September 30th 2016 - October 7th, 2016

Meditation retreat on “Shamatha and Vipashyana in the Dzogchen Tradition” in Garrison, New York.

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In today’s pop spiritual culture, in which Buddhist meditation as a whole is frequently reduced to simple mindfulness in the sense of “bare attention,” “choiceless awareness,” and “open monitoring,” the distinctive qualities of the Dzogchen, or Great Perfection,” school of Tibetan Buddhism are easily overlooked. The central point of this contemplative tradition is to experientially fathom the primordial dimension of our own everyday, present awareness, which is none other than our Buddha nature. Exceptionally gifted contemplatives may be able to access and sustain such pristine awareness, called “rigpa” in Tibetan, simply by receiving “pointing out instructions” from a realized master. But for those who need a more robust foundation for this pinnacle of contemplative insight, the practices of shamatha and vipashyana are indispensible. Shamatha is a type of contemplative technology designed to cultivate our attention and introspective skills, and vipashyana is a contemplative science designed to provide insight into the nature of the mind and its role in nature. Drawing on the pith instructions of the 19th-century Dzogchen master Dudjom Lingpa and his 20th-century mind emanation, Dudjom Rinpoche, Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, Alan Wallace will offer guidance in these core meditative practices within the theoretical framework of the Great Perfection.
Venue: Garrision Institute, Garrison, New York

Registration Open:

January 10 - January 15, 2016
Meditation retreat Pith Instructions on the Great Perfection from The Vajra Essence: From the Matrix of Pure Appearances and Primordial Consciousness, a Tantra on the Self-Emergent Nature of Existence.

The Vajra Essence is the most elaborate of the five principal Dzogchen treatises revealed by Düdjom Lingpa, in which the Lake-Born Vajra, Padmasambhava, presents the entire path to perfect enlightenment as a great transference rainbow body in this lifetime. The core of his pith instructions on cutting through to the original purity of pristine awareness is found in teachings in which he draws clear distinctions between the mind and pristine awareness, mentation and wisdom, conditioned consciousness and primordial consciousness, the substrate and the dharmakāya, what is and what is not the path, between delusion and liberation, and between buddhas and sentient beings. During this retreat, Alan Wallace will give the oral transmission and commentary to this quintessential passage from The Vajra Essence, while also guiding meditations that clearly distinguish between the śamatha method of taking appearances and awareness as the path and the Dzogchen meditation of cutting through to original purity. Prior to the teachings, Alan will grant the empowerment of the Lake-Born Vajra, which he received from the Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, who authorized him to bestow it to those sincerely dedicated to following the path. Pre-requsite requirements:These will be advanced teachings, and as a prerequisite, participants should have listened to and practiced the teachings on Düdjom Lingpa’s The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers.

Facilities: The retreat will be held at the La Casa de Maria on El Bosque Rd., Montecito, Santa Barbara in California. One may commute or stay onsite.




There will be no 8-week retreat in the Fall of 2016.


March 29, 2016 - May 24, 2016

Retreat on Shamatha, Vipashyana, and Mahamudra, based upon two texts: Panchen Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen’s Highway of the Jinas: A Root Text on the Precious Geluk-Kagyü Mahamudra Tradition, and Karma Chagmé’s Naked Awareness: Practical Teachings on the Union.

Venue: ILTK, Pomaia, Italy. To request an application, please email


October 17, 2016 - November 20, 2016
Cultivating Emotional Balance Teachers Training
Led by B. Alan Wallace and Eve Ekman. Dr. Wallace’s instruction on the contemplative elements of this training is from Nov 1st – 20th, and Dr. Ekman’s instruction on the psychological elements of the training is from Oct. 17th – Oct.31st, 2016.

Venue: Fundación Sakya, Alicante, Spain.

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 Retreats are led by B. Alan Wallace, the Spring 8-week exclusively by B. Alan Wallave, and the CEB teacher training with Alan Wallace and Eve Ekman. These two retreats are sponsored by Santa Barbara Institute, and hosted by ILTK: and Fundación Sakya:


To listen to the podcast series:

For Fall 2015 Podcast: click here

For Fall 2014 Podcasts: click here

For Fall 2013 Podcast: click here

For Spring 2012 Podcast: click here

For Fall 2012 Podcast: click here
For Past Podcast: click here
For more about Shamatha meditation: Clik Here
For more about the Shamatha Project: Click Here