Establishing A Living Western Buddhism
Nitartha Sangha - Students, Staff and Faculty
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche founded Nitartha Institute in 1996, under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. The parent organization is Nitartha International, an educational organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibet's heritage of religious and philosophical texts.
Students combine the study of key texts and commentaries with thorough training in analytical meditation.
In bringing the teachings of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages to the West, Ponlop Rinpoche realized that Western students will benefit from intensive study taught in a way that explores their modern-day lives and Western cultural assumptions. Taught by Tibetan and Western teachers, Nitartha courses are modeled on the Tibetan monastic college system (shedra). Students combine the study of key texts and commentaries with thorough training in analytical meditation. In addition traditional skillful methods of debate give students an interactive medium in the classroom to test the validity of their conclusions. In this way, misconceptions are revealed and clarity sharpened.
The Institute is open to all who are interested in deepening their study and practice of Buddhism. Students who attend Nitartha range from those relatively new to the Buddhist path but who are eager to get a thorough foundation in the teachings, to senior practitioners of many years who feel that renewed in-depth study will strengthen their practice and deepen their insight. One of the Institute’s great attractions to both Buddhist and non-Buddhists is the in-depth study of how mistaken concepts can cause or perpetuate confusion, and how conceptual mind can be skillfully used to examine, understand, and undo this process.