Winter Retreat: Dec. 27, 2014–Jan. 1, 2015

the experiential transmission of zhang zhung, part 1: NGÖNDRO

with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

TWR red cloakThe Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung is the centerpiece of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s dzogchen teachings and is presented at Serenity Ridge at the end of December each year at our Winter Retreat. This year, Rinpoche will begin a new five-part series that will conclude in January 2019.

Dzogchen, translated as “great perfection” or “great completion” is considered the highest teaching in Bön and Tibetan Buddhism. Its fundamental tenet is that reality, including the individual, is primordially pure, complete and perfect, and that nothing needs to be transformed (as in tantra) or renounced (as in sutra); it only needs to be recognized for what it truly is. In this way, suffering self-liberates. The view, practice, meditation and conduct are all based on self-liberation—allowing all that arises in experience to exist just as it is, without grasping, aversion or elaboration by the conceptual mind.

Part 1: Ngöndro. The ngöndro of the Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung are the foundation practices and the entrance to this cycle of Tibetan Bön dzogchen teachings. Attending a Part 1 Ngöndro retreat is a prerequisite for further study of the Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung.

The ngöndro teachings, a set of nine practices, offer complete instructions for taming, purifying, and perfecting the suffering mind. Although the practices that make up the ngöndro are called preliminary or foundational practices, many practitioners adopt them as their main practice and complete the nine parts several times over the course of a lifetime. Within each of these beautiful and powerful practices is contained the entire path to liberation. The practices of the ngöndro can accompany the practitioner through the years like a lifelong friend.

Three Sets of Practices

The ngöndro practices are divided into three sets of three practices, or nine practices in all.

The first set of three tames the mind of the practitioner through three basic practices:  

  • Opening the heart with guru yoga
  • Contemplating impermanence 
  • Admitting misdeeds 

The second set purifies the practitioner through three common or ordinary practices:

  • Developing bodhicitta
  • Going for refuge and performing prostrations 
  • Offering the mandala 

The third set perfects the practitioner through three profound or extraordinary practices:

  • Purification through mantra
  • Offering the illusory body as a tsok (offering ritual)
  • Request for blessings

Everyone is invited to attend this special retreat, including practitioners who have already received the Part 1: Ngöndro teachings in a previous cycle. All who attend the retreat will be eligible to study Part 2 of the Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche at our Winter Retreat 2015.

Read about the five-part series


 ****Note: We have had an incredible response to these teachings with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and our winter retreat is full!  If you would like to be placed on a wait list, please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For those registered, our onsite accommodations are full. If you are in need of accommodations, click here to find out about offsite accommodations.

Retreat cost (includes meals; accommodations extra): $570