The Wisdom of Atisha & Knowing our Own Minds

Solitary cabin and landscape at Miyo Samten Ling

SEPTEMBER 13-20, 2021


This in-person retreat at Miyo Samten Ling in Crestone, Colorado will begin with oral commentaries on Alan Wallace’s two freshly translated dialogues between Atisha and his principal disciple Drom Tönpa, entitled, “Cutting the Root of Suffering and Equalizing Excitation and Laxity” and “Blaming Everything on a Single Culprit.” These two exchanges go right to the heart of meditation, while at the same time representing a lively guru-disciple exchange that is both reverent and critical at the same time.

Then we shall turn to a close examination of the fifty-one mental factors according to classic Indian Buddhist psychology. These provide a meaningful framework in which to understand the workings of the mind, with a special emphasis on identifying those mental processes that afflict the mind and those that nurture mental health and well-being.

This theoretical presentation will be complemented with the experiential exploration of the mind by means of the Buddha’s own pith instructions of applying discerning mindfulness to feelings, the mind, and the mental factors that obscure the natural luminosity and purity of the mind and those that advance one along the path to enlightenment.

The retreat will consist of three sessions of lectures and guided meditations followed by a 1-hour discussion period daily. In person attendance will be very limited, audio and video recordings of the retreat will also be available.

This retreat will be held in-person at Miyo Samten Ling (with limited capacity and by registration only) and will also be offered as a recorded livestream virtual event, including live Q&A via Zoom.