This immersion program spans twelve months and will take you deeply into the underlying principles and practical instructions of the Tibetan Buddhist foundation practices, or ngondro, as they are known in Tibet. We will begin by spending a few months learning about the key elements of ngondro practice and also about the main figures in the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages. After that, we will dive in and spend a month on each of the outer and inner ngondro practices. Over the course of the year, we will cover all the important aspects of these practices.
Is this course for me?
The immersion course is offered in two formats: self-study and intensive. The full course is intensive and is not for everyone. It was designed for those who want to go very deep into the study and practice of ngondro and who have the time and energy to go the distance. This will be an intense course. This course is only for students who are willing to commit to participating in the various elements of the program (more about this below). It is assumed that those taking this course have already received the appropriate transmissions to begin ngondro practice and are either doing the practices or want to begin.
There are opportunities for a less intensive approach to study and practice in the Tergar community, but this is not one of them. This will be a deeply rewarding process, but it will require time, energy, and commitment.
For those who would like to explore these practices in a less intensive format, the entire course will also be made available as a self-study course, though this option will not include some of the personal guidance and live events included in the full offering. The information below pertains to the full course, not the self-study option. More detail on this option can be found in the question about the difference between the full program and the self-study option.
What will I do in this course?
Each week there will be assigned readings and videos on the topic covered that month. Though Mingyur Rinpoche’s teaching will form the core of the program, we have put together a wonderful array of teachings from other lineage holders and classic texts. These teachings are essential and will form the basis for what we do each month. You can expect to spend about two to three hours per week studying the assigned teachings. They are required, even if you’ve read or seen them before.
In addition to these core instructions, Tergar instructors Tim Olmsted and Cortland Dahl will offer pre-recorded short weekly talks that introduce each week’s topic and teachings. They will also offer two monthly webinars (you will be required to attend one) to discuss the teachings and personal practice. There will also be monthly online peer-to-peer discussion groups and an opportunity for private interviews with an instructor.
An important element of this course is the practice requirement. Each participant will be asked to set monthly goals for daily practice (with a minimum of thirty hours per month) and a goal for personal retreat for the year (with a minimum of seven days of retreat). There will also be an opportunity for an optional residential retreat with a Tergar instructor during the program. Participants will be encouraged to keep a practice journal to track their practice and to use the peer-to-peer meetings as opportunities to check in with their Dharma brothers and sisters for inspiration and support along the path.
Last but not least, when he returns from his retreat, we will request that all those who participate in the full course have the chance to attend a special event with Mingyur Rinpoche.
What will I get out of this course?
First and foremost, you will get a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of ngondro practice. Since ngondro covers many of the most important aspects of the Buddhist teachings, you will effectively be getting a thorough grounding in the Buddhadharma as well. Not a bad deal! You will also get one-on-one guidance from Tergar instructors and the opportunity for many rich discussions with other community members who are studying and practicing ngondro. Those who complete the course and its requirements will receive a certificate of completion, in addition to limitless good karma.
What is the difference between participating in the full program and auditing?
Those who audit the course can follow along with the program at their own pace. If you choose this option, you will have access to the program of monthly readings and videos, weekly talks, and recordings of the monthly webinars. Peer-to-peer discussion groups, instructor interviews, and the optional retreat and event with Mingyur Rinpoche are not available to those who audit the course.
How much does it cost?
Like most of our programs, this immersion course has a base fee and a sponsor fee. The sponsor fee helps us offer reduced rates for those with financial constraints. If you have constraints yourself and would like to take the course, please let us know. We are committed to making this work for all those who want to participate. Please contact Max Maksimik at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have financial considerations that would make it difficult for you to take part.
- Base fee: $50 per month
- Sponsor fee: $75 per month*
- Self-study audit fee: $450 (one-time payment)
*Sponsors help offer scholarships and discounts to course participants who cannot afford to pay the full course fee.
When does it start?
The course begins January 15, 2015 and spans twelve months.
How do I register?
A limited number of students will be admitted to this program. If you would like to apply, please follow the link below and submit an application. Applicants will be notified no later than January 1, 2015 regarding the status of their application. All applications must be received by December 15, 2014.
Before applying, please make sure you have thoroughly read and understood all the information on this page.
Questions that aren’t answered here? Check out the program FAQ.