Bestowing for the first time in the West

"The Essense of Mahayana" by Lord Jigten Sumgon

Weekend 1: Thursday July 23 - Sunday July 26

Weekend 2: Wednesday July 29 - Sunday August 2


You’re invited to join us this summer for the joyful return of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche to Gar Drolma Buddhist Learning and Meditation Center. This year, we will be especially blessed to receive teachings from “The Essence of Mahayana” a text not only close to Garchen Rinpoche’s heart, but one of the best known by Lord Jigten Sumgon. Through the kindness of our resident teacher, Khenpo Samdup, who requested this teaching, we will have the rare privilege of receiving it for the first time in the West from Garchen Rinpoche. For deeper understanding of the meaning of this blessing, please read Khenpo Samdup’s letter below.

Dear Dharma Students

This summer, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche will give teachings on The Essence of Mahayana at Gar Drolma
Buddhist Learning and Meditation Center in Dayton, Ohio. This will be the first time that Rinpoche will
bestow these teachings in the West. Among all the texts written by Lord Jigten Sumgon, The Essence of
Mahayana and the Gongchig stand out as being two of his most extraordinary and most widely-known

Regarding the Gongchig (dgongs gcig), it is principally used by Dharma practitioners who have a focus
on study and contemplation, whereas The Essence of the Mahayana (bstan pai snying po) is principally
used by those with moreof a focus on practice. Rinpoche has a particularly close connection to both of
these texts, as these two texts have been studied and practiced by all of the incarnations of Gar Chodingpa
since the time of his incarnation as the heart son of Lord Jigton Sumgon, up until the present day.

These days, whenever Garchen Rinpoche gives teachings, he bases his teachings on the content of the
Gongchig, The Essence of Mahayana and The Seven Supplications to Tara. The Essence of the Mahayana
is a text elucidating the stages of the path of the practice lineage (bka brgyud), and contains an explanation
of the step-by-step progression of dharma practice in terms of the Three Levels of Vows (pratimoksha,
bodhisattva, and tantric).

In regard to the vows, Rinpoche will first bestow the Lay Vows to the disciples, and give instruction on
the related precepts and details of these commitments. Similarly, he will progressively bestow and instruct
on the Bodhisattva Vows and Tantric Vows.

From within the set of tantric teachings, Rinpoche will teach on the creation and completion stage practices
of Arya Tara, based on the prayer: The Supplication to the Seven Taras.

It was with a great deal of thought and careful consideration into what would be of the greatest long-term
future benefit for disciples that I have chosen these teachings. Similarly, the disciples themselves should
understand and recognize just how precious and important it is in this lifetime to receive teachings such
as these, so I encourage you all to please come!

At this time, considering many factors such as Rinpoche’s increasing years, and also his level of
practice, all are aware there’s nothing more important than his bestowing the teachings on the ‘the essence of
the dharma’ such as this. We can further look to the example of the exalted, supreme spiritual masters, who in
order to accomplish the purpose of beings, do this through bestowing the holy teachings of the essence of
the dharma. This is how it was done in the past, and this is the way it is still being accomplished today.

Khenpo Konchok Samdup


          Weekend 1: Thursday July 23rd-Sunday July 26th

Thursday July 23rd
10:00-12:00 Preparation for the Path: The Four Dharmas
2:00-5:00 Transforming the Mind

Friday July 24th
10:00-12:00 The Buddhist Path from the Vinaya View
2:00-5:00 Bestow Lay Vows

Saturday July 25th
10:00-12:00 The Buddhist Path from the Mahayana View
2:00-5:00 Bestow the Bodhisattva Vows

Sunday July 26th
10:00-12:00 Introduction to Vajrayana
2:00-5:00 Vajrayana Teachings on the Stages of Meditation

        Weekend 2: Wednesday July 29th-Sunday August 2nd

Wednesday July 29th

2:00-5:00 Mahamudra Empowerment

Thursday July 30th
10:00-12:00 Preparation for the completion stage of Mahamudra
2:00-5:00 Teachings on the meditation stage of Mahamudra
(Instructions will be given describing how to bring physical discomfort,
obscurations, and discursive thoughts onto the path)

Friday July 31st
10:00-12:00 Mahamudra teachings on transforming afflictive emotions & obscurations
2:00-5:00 Mahamudra teachings on transforming death on to the path & the bardo

Saturday August 1st
10:00-12:00 Teachings on Illustrious Tara the absolute yidam deity
1:00-2:00 Refuge Ceremony
2:00-5:00 Tantric teachings based upon Tara

Sunday August 2nd
10:00-12:00 Tantric teachings based upon Tara
2:00-5:00 Long Life White Tara Practice for HE Garchen Rinpoche & Kata Offering


Gar Drolma Buddhist Center
1329 Creighton Ave.
Dayton, OH 45420

Fee for each 4 day retreat: $140-300 sliding scale

Fee $35-$75 per day sliding scale


Please join us at gar Drolma for a new study group


Buddhist and Western Concepts Study Group
The group will meet on the 3rd Friday of each month from
7:00 – 9:00pm


The discussions will include reflecting on Buddhist and Western philosophical thinking about the mind,
reviewing neurophysiological evidence concerning the body and mind, and discussing recent theories and
ideas from physics. We will provide web links each month that provide relevant background information on
the topics to be discussed to make it easier for anyone to participate in the discussion. The principal focus of
the group is to attempt to reconcile Buddhist ideas and concepts about the body, mind, and universe with
Western knowledge.

All are welcome to attend the program


Audio recordings ARE now available

rinpoche meditating short



Chakrasamvara & rare instructions on the Stages of Meditation.

Now that our wonderful spring retreat with Garchen Rinpoche has come to an end, we are extremely happy to be
able to offer you the ability to experience these precious teachings through audio downloads. For those of you who
could not attend, it is an opportunity to share in Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings about the Drikung yidam,
Chakrasamvara, and his profound, rare instructions on the Stages of Meditation. For those of you who did
attend, this will be an opportunity to relive the experience many times.

These audio downloads are being made available as part of our new Vajra Speech program at Gar Drolma.
It is our wish to preserve and share the precious teachings of Garchen Rinpoche that we’ve had the privilege
to receive at the center with students around the world. In return, a sliding scale donation is requested
from $50 to $80 for both weekend’s teachings. (click here to order) to help us sustain the activities of
the center for the benefit of beings everywhere.

We are always grateful for your support and we wish to thank those who attended the retreat—often by
traveling great distances or overcoming other difficulties. In addition, we’d like to give a special thanks to
those of you who joined us by Ustream. It is wonderful to know that Garchen Rinpoche’s teachings were
able to reach 4000 students from 23 countries. You give us reason to be even more diligent in our dharma activities.

For more information or any questions, please feel free to contact us at
sangha@gardrolma.org or 513-604-3723


1329 Creighton Ave. Dayton, OH 45420 | Directions (937) 252-2220
E-mail: sangha@gardrolma.org