The Heart of Tantra

The Development and Completion Stages of Vajrayana Buddhism

What is Tantra?

Tantra means different things in different religious and spiritual traditions. In the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism, tantra is understood as the fruitional path, meaning that enlightenment is not something that happens in the future — it is present here and now.

A teaching for the modern world

In a culture where we are constantly bombarded with messages that we are just not good enough, no matter what we do, self-loathing can become almost second nature. Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism, however, offers us profound methods to break free from deep-rooted conditioning and recognize ourselves and one another for who we truly are.


Transmission holds a profound place in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Passed down in an unbroken lineage from teacher to student since the time of the Buddha, transmissions represent living expressions of the deepest truths that we gain through meditation. At the heart of this year’s transmission and the Vajrayana tradition is pure perception — to see ourselves, others, and the world around us as innately perfect. In order to do this, we practice what are known as the development and completion stages, through which we come to gain certainty in our buddha nature, i.e., that we are enlightened from the very start.

One will receive the core transmission components by following the online course on Vajrayana Online.

“Everything is a display of clarity, love, and wisdom. This is related to the main view of Vajrayana Buddhism: that we all are buddha.”

Mingyur Rinpoche

What is included in
this transmission?

  • Voices of Tantra

    Available now

    Commencing our transmission, Voices of Tantra introduces imagination, subtle body, and sadhana practices. This course includes teachings and interviews with renowned Vajrayana teachers and practitioners Mingyur Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, and Sarah Harding.

  • The Heart of Tantra: Essence

    Available now

    In the Essence course, Mingyur Rinpoche highlights how working with the imagination and subtle body can deeply impact our lives in the modern world. This course includes live webinars and weekly video teachings with Mingyur Rinpoche, interactive sessions with Tergar guides, curated readings, guided meditations, experiential exercises, and much more.

  • The Heart of Tantra: Immersion

    Available now

    This course includes a six-month Immersion followed by a three-month Deepening on Jamgön Kongtrul’s text Creation and Completion. It also includes live webinars and weekly video teachings with Mingyur Rinpoche, interactive sessions with Tergar guides, and much more.

  • Exploring the Subtle Body and Nature of Mind

    July 21–24, 2023

    This retreat marks the completion of the Heart of Tantra transmission and will focus on the completion stage with concepts. Mingyur Rinpoche will teach us how we can bring all aspects of our experience onto the path and train in viewing everything we encounter with the eyes of pure perception.


“It is our basic ignorance which causes impure perceptions to manifest so that everything appears as ordinary, suffering and defiled. We have to “clean the lenses” in order to see that what looks so ordinary is actually a pure realm of utter transcendence.”

Tenzin Palmo

Why should I attend?

Participants will learn how to cultivate bodhichitta (the heartfelt desire to help all beings discover their true nature), utilize the imagination and subtle body as tools for transformation, employ mantras as a means for developing on the path, and practice sadhana — deity practice — that helps see things as they truly are. No matter what stage of the path you are at, this transmission will bring deep wisdom and purpose to your experience. It also represents a rare opportunity to receive these teachings from an unbroken lineage of masters who have integrated them fully into their everyday lives.

Why Lineage Transmission Is Important


Tergar Lineage Society

The Tergar Lineage Society was established in 2021 to recognize generous students and community members who are invested in the mission of Tergar. Lineage Society members play a critical role in making the annual lineage transmission possible, supporting the development of courses and events, and expanding access to meditation training for all.

For centuries, offering important lineage transmissions has been a central part of Vajrayana Buddhism, and transmission patrons have been inspiring beacons of generosity. By making an annual gift of $7,500 or more, individuals who join the Lineage Society help ensure the vitality and authenticity of Mingyur Rinpoche’s experiential lineage.


About Mingyur Rinpoche

Mingyur Rinpoche is the youngest son of the esteemed 20th-century Dzogchen master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. As a young boy in the Himalayas, Mingyur Rinpoche received instructions on core Buddhist practices from some of the greatest masters in living memory. Following this, he spent many years in strict retreat, and in monastic college, where he studied classical Buddhist texts. Since then, he has dedicated himself to the transmission of the dharma to modern audiences.

Asked Questions

Development and completion stage practice is widely understood to be the heart of tantric practice in the Vajrayana tradition. It can be divided into three aspects: the development stage in which you work with the imagination to view yourself as a deity and the environment as a pure realm; thecompletion stage with signs in which you work with the subtle body to help transform the mind; and the completion stage without signs in which you directly familiarize yourself with ultimate reality — the true nature of your mind.
Tantra means different things in different religious and spiritual traditions. In the West, it has often been associated with practices of a sexual nature. In Vajrayana Buddhism, however, tantra is understood as the fruitional path, meaning that enlightenment is not something that happens in the future, but present here and now. In other words, the practice is to recognize that you are already a buddha and practice the various methods of the tantric path in order to stabilize that recognition.
Sadhana is the common term used to describe the development stage practice of the Vajrayana, including the imagination of oneself as a deity, mantra recitation, the recitation of the practice liturgy, and so on.
Bodhichitta is the altruistic motivation and commitment to become a fully realized buddha, in order to help all beings realize their own true nature and become buddhas themselves.
This transmission is open to all who have a wish to better understand the Vajrayana world, its practices, and the workings of the mind.
To receive a transmission can mean different things — everything from receiving a blessing to fully realizing the nature of reality. In the Tergar context, “transmission” means that Mingyur Rinpoche passes on important lineage teachings to students so that we can recognize the buddha within and stabilize this recognition. In addition to teaching and meditation instructions, a transmission may also include reading transmissions (lung) for important texts, empowerments (wang), as well as opportunities to receive vows.
Prior experience in meditation is suggested but not required. Mingyur Rinpoche teaches in a highly relatable way, so much of this transmission is based on exploring our lived experience. If you wish to acquire a foundation for these practices, attending a Joy of Living program online is a good option.
You can join Vajrayana Online at any time. Once a course is open, you can engage in it at your own pace. To participate in the online retreats, however, it is highly recommended that you attend the live events. Recordings will be made available, but only for a limited time.
  • Online courses are part of the monthly Vajrayana Online subscription. You can check the payment options here..
  • Online retreats are paid for separately. Information about the events is available at Events Tergar.
Absolutely! The elements of the transmission function together as a cohesive whole, but each one also stands alone. Join in whatever elements work for you!

Samsara — our conditioned existence in the perpetual cycle of habitual tendencies — and Nirvana — genuine freedom from such an existence — are nothing but different manifestations of a basic continuum. So this continuity of consciousness is always present. This is the meaning of tantra.

Dalai Lama 14


Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation
by Jamgön Kongtrul translated by Sarah Harding

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