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Eight Verses for Training the Mind
2018/19 Winter Retreat

Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 through Tuesday,  Jan. 1, 2019
Beautiful new location:  Copper Beech Institute, West Hartford, CT


Registration is now open!


Cultivate your path to deeper meditation practice…

Skillful compassion requires a foundation of calm abiding (through shamatha meditation) and the clarity of insight which we can cultivate through progressive stages of analytical meditation. This uncovers our natural joy and wisdom, and prepares us to skillfully interact with our world.

In this year’s 5-, 4-, or 3-day winter retreat over the New Year’s weekend, you’ll find strong support for all of these through the teaching and your own sitting and walking meditation practice.

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will teach on Eight Verses for Training the Mind by Geshe Langri Thangpa and will also guide analytical meditation practice.

Acharya Lhakpa Tshering will teach and guide the foundational meditation practice of shamatha (calm abiding) meditation.


open to all

This retreat is open to all, and best for those with prior meditation experience. It offers an opportunity for extended meditation and learning with accomplished teachers and an excellent community.  For more details and how to register, see the program and registration info below. There are discounts for Nalandabodhi members and affiliated groups. Register early by Sunday, Dec. 2 for the best discount.

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the teachers, facilitator

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen is an accomplished meditation master, a classmate and close colleague of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, and a professor of Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language at Naropa University in Boulder, CO.

Acharya Lhakpa Tshering is likewise an accomplished meditator and scholar from the same monastic college and the resident teacher for East Coast Nalandabodhi centers and study groups.  Both Lama Tenpa and Acharya Lhakpa are wonderful examples of profound kindness, wisdom, and humor.  They are fluent English speakers and thoroughly attuned to our Western culture.

Damayonti Sengupta is the Chief Operating Officer of Nalandabodhi International and has studied contemplative movement arts and Buddhist meditation and philosophy for many years. She also has extensive experience as an educator, with a focus on experiential and intercultural learning, as well as organizational development.


Please check back here for updates on teachers and teaching topics for the retreat.

the program

The retreat provides an environment for silent shamatha (calm abiding) and vipashyana (analytical or insight) meditation.  The retreat includes:

  • Teaching by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen on analytical meditation.
  • Meditation instruction by senior teachers.
  • Sitting and walking meditation, alternating.
    • 7-9 hours per day for meditation and teaching sessions (some of which are at your option).
  • Contemplation and aspirations for the New Year.
  • Practice of silence until lunch every day. Individuals can also choose silent days or a completely silent retreat.
  • Tibetan yoga (lujong) every morning.
  • Options for a 5-, 4-, or 3-day retreat, to accommodate your schedule.
  • All meals from Friday dinner through Tuesday lunch.
  • Lodging at the lovely Copper Beech Institute in either single or double rooms.

Some program elements and the detailed daily schedule are still being worked out, so check back for updates.

the location: Copper Beech Institute

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.54.38 PMCopper Beech Institute is a refuge of calm—an idyllic retreat center for meditation and contemplative practice in West Hartford, Connecticut. The aims of the Institute includes providing an environment for reconnecting with the things that matter most in life. The tranquil campus offers quiet places for rest, deliciously nourishing meals, and 48 wooded acres to explore, including a gorgeous labyrinth for walking meditation. The Institute is located on the idyllic campus of Holy Family Retreat & Conference Center, which has been a refuge for those seeking quiet, contemplation and peace for more than 60 years. Operating independently from the historic Catholic retreat center, it occupies a renovated, handicap-accessible wing of the facility with 210 dedicated beds and access to the space’s stunning grounds. The campus features lovingly maintained perennial gardens, sculpture gardens, labyrinth, and wooded trails. Copper Beech is located minutes from I-84 in West Hartford, CT—a bustling and beautiful town, ranked by Kiplinger’s in 2010 as one of the Top Ten Best U.S. Cities for the Next Decade. It is just a 25-minute ride from Bradley International Airport, and 15 minutes from Union Station, Hartford’s Train and Bus Station.

More information about Copper Beech Institute is available here.

5-, 4-, and 3-day options

If you are unable to attend the full retreat (Friday afternoon through Tuesday lunch, 5 days), you can attend Friday afternoon through Sunday lunch (3 days) or Friday afternoon through Monday lunch (4 days).

Schedule, Arrival, Departure

The schedule below is tentative and subject to change. Please check back for updated information. (Registrants will also receive an email with retreat details prior to the retreat.)

Retreat Check-In:  Retreat check-in begins at 4 PM, Friday, Dec. 28.  Please do your best to arrive by dinner time (6 – 7 PM). The first meditation session is from 7:00 – 7:30 PM. The first teaching session will follow.

Retreat Conclusion & Check-Out:  For 3-day retreat participants, the retreat ends after lunch at 1 PM, Sunday, Dec. 30. For 4-day retreat participants, the retreat ends after lunch at 1 PM, Monday, Dec. 31. For 5-day retreat participants, the retreat ends after lunch at 1 PM, Tuesday, Jan. 1. (If you are able to stay and help with take down for the retreat, we would be happy for your help.)

eligibility and registration, or RSVP

The retreat is recommended for people with some prior meditation experience.  (We want your experience to be positive. A multi-day retreat is a big commitment if you haven’t meditated before.)  Registrants are asked to fill out a short online background questionnaire.

There are discounts for Nalandabodhi members and affiliated groups. Register early by Dec. 2 for the best discount.

To register now, click on the REGISTER button.


If you’re not quite ready to register but are interested in attending, your RSVP to us will help (click to send us an online RSVP).

other practical details

  • This is designed as a residential retreat and we recommend that participants stay on-site. This serves to provide a more supportive container for our meditation practice. If you’d like to attend and it is important that you be able to stay off-campus, there are commuter options.
  • Meals are provided by Copper Beech Institute’s excellent culinary staff.  Vegetarian options will be provided, and the staff will try to accommodate special dietary needs. You can provide your dietary preferences and restrictions in the background questionnaire when you register.
  • Calendar page.


For questions, please e-mail philadelphia@nalandabodhi.org.  We’ll do our best to respond promptly.

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