The Buddhist Studies Summer Program is an academically accredited residential study and practice program that combines traditional and academic approaches to Buddhist Studies. Students in the program live at our remote Northern California center and participate in daily sessions of teaching and meditation led by our Lamas, teachers, and translators.
Students in the program may choose to receive internationally recognized academic credit through Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute.
The Buddhist Studies Summer Program consists of two month-long sessions that focus on different elements of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Students have the option of attending the full summer of programs or either of the two sessions. Each session includes daily teachings on a traditional Buddhist text with our resident Tibetan Lama, Tsultrim Sangpo, meditation training from Tibetan and Western Lamas who have completed the traditional three-year retreat, and daily lectures on Indo-Tibetan history and philosophy by faculty from Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies. These activities are offered five days a week, with two days off for personal study, practice, and enjoyment of Gomde California’s beautiful land.
Students enrolled in the program for academic credit must attend the full summer program. Students enrolled not-for-credit may attend either of the two sessions or the full-summer of courses.
June 14 – July 16: Foundations of the Buddhist Path. This session introduces the key points of the Buddhist path as set forth in the early teachings of the Buddha and in the Mahāyāna teachings on emptiness and compassion. Lama Tsultrim Sangpo will offer daily teachings on Gampopa’s Precious Garland of the Sublime Path, a collection of pithy advice to be immediately applied. Lama Tsultrim’s teachings will be supported by daily meditation sessions focused on the foundational practices of Calm Abiding (shamatha), Insight (vipashyana), and Exchanging Self and Others (tong-len). Lectures in this session will cover pre-Buddhist India, the doctrines and practices of Early Buddhism, and the emergence of the Mahāyāna. The program will conclude with a multi-day retreat on the teachings given during the session.
July 19 – August 10: Introducing the Vajrayāna. This session will focus on the profound teachings and practices of tantric Buddhism, the Vajrayāna. Lama Tsultrim Sangpo will teach on the Sangtik Dorsem, the core practice of Vajrasattva from the Chokling Tersar lineage. Lama Tsultrim and Gomde’s other resident Lamas will provide extensive, detailed instructions on each stage of tantric mediation and their accompanying ritual practices. Lectures in this session will focus on the history of tantric Buddhism in both Indian and Tibet. The session will conclude with a drubchö, a multi-day, intensive practice of Vajrasattva according to the instructions that have been given.
This session is open to all, but is intended for students with some background in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Those new to Tibetan Buddhism should attend Session One prior to attending this session.
Full tuition for not-for-credit students: $2000
Full tuition for students seeking academic credit: $2500
Session I or II only: $1250
Gomde California is pleased to announce a partnership with Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies at the Rangjung Yeshe Insitutute. Through this partnership we are able to offer internationally recognized academic credit for full participation in the Buddhist Studies Summer Program. Students seeking academic credit must enroll in the full program, and will be asked to submit periodic papers and take exams. Students seeking credit pay an additional $500 to cover administration and registration fees.
Students not enrolling for credit may enroll in the full summer program or either of the two sessions.
Program fees include attendance at all major summer programs that occur within the respective session, lodging, all meals, and participation in daily classes and practice sessions. All participants are asked to help with minor daily chores and to staff major programs, but will have ample time to engage in private study and practice.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Tracy Joosten, the Program Manager.