KTD's programs are special and unique; here we explore the reasons why.
Teaching Program: How to Discover Your Buddha Nature
Weekend Intensive Teaching with Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin
Cost: $120.00 /$96.00 members
Date: July 5 - 7, 2013
What is buddha nature and why is it so important? It is said to be so profound that even the great bodhisattvas cannot fully comprehend it. Yet, it abides within everyone at all times and is the key to our own freedom. In order to illuminate this difficult topic, Khenpo Ugyen will teach the renowned Treatise on Buddha Nature by the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. This is the principal source of explanation of buddha nature in the Kagyu lineage. It is closely connected with the shentong or emptiness of other view that has been a topic of much debate. Khenpo Ugyen, a senior Kagyu khenpo from Bhutan, is uniquely qualified to present this seminal treatise. If you would like to go beyond a shallow understanding of buddha nature that is so common nowadays, you should strive to attend this precious teaching.
Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin was enrolled in the first class of Karma Shri Nalanda Institute at Rumtek with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Sangyay Nyenpa Rinpoche. He received the Acharya degree from Nalanda Institute and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, jointly, in 1991. As a Khenpo, he taught Buddhist philosophy for six years at Nimalung Monastery in Bhutan. From 1997 to 2002, he was Senior Abbot/Principal Teacher at Nalanda Institute at Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center. Full biography here.
Retreat Program: Chokhor DuChen Nyungne
Weekend Intensive Practice with Lama Karuna Tara
Cost: $40.00/instructions. Retreat days by donation.
Date: July 10-13, 2013
Over 2,500 years ago on the day called Chokhor DuChen, Buddha Shakyamuni gave his first teaching after achieving enlightenment-his teaching on the Four Noble Truths. Spiritual practice at this time of year multiplies the benefit of the practice. The Nyungne fasting practice cultivates compassion and loving-kindness through visualization of the thousand-armed Chenrezig. While chanting and performing prostrations to Chenrezig, practitioners drop their daily, mundane routine and instead nurture their deeper awareness of the purity and love of genuine compassion.
Chenrezig is the bodhisattva of compassion. The Thousand-arm Chenrezig is compassion with eleven faces, alert to different directions. His thousand arms have ready-and-willing-to-help hands for those in need. Standing up with a strong presence, the thousand-arm Chenrezig of the Nyungne practice offers blessings that reassure us and support us as we, too, cultivate compassion.
Nyungne is a fasting practice lasting two-and-a-half days. After receiving basic instruction on the first evening, practitioners take strict vows the next two mornings while gradually progressing to intense fasting. The vows are taken for a two-day period: not to kill, steal, lie, engage in sexual activity, imbibe intoxicants, behave in frivolous ways, or sleep in high beds. On the second day, there are additional vows of not eating anything, not drinking at all, and not speaking.
At KTD, the last meal allowed during the two-day fasting period is a lunchtime vegetarian meal. Drinking water or clear liquids is OK on the first day of fasting, but is given up on the second day of intense fasting and silence. Because of the intensity of the Nyungne fasting retreat, practitioners can accumulate great merit through the blessings of Chenrezig and through the power of their own discipline.
The Nyungne fasting practice was developed by the princess Gelongma Palmo, who was stricken with leprosy. She was cured of leprosy by performing the Nyungne practice and she became a bodhisattva with great powers. For those who practice Nyungne, they can avoid birth in the hell realm and can achieve a mind purified of obscurations, such as hatred, greed and wrong views. By giving up food and drink, they can purify obscurations of the body, such as the negative karma of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. By practicing noble silence, they can purify obscurations of speech, such as lying, gossip, and harsh words.
During the second and third days, practitioners will participate in three sessions each day. The sessions include chanting, meditation, prostration and visualization. Practitioners should wear loose and comfortable clothing so that sitting and prostration will be easier. There will be a two-hour nap or relaxation period between the second and third sessions, and the evenings do not have required sessions.
Lama Karuna Taramet Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche in 1994 and requested to do the next three-year retreat. She did work study at KTD in 1995 before participating in the second Karme Ling three-year retreat led by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. She received her novice nun vow in 2000 and her full bhikshuni vow in 2004. She has completed well over 108 Nyungnes.
Teaching Program: Healing The Emotions: Grief, Loss & Pain
Weekend Intensive Teaching with Lama Tsultrim Yeshe (John Samuelson)
Cost: $120.00 /$96.00 members
Date: July 26 - 28, 2013
We all experience different types of loss and grief in our lives. It could be the death of someone close to us-a family member or friend. It could be losing a job, a partner, your home, your retirement savings-all of which can result in fear, grief or anger. Many of us suffer intensely from traumatic experience: our childhood lost through abuse, being a victim of violence, and many other forms of pain and trauma.
This retreat focuses on calming our mind and reducing emotional pain through working with our mind. We work with our mind by using practical techniques that emphasize mindfulness, seeing more clearly, and understanding ourselves better. The practical techniques include teachings, sitting and walking meditation, mindful meals, guided meditation, and private talks (if desired) with the teacher.
If we do not deal with the loss, trauma and resulting pain that we have experienced, our mind may fall into destructive patterns that can last for a life time. These destructive patterns only increase the original pain. It is said that it takes time to heal from trauma but it takes more than time: it takes effort, skill and wisdom. Lama Tsultrim Yeshe (John Samuelson) has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1989. He completed the first three-year retreat at Karme Ling, led by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, and took monastic vows with His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche in 1994. Lama Yeshe lives in Wisconsin, and teaches at Kagyu centers throughout North America.
Teaching Program: Buddhism and Addiction Recovery: Healing Body, Mind and Spirit
Weekend Intensive Teaching with Bill Alexander and Lama Losang (Lama David Bole)
Cost: $120.00 /$96.00 members
Date: August 2 - 4, 2013
Lama Losang and Bill Alexander share and teach from their own clinical experience using techniques of mindfulness based stress reduction, the 12 Step Program and Buddhist Psychology. They explore the fundamental dynamics of addiction and the stages of recovery using specific mindfulness techniques to support recovery. These methods are gaining broad acceptance among mental health professionals as an adjunct to other forms of therapy.
From one perspective, we are all addicts. The essence of addiction is an attempt to manage our suffering. Even if we are not addicted to substances, we may rely too heavily on innumerable other distractions in order to avoid suffering and feel pleasure. In addition to cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, we can excessively overuse eating, sleeping, gambling, TV, shopping, internet, sex, to name a few. If drugs and alcohol were the cause of our suffering, abstinence would be the solution. We know better. Our problem is our thinking; not our drinking.
One of the more exciting developments in addiction recovery is this blending of these ancient wisdom traditions with recent psychological and neurobiological discoveries. We are learning that uncovering and owning our addictions is not the "defeat" that has been the lesson for many years, but is in fact, a staggering moment of profound compassion for the self. From that point on, compassion unfolds endlessly, if we do what we must do to maintain it. This new approach teaches a deceptively simple way of relating to our experiences and emotional states. These mindfulness methods help us to develop greater openness and ease with life's challenges and help to cultivate greater love and compassion for ourselves and others. Join us and see for yourself how these methods that have been used successfully to alleviate suffering for thousands of years can work for you.
Bill Alexander is a self-described "free-lance storyteller" who leads sobriety workshops at such venues as Union Theological Seminary, the Esalen Institute, and Hazelden Foundation. He recounted his recovery story in the classic book, Cool Water, and his story of living the sober life in Still Waters. Hi, I'm Bill and I'm Old is his latest work.
Lama Losang is the Director of the Traditional Acupuncture Center in Gainesville, Florida. Holding a Ph.D in Psychology as well as a Masters in Acupuncture, Lama Losang also completed a 3 year retreat under the guidance of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. Lama Losang will be teaching meditation, chi gong and acupressure to enhance awareness and health.
Teaching Program: Tulku Damchö Returns to KTD: The Precious Garland of the Supreme Path
Weekend Intensive Teaching with Tulku Damchö Rinpoche
Cost: $120.00 /$96.00 members
Date: August 9 - 11, 2013
Tulku Damchö Rinpoche is the regent and principal representative of Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche. Recognized as a tulku by Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche, Tulku Damchö was carefully trained for his future responsibilities by Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, his root lama. He will teach The Precious Garland of the Supreme Path by Lord Gampopa. Loosely structured into twenty eight topics of instruction, this book distills all the advice of the great forefather of the Kagyu lineage for the sake of future generations. Lord Gampopa himself said: "I ask all the people of the future who are devoted to me but think they cannot meet me to please read The Precious Garland of the Supreme Path, The Ornament of Precious Liberation, and my other works. It will be no different from meeting me in person."
Tulku Damchö Rinpoche, from Thrangu Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, was recognized by Tai Situ Rinpoche. Tulku Damchö studied with distinction in Shedra (monastic college) and in 2007 completed the traditional three-year retreat and a one-year Kalachakra retreat.
Teaching program: What Milarepa Teaches Us About Impermanence
Weekend Intensive Teaching with Lama Karma Drodhul
Cost: $120.00 /$96.00 members
Date: August 16 - 18, 2013
Jetsun Milarepa, Tibet's greatest yogi and poet, was renowned for attaining enlightenment within a single lifetime through undergoing great austerities in mountain retreat. As a youth, he engaged in great evil through killing many people. Later, he regretted his actions and set out on the path of Dharma determined to purify himself of all of the terrible deeds he had done. Meeting his master Marpa the Translator and receiving his oral instructions, the Jetsun practiced meditation with heroic diligence that was unequaled among the greatest masters of India and Tibet. Today, Milarepa's legacy and blessing is greater than ever. Merely hearing his name and reflecting on his marvelous life example can dispel obstacles and prod us forward on the path of awakening. Lama Karma will present some of Milarepa's great songs of realization and transmit his life story so that we too can follow in the footsteps of the great yogi.
Lama Karma Drodhul is Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche's principal attendant and assistant. He became a monk when he was nine years old and at twenty received both getsul (intermediate) and gelong (full) ordination from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Lama Karma excelled in all aspects of dharma study and completed his education in five years. Thrangu Rinpoche sent him to the U. S. to deepen his understanding of the dharma under the tutelage of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. In March 2004, Lama Karma completed his first and in February 2008 his second traditional three-year, three-month retreat under Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche at Karme Ling Retreat Center. He now is the Drubpon (retreat master) at Karme Ling. He travels to different centers to teach and is the author of Amrita of Eloquence: A Biography of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.