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Buddhist Studies Summer Program

Foundations of the Buddhist Path:

June 10th – July 10th

 Practicing The Vajrayāna:

July 12th – August 10th

The Buddhist Studies Summer Program is a 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.  The program includes access to seminars with visiting teachers, daily teachings with Lama Tsultrim Sangpo, guided meditation instructions, and regular lectures on the major topics of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist thought.

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Program Description

The Buddhist Studies Summer Program consists of two 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, group practice sessions, and meditation training, as well as regular lectures on historical and philosophical topics.  These activities are offered five days a week, with two days off for personal study, practice, and enjoyment of Gomde California’s beautiful land.

June 10th – July 10th: Foundations of the Buddhist Path.  This session is intended to serve as introduction to 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.  Our resident Tibetan Lama, Tsultrim Sangpo, will offer daily teachings on a traditional Buddhist text and give instruction on the foundational meditation practices of Calm Abiding (shamatha), Insight (vipashyana), and Exchanging Self and Others (tong-len).  Lama Tsultrim’s teachings will be supported by daily meditation sessions led by our resident teachers, and enhanced by regular lectures on Buddhist history and philosophy by Gomde California’s resident translators.

July 12th – August 10th: Introducing the Vajrayāna.  This session will focus on the profound teachings and practices of tantric Buddhism, the Vajrayāna.  Lama Tsultrim Sangpo will teach from a core text of the Vajrayāna tradition and will provide extensive instructions on the mediation and ritual practices of the development stage.  In addition to daily practice sessions, students will participate in Gomde California’s annual Kurukulle Drubchö, a multi-day ritual practice focused on magnetizing the conditions and resources conducive to progressing on the Buddhist path.  Gomde California’s translators will present talks on the history of tantric Buddhism in both India and Tibet.  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.

Program Costs

Students have the option of attending for the entire summer, or for either of the two sessions.  Program fess include attendance at all major summer programs that fall within the respective session, lodging, all meals, and participation in all 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.

Full Summer Program: $1600

Session I or Session II: $900

Because space is limited, we ask for a non-refundable $100 deposit to secure your place in the program

Those who are facing financial difficulties and cannot apply for the Work-Exchange Program should contact the registrar for additional scholarship opportunities.

Work-Exchange Program

Applicants with interest and skills in the work categories listed below may apply for a work-exchange position, which offers a 30% reduction in fees in exchange for four hours of work per day.  Placement in the work-exchange program will be determined after an interview with our staff manager to discuss compatibility with the work available.  Work duties will not interfere with participation in any of Gomde California’s events and classes.

Full Summer Work-Exchange Program: $1100

Session I or Session II Work-Exchange: $675

Work Categories

Gomde Enhancement: assist staff and residents with an ongoing project to develop and beautify Gomde California’s natural environment, including trail and campground improvements, general landscaping, native habitat reclamation, brush clearing, gardening, and house painting  This category involves significant physical labor, so those interested in this area need to be of good health and stamina.

General Maintenance: Assisting residential staff with various maintenance and repair projects, including carpentry, electrical, and plumbing projects.  Skills in these areas are required.

Pantry and Kitchen: supervises or assists Gomde’s Kitchen staff in the management and preparation of meals.  Includes breakfast preparation.  Experience is required.

Photography/Social Media: works with the Publicity team to photograph the summer program season, post to Gomde’s social media, and to make regular blog posts.

Hospitality: supervises or assists hospitality staff working in the areas of housekeeping, support for visiting teachers, guests and retreatants, assists the kitchen staff, administration, and helps in our Ratna Shop.

Anyone with specific skills other areas, particularly in graphic design or video editing, are encouraged to contact the registrar for an interview.

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