Pūrvaka: Entering the Vajrayana through the Preliminary Practices (Registration Closed)

A 10-day retreat on the ngöndro or Vajrayana preliminary practices led by instructors authorised by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The retreat will primarily focus on the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro. Each day will have guided practice sessions, teachings, and Q&A with instructors.

*You are welcome to join the retreat even if you are already practicing any other ngöndro, however, the teachings and guidance will mainly focus on the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro.

All registered participants are encouraged to arrive on 25 April for orientation and meet and greet with the instructors at 4 pm at the Deer Park Institute dining hall.

A typical day during the retreat would be like this:
*The schedule is primarily a representation and is subject to change in the event of an unexpected situation that may require flexibility within the limits of the retreat timings

06.30 – 07.30 Practice Session (in silence)
07.30 – 08.30 Breakfast (in silence)
08.30 – 10.00 Teaching with Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok
10.00 – 10.30 Tea Break
10.30 – 12.00 Practice Session
12.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 15.30 Instruction and practice with Ngondro Gar instructors
15.30 – 16.00 Tea Break
16.00 – 17.30 Practice Session
17.30 – 19.00 Dinner Break
19.00 – 20.00 Practice Session and Group Dedication

Main retreat: 26 April – 5 May

Meet our teachers and instructors

Arne Schelling
Arne has been a Buddhist since his teenage time, and now mainly works as a dharma instructor, editor, and translator in different sanghas of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He has helped to establish various Buddhist centers in Germany, is an archivist, a physician, and a videographer, and is currently in the teacher training programs of the Milinda Project and Nitartha Institute.



Cydney Kawamura
Cydney was born and raised in Hawaii. She moved to the “mainland” for college then settled in Seattle after graduating with a nursing degree. She started meditating in 1998 under the Zen tradition. HH Dalai Lama’s message of compassion led her to the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in 1999. Under the kind guidance of HH Jigdal Dagchen Rinpoche, she took refuge in 2000 and practiced Chenrezi meditation for 7 years. She became a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2007. Cydney completed a 3-year retreat at the Vajradhara Gonpa in Australia in 2012 and has been a Siddhartha’s Intent instructor for Ngondro Gar since 2017. She continues to reside in Seattle.


Venerable Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok
Venerable Khenpo Sonam Phuntsok is one of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s senior students. He was trained at Dzongsar Institute in classical Buddhist philosophy from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2013. He also completed a 3-year meditation retreat in Bhutan more than two decades ago. He occasionally helps Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s students with their study and practice. Khenpo lives in India and Bhutan.



Stephanie Suter
Stephanie’s first step on the Buddhist path was a 10-day Kalachakra teaching with HH Dalai Lama in NYC. She had no idea what was going on. Since then, she’s learned just a little bit. In 1996 she met Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and started her Ngondro shortly after. She began volunteering for Khyentse Foundation in 2006 and now manages KF’s Scholarships and Awards Program. She has been a Siddhartha’s Intent instructor for the Ngondro Gar since 2018. She is also an artist and currently lives in Hartford, Vermont, US.


Steve Cline
Steve Cline grew up in the Seattle area and worked as a university researcher in molecular biology for much of his adult life. In 1971 Steve became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, living first in Boulder, Colorado, and later in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During that time he was also a student and later an instructor of kyudo, the art of Japanese Zen archery, under the guidance of Kanjuro Shibata Sensei. In 1991 Steve became a student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and under Rinpoche’s guidance completed a three-year retreat in France in 1997. During that time Steve began to develop an interest in the translation of Tibetan liturgies, and over the years since then, he’s been involved in the translation of various Khyentse lineage liturgies into English. In 2003 Rinpoche assigned Steve to develop the curriculum for three-year retreats at Vajradhara Gonpa in Australia and Steve subsequently served as retreat master through two retreat program cycles. Steve currently lives in northern New South Wales.




Apr 26 2024 - May 05 2024