Nyingma Summer Seminar

With Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Norbu, Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, and Pema Chodron

In-person tickets to Pema Chodron's talk are AVAILABLE.

Attend in-person or through live video stream.

Nyingma Summer Seminar presents a complete survey of the Buddhist path through teachings on the Three Yanas: Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The program includes two talks a day, guided meditations with Rinpoche, and discussion. In the Mahayana section, the teachings will focus on the treasured volume of verses about compassion by Khunu Lama known as, "Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea" (learn more).

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.

General Program Information


All lunches for Nyingma Summer Seminar are vegetarian and must be pre-ordered. Due to pre-ordering requirements, lunch is only available on-site for those who have ordered at least 2 days in advance. Participants will choose their gluten-preference, lunch dates, and prepay for the quantity of lunches requested. Register for lunches here. View the menu here.

Learn More

For more information about attending NSS at Phuntsok Choling, please download our information packet for program participants. 

For more information about video streaming please register here or read the FAQ here.

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: hospitality_pc@mangalashribhuti.org.

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. This year, Rinpoche will continue his commentary on one of the most personal and poetic expositions on bodhichitta, Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea, written by the Venerable Khunu Rinpoche. (Purchase the text.) There is little one can easily say that would adequately capture the breadth of Khunu Rinpoche's appreciation of bodhicitta, the mind of awakening, and the life his volume of verses gives to this fundamental practice of Buddhism. Perhaps the simplest is that traditionally teachings are referred to as "nectar." This is so because they offer a transcendental form of nourishment: they feed our hunger for awakening. This volume together with Kongtrul Rinpoche's life-long passion for bodhichitta will results in a wonderfully enriching and poignant central section of NSS this year.


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. In addition, special guest Pema Chodron will give one talk on July 14. In-person tickets to Pema Chodron's talk are sold out, but you can video stream her teaching for $15, with access to the recording for 30 days. Purchase a ticket Pema Chodron's livestreamed teaching here.

Teaching Schedule

July 11: Hinayana Section. AM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk: Elizabeth
July 12: Hinayana Section. AM Talk: Dungse la, PM Talk and Refuge Vows: Kongtrul Rinpoche
July 13: Mahayana Section. AM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk: Elizabeth
July 14: Mahayana Section. AM Talk: Pema Chodron, PM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche
July 15: Mahayana Section. AM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk: Dungse la
July 16: Mahayana Section. AM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk and Bodhisattva Vows: Kongtrul Rinpoche
July 17: Vajrayana Section. AM Talk: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk: Elizabeth
July 18: Vajrayana Section. AM Talk with Empowerment: Kongtrul Rinpoche, PM Talk: Dungse la
July 19: Vajrayana Section. AM Talk, Tsok, Sangha Ceremony, Tenzhuk, and Blessing Line: Kongtrul Rinpoche

the tent at nss

Sangha Celebration

Join the sangha Friday, July 17, for an evening of non-conceptual fun, dinner, dancing, and more. The dinner will feature a vegetarian food feast including Enchilada Pie, Chilled Black Bean & Corn Salad, Jicama Grapefruit & Avocado over Mixed Greens with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, and Rio Rice. Non-alcoholic beverages and dessert will also be served. 

This year, we will celebrate Guna Norling and MSB in Brazil. All NSS participants are warmly welcome to attend the celebration. Register here for the Sangha 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.