Advanced Topics and Geshe Teachings

Yellow-Jewel_75Welcome to our Geshe & Advanced Topics course schedule

These include courses taught by our resident Tibetan teacher (translated into English) and more advanced courses taught by other teachers. It is recommended that you have a good grasp of the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy as these courses can be quite challenging.

Advanced Study Programme at Chenrezig Institute

The Advanced Study Program offered at Chenrezig Institute is a comprehensive, five-year, twelve-subject course of studies designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. It provides a practice-oriented transmission of the Buddhadharma to committed students ready to progress to university level study and practice.

Please see full information about this program on our Advanced Study Page.

Realising the Nature of the Mind: Mahamudra Retreat with Glen Svensson

In the words of Panchen Losang Chogyi Gyeltsen: “May all migrators quickly gain victory over the two obscurations by means of this path, as there is no other second gateway to the state of peace.”

During this long weekend retreat we will be investigating the Gelug tradition of mahamudra using the Panchen Lama’s text A Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra.

The main practices covered will be how to develop single-pointed concentration through focussing on the mind (shamatha) and how to gain insight into the ultimate nature of the mind (vipashyana). This retreat will also highlight the preliminary practices which act as a foundation for mahamudra practice along with a brief discussion of the tantra or vajrayana level of practice.

This retreat is suitable for both beginners and those already established in the practice.


19:00 – 20:30 Session 1 (introduction)

Saturday & Sunday
06:45 – 07:30 Session 1 (meditation)
07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:15 Session 2
10:15 – 10:45 Tea break
10:45 – 12:00 Session 3
12:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:15 Session 4
15:15 – 15:45 Tea break
15:45 – 17:00 Session 5
17:00 – 18:30 Supper
18:30 – 20:00 Session 6

06:45 – 07:30 Session 1 (meditation)
07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 10:15 Session 2
10:15 – 10:45 Tea break
10:45 – 12:00 Session 3
12:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Session 4 (conclusion & advice)

Originally from Australia, Glen has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism since 1995 and graduated from the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at the Lama Tsong Khapa Institute Pomaia, Italy) in 2004.

Since 2005 he has taught and led meditation retreats in India, Europe, North America and Australia with a teaching style emphasizing clarity and stressing the integration of philosophical view, meditation and daily life conduct. 

Friday 25th January, 7.00pm – Monday 28th January 4.00pm. book now
Facility fee $150

Accommodation and meals available separately for purchase.


The Gateway to Understanding: Teachings on the Preliminary Practices with Geshe Tenzin Zopa


Chenrezig Institute is delighted to announce that Geshe Tenzin Zopa will be offering teachings on the preliminary practices, with an emphasis on Vajrasattva practice.

The Preliminary Practices or “ngondros” performed within the Tibetan tradition are designed to accumulate merit and purify negativities in order to quickly generate realizations on the path. They are also done in preparation for tantric practice and longer retreats. Once a practitioner has gained some stability in their study of and training in the teachings of sutra, and once preliminary practices (ngondro) have been completed, one is ready to enter into tantra practice.

A practitioner wants to practice tantra because their compassion and bodhichitta aim are so deep and strong, they can’t bear the amount of time it takes to reach enlightenment through the sutra methods alone. Tantra is the method for putting all of the sutra practices together in an extremely efficient, holistic manner. Geshe Tenzin Zopa continues to deepen our understanding of tantra, and how and why we can utilise the tantric path to truly benefit ourselves and all suffering beings quickly.

Students studying Discovering Buddhism and the Tantra modules of our Advanced Study program are well placed to benefit from these precious teachings that will support their future study and practice. Newer students will be inspired by the efforts of these dedicated practitioners and encouraged by what they can achieve with dedication and practice.

This is a rare and precious opportunity to have these teachings in English from a teacher well known for his clarity and ability to connect.

Teachings on the Preliminary Practicesbook now
Wednesday 6 February 6:30pm to Thursday 7 February 3:30pm
Facility Fee $75
Meals and Accommodation are available separately.

Bodhichitta and the Bodhisattva vows: meditations and explanation with Ven. Yonten

The aspiration for enlightenment. Wishing to benefit others. Universal altruism. Buddhahood.

While the bodhisattva ideal is often referred to in Buddhist classes, we don’t always have time to go into the depths of what it means for oneself as an individual practicing it in ordinary modern life.

This course will flesh out many subtle nuances of this profound topic as well as give concrete logistics of how and why to practice the bodhisattva vows – whether you have them already, are thinking about taking them or are just curious about what they are all about.

There will be a formal presentation of the topic as well as relaxed discussion and question time. Course includes guided meditation suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

Sat 23rd March 9:00am – Sun 24th March 4:00pmbook now
Held in the Gompa at Chenrezig Institute.
Facility Fee $108

Ven. Yonten is known for her fresh, modern approach and warm, engaging teaching style. She regularly teaches at Mahamudra Centre in New Zealand and is a faculty member of Human Spirit: Psychoanalytic-Buddhist Training Program in Lod, Israel. Originally from the United States, Venerable Yönten became a nun when she was 21 (in 2003), and with the permission of her Abbot received gelongma/bhikshuni ordination in 2011.

Cutting Through Delusions: Meet Manjushri  
with Geshe Tsultrim and Ven Chokyi


In this fascinating weekend course Geshela introduces us to the Praise to Manjushri (Gang-lo-ma) and the deity who inspired it. Legend has it the praise was composed by 100 Indian mahasiddhis. Each one separately decided to say a verse of praise to Manjushri, who at that time blessed their minds. Ninety-nine of them wrote the same praise, which became known as Gang-lo-ma.

Meet Manjushri

Manjushri’s most distinctive emblem is the flaming sword that he holds aloft in his right hand. The sword symbolizes his mind’s ability to cut through the fetters that bind beings to the cycle of delusion and suffering. The flames suggest that the sword is not a literal one, and flames in Buddhist iconography invariably represent transformation; Manjushri’s wisdom does not destroy ignorance in the conventional sense, but transforms it into Wisdom.

In Manjushri’s left hand is his other characteristic emblem: the stem of a lotus, which bears a book. This book is the Perfection of Wisdom, which is both the source of his realization and a concrete symbol of it. Manjushri is also often depicted as sitting on the skin of a lion. This represents the use of wisdom to tame the mind, which is compared to subduing a ferocious lion.

If you’d like to follow the example of Manjushri and learn more about taming your mind through this beautiful and inspiring praise we invite you to join us for this weekend of study, meditation and practice.

Saturday 30th March 9.00am – Sunday 31st March 3.45pmbook now
 Facility Fee $108
Meals and accommodation available separately.

Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga Retreat with Geshe Tsultrim and Ven Chokyi


Within Tibetan Buddhism, there is an emphasis on creating a connection with a spiritual friend or teacher who will be able to support and nurture your personal development. This friend will provide inspiration, encouragement, guidance and most importantly lead a life of example. In modern terms, he is the ultimate life coach, but for far beyond this lifetime.

When choosing this teacher, students are advised by the Buddha to look carefully for specific qualities and not to make a commitment until they are completely sure. This is where Lama Tsongkharpa enters the picture. As the author of the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path (Lam Rim Chen Mo) and Founder of the Gelug school of Buddhism, Lama Tsongkhapa is revered. Both the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach this powerful yet accessible practice specifically because it is particularly helpful for creating the karma to meet a qualified spiritual teacher. It removes obstacles for creating this important connection and increases the blessings that come from this mentoring relationship.

This retreat is ideal for students who have taken refuge with Geshela or who are starting to attend his teachings.

Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim will attend the retreat, assisting and inspiring us with a transmission of the recitation as well as sharing motivations, teachings, visualisations and other tips to help us understand and benefit from this practice. Retreat Leader will be experienced teacher, Ven Chokyi who is known for her warm and encouraging teaching style.

Thursday 18 April 6:30pm – Monday 22nd April 12:00pmbook now
Facility fee $200 
Accommodation and meals available separately for purchase.