In harmony with our primary objective and to nurture a strong Buddhist community, TCL has always had a rich, ongoing program. With the guidance from the FPMT Education Department we offer courses of study ranging from the Basic Program and Discovering Buddhism courses, to Meditation 101 and Buddhism in a Nutshell. These programs are offered at many FPMT Centers worldwide. We sponsor regular ritual offering ceremonies and occasionally offer life-enhancement workshops. Classes are open to all, unless otherwise posted. Not all classes are offered at all times. Since TCL is a non-profit volunteer-based organization, we are sometimes obliged to request a donation – as posted on our eNews and calendar. No one is ever turned away for lack of funds.
For more information regarding times and dates, please check our calendar, upcoming events page, or sign up to receive our eNews on a regular basis.
Meditation provides the base for subsequent Tibetan Buddhist practices and study. At the most elementary level, meditation helps us quiet the chatter of the mind and develop our ability to focus and direct the mind. Long proven beneficial by meditators and supported by modern scientific studies, meditation helps promote a healthy body and mind, and a healthy relationship with the world. We offer a wide range of meditation techniques: from simple stress reduction to analytical meditations on a wide variety of Buddhist topics. We offer weekly drop-in classes lead by various facilitators. On occasion, we offer a one or two-day meditation retreat lead by a guest teacher. Join us!
Discovering Buddhism is an ongoing course of 14 modules taught by qualified instructors who have completed the FPMT requirements for teaching this series. This year, we are pleased to have Vens. Lobsang Chokyi and Gyalten Palmo teaching DB. Taught in a friendly, open environment, the class is open to anyone interested in learning basic Buddhist concepts in an accessible and contemporary style. It’s an excellent way to enter into the Buddhist path.
The Basic Program is a five-year, 12-subject course of study designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and offered at many FPMT Centers. It provides a practice-oriented transmission of the Buddhist teachings to committed students ready to progress beyond introductory level study and practice. Currently, our resident teacher, Geshe Dakpa is teaching The Middle Length Lamrim by Je Tsong Khapa. This class is offered in 10-week modules and covers the entire text in detail. The class is taught Wednesday nights with translation from the Tibetan provided by our translator Monica Hung. The course covers the all of the main topics of the Lamrim (Stages of the Path) in depth. While this class is open to drop-in students, it is best savored by registering for the full series and following the English translation of the text.
Commuter Retreats are held at Tse Chen Ling two to three weekends each year. Usually, retreats are open to all and involve different types of tantric practice and ritual. Retreats give busy City folks an opportunity to connect with the Buddhist teachings at an experiential level without having to leave the City. In recent years, we’ve offered deity retreats of Vajrasattva, Tara, Chenrezig, and Medicine Buddha. These deities represent the embodiment of enlightened purification, activity, compassion and healing, respectively. Periodically, we offer one-day meditation Retreats. Usually, our retreats begin Friday evening, with students returning for two sessions on Saturday, and end with a Sunday morning session. They involve group recitation of prayers and mantras, and guided visualizations. It is an excellent way to get a taste of a longer, residential retreat – like those offered at our sister centers in the Bay Area.
Monthly Rituals Offerings/Pujas are offered at Tse Chen Ling according to the Tibetan calendar. In Sanskrit, puja means “pleasing” and these ritual offerings, or pujas, are conducted within various levels of tantric practice. Guru Puja/Tsog, the Four Mandala Offerings to Cittamani Tara, and Medicine Buddha Puja are done on a regular basis. Any of the rituals may be sponsored.* Pujas present an opportunity to engage in the practice of generosity—making offerings, recitation—chanting prayers in Tibetan or English, visualization, and dedication. See our Tsog and Puja dates under Program section.
Sponsor a Puja or a loved one or for yourself. Pujas are traditional group rituals performed for the sick, on behalf of those who have died or to dispel obstacles in times of difficulty. The pujas regularly offered at Tse Chen Ling include Medicine Buddha puja, The Four Mandala Offerings to Cittamani Tara, the Sixteen Arhats puja, and Lama Choepa (Guru puja)/Tsog. To request a puja to be performed and dedicated to a specific person or purpose, please send all relevant information to our office (i.e. name, time and date of death if relevant, and so on) and include your contact information. You may write to our office, use the contact page of this website, or send email. We’ll work out a good date and get back to you with all you should know. Please call us if you don’t hear from us soon. A donation is not mandatory, but it is good karma to make an offering for pujas.
Highest Yoga Tantra (HYT) commentaries and initiations from the Vajrayana vehicle of Tibetan Buddhism are sometimes offered at TCL by visiting Masters. TCL has hosted teachings by Kyabje Choden Rinpoche, Denma Locho Rinpoche, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche, and many others who have brought us authentic teachings and practices preserved in the Tibetan lineage. On occasion, Geshe Dakpa will bless us by offering a rare teaching or commentary, such as Kalachakra. Look for HYT offered at or away from our center, often at our sister centers. Some classes involve pre-requisites; check the event listing.
Annual Programs: look for our special offerings on calendar holidays like New Year and Tibetan New Year. We also celebrate four “Buddha Days” each year, commemorating actions in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. These are the Day of Miracles—honoring the 15 days of miracles performed by the Buddha after enlightenment, and the 15th day of the month of Saka dawa—observing the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing into paranirvana, Chokor Duchen—marking the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma, Buddha’s teaching of the Four Noble Truths, and Lha Bab Duchen—observing the Buddha’s descent from Tushita Heaven remembered in the 9th month of the Tibetan calendar.
Compassion in Action Events are offered year round. These events are a great way to offer service to our local community. Occasionally, compassion in action events will encompass people and places across the world. Our recent events included donations to animal shelters and to the local blood bank. For more information, go to our upcoming events page and our calendar. And if there is an event you would like to lead or sponsor, do contact our office.