Upcoming Events with Robert A.F. Thurman & Friends

Kalachalra 2017 Study and Practice Group EventsLearn about upcoming events, teachings & appearances with Robert A.F. Thurman both in-person and online, please visit: Robert A.F. Thurman Upcoming Events.
Buddhism and Psychotherapy Retreat with Mark Epstein M.D.
Aug 16 @ 3:00 pm – Aug 18 @ 1:00 pm
Buddhism and Psychotherapy Retreat with Mark Epstein M.D. @ Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa

What does it mean to heal? Buddhist and Western psychotherapists have different visions of healing.

In Buddhism, the emphasis is often on taming the mind in order to bring out underlying qualities of wisdom and compassion. In psychotherapy, there is a much greater concern with excavating childhood difficulties and working through emotional blockages so as to free a person from the vestiges of the past. Can these two approaches be reconciled? What can Buddhism learn from therapy, and what can therapists learn from Buddhism? Those of us who have grown up in the West, struggling personally with issues like anxiety or addiction, often benefit from aspects of each tradition.

This weekend’s workshop, through lectures, discussion, meditation and questions and answers, will explore what an integrated approach to healing actually looks like.

Join Buddhist psychiatrist Mark Epstein M.D. and Professor Robert A.F. Thurman as they explore what it means to heal your mind.

To learn more and to register, please visit:

Platform of Joy with Sharon Salzberg and Mark Epstein M.D.
Sep 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Platform of Joy with Sharon Salzberg and Mark Epstein M.D. @ Tibet House US

In a famous statement, the Buddha said that he taught one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering. Although this sounds like two things, he meant what he said. Within longing, behind addiction, beneath rage and under confusion lies a joy that is accessible to all. Uncovered during a period of self-investigation preceding his enlightenment, this joy became the wellspring of the Buddha’s psychology and the foundation of what he called the Middle Path.

In more recent times, it has been rediscovered by some of the more thoughtful psychoanalytic practitioners of our own culture. This evening’s gathering, bringing together three Western Buddhist therapists and teachers, will explore this platform of joy, what makes it available and unavailable, and how it can contribute to our psychological and spiritual health. Meditation will provide some relief from the discussion (or vice versa).

Friday September 6; 7-9PM

JOIN IN-PERSON: General:$25/Members:$22.50
JOIN ONLINE: $7 (there is no member discount)

For more information and registration, visit:

Mindfulness & Beyond with Sharon Salzberg and Mark Epstein M.D.
Sep 7 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Mindfulness & Beyond with Sharon Salzberg and Mark Epstein M.D. @ Tibet House US

Today’s workshop will focus on the role of mindfulness in the Buddha’s path to awakening. As it has become more and more popular in the West, mindfulness has sometimes been removed from the context in which it was originally presented. Rather than understood as a precursor to insight, it is often presented as an end in itself. This puts too much of a burden on mindfulness to solve all of our problems. Today’s discussion brings together three longtime practitioners of mindfulness to bring fresh perspective to our understanding of the spiritual path. Mindfulness is a means of training the mind to observe itself. To what end? We will explore, through discussion and meditation, the Buddhist view of self and selflessness, compassion and emptiness, and suffering and its release. Particular attention will be paid to how to make mindfulness relevant to the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Saturday, September 7; 10am-4:30pm

JOIN IN-PERSON: General:$80/Members:$72
JOIN ONLINE: $20 (there is no member discount)

For more information, visit:

Buddha & the Yogis London with Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman
Sep 15 @ 4:30 am – Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm
Buddha & the Yogis London with Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman @ The Hellenic Centre

In today’s world, difference and diversity are being used as roots for divisiveness, and there is no room for understanding the common thread of compassion that is at the centre of every human heart. Lies are replacing truth, conscience is out of vogue, and diversity is becoming a breeding ground for hatred and violence. This sort of intolerance is not new, but it has reached epic levels in current times.

Yet the insight that invites transformation arises where seemingly contradictory or opposing things meet; where night meets day, inhale meets exhale, or peace meets war. If each differing side stands unwavering in its own form, intelligence can grind to a halt. However, instead of resisting the other, a healthy mind learns to compare and contrast, while both contemplating differences and questioning similarities. This is the path of yoga, and this is also the Mahayana path of Buddhism.

In this intensive, we will go deeply into practices and philosophical underpinnings of both Buddhism and yoga. We will train body and mind, opening both to new perspectives. We will explore central themes and corners of these two great schools, which share a common root yet have healthy dissimilarities. In doing so, we will aim to see beyond surface differences that might fool us into divisively pitting them one against the other.

We will do this using asana, meditation, chanting and lively philosophical discussions. We will cultivate the questioning mind and the clarity that is an open, tender heart. In particular, by comparing and contrasting the devotional Bhagavad Gita with the study of Mahayana Buddhism we will explore how these teachings may inform us on a path toward insight and compassion.

The intensive is open to all with an interest in yoga and/or Buddhist philosophy, so long as you have at least 6 months’ regular asana practice and are willing to come with an open mind and heart. No specific understanding of philosophy, yoga or Buddhism, is needed. Each day will begin with a two hour guided asana class which will focus on the internal forms of breathing, bandha, mudra and dristi. In this way, we will work to cultivate the natural intelligence of the body by joining together the complementary aspects of breath, movement, sensation and mind. Working carefully and with attentiveness to subtle detail in this way allows us to move into, out of, and between postures with ease and integrity so that the mind may remain open, clear and steady. This will then lead us into chanting, guided meditation, lecture and discussion.

Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968, and teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s metaphorical, often humorous, teaching style appeals to students of many backgrounds and nationalities. He teaches workshops and trainings throughout the world, and remains an avid student fascinated by the linking points between different traditions and cultures. He is the co-founder, with Mary, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado; has produced a number of highly regarded yoga audio and video recordings; and is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and co-author of “The Art of Vinyasa”

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 and upon finding her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in 1988, and the Ashtanga Vinyasa system that she experienced the profound and transformative impact that a dedicated and daily practice can have on all aspects of life. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings, travels and co-teaches with Richard Freeman and co-founded with Richard the Yoga Workshop.

To learn more and to register, please visit:

Role of Bliss in the Path: Teachings of Jey Tsong Khapa
Sep 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Role of Bliss in the Path: Teachings of Jey Tsong Khapa @ St James's Church

Robert Thurman dedicates his talk this evening to the great Tibetan scholar-adept, Jey Rinpochey Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) in this 600th anniversary year. He will discuss Tsong Khapa’s life and significant contributions to world Buddhism in his day and how ‘great bliss’ (mahāsukha – bde ba chen po) serves as the key element in Jey Rinpoche’s teaching and in the Buddhist path generally.

He will discuss how the cessation of suffering is the most conservative possible way to refer to the bliss of total release, and how what might be called, provocatively, the ‘Four Nobler Truths’, revealed in exoteric Mahāyāna Discourses such as the Vimalakirti and the Lotus Sutra and in the esoteric Mahāyāna Tantras, are subtly conveyed by intimation in the Pali traditions. He will conclude by discussing the significance of all this in the current planetary crisis.

To Learn more and to register, please visit:

Lift the Earth : Bringing Peace To Our Ancestors
Sep 19 @ 3:00 pm – Sep 23 @ 1:00 pm
Lift the Earth : Bringing Peace To Our Ancestors @ Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa

Taking place on World Peace Day and the Fall Equinox, Life the Earth is a four-day event, from September 19-23, which includes the participation of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, Alice Walker, Dr. Henrietta Mann, Chief Phil Lane, Dr. Robert Thurman and other spiritual leaders and activists from around the world.

This gathering will include interactive dialogue, prayer circles and teachings on ancestral healing, water and land issues, and the future for the generations to come.

Join us for this special event and participate in this world-wide collective prayer for outer and inner peace.

To learn more and to register, please visit:

9/20 Climate Strike in New York City
Sep 20 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC and on the two year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, young people and adults will strike all across the US and the world to demand transformative action to address the climate crisis. Millions of us will take to the streets globally to demand justice for our present and a right to a future. In New York, we will march and rally to demand real action by our elected officials and world leaders.

Hurricane Maria tore through communities in Puerto Rico, devastating the Island back in 2017. Two years later, the Puerto Rican diáspora is rising and joining the Climate Strike to honor the 4,645 lives lost in the worst natural disaster recorded in the island’s history. Climate catastrophes like Maria are fueled by powerful hedge funds that profit from the climate crisis. They invest millions in fossil fuel companies driving climate change while pushing for crippling austerity measures caused in part by climate change. This is why climate justice is economic justice.

We will gather at Foley Square and then take to the streets to march to Battery Park. The event will conclude with speakers and performers, including Fridays For Future movement starter Greta Thunberg and NY-based youth leaders.

RSVP Now on Action Network to #StrikewithUs #CancelTheDebt

Join ArtBuilds in Brooklyn to make banners, signs and other amazing art for the strike.
Sept 14 10-6 pm:
Sept 15 10-6 pm:

Please spread the word far and wide about this critical moment for the climate movement.

Reminder: Please RSVP at this link as well to be kept up to date on all Climate Strike related news: “

This Pig Year: Dalai Lama’s 84th Year
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Special Lectures with Professor Robert Thurman – Buddhism, Tibet, and the Four Nobler Truths

This lecture will discuss the Tibetan tradition of the “obstacle year,” the idea that when one’s birth animal year comes around every twelve years, there is danger of an obstacle bringing us some misfortune. In H. H. the Dalai Lama’s case, since his fate is so tied to that of the Tibetan nation, there has been a tendency for all of Tibet to undergo hardships during Pig Years. In this illustrated lecture, we will go through the Man of Peace Illustrated Life Story of His Holiness to show how eacvh pig year has brought certain challenges that fortunately have been overcome only by special efforts.

Turning to the present year, we see how deeply challenged Tibet is still today, and will reflect upon what we are all doing and can further do now to overcome the present challenges. For example, the current exhibition at Tibet House US can be considered a way of responding to the catastrophe of severe oppression, a heart’s witness to the extreme sacrifices of the many Tibetan martyrs who have offered their own lives and bodies.

Wednesday, October 2; 7-9PM | General:$25/Members:$22.50

Shamans and Siddhas Retreat with Isa Gucciardi Ph.D.
Oct 3 @ 3:00 pm – Oct 6 @ 1:00 pm
Shamans and Siddhas Retreat with Isa Gucciardi Ph.D. @ Menla

This retreat focuses on the traditions of the “psychonauts,” explorers of the subtle realms of dream, death, and all “between” states. Such people are known as “shamans” in indigenous traditions and as “siddhas” or “adepts” in Buddhist and Hindu Tantric traditions.

Isa Gucciardi Ph.D. joins Robert Thurman in exploring the deep and vast dimensions of these traditions, focusing on our planetary welcoming of various forms that consciousness takes in this time of global crisis, as she has done from time immemorial. Shamans and siddha-adepts provide us with resources from long-developed, time-tested positive sciences and arts that help us celebrate the blessings of reality and live meaningfully in the midst of the ups and downs of our daily lives ever more realistically and happily.

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 over the centuries. 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.

This program is appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.

Daily all levels yoga will also be offered. Ideal for long time Yogis + Yoginis or for those looking to begin a practice.

To watch free previews from past programs please visit the Tibet House US Membership Community Facebook Group or subscribe to the Tibet House US YouTube Channel.

To learn more about this all levels program click on the tickets link or visit:

Pilgrimage to Bhutan : Journey in the Land of the Thunder Dragon
Oct 13 @ 11:00 pm – Oct 27 @ 2:00 am
Pilgrimage to Bhutan : Journey in the Land of the Thunder Dragon @ Bhutan

Acclaimed Buddhist scholar and distinguished author Dr. Robert Thurman leads us on an extraordinary spiritual journey through the last remaining Tibetan Buddhist kingdom: Bhutan.

Together we explore sacred temples and monasteries, enjoy day hikes through lovely landscapes, and take time for daily meditation and teachings. Along the way, we also examine Bhutan’s unique cultural, religious, and environmental positions and its efforts at continuation and preservation.

The trip is co-led by GeoEx’s award-winning Brent Olson. Brent has traveled to the Land of the Thunder Dragon more than 45 times in the last 27 years and is the ranking Western expert on the Himalayan Kingdom.

A Journey Benefiting Tibet House US

This special journey with Dr. Thurman was custom crafted for and benefits Tibet House, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.

To learn more and to reserve your spot, please click on the ‘Tickets’ Link or visit:

New Year’s Dharma, Yoga, & Chanting Retreat
Dec 27 2019 @ 3:00 pm – Jan 1 2020 @ 6:00 pm
New Year's Dharma, Yoga, & Chanting Retreat @ Menla

New Year’s Dharma, Yoga, & Devotional Chanting Retreat with Krishna Das, Robert A.F. Thurman and friends happening this December 27th – Jan 1st, 2020 at Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa in Phoenicia, New York!

This retreat combines Krishna Das’ bhakti and universal love teachings—descended from his guru, Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba—with Bob’s teachings on mindful metta in the spirit of our annual new year’s retreat’s co-founder, Sharon Salzberg. Bob will also draw from the Indo-Tibetan non-dual wisdom and compassion tradition of the great Bodhisattvas, whose selfless love and compassion for all beings contributed in ancient India to the wondrous river of bhakti devotion and liberating joy.

On this retreat we will invoke Krishna-Radha, Sita-Ram, Lokeshvara, Tara, and Hanuman, celebrating their tireless divine efforts to save the world from needless suffering with chanting, learning, meditating, and energizing and healing the body.

We will learn together from the Bhagavad Gita, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Ramayana, the Metta Sutta and the Vimalakirti Sutra, among key ancient sources.

To build motivation for the coming year, we will look to the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba via Krishna Das and Ram Dass and of H. H. Dalai Lama via Bob to revitalize ourselves together to deal joyfully and successfully with the challenges of these pivotal times.

In addition to the teachings, stories, kirtans, and meditations led by KD and Bob, each day Carolyn Christie and Brooke Myers will offer pranayama and expert Iyengar yoga instruction, Nina Rao will lead Hanuman chaleesa chanting, and Paul Bloom will teach Qi Gong.

On New Year’s Eve, we will enjoy a spectacular sound healing session performed by Woodstock’s Sage Academy of Sound. Finally, two illuminating astrology classes—with master astrologer and astronomer Alexander Mallon—will help shed light on cosmic patterns we can expect in the near future, our “astrological forecast,” as we come together to let go of constricting habit-patterns and set meaningfully expansive intentions for the coming year.

Open to all levels of experience.

We encourage you to register early as space is limited!

Buddha & the Yogis: Wheel of Time at the River of Stars
Jan 22 @ 9:00 pm – Jan 28 @ 9:00 pm
Buddha & the Yogis: Wheel of Time at the River of Stars @ Puu O Hoku Ranch

This year’s Buddha & Yogis retreat in Molokai, Hawaii will intimately explore the super-subtle sciences of Vajrayana found in Mahayana Buddhist Tantras & the Yogic Tantras of Saivism and Vaishnavism.We will explore these subtle mind yogas intellectually and experientially with daily practices of yoga asana, pranayama, mantra & meditation within the tantric mandala, and with teachings on the Unexcelled Yoga Tantra of the Kalachakra “Wheel of Time” on the Buddhist side, & Sankaracharya’s “Yoga Taravali” (River of Stars) on the Yogis’ Side.

Within an intention of providing us with the experiential wisdom of knowing the nature of reality, the Kalachakra tantra especially is an art of rebuilding the universe over time out of love and compassion knowing that within this context beings could be provided the tools to evolve and find true happiness.Sharing practices which provide students with the wisdom, technical skills and transformative abilities to reshape the universe and intimately know the awakened experiences of the Buddha & the Yogis, this retreat will be powerful to all.

Join us for this immersion in the magic of the forest, ocean, sky, and the tantric mandala.Pu’u O Hoku Ranch is a family-owned biodynamic and organic ranch and farm, rustic retreat center, and sublime getaway on the remote and tranquil east end of Molokai, Hawaii.

“Pu’u O Hoku” is surrounded by more than 14,000 acres of protected land, immersed in the transcendent beauty of one of Hawaii’s most amazing islands.

Don’t miss this opportunity to start the New Year & 2020 in beauty and the bliss of these inspired yoga practices and studies with master teachers in this intimate and natural setting.

Only 11 rooms available, so please book soon!