Upcoming Retreats


Vajrayogini Retreat: Exploring the Sublime Path to Bliss

Elaine Jackson

April 29 - May 3, 2020
Level Strictly Highest Yoga Tantra Initiates Only (see "Prerequisites" sections below for further information on what is required.)   Silence Level Partial silence (we will ease into silence, depending on consensus.)   What is it? The Highest Yoga Tantra practice of Vajrayogini is held to be especially effective in “degenerate times” as it skillfully cuts through ignorance and cultivates profound wisdom, love and compassion. . In this 5-day retreat, through the power of meditation, we will delve into each of the eleven yogas of this practice,  in order to unpack its meaning. We will explore the many visualizations and experience the various positive…

Eight Pillars of Joy: Making the Most of Your Precious Life

Don Handrick and Emily Hsu

May 7 - 10, 2020
What is joy and how can we bring more of this precious quality into our lives and our world? This retreat offers a practical exploration of eight powerful insights into what brings us true joy, examined through the lens of wisdom shared by two of the most respected spiritual leaders in the world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The course's content is based on a delightful and wide-ranging conversation between these two beloved elders that was published in 2016 and rapidly became an international bestseller: "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World."

Neuroscience & Meditation Memorial Day Weekend Retreat

Rick Hanson, Ph.D and Scott Snibbe

May 22 - 25, 2020
This sitting meditation retreat will be led by Vajrapani Institute longtime community member and Buddhist meditation teacher, Scott Snibbe. The retreat also includes participation in a Neurodharma Daylong Workshop with Dr Rick Hanson on Saturday May 23. Dr Hanson will be sharing the exciting synergies emerging in the fields of meditation and neuroscience.

Neurodharma Workshop

Rick Hanson, Ph.D

May 23, 2020
Psychologist and New York Times Best-selling author, Rick Hanson, Ph.D. is publishing a fascinating new book on meditation and neuroscience in May 2020. Dr Hanson is offering this workshop in association with the book launch. Participants will be guided through an exploration of seven key ways of being (and related practices) that can be described as ‘the essence of awakening.’

Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Training

Monica Hanson and Robert Cusick

June 25 - 28, 2020
Explore Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) – A Special Weekend Immersion guided by two senior-level Stanford CCT instructors, Monica Hanson and Robert Cusick. The CCT immersion experience is unique both in its deep focus and the pristine contemplative space in which it is being offered, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vajrapani Institute. CCT was developed by Thupten Jinpa, PhD — English language translator for his Holiness the Dalai Lama for over 30 years — in collaboration with a team of psychologists, scientists and contemplative scholars and practitioners from Stanford University. This workshop is eligible for 16 hours of Continuing Education…

Illuminating the Essence of the Buddha’s Three Turnings

Guy Newland

July 9 - 12, 2020
The Buddhist scriptures, in the form of the Buddha’s “Three Turning of the Wheel of Dharma” offer us an incredibly rich resource for understanding our human condition and for discerning how to take action to free ourselves from suffering. This retreat is a wonderful opportunity to revisit these foundational Buddhist teachings and to take a fresh look at them, supported by the expert guidance of Guy Newland PhD, a celebrated Buddhist scholar.

Wise Heart Young Adult Retreat

July 16 - 19, 2020
Wise Heart Young Adult Retreat is a contemplative and playful retreat based in Buddhism for people ages 18-30+. This engaging program combines the elements of a formal retreat — meditation, contemplation, Buddhist teachings — with the fun of art, games, nature, body movement and engaging discussions with peers. Join us in exploring how mindfulness can help us create an inner sense of calm and develop loving-kindness towards ourselves and others. Together we will learn experientially how the cultivation of authenticity, kindness and wisdom can lead to deep happiness. More details coming soon. Additional Information Please plan on arriving between 1:00…

Wise Heart Family Camp

July 23 - 26, 2020
Since 1994, Family Camp has been providing families with children 5-12 the opportunity to learn more about their interconnections with each other in the frame of traditional Buddhist thinking and practice. In a mix of play and structure, both kids and adults have the opportunity to do an art project or two, meditate in age-appropriate groups, enjoy a docent-led nature walk, learn how to offer water bowls, participate in or applaud a talent show, and much more. This annual event aims to instill in participants an appreciation of the value of loving-kindness in daily life.

Big Love Day Community Celebration

August 8, 2020
Register here (for free) for our Annual Community Celebration: Big Love Day (Saturday August 8th, 2020) Big Love Day is a celebration of family feeling (or 'pamly peeling,' as Vajrapani Institute co-founder Lama Yeshe used to say.) Participation is free of charge: it's our way of saying: "Thank you!" We warmly extend our "Big Love Day" invitation to all members of our community and to newcomers. This is a day of community celebration and fun activities including free massage, bodywork and astrology readings, games, walking in Nature, art projects, a delicious vegetarian meal, live music, singing, dancing, and more. We…

Finding Greater Ease: Introduction to Meditation

Elaine Jackson

August 13 - 16, 2020
Everyone wants happiness. Unfortunately, the faulty assumptions by which we live our lives do not afford us the pleasure of abiding in a state of perpetual happiness, peace, and contentment. Buddhism promises such a state. When successfully training our minds through various meditation techniques, happiness follows.

Cultivating Emotional Balance

Lani Potts and Dave Smith

November 10 - 15, 2020
Combining contemporary scientific research with contemplative practices drawn from Buddhism, the Cultivating Emotional Balance training offers new tools for working with and understanding our emotions. The Cultivating Emotional Balance training was born out of a meeting between behavioral scientists, a neuroscientist, a monk, a philosopher, and the Dalai Lama in 2000. CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program.

A Practical Guide to True Happiness: Fall Lam Rim Retreat

Geshe Thubten Sherab

November 20 - 29, 2020
If you are curious about Tibetan Buddhism, but haven't yet found time to take the plunge and explore, or if you have attended a few teachings and are eager to learn more about the Buddhist path to true happiness, this could well be the ideal course for you. Comprising a combination of daily teaching and meditation sessions, as well as group discussions and opportunities for Q and A, this retreat is based on the time-honored “Stages of the Path to Enlightenment” (Lam Rim) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

New Year’s Vajrasattva Purification Retreat

Elaine Jackson

December 28, 2020 - January 1, 2021
The Vajrasattva practice purifies our mind from grasping so strongly onto our mistaken view of ourselves and our experience of reality. Utilizing time-tested visualization and meditation, deluded states – pain, sorrow, hatred, pride, jealousy, doubt – lose their power. This is a great way to start the New Year.