Source of Mahamudra

program info card

Discover one of the great texts of the Mahayana with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

The Buddha taught that all sentient beings without exception possess enlightened nature. Nowhere is this crucial teaching more clearly and beautifully laid out than in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. In this online weekend retreat, Rinpoche will give in-depth, accessible teachings on the early chapters of this text, which is considered a bridge between the Mahayana and the Vajrayana. The weekend will include four formal teaching sessions, periods of meditation, and discussion groups led by senior students. Rinpoche will not be offering refuge or bodhisattva vows.

An Essential Teaching on Enlightened Nature

Lord Maitreya, the Buddha Shakyamuni’s regent, composed this text based on the Buddha’s “Ten Sutras that Teach the Sugatagarbha.” These sutras all come from the Third Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, which emphasizes the mind’s luminous nature. Later Arya Asanga met with Maitreya in Tushita heaven and brought the Uttaratantra Shastra and other teachings back to our world.

Because he considered this text too profound for the people of his time, Asanga concealed it as a treasure for practitioners of the future. In the eleventh centruy, the Mahasiddha Maitripa rediscovered the text and passed it on to Marpa Lotsawa and other disciples in the Mahamudra tradition.


His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche often spoke of how difficult it is to have deep confidence in the nondual approaches of Mahamudra and Dzogchen without understanding the Uttaratantra Shastra. Because it comes from the sutra tradition while at the same time laying the groundwork for the highest tantras, this text is considered to be a crucial bridge between Sutrayana and Mantrayana. You can order the text for the program here



This is the third year of this public program in which Rinpoche will comment in depth on the Uttaratantra Shastra, available through Shambhala Publications as the book Buddha Nature. Each year of this program is largely self-contained. It is helpful, but not absolutely necessary, to be familiar with the teachings from 2018 and 2019. If you'd like to purchase these recordings at the discounted price of $35 each, please visit You can also read summaries of the first two years' teachings here. 


This program will be offered via live stream as well as video on demand. It can watched in real time over the weekend. However if you are unable to attend all of the talks during the weekend, the video recordings will be available for 2 weeks after the program ends. 


The 2020 Source of Mahamudra teachings will also be offered as a Wisdom Productions Audio-Video Study Set, which provides complete access to the teachings for self-paced contemplation and review. The four talks on recorded video will be available for viewing on our host site for one year from the date of posting shortly after the live event. The audio recording is downloadable and is yours to enjoy indefinitely. This is a wonderful opportunity for students whose schedules limit participation. Purchase details are at

Audio Recordings are also separately available at


Times are listed in both Mountain Daylight Time and Eastern Daylight Time. 

Saturday, September 12
9:00 - 9:30 am (MDT) / 11:00 - 11:30 am (EDT)  Meditation
10:00 - 12:00 pm (MDT) / 12:00 - 2:00 pm (EDT) Talk 1
1:30 - 2:30 pm (MDT) / 3:30 - 4:30 pm  (EDT) Zoom Discussion groups (optional)
3:00 - 5:00 pm  (MDT) / 5:00 - 7:00 pm  (EDT)  Talk 2
Sunday, September 13
9:00 - 9:30 am (MDT) / 11:00 - 11:30 am (EDT)  Meditation
10:00 - 12:00 pm (MDT) / 12:00 - 2:00 pm (EDT) Talk 3
1:30 - 2:30 pm (MDT) / 3:30 - 4:30 pm (EDT)  Zoom Discussion groups (optional)
3:00 - 5:00 pm  (MDT) / 5:00 - 7:00 pm (EDT)  Talk 4



On Saturday and Sunday from 12:30- 1:30 pm MT/ 3:30 - 4:30 pm ET, Pema Osel's senior students will be hosting Zoom discussion groups. You are welcome to join us to discuss the teachings. We will start as one large group where further instructions for the smaller breakout groups with discussion group leaders will be given.

  • Here is the link to join the discussion groups. 
  • We will also put the zoom link in the chat for for the broadcast.
  • We ask that you please be prompt and give yourself 10 minutes before the start time to make sure that you are able to connect to Zoom.  
  • Please note that in order to use Zoom on your device, you will need to download the application beforehand. 

TIBETAN TERMS - This document has a list of the Tibetan terms that Rinpoche used throughout the talks. It is compiled by Khenchung Greg Seton.  

The fact that you have met the Dharma, and in particular the Vajrayana and this crucial text, proves that you have accumulated much merit in past lives. A lot of people in the West suffer from lack of self-esteem. But if you think about the infinite lives you've taken in samsara, you will realize that this life is a great life. So, with a sense of confidence, you can rise to the occasion of studying the Uttaratantra Shastra and learning to embody your buddha nature.” – Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche