Hinayana 

Uncertainty, confusion, change -- these are experiences of life which we all face. How we respond to them defines whether our life takes a spiritual course or remains locked in a cycle of suffering. The basic Buddhist teachings of the Hinayana school address these fundamental "truths" and introduce us to how our own intelligence -- as a simple awareness of these experiences -- can begin to show us the way toward liberation. In this section, we will cover topics such as renunciation, karma, and refuge.

The Mahayana

Regardless of the country, religion, or political party we call our own, Buddhism recognizes that at the root of all our activity is the simple wish to be happy. This wish, this "movement toward happiness," defines us broadly and essentially as sentient beings. The keen insight of the Mahayana school is that the more we recognize how we share this wish with others, the more we will experience greater ease and happiness and a joyful sympathy with others. In this section we look closely at the topics of self-cherishing, bodhicitta, the four immeasurables, and emptiness, all through the lens of a different keystone text each year. 

The Vajrayana

Guru Rinpoche, the great Indian adept who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, famously said, "While my view is higher than the sky, my attention to cause and effect is finer than a grain of flour." His statement captures the way in which the Vajrayana school blends the precise understanding of relative phenomena found in the Hinayana with the vast view of the Mahayana. Through a discussion of ground, path, and fruition, Rinpoche describes how the Vajrayana path catalyzes our deepest levels of understanding mind and phenomena.