Upcoming Events with Robert AF Thurman & Friends

Kalachalra 2017 Study and Practice Group EventsLearn about upcoming events, teachings & appearances with Robert AF Thurman both in-person and online:

    Love Your Enemies New Year’s Retreat @ Menla
    Dec 27 2017 @ 3:00 pm – Jan 1 2018 @ 12:00 pm

    Real Love: Annual New Year’s Dharma & Yoga Retreat
    With Sharon Salzberg, Robert AF Thurman, Carolyn Christie and Brooke Myers December 27, 2017 – January 1, 2018

    Mind, said Buddha, is the key to both happiness and unhappiness. The untrained mind, only partially conscious, is often a victim of itself. During much of our waking life, we are not actually aware of what our minds are doing. All kinds of negative inclinations are continually being reinforced and we act because of thoughts of which we are only marginally aware. The Buddha taught mindfulness to counter this tendency, to wake us up from mindlessness, and to help us move forward to live with the enormous capacity we have as human beings for wisdom and compassion.

    The most important function of mindfulness is to serve as a platform for waking up to reality: who we are, the truths of change and interdependence, where happiness actually comes from. Most particularly, at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching is a vexing proposition: that the self as we conventionally experience it is a fiction. What does this mean? Can we really understand it? What are the implications for how we live our lives?

    This workshop will explore, discuss and make possible an experience of a more true happiness, one infused with reality, wakefulness, wisdom and compassion, as we begin the new year.

    In addition to Buddhist teachings and meditation, Carolyn and Brooke will offer two Iyengar Yoga classes each day (you need not practice Iyengar yoga specifically to participate in the yoga classes)

    Join these wonderful teachers in setting intentions for and ringing in 2018!

    Open to all levels of experience to learn more & to register click on the ticket link or visit:

    Pilgrimage to Laos & Northern Thailand @ Tibet House US
    Jan 13 @ 12:00 pm – Jan 23 @ 3:00 pm

    Pilgrimage to Laos & Northern Thailand Robert AF Thurman
    January 13th – January 23rd, 2018

    Laos is one of Asia’s least visited, least changed countries. This once-powerful kingdom, known as Lan Xang (or “Million Elephants”), was founded in the 14th century with the help of the Khmers and went on to become one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia until its demise in the late 19th century. It is a peaceful place, filled with the legendary hospitality, resilience, and friendliness of the Lao people. Laos is Old Asia preserved.

    After three days in the bucolic capital of Luang Prabang, we travel two days by boat to the Thai border. Here we have three days to explore the Golden Triangle from our base at the elegant Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Elephant Camp. Our journey ends with two nights in Thailand’s northern capital, the ancient city of Chiang Mai.

    Most mornings you begin your day with a meditation. Each evening your leaders will provide an itinerary update and schedule for the following day. The sightseeing below may be amended based on any special visits we’re able to arrange. Please remember that patience, a sense of humor and a flexible spirit will go a long way on this momentous journey.

    Force for Good Spring 2018 Class Series @ Tibet House US
    Feb 14 @ 7:00 pm – Apr 25 @ 9:00 pm

    H. H. Dalai Lama’s Force for Good Continuation Buddhist Scientific, Ethical, and Psychological Education with Robert AF Thurman and THUS Faculty.

    February 14, 21, 28, March 7 and April 4, 11, 18, 25

    This spring we will continue our course to further H. H. the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Mind and Life science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story), along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility), and finally, His opening up the study of the esoteric Tantras through his 34 Kalachakra Grand Initiations (The Kalachakra Initiation, Tantra in Tibet, and other such works).

    The “root texts” for this spring, for Part 1, will be “The Noble Teaching of Vimalakirti Sutra”, and for Part 2: “Nagarjuna’s Jewel Garland” along with selections from various other works in English translation, as well as passages from works of His Holiness.

    Some readings will be available for purchase, others provided online to enrollees.

    The course can be taken as a whole, in two separate units of three or four, or one by one.

    Faculty: Robert AF Thurman

    Force For Good 2018 Class schedule:
    Part 1: February 14, 21, 28, March 7;
    Part 2: April 4, 11, 18, 25.

    Part 1:
    This Magical World of Shakyamuni Buddha as Revealed by Vimalakirti
    February 14 – Intro, How to Build a Buddhaverse and Buddhist Nondual Physics
    February 21 – Consolation of the Invalid – Selflesnes, Emptiness, Relativity, and Nonduality
    February 28 – The Inconceivable Liberation, and the Feminine Wisdom

    Part 2: Buddhist Ethics and the World Crisis: Counsel for Kings (Ratnavali)
    April 4 – The Ethics of Restraint and The Evolutionary Basis
    April 11 – The Ethics of Evolutionary Skill in Goodness
    April 18 – The Ethics of Transformation and Power
    April 25 – The Ethics of Cool Revolution

    Tentative May 2 and May 9, possible course on Mind-Transformation (Lojong) and Healing Exorcism, with Lelung Tulku Rinpoche. Details to be announced as they are available.

    To attend in person:
    General: $25 / Members:$22.50 for each session.

    Part 1 or Part 2 General: $90 / Members: $80 for each part.
    Entire Series General: $180/ Members: $160.

    This Force For Good Series will be livestreamed.
    $7 for each session and $50 for whole series.

    Visionary Salon: Man of Peace Book Discussion @ COSM Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
    Feb 17 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

    Visionary Salon: Man of Peace Book Discussion with Robert & Nena Thurman, William Meyers, Michael G Burbank, Alex Grey & Allyson Grey Saturday, February 17th, 2018 7:30 PM

    Join author’s & artists, Robert Thurman, William, Meyers, Michael Burbank, Alex Grey & Allyson Grey for a discussion on the book Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama.

    The story of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the world’s foremost proponent of peace and nonviolence, as depicted in this full-color graphic novel, tells in its second and third parts of his educational training in childhood to ascend to the height of Buddhist learning and the political leadership of Tibet. He attains maturity and bodhisattvic power just in time to cope head-on with the invasion and occupation of Tibet by Communist China. The clash of implacably opposed cultural forces over the years of occupation leads finally, in 1959, to the young Dalai Lama’s escape, with his family and closest followers, into exile in India.

    The fourth through tenth concluding parts relate the life and heroic activity of His Holiness in exile, as spokesperson for the vast community of Tibetan exiles now established in countries around the world. Still longing for the recovery of an autonomous, culturally free, homeland, the Dalai Lama and his people deal with unrelenting oppression under occupation, while continuing to live the Tibetan lifestyle of compassion, devotion, and indefatigable good cheer.

    Acknowledgement by Alex Grey:

    “I am honored William Meyers invited me to be part of the MAN OF PEACE project with such respected colleagues. It was his inspiration that lead me to paint the portrait in 1995. My wife Allyson and I first saw the Dalai Lama speak at Harvard University in 1979 and then took a five day course in 1981 at Harvard with His Holiness on Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva Way. Throughout the decades we have studied with the Dalai Lama and our whole family received the Kalachakra Initiation at Madison Square Garden in 1991. Finally in 2005 I got to meet His Holiness face to face and share my art, giving him a copy of the portrait. He was so gracious and loving, he is like everyone’s long lost best friend, reminding us of what is most important, bringing love, wisdom and healing to the world.

    Dalai Lama is a portrait of the Tibetan religious leader and representative of the bodhisattvic ideal of wisdom and compassion. He is shown in a prayerful blessing posture, which is his common greeting. He describes himself as a humble monk, but his followers know him also as the worldly incarnation of the Buddha of active compassion, Avalokitesvara, who is shown translucently behind the monk. The prayer to this Buddha is also the national mantra of Tibet, Om Mani Padme Hum, and it is repeated in the background as a manifestation of the sky-like nature of mind. The Dalai Lama’s magnificent residence in Tibet, the Potala, is also seen. For the past four decades the Chinese military has occupied Tibet, destroyed monasteries, and committed atrocities against the Tibetan people. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile from his homeland, remains one of the world’s foremost proponents of non-violence and peaceful resolution.”


    12:00 pm – CoSM Open to the Public
    12:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Urban Permaculture with Andrew Faust
    7:30 pm – Book Discussion
    8:30 pm – Break
    9:00 pm – Book Discussion
    10:00 pm – End of Event
    11:00 pm – CoSM Closed

    Rooms are available for rent in Grey House, CoSM’s fully renovated Visionary Victorian guest house.
    To book accommodations for this event, please call 845 297 2323 ext.104 or email us at [email protected]

    The artwork of Alex Grey & Allyson Grey plus many other visionary artists are on display in the guest house. Booking Calendar

    The CoSM Store and the Mushroom Cafe will be open.

    CoSM: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, 46 Deer Hill Road, Wappinger, New York, 12590

    Admission: $15 presale / $20 at the door

    Kālachakra Study & Practice Intensive @ Menla
    Feb 19 @ 3:00 pm – Feb 28 @ 1:00 pm

    Kalachakra Study + Practice Retreat with Robert AF Thurman at Menla Feb 2018Kālachakra Study & Practice Intensive With Robert AF Thurman, Michele Loew, Kim Desrosiers and Michael G. Burbank February 19 – 28, 2018 at Menla in Phoenicia, New York.

    Robert Thurman brilliantly elucidates and vividly brings to life the many dimensions of the Kālachakra Tantra in this special series of study and practice Intensives.

    The 2018 Kālachakra Winter Intensive is a full 10 days (9 nights) and focuses on a special Kālachakra Mind Mandala sadhana practice which Dr. Thurman himself uses and will share with all participants. This retreat is intended and reserved for those who have participated in any Kālachakra Initiation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or another qualified lama, taking the requisite lay, bodhisattva, and tantric vows, and who are interested in deepening their understanding and practice of the Kālachakra Tantra.

    Thurman has attended over a dozen Kālachakra initiations and has led small groups through the complex initiation process conferred by the Dalai Lama, shedding light on its underlying philosophy and its complex symbolism. Having been preserved for centuries in the fabled kingdom of Shambhala, the Kālachakra Tantra is an Unexcelled Yoga Tantra system of teachings which is believed to originate directly from Shakyamuni Buddha and which revolves around the concept of cycles (chakra) of time (kāla), from the cycles of the planets and the outer world to the cycles of human breathing and our physical-spiritual development.

    It teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one’s mind and body on the path to enlightenment, through famously complex deity yoga which helps practitioners with a basic understanding of emptiness dissolve their ordinary sense of self and re-create themselves in the ideal form of the Kālachakra deity pair in union who represent omniscient Buddhahood–the union of great bliss and the wisdom perceiving emptiness. Since Kālachakra is created of time and everything manifest is under the influence of time, Kālachakra Buddha is experiential knowledge of all manifest reality. Vishvamata, his spiritual consort and complement, is aware of all that is timeless, not time-bound, or out of the realm of time. In yab-yum union, they are temporality and atemporality conjoined and represent the full glory of the ultimate nature of reality, compassionately abiding in a vast multidimensional mandala rich with symbolic meaning.

    To learn more about the “Kalachakra Study & Practice Retreat” and other upcoming programs with Robert AF Thurman please visit:

    Anxiety Addiction & Depression To Love Relief & Understanding @ Tibet House US
    May 11 @ 7:00 pm – May 12 @ 5:00 pm

    Friday, May 11; 7-9PM

    From Anxiety, Addiction and Depression to Love, Relief and Understanding: A Buddhist Approach
    Sharon Salzberg, Mark Epstein and Robert Thurman

    Trauma happens to everyone. The potential for it is part and parcel of the precariousness of human existence. Some traumas–loss, death, accidents, disease or abuse—are sudden and explicit; others—like lack of attunement between children and their parents—are more ongoing and subtle. But it is hard to imagine the scope of an individual life without envisioning some kind of trauma: big or little. Everyone has to deal with it some time or other and anxiety, addiction, and depression are natural reactions.

    Despite this fact, many people are reluctant to acknowledge their inner struggles. They shy away from facing them, in the hope that this will make them more normal. Carrying on as if their underlying feelings of disease are shameful, they stay more on the surface of themselves than need be. The Buddha, one of the world’s first great psychologists, saw this tendency toward disavowal as a problem. Always a realist, he made acknowledgement of suffering the centerpiece of his First Noble Truth. The great promise of the Buddha’s teachings is that suffering is only his First Truth. Truths Three and Four (the End of Suffering and the Eightfold Path to its relief) offers something that therapy has long aspired to but found difficult to achieve. Acknowledging the traumas in our lives is important; learning how to relate to them is crucial.

    This evening’s workshop will explore the Buddhist approach through talk, discussion and meditation.

    Saturday, May 12; 10AM-5PM

    Facing the Ego
    Sharon Salzberg, Mark Epstein and Robert Thurman

    Both Buddhist and Western psychologies have found that the ego, the primary mechanism of defense against the unpredictability of the world, is not always to be trusted. Anxiety, depression and addiction have their roots in the ego’s misguided attempts to control our experience. Based in a belief in its own separateness, the ego all too often acts in a frightened, clumsy and inefficient manner, whispering to us in our inner thoughts and driving a wedge between self and others. While the ego is a necessary construction, it can be treacherous. It is a mistake to give it too much power. Today’s workshop, with further talk, discussion and meditation practice, will focus on bringing the ego out of its hiding places. Unless we face the ego head on, we can never find the relief and love we yearn for.


    Friday, May 11; 7-9 PM | General: $25/Members:$22.50
    Saturday, May 12; 10 AM-5 PM | General $80/Members:$72

    Embracing the Sacred Feminine @ Menla
    May 31 @ 3:00 pm – Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm

    Join Isa Gucciardi, author of ‘Return to the Great Mother’ and Tibet House US President Robert AF Thurman to explore the vast dimensions of the Sacred Feminine.

    In this workshop, men and women will examine and connect with the transformative and healing power of the Sacred Feminine. We will explore the ways this power has been misunderstood and students will learn methods of holding this power in positive and life affirming ways.

    Students will have plenty of time to discover a more intimate relationship with the earth and the Sacred Feminine in the unique and nurturing physical environment of Menla.

    Buddha & the Yogis: Divine Feminine Retreat @ Tibet House US
    Aug 17 @ 3:00 pm – Aug 24 @ 1:00 pm

    The Buddha and the Yogis: The Divine Feminine with Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor and Robert AF Thurman August 17 – 24, 2018 at Menla in Phoenicia, New York.

    The Buddha and the Yogis: The Divine Feminine retreat brings together three contemporary Buddhist and yogic masters to serve as guides for participants to actively explore, intellectually and experientially, some of the profound texts and practices from the yogic technologies associated with Tantric Mahayana Buddhism and Vedantic Hinduism, in the pristine hidden mountain valley of Menla, land of the Medicine Buddha.

    This year’s retreat explores the interface of Buddhism and yoga with the unique perspective we glean by looking through the eyes of the divine feminine. In both Buddhism and Vedantic yoga traditions, the feminine voice—expressed through numerous goddesses—has a strong presence that provides balance and insight into internal yoga involving the central channel and the transmutation of deep emotions.

    In this course we will explore traditional myths, texts, and practices—such as the Devi Mahatyam on the Yogi/nis’ side of things, and some of the Tara and Vajrayogini literatures as well as Unexcelled Yoga Tantra on the Buddha’s side—that represent the perspective of the feminine, giving voice powerfully to the feminine principal itself. We will look at the fantastical stories and unravel their insights as they shed light on traditional philosophical views as well as on contemporary circumstances and culture.

    We will practice yoga asana in the Ashtanga yoga tradition daily as well as explore sitting practice, chanting, and pranayama as foundations for embodying the practice more fully in our lives. Each day will include lively explorations and discussions of the merging and differences between Buddhist and yogic teachings and practices, with all classes following the traditional structure for teaching in the Indo-Tibetan traditions: listening, contemplating, and meditating/practicing, the last of which is the process by which all concepts come to be integrated into personal experience. All lecture-based classes include opportunities for Q&A and dialogue with students, guided meditations, and illuminating investigation of esoteric texts.

    Join us for this totally unique, personally transformative, and very inspiring event—all levels welcome!

    Outing the Ego Retreat @ Menla
    Aug 24 @ 3:00 pm – Aug 27 @ 1:00 pm

    Outing the Ego Addiction Retreat with Robert AF Thurman and Mark Epstein M.D. at Menla Aug2018Outing The Ego: From Anxiety, Addiction & Depression To Love, Relief and Understanding with Mark Epstein M.D. and Robert AF Thurman at Menla in Phoenicia, New York August 24th – August 27th, 2018.

    Both Buddhist and Western psychologies have found that the ego, the primary mechanism of defense against the unpredictability of the world, is not always to be trusted. Anxiety, addiction and depression have their roots in the ego’s misguided attempts to control our experience. Based in a belief in its own separateness, the ego all too often acts in a frightened, clumsy and inefficient manner, whispering to us in our inner thoughts and driving a wedge between self and others.

    While the ego is a necessary construction, it can be treacherous. It is a mistake to give it too much power. Focused on discussion and meditation practice, this workshop will focus on using the Buddha’s Eightfold Path to bring the ego out of its hiding places. Until we face the ego head on, we can never find the relief and love we yearn for. Using material from Mark’s new book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, as well as ancient Buddhist wisdom, Mark and Bob will offer thoughtful and inspiring alternatives to our habitual egocentric preoccupations.

    To learn more about “Outing The Ego” and other upcoming programs with Robert AF Thurman and friends please visit:

    About Mark Epstein, M.D.

    Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New York City and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism & psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire, Psychotherapy without the Self & The Trauma of Everyday Life. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.

    Connect with Mark Epstein M.D.

    Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

    Shamans + Siddhas Retreat @ Menla
    Oct 4 @ 3:00 pm – Oct 7 @ 1:00 pm

    Shamans + Siddhas Retreat Meeting at the Crossroads of Shamanism & Tantra with Isa Gucciardi and Robert AF Thurman Oct 4th – 7th at Menla in Phoenicia, New York.

    In this retreat, we will review the historic encounters between these two spiritual traditions from world indigenous and Indic regions and learn how they have informed one another from time immemorial. While steeped in philosophy and psychology, this retreat is also highly experiential in nature.

    We will explore methods of going inward drawn from both traditions including the Shamanic Journey and Indo-Tibetan Deity Meditation. The Shamanic Journey is an ancient and time-tested method that shamans around the world have used to develop a deep relationship with the powers of the Earth and Cosmos. Deity Meditation is a form of meditation that brings the meditator into an intimate understanding of the fields of wisdom, sensitivity, and power held by the deities of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. We will explore the role of ritual and ceremony in both contexts and learn what role ritual and ceremony provide in bringing forward the realizations, sensitivities, and powers that are the fruits of these deep forms of inner exploration.

    We will not only learn the basics of the shaman’s journey but also meditate, dialogue together, and create and perform ceremonies in order to align ourselves with the power that these two traditions have provided humanity for millennia. Daily yoga will also be offered.