Program Description

  • Commuter Registration (w/out onsite lodging) – $300.00
  • Registration + Camping – $320.00
  • Dorm Bed – $350.00
  • River House - Small – $410.00
  • River House – Middle – $430.00
  • Cliff Retreat Hut – $410.00
  • Forest Retreat Cabin – $470.00
  • Tara Cottage – $550.00
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Accessing the Unconditional Love and Wisdom of our Buddha Nature with Lama John Makransky

With Lama John Makransky

May 3 - 5, 2024

From a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, our Buddha nature is the basic space of our being undivided from vast capacities of awareness, warmth, love, compassion and wisdom. These capacities are always available below our surface consciousness, but often hidden by our habits of self-clinging thought and reaction. One way that Tibetan practitioners start to access them is by bringing to mind the Buddha as an enlightened field of refuge, and experiencing themselves and their whole world as held in the Buddha’s unconditional love, compassion, and wisdom. Other contemplative traditions follow an analogous pattern: being held in the love, compassion, and wisdom of God, saints, prophets or spiritual ancestors. This evokes the practitioners’ own corresponding qualities of warmth, love, compassion and openness. In Tibetan Buddhism, all such qualities are then drawn on in meditation to help the mind settle into the source of those qualities—the basic space, pure awareness, and vast capacity of our Buddha nature, from which to recognize others in their deep nature and hold them in warmth and compassion.

In this weekend retreat, we will adapt this pattern of practice from Tibetan Buddhism, with some assistance from modern psychology, to make it accessible both for Buddhist practitioners and for people of all backgrounds and faiths who have previous contemplative experience and seek an accessible way to cultivate unconditional love and wisdom. 

Prerequisite: at least two years regular practice of contemplation (meditation or prayer).  And please read John’s book, Awakening through Love (Wisdom, 2007), or as much of it as possible, before the retreat. You can purchase the book here

Session times:

Friday, May 3rd: Registration between 3pm-5pm. First session 7:30pm

Sat May 4:  9am-12, 2pm-5, 7:00pm-8:30

Sun May 5:  9am-12

Information regarding online attendance will be announced end of January 2024.***

For more information please contact us at


Lama John Makransky
Lama John Makransky, PhD, is a professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior advisor for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Centre of Buddhist Studies in Nepal, a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, and developer of the Sustainable Compassion Training model for accessing innate capacities of compassion and awareness. John’s scholarly writings have focused on connections between practices of devotion, compassion and non-dual wisdom in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, on adapting Buddhist practices to meet contemporary minds, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning. In 2000, John was ordained as a Lama, a meditation teacher of innate compassion and wisdom,…
Learn more about Lama John Makransky