Nyingma Summer Seminar
With Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Norbu, and Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
Nyingma Summer Seminar presents a complete survey of the Buddhist path through teachings on the Three Yanas: Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. These yanas (or "vehicles") are understood not as separate and distinct schools, but rather as three bodies of knowledge. Each presents an increasingly subtle understanding of our mind and the nature of reality. They lead us from a basic recognition of our longing for happiness and wish to avoid suffering to an indisputable proof of our potential for compassion, wisdom, and awakening. (Learn more about the 3 yanas below.)
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, or “awakened mind.” In this section, we explore the Lojong teachings through a close reading and commentary on The Seven Points of Mind Training by Jamgon Kongtrul. This text introduces a view and supporting techniques to transform our habitual focus on the self—the source of all our suffering—into a deep empathy and care for other beings.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti, leads NSS. We are delighted to have Dungse Jampal Norbu (Kongtrul Rinpoche’s dharma heir), Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel (his wife and most senior student), and Pema Chodron (one of MSB's senior students), join Rinpoche in co-teaching NSS. (You can view the teaching schedule in the right side bar.)
Kongtrul Rinpoche is known for extracting from the teachings what is essentially relevant to modern students, and for his humor, kindness, and insistence on the profound value of dharma. Dungse Jampal articulates a refreshingly unassuming experience of the teachings, often peppered with humorous anecdotes and surprising analogies. Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel has become known for her approach of “open questioning” -- finding the Middle Way view of life’s most challenging questions. Pema Chodron is the best-selling author of many books who known for her humor and her teachings on staying open in all circumstances.
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 live video or audio streaming.
More about The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism
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.
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.
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.
General Program Information
For more information about attending NSS at Phuntsok Choling, please download our information packet for program participants.
For more information about video streaming, please download our video streaming FAQ.
If you have further questions, please contact the Phuntsok Choling Events Coordinator.
If you need assistance with rides and housing, please contact the Hospitality Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All program participants are warmly welcome to attend the sangha social, a celebration dinner.
Daily Schedule (Mountain Time Zone)
8:30 am Opening Chants/Sitting Meditation (lhasang on first day)
9:40 am Break
10:00 am Talk
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Lungta Rota/Community Work Period
2:00 pm Sitting Meditation
3:00 pm Talk
5:00 pm Closing Chants
Ladt Day Schedule
8:30 am Opening Chants/Sitting Meditation
9:40 am Break
10:00 am Practice & Feast of H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's Guru Yoga, and Sangha Ceremony
12:00 pm Lunch followed by Community Tent Take-Down & Cleanup