Week-Long Retreats

  • The one-disc MP3 chronicales the weekend retreat held in September 2010 at Santa Barbara's historical Old Mission. The Heart Sutra is perhaps the most popular text in the Buddhist world. Known both for its profundity and brevity, this work quickly made its way from India to China, Japan, Korea and Tibet. It is recited daily in an array of languages around the world. The principle theme of the Heart Sutra is "sunyata" or emptiness. This retreat, led by Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, focuses on the study and practices that emerge from this profound discourse on sunyata delivered by the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara to Venerable Shariputra at Vulture Peak. What insights rise from this text? How can this text help us to transform our minds and hearts, recognize our potential for enlightenment, and help us liberate ourselves from samsara? In this retreat, goddess Prajnaparamita beckons us to engage on these reflections. The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is the founding director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has a graduate degree in Comparative Philosophy of Religion from Harvard University and is an Integral Honors Scholar in Philosophy and Science. At the age of ten, he entered a Buddhist Monastery in Rajgir and was subsequently ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is his spiritual Mentor. Venerable Tenzin lectures internationally and is also President of The Prajnopaya Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization. For more information on him and his work, vist www.iMonk.org.
  • THE SCIENCE OF THE MIND: A Practical Inquiry Into the Nature of Mind Through Traditional Buddhist Meditation

    November 13-19, 2021, A Virtual Retreat with Video stream & Audio stream/download Like all other branches of science, the science of mind must be primarily based on the rigorous observation of natural phenomena. Much as astronomers rely on the telescope, so do contemplatives rely on the power of samadhi to explore the nature and potentials of the mind. Please see below for additional retreat information. This event is co-sponsored with our friends at CCN and the Vajrayana Institute, and partnered with The Contemplary.
  • The seven-day retreat “Exploring the Depths of the Psyche: A Shamatha Retreat in the Great Perfection Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, presented on the basis of Dudjom Lingpa’s Mind Treasure, The Vajra Essence” in Santa Barbara, California from June 21 – 28, 2009, Available on DVD (9-disc set) or Audio Stream MP3 download. The Vajra Essence by Dudjom Lingpa is a classic, 19th century meditation manual in the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Covering all stages of meditative practice up to the achievement of spiritual awakening, it begins with an extraordinary presentation of the shamatha practice of "settling the mind in its natural state." In this week long retreat, B. Alan Wallace offers an oral commentary the shamatha section of  The Vajra Essence, which he received from his teacher, the Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, who authorized him to teach this portion of the text to general audiences. The retreat will also consist of meditation sessions and periods of discussion. Although this practice is presented in the context of Tibetan Buddhism, it is strongly resonant with Zen and Vipassana meditations, so it may be inviting and enriching to Buddhists of all traditions, as well anyone else who is interested to explore the depths of their own mind, and consciousness. All seven days of this retreat are reproduced here in full, conveniently divided into teachings, meditations, and discussions. PDF files are included on the first DVD disk and include explanatory notes on the audio files, retreat handouts, and other pertinent information. The audio stream download files include MP3 files and PDF notes. Please select either the 9-DVD set (sent via Priority Mail) or the digital MP3 audio download files (you will receive a download link).  
  • During this week-long retreat, Alan Wallace teaches insight meditation drawn from the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism which probes the nature of the mind. He discusses the relation between lucid dreaming and dream yoga, including areas of complementarity and divergence. In addition, throughout the week, retreatants are taught how to engage in the daytime and nighttime practices of dream yoga. Guided meditations and groups discussions are included as well as teaching by Alan Wallace. Modern scientific research into lucid dreaming draws a sharp distinction between the waking state and dreaming, and it has developed practical methods for inducing lucidity, namely, recognizing that we are dreaming while we are dreaming. The common theories and practices of lucid dreaming do not deeply challenge our conventional assumptions regarding the nature of waking reality, but rather help us to become more mindfully engaged with daytime experience, and can be remarkably effective in helping us to start having lucid dreams. These practices include keeping a dream journal, recognizing recurrent "dream signs," conducting "state checks" throughout the day to confirm whether we are awake or dreaming, and cultivating "prospective memory," that is, remembering to do things in the future. The ancient Buddhist contemplative tradition of dream yoga emphasizes the deep similarities between the waking state and dreaming, while also acknowledging significant differences. Dream yoga begins with the recognition that we are dreaming while in the dream state, which is common to the modern discipline of lucid dreaming. But after recognizing the dream for what it is, dream yoga shows how to explore the nature of dream reality by transforming the contents of the dream. Latter stages of this practice leads to a fearlessness in the dream state and the experiential exploration of the "substrate consciousness," out of which all dreams emerge. The ultimate aim of dream yoga is to fully awaken to the nature of experienced reality as a Buddha, an "Awakened One." During this retreat, Alan Wallace discusses the relation between lucid dreaming and dream yoga, their areas of complementarity and divergence, and daytime vs. nighttime practices of dream yoga. Please select the media type you would like to receive: DVD video discs, MP3 CD audio discs, or downloadable MP3 audio files and PDFs.
  • A central message of the Buddha’s teachings is that the mind is purified of its afflictions through the integrated cultivation of meditative quiescence (shamatha) and contemplative insight (vipashyana). The four applications of mindfulness—of the body, feelings, mental states, and mental objects—comprise the foundation of Buddhist insight practice. As we investigate the nature of these features of our existence in this seminar, we will probe the nature of human identity and the possibility of freedom from suffering and its inner causes. This audio stream chronicles the seven-day Four Application of Mindfulness retreat held at Santa Barbara’s historic Old Mission in May 2008.
  • Retreat  Title: Lucid Dream and Dream Yoga September 18-25, 2018 Sponsored by Garrison Institute, New York Audio Stream and Download
    Modern scientific research into lucid dreaming draws a sharp distinction between the waking state and dreaming, and it has developed practical methods for inducing lucidity, namely, recognizing that we are dreaming while we are dreaming.
    The ancient Buddhist contemplative tradition of dream yoga points out deep similarities between the waking state and dreaming, encouraging us to become lucid at all times. To fully awaken to the nature of experience is to be a Buddha, an “Awakened One,” and that is the ultimate aim of dream yoga.
    During this retreat, Alan Wallace will discuss the relation between lucid dreaming and dream yoga, including areas of complementarity and divergence. In addition, we will engage in the daytime and nighttime practices of dream yoga, interspersed with times for discussion.
  • "Probing the Ultimate Nature of Reality" is available as a DVD set, or digital download MP3 audio stream files. Both options include PDF files, retreat handouts, and other pertinent information. DVD SET: This nine-disc DVD set chronicles the seven-day retreat “Probing the Ultimate Nature of Reality: A Vipashyana Retreat in the Great Perfection Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, presented on the basis of Dudjom Lingpa’s Mind Treasure, The Vajra Essence” in Santa Barbara, California from September 2009. MP3 AUDIO DOWNLOAD: All seven days of this retreat are available by MP3 audio stream and conveniently divided into teachings, meditations, and discussions. PDF files include explanatory notes on the audio files, retreat handouts, and other pertinent information. Pre-requisites: Part I  “Exploring the Depths of the Psyche: A Shamatha Retreat in the Great Perfection Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism", presented on the basis of Dudjom Lingpa’s Mind Treasure, The Vajra Essence” in Santa Barbara, California from June 21 – 28, 2009. Please select either the 9-DVD set (sent via Priority Mail) or the digital MP3 audio download files (you will receive a download link).  
  • January 28- February 4, 2020
    Audio Recording download, once you have made the payment, a download link will be emailed to you.
    A Meditation Retreat on Shamatha, Vipashyana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen
    Meditation retreat on During weeklong retreat Alan Wallace will grant the oral transmission and commentary to the teachings on the root text of The Highway of the Jinas: A Root Text on the Precious Geluk-Kagyü Mahamudra Tradition and its auto-commentary by Panchen Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen, tutor to the Fifth Dalai Lama. In addition, he will comment on excerpts from A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahāmudrā and Atiyoga by the great 17th-century master Karma Chagmé.
    Audio Recording Download
    Sponsored by Santa Barbara Institute
    Venue: Camp Ramah, Ojai, California
  • Extracting the Vital Essence of Accomplishment: Concise and Clear Advice for Practice in a Mountain Retreat by twentieth-century Nyingma master, Düdjom Rinpoché, Jigdral Yeshé Dorjé. Lama Alan Wallace presents and comments on pith instructions of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection. Providing guidance on retreat, this course is based on the text Extracting the Vital Essence of Accomplishment: Concise and Clear Advice for Practice in a Mountain Retreat by twentieth-century Nyingma master, Düdjom Rinpoché, Jigdral Yeshé Dorjé. Lama Alan translates and explores the short, powerful text on retreat in terms of the preliminaries, main practices, and post-meditative practices of the Great Perfection path. This retreat consists of 10 one-hour lectures, each with a 30-minute guided meditation. To allow time for contemplation and practice, starting on June 3 you will receive a new teaching weekly for ten weeks. Each session will include a one-hour lecture and a 30-minute guided meditation. This will be a Virtual Retreat with Audio stream/download. We are offering multiple pricing options as you will see below when you select Choose An Option. Please see the description below for additional information. Si prega di vedere sotto per informazioni in italiano.
  • Fathom the Mind. Heal the World.

    with Lama Alan Wallace, Dr. Eva Natanya & Dr. Anuradha Choudry October 1-7, 2022

    Co-sponsored by Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and the Center for Contemplative Research.

    This retreat is an opportunity to explore the interdenominational, inter-contemplative themes outlined by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his vision for the Center for Contemplative Research:
    • The Buddhist meditative practices of śamatha and vipaśyanā
    • Teachings on nonviolence and compassion from other revered Indian traditions
    • Instruction in the contemplative traditions of Christianity
    The virtual retreat will be available with both audio and video recordings of each day's teachings. All Q&A sessions, the teachings from Dr. Choudry and the final day panel discussion will be live. All other sessions will be recorded and made available within 24-36 hours.

    We are offering multiple pricing options as you will see when you select Choose An Option from the dropdown for the virtual retreat.

    Read more about the retreat below.

    We are delighted to announce that the retreat will be held in Crestone, CO at Blazing Mountain Retreat Center. Click here to read more about joining us in person and for information on how to apply to attend the in-person retreat.

    Select your virtual retreat option
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often commented that the essence of spiritual practice is cultivating a good heart. As important as meditative quiescence and insight meditation are within the Buddhist tradition, it is crucial to balance such practices with the cultivation of altruism. In this meditation seminar, Alan Wallace teaches a sequence of meditations for the cultivation of the “Four Immeasurables,” namely loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and impartiality. These are followed by teachings and practice of Buddhist Mind-Training, or “Lojong.” While many teachings on Buddhist meditation fill us with a longing to spend more time in quiet, solitary meditation, the practices presented here brings us back to life, to the active world of living with others. This seminar consists of teachings, guided meditations and discussions, but the emphasis is on meditation. Regardless of whether we hold to any religious beliefs, these practices can be of benefit to everyone seeking to explore their own capacity to experience unconditional love and compassion. This audio stream/DVD chronicles the seven-day retreat recorded July 19-26, 2008 at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara, CA and includes teachings, guided meditations, and discussions. Please select your preferred media type, audio stream, or DVD disks.
  • Meditation Retreat on Shamatha in the Dzogchen Tradition In his mind treasure, The Sharp Vajra of Conscious Awareness Tantra, the 19th-century Dzogchen master Dudjom Lingpa clearly explains four quintessential practices that are each indispensable on the Great Perfection path to enlightenment. They are: meditative quiescence (shamatha), contemplative insight (vipashyana), the breakthrough (tekchö), and the direct crossing-over (tögal). In this retreat Alan Wallace gives a detailed explanation of the opening section of this text (including Dudjom Lingpa's own commentary), together with guided meditations, focusing on the shamatha practice of “taking the mind as the path.” This is the most emphasized shamatha practice in the Dzogchen tradition as a whole, and it provides a profound and insightful means to explore the mind and eventually dissolve it into its relative ground-state, the substrate consciousness. This is a necessary foundation for the practice for the practice of vipashyana and the authentic Dzogchen meditation. This week long retreat was held in November 6-13, 2011 at the Old Mission Renewal Center in Santa Barbara, CA The nine disc DVD set chronicles the seven- day retreat consisting of lectures, guided meditations and discussions.
  • The 19th-century classic Dzogchen treatise, The Vajra Essence, by the eminent master Dudjom Lingpa concludes with a concise lucid account of the Six Bardos, namely the Bardos of Living, Dreaming, Meditative Stabilization, Dying, Reality-itself, and Becoming. The teachings on these Bardos show how each of these trasitional phases of cyclic existence can provide a platform for achieving enlightenment, particularly by way of the practices of shamatha, vipashyana, and dzogchen.
  • The Seven-Point Mind-Training, widely taught in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, stems from the teachings of the 11th-century Indian Buddhist scholar and contemplative Atisha and was first written down by the 12th-century Tibetan monk Chekawa. This training summarizes the Bodhisattva way of life by integrating theories and practices for the cultivation of ultimate and relative bodhichitta, or the mind of awakening. Beginning with a careful investigation of the nature of the mind and its relation to nature as a whole – resulting in a realization of emptiness and dependent origination – this training leads one to the experience of profound compassion and the transformation of all experiences into means of furthering one's spiritual growth.
  • This nine-disc DVD set chronicles the seven-day Meditation Seminar for Neuroscientists & Mental Healthcare Professionals recorded March 22 - 29, 2009 at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara, CA. In this workshop, Alan Wallace instructs participants in the cultivation of executive attention and metacognitive skills and gives detailed instructions on the four applications of mindfulness, centering on careful examination of the body, feelings, mental states and processes, and the interactions among mental and physical phenomena. This retreat is equally relevant to academic psychologists, neuroscientists and mental healthcare professionals, as well as those who seek to understand and heal the mind.
  • According to Mahayana Buddhism, the deepest dimension of consciousness is known as Buddha-nature, or primordial consciousness. Although it transcends space and time, as well as all conceptual frameworks including that of existence and non- existence, it can, nevertheless, be known with direct, nondual awareness. The root of all suffering is twofold: (1) grasping onto that which is not "I" or "mine" as being "I" or "mine," and (2) failing to realize who we really are. The Buddha-nature is our deepest nature, primordially pure and luminous. In this meditation seminar, B. Alan Wallace places the teachings on Buddha-nature within the context of Buddhism as a whole, including the "Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma." The differences between the Buddha-nature and other meditative experiences, such as the substrate consciousness (alayavigñana), are carefully examined. The combination of meditations, teachings, and discussion sessions creates a powerful experience that will help to awaken your own Buddha-nature. Recorded in November 2008 at the Old Mission Renewal Center, Santa Barbara.
  • This nine-disc DVD set chronicles the seven-day The Way of Shamatha retreat held at Santa Barbara's historic Old Mission in April 2008.
  • This DVD set chronicles the seven-day Four Application of Mindfulness retreat held at Santa Barbara's historic Old Mission in May 2008.
  • Buddhahood Without Meditation is the most renowned of the five principal Dzogchen
    texts revealed by the 19th century Mahasiddha Düdjom Lingpa, and it is unique in that it
    consists of an anthology of teachings he received by way of pure visions of many of the
    greatest India  and  Tibetan Buddhist adepts and other enlightened beings.
    This DVD set consists of lectures, guided meditations, and question-and-answer sessions,
    and is intended for participants with a sound understanding and practice of the foundational
    Buddhist teachings of the Four Noble Truths, Bodhicitta, and the Six Perfections.
    DVD Recording of the 6 day meditation retreat recorded in Santa Barbara, CA  January 8-13, 2017  
     
  • Buddhahood Without Meditation is the most renowned of the five principal Dzogchen
    texts revealed by the 19th century Mahasiddha Düdjom Lingpa, and it is unique in that it
    consists of an anthology of teachings he received by way of pure visions of many of the
    greatest India  and  Tibetan Buddhist adepts and other enlightened beings
    Buddhahood Without Meditation Part 1, held in Jan. 2017 is a prerequisite to this retreat.
    This DVD set consists of lectures, guided meditations, and question-and-answer sessions,
    and is intended for participants with a sound understanding and practice of the foundational
    Buddhist teachings of the Four Noble Truths, Bodhicitta, and the Six Perfections.
    A 6 day meditation retreat recorded in Santa Barbara, CA from Jan 7-12, 2018.  
  • DVD Recording

    During this week-long retreat Alan Wallace granted the oral transmission and commentary to the teachings on the root text of The Highway of the Jinas: A Root Text on the Precious Geluk-Kagyü Mahamudra Tradition and its auto-commentary by Panchen Lozang Chökyi Gyaltsen, tutor to the Fifth Dalai Lama.
    In addition, Alan Wallace commented on excerpts from A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahāmudrā and Atiyoga by the great 17th-century master Karma Chagmé.
    Available in DVD recordings
    Recorded January 28- February 4, 2020 at Camp Ramah, Ojai, California
    2020
  • Virtual retreat from Miyo Samten Ling in Crestone, CO

    This retreat will begin with oral commentaries on Alan Wallace’s two freshly translated dialogues between Atisha and his principal disciple Drom Tönpa; then we shall turn to a close examination of the fifty-one mental factors according to classic Indian Buddhist psychology.

    The retreat will be available by both video-stream and audio-stream/download, and both are included in the price.

    Please see below for more information on the teachings and additional details about the retreat.

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