Recent Happenings

R.D. Salga at Nalanda West
November 7-8, 2015 in Seattle, WA

Thangka Painting in Tibetan Buddhism

Have you ever wondered about thangkas (Buddhist scroll paintings) and their symbolism? How are these incredibly colorful and intricate paintings made and for what reason? Find out from master thangka painter R.D. Salga.

  • Friday November 7, 7-8:30pm—Join us for an evening with renowned master thangka painter, R.D. Salga. Salga will talk about the role of thangkas (Tibetan scroll paintings) in Buddhism, their history, style, and symbolism.
  • Saturday November 8, 10am-Noon—R.D. Salga demonstrates the steps that go into creating a thangka painting, starting with the grid, to the drawing and layout, to inking and pigmenting, and all the way through to the final touches. Ask questions and hear commentary as each step is demonstrated.
  • Saturday November 8, 2-3:30pm—Panel discussion with R.D. Salga on the role and practice of Thangka painting in Vajrayana Buddhism followed by open discussion ad Q&A.
  • Saturday, November 8, 4-5:30pm—Reception with R.D. Salga and thangka viewing.

Suggested donation for each event is $10-$20 per person. All proceeds go to conserving and exhibiting thangkas in Nalanda West's collection.

For questions, please contact Lovorka Knezevic at

About R.D. Salga

A wealth of knowledge and one of the few remaining keepers of the ancient Karma Gardri style of thangka painting, R.D. Salga continues to create iconographically correct paintings for use by Tibetan Buddhists and collectors throughout the world. Apprenticed and trained rigorously from a young age, he now trains a handful of students in this form of ritual art. His works hang in a number of monasteries and private homes throughout the world, and he has exhibited several times in Europe.

To go to the Nalanda West website, click here.

To view the flyer, click here.

Nitartha Institute In Europe Slideshow

Below is a slideshow taken October 11 -19, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

Innovation in Recently Completed Clear Thinking Course

The following is a description from Todd Anderson, a teacher-in-training from New York City:

Students at Nalandabodhi New York wanted to take, semester-long Nitartha Courses locally. With no fully authorized Nitartha teacher in New York City they thought creatively to develop a plan. By combining their efforts with those of students in Boulder, they developed a solution: they could use webcasts from Boulder to take the course as a local cohort in New York. Todd Anderson, a Nitartha teacher-in-training in New York City, helped by organizing logistical details, leading local discussion groups, answering student questions, and overseeing final Clear Thinking Dialogue exams. Tim Douglas contributed by lending technical support for the webcast presentations of Jirka’s lectures from Boulder.

In class, a group of eight New York students met 30 minutes before the webcast to discuss course content with each other and with Todd. They would then participate in chants and meditation practice simultaneously with the Boulder group via webcast. After listening to Jirka’s lectures intently, they would stop the webcast and practice what they had learned through Clear Thinking practice. Students commented on the strengths and weaknesses of the arrangement. “I think we are very fortunate to be able to study this material locally in a semester-format,” one student noted. Another explained that “many of us can’t make it to the Summer Institute.” The only weakness that students mentioned was that when students in Boulder would chat during the lecture, they sometimes couldn’t follow the conversation. However, this point was minor, and students were quick to highlight all of the positive attributes of the arrangement. Gail, a student in the class, commented, “Thank you! …I loved the class. The value of this material has already begun to work its magic. I look forward to continuing. It is of great benefit to us that this online format is being offered in this way. Please extend gratitude to all involved.”

Overall, everyone was very happy with the course. The Clear Thinking dialogue exams at the end of the course went very well, with much laughter and comradery. Everyone in the group plans to continue with Debate Club and Mind and Its World I in the spring!

More Art Courses Planned

Due to the success of the Art course at the Summer Institute and the recent weekend at Nalanda West in Seattle, we will be offering at least one to two more Art courses in the next six months. Stay tuned for coming details.

Nitartha Alumni (NAF) on Facebook

Nitartha Institute has a new group facebook page called "NAF (Nitartha Alumni Federation). This is a closed alumni Facebook page for Nitartha students. It is a place where students can share ideas, discussions, activities, make announcements, etc.

Many thanks to Susan Neumeier and Christine Hwang for coming up with and putting into action such a brilliant idea!

To go to the NAF Facebook page, click here.

Nitartha in Poland

From October 11th - 19th, 2013, a 9-day intensive Nitartha program took place in Warsaw, Poland. This was the second semester of eight that are being offered. They cover the foundation and intermediate curriculums of Nitartha Institute in Europe, and are being conducted with the encouragement and blessings of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

The program was a tremendous success. Students engaged in the challenging material with vigor, enthusiasm, and appreciation. The program was delivered in keeping with the high standards of the “Dharma without compromise,” fully transmitting the tradition of the Kagyu shedra education into the Polish language.

In all, twenty-five students participated in the program, coming from Poland, China, France, Austria, and Greece. Two groups studied concurrently the first and second levels of the Nitartha foundation curriculum. Mind and its World I was taught together with Clear Thinking and was taught by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Ephie Yannakoura, a Nitartha teacher in training. Mind and its World 2 paired up with Debate 1 and was taught by Jirka Hladis. The teachings were conducted in English with consecutive translation to Polish. Both groups shared Analytical Meditation and Tibetan yoga in the mornings. These sessions were lead by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Tomasz Szczygielski respectively. At the end of the program the students submitted final written exams and were examined during a final debate examination presided by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen. The students had a choice to write the exam and conduct the debate either in English or Polish languages.

A celebratory gathering of all participants with offerings of food, drink and words of appreciation concluded the program.

The next program in this series will be offered in Spring 2014.

New Art Course At The Summer Institute

8th KarmapaThis summer marked the debut of our creativity track. The new course, "Lineage Essence & Expression: the Golden Rosary" was held during the first session of the Summer Institute, July 13-27. Click on the link below to see more information about this new course:

ART 510 Lineage Essence & Expression: the Golden Rosary

Nitartha Institute Online Campus launched

We are very happy to announce our new online campus, which allows you to take Nitartha Institute programs online, in the convenience of your own home.

  • We video stream many of our live courses, so you can take them wherever you are. The live online courses are often Summer Institute or semester courses broadcast live to allow students from around the world to participate.
  • We offer our entire Foundation and Intermediate curriculum available as self-paced online courses. These are full, complete archived versions of courses that were previously taught by our senior teachers. You can take these courses online, at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home through streaming video or downloadable audio. By taking advantages of these self-paced online courses, you can progress through the Nitartha Institute curriculum at a pace that suits you.
  • We make available online review courses from our archives

Find out more about the self-paced online courses

See all our current and upcoming programs

See our 2013 Course Catalog

Recent Publications


Maitreya's Distinction between Phenomena and the Nature of Phenomena and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries

by Karl Brunnhölzl
Tsadra Foundation Series
Published by Snow Lion


A New Commentary on the Heart Sutra

by Karl Brunnhölzl
Published by Snow Lion

See Other Publications from Nitartha
See More Publications by Nitartha Faculty

Courses in Spanish

Nitartha Institute is proud to announce that we are now offering courses conducted in Spanish! Faculty members have been hard at work for a number of years to translate the curriculum into Spanish, once again making great progress in the spreading of the Dharma.

For more information about our Spanish curriculum, email

Help us grow

Your annual support is deeply appreciated. Without it we could not fully implement our programs.

For details, contact Tim Walton, Nitartha Institute Executive Vice President, at 562-774-3372 (562-7-SHEDRA), or you can email him at


You can give in a number of ways, from making a monthly donation in any amount, to sponsoring Nitartha with a larger gift, to giving your old vehicle as a donation.


Online Classes