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Stages of Meditation 
2017/18 Winter Retreat

Fri., Dec. 29, 2017 through Tues.,  Jan. 2, 2018
St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT

You can watch or listen to our review sessions of teachings from the 2015 retreat (audiovideo) and the 2016 retreat (audiovideo).


Registration is now closed.  We look forward to welcoming participants on Friday, 12/29.

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 3-, 4- or 5-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 and guide analytical meditation practiceThis is stage III of Lama Tenpa’s new presentation of the Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness.  You can watch or listen to our review sessions of teachings from the 2015 retreat (audiovideo) and the 2016 retreat (audiovideo).

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

Mitra Mark Power will help us clarify our own aspirations for the new year, and guide us in post-meditation mindful activity exercises that move us toward skillful application of our aspirations.


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 Dec. 7 for the best discount.

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the teachers

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.

Mitra Mark Power draws on his life experience, including over 30 years of Buddhist practice to inform his work and teaching. He has been appointed as a senior teacher (or “Mitra”) in the Nalandabodhi community by Ponlop Rinpoche. Mark has long experience working as a chaplain, primarily in end-of-life-care settings. He currently provides coaching services to individuals and groups for personal, career and executive development in the the United States and China.

Please check back here or sign up on our e-mail list for updates on teachers and teaching topics for the retreat.

the teaching

Click here for more information about the teaching to be presented. (Audio recordings of prior retreats are available.)

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 3-, 4- or 5-day retreat, to accommodate your schedule.
  • All meals from Friday dinner through Tuesday lunch.
  • Lodging at St. Thomas seminary 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

St. Thomas Seminary features a serene and spacious campus adorned by the beautiful Gothic main building where we will stay. The Seminary provides year-round retreat and conference services. It is no longer an active seminary, but still houses many offices of the Archdiocese of Hartford, and is home for some retired priests (who may drop in to say “hi”, since they know us from many past retreats there). Check out some of our photos of the Seminary here. More information about the Seminary is available here.

3-, 4- and 5-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).

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. 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).

There are discounts for Nalandabodhi members and affiliated groups. Register early by Dec. 7 for the best discount.

Registration is now closed. If you need to pay your tuition balance  click to jump to the registration page.

other practical details

  • Sign up now on our mailing list for retreat updates.
  • This is a residential retreat.  Except for special circumstances, participants will stay on-site. This serves to provide a more supportive container for our meditation practice. If you’d like to attend but stay off-campus, please contact our registrar Bob Hoffman (bfhoffman09@gmail.com).
  • Meals are provided by St. Thomas Seminary’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 nbct@nalandabodhi.org or call (860) 952-9332.  We’ll do our best to respond promptly.

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