Compassion in Action Fellows Program

The Compassion in Action Network is a movement and community of young people working to create a happy, just, and flourishing world.

The Compassion in Action Fellows Program is year-long inner & outer change program that supports next-generation leaders in learning meditation practice, building community, and promoting social change.

Youth have always been at the forefront of social change, and today’s rising generation knows that our challenges are interconnected and that we need both inner change at the personal level and outer change in our communities and world. In partnership with allies across North America, we are growing a network of next-generation leaders who live and act compassionately for the benefit of all.

As an offering by the Namchak Foundation, an education organization sharing Tibetan Buddhist practices in contemporary ways, the program integrates ancient and modern wisdom to support today’s young leaders in addressing the interconnected challenges of the twenty-first century. The curriculum instructs students in Buddhist principles, particularly those practiced by the Namchak Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Inspired by the path of the bodhisattva awakened beings filled with compassion and committed to ending suffering and benefiting all life. Fellows embark upon a journey that includes personal development, community building, shared learning, and collaborative action as they transform their lives, campus, and society.

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Compassion in Action Fellows will:

Join an inspiring community of like-minded people engaged in personal and social change while receiving direct guidance from Tibetan and Western experts.
Be supported in launching a campus or community meditation groups (Learning Circle) to engage in shared learning and practice and cultivate authentic, satisfying friendships that can last a lifetime.

Make a unique contribution to ending the suffering of our interconnected challenges and creating a world that works for all.

Receive direct guidance and mentoring from Tibetan and Western experts.

Learn and practice time-tested and science-backed Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices that can decrease stress, increase focus, and improve overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and the well-being of others in your community.

Develop foundational life and leadership skills for creating personal, interpersonal, and social change.

Participate in the Summer Immersion Retreat, a four-week experience: part study, part meditation retreat, and part environmental stewardship/ranch work.


Earn compensation, as described below.

Summer Immersion Retreat in Western Montana -May 20 – June 13

The Compassion in Action Summer Immersion Retreat is a four-week retreat experience: part study, part meditation retreat, and part environmental stewardship/ranch work.

This retreat will launch the Compassion in Action Fellows Program, bringing people together to participate in a curriculum that instructs in Buddhist principles, in particular those practiced by the Namchak Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Summer Immersion Retreat
Contemplative Practice

Contemplative Practice

Community Building

Community Building

Shared Learning<br />

Shared Learning

Hands-on works

Hands-on Work

In the Compassion in Action Summer Immersion Retreat, participants live, study, and work in a beautiful, awe-inspiring environment. As part of the retreat, the participants will learn meditation practices, build meaningful community, explore social change models, and engage in contemplative practices relating to land stewardship – including permaculture farming.

About the Curriculum

At Namchak, we use three lenses to examine how we can make a difference in the world: Personal, Community, and World. Those lenses are reflected throughout our Compassion in Action curriculum.

Practice Shamata, Vipassana, and the Four Boundless Qualities (Compassion, Loving Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity). These practices can help students quiet their minds, cultivate deeper connection, and develop greater self-awareness.

Cultivate Engaged Awareness in Action, drawing from the Academy for the Love of Learning. This program component helps students learn how to connect with others and develop greater empathy and compassion.

Focus on advocacy and activism, helping students explore what is “my” work to do in the world. This program component can help students develop a greater sense of purpose and meaning.

Finally, the program includes mindful work, such as permaculture, mindful clean-up, and food prep. These activities provide students with an opportunity to practice mindfulness in action, bringing greater awareness and intentionality to their everyday tasks.

Overall, the program is designed to provide students with a transformative experience that can help them develop skills and practices they can carry with them far beyond the retreat. By cultivating greater ease, clarity, and connection, students can learn how to surf the waves of life with greater skill and grace, benefitting not only themselves but also their fellow waves.

Summer Immersion Retreat Daily Schedule

*This is the general flow of the day.
7:00 AM Wake Up!
7:15 AM Gentle stretching to prepare body for meditation
7:30 AM Morning Meditation
8:00 AM Simple Breakfast
8:30 AM Mindful Cleanup/Rota
9:00 AM Permaculture Session
11:15 AM Finish Work Session
11:30 AM Shower/Clean up from field
12:15 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Dharma Teaching
3:30 PM Study & contemplation time
5:00 PM Afternoon Meditation
5:30 PM Dinner
6:00 PM Mindful Cleanup & Free Time (Walk or Study)
7:00 PM “Dharma Lounge” - Study, discussion, and reflection together w/evening snack & tea (until 8:30 pm)
9:30 PM Evening group meditation or personal meditation

Mentoring From Experts

Over the year, Fellows will have the opportunity to learn from expert teachers, Namchak Khen Rinpoche and Lama Tsomo, who will share time-tested practices to help bring Fellows into ever-larger experiences of their true nature and wholeness. Fellows will also meet with Aaron Stern, founder of the Academy for the Love of Learning. Aaron and his team will inform the Sangha element, teaching ways to integrate and sustain internal experiences using the Academy’s transformative “Learning as a Practice” approach. These practices can help you stay open as your internal identity shifts, creating inner fluidity and the ability to forge new patterns in relationships.

Who should apply?

Next-generation leaders ages 18-27 in the United States and Canada who are committed to creating inner and outer change. We are seeking applications from two students per campus or community to strengthen the success and impact of the program. Individual applicants will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please identify someone on your campus or in your community that you feel would be a fit to collaborate with and invite them to apply. If you are not already connected to someone who feels like a candidate, our team will work with you after we’ve received your application to share this opportunity with other people and groups on your campus.

Additional criteria for becoming a Compassion in Action Fellow include:


Ability to commit an average of 6 hours a week to the activities of the Fellows program, attend our four-week Summer Immersion Retreat, and participate in one weekend retreat each semester during the program.


Experience in group meditation and daily personal meditation practice.

Willingness to learn and grow in new ways.
Interest in developing personal and group leadership skills and learning how to create social change.
Commitment to diversity, equity, and team collaboration.
Ability to commit to the entire four-week summer immersion retreat.

Compensation & Expenses

Fellows will receive compensation equal to $5,000 paid in two parts: at the beginning and end of the Fellows Program year. Reasonable program expenses for enabling the Fellows to carry out their responsibilities in the Fellows Program are covered, including travel, food, and lodging for the retreats. The Fellows Program does not offer academic credit at this time. However, students enrolled in college can coordinate an independent study with their academic home. Namchak teachers and program staff can serve as advisors for this process. We are happy to discuss this process individually and share examples from past participants.

Are you ready to apply?

The Compassion in Action Fellows Program is an intensive and life-changing journey. It requires significant time and effort as well as sustained practice and engagement. Please make sure you are up for making this commitment before you apply.

There are two ways to be considered for this program.

1. Application: If you feel called to this program, fill out an application form.
2. Nomination: If you know an ideal candidate, fill out a nomination form.

Application Process

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now open and due by April 8, 2024.

After we receive your application, you will receive a confirmation email that it has been received. We’ll review the applications on a rolling basis, and those selected will be invited into an interview process. Interviews will last about 45 minutes and will take place by video conferencing. Selection of those chosen as Fellows is at the sole discretion of the Namchak Foundation.

Nomination Process

Nominees must be ages 18-27 located within the United States and Canada who are committed to creating inner and outer social change.
If you know an ideal candidate, please fill out an online nomination form here. Our team will contact you to confirm your nomination.

If you have any questions, please contact our team at [email protected]

We look forward to receiving your applications and nominations!

What Students are Saying

“If you’re interested in Buddhism, this is a great immersion program to be equipped with the core practices and philosophies. What makes Namchak so unique is the open access to the teachers. Within the first few weeks, we had the opportunity to meet Tulku Sangkak Rinpoche, the Namchak lineage holder, and his brother Namchak Khen Rinpoche. Additionally, I learned so much and benefitted from the diverse cohort of students that came from many walks of life. It was really rewarding seeing how this group interacted and evolved over the retreat.”

– Ian

“The program helped me realize that I want to be the best person I can possibly be for myself and others, approaching every situation from a clear perspective as opposed to feeling guarded, defensive, and reactionary. Being in a community with such amazing people was life-changing. I feel inclined to ask for help and to receive it, and with the help I’ve received, I want to give back and feel good about giving back. My heart feels a lot more open than when I first got there. I’m very grateful for that.”

– Allegra

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot during my time in the program – about Buddhism and meditation especially, but also about myself and how I show up in my relationships. I feel like every participant had their own degree of personal growth happen during this time, and all that we have learned individually and collectively will serve us as we continue on our journeys.”

– Rosanna

“I’m truly and forever grateful for this opportunity and everyone who made it possible. I’m so grateful for the safe and loving environment that was provided for us to be in community and be able to grow together. Everything was so well organized and beautifully put together. I’m really happy this program exists and that so many more will get to experience it. Thank you so much to everyone who made it possible. Much love and gratitude to each and every single one of you <3"

– Dani

“The summer retreat helped me develop further clarity in my life; more than anything, it gave me confidence.”

– Kieran