Sep 12 2023

September “One Community” Gathering


Join teacher and translator Justin Kirkwood in an in-depth discussion on the path to enlightenment based on the Buddha’s two categories of teachings: Sutra Buddhism and Tantric Buddhism. In the Sutra path, we are encouraged to meditate on the path of Calm Abiding (Shamata) and Profound Insight (Vipassana). It is said that reaching enlightenment following this path (including the Six Perfections) will take many lifetimes over the course of three incalculable eons. Now that’s a long time!

On the other hand, following the Tantric path, one can attain enlightenment in a single lifetime. According to the Tibetan tradition, this is one reason the Tantric path is superior to the Sutra path. This does not mean the Sutra teachings are cast aside or looked down upon. We base our practice on a foundation of the outer discipline of Theravada, the supreme inner intention of the Mahayana, and the secret practices of Tantra.

For many Tibetan Buddhist students, Ngöndro (the preliminary practice) is their first taste of Tantra. The name preliminaries beg the question, “Preliminaries for what?” Generally, they are preliminaries for the main practices of Tantric Buddhism and, more specifically, for Dzogchen–the Great Perfection. This evening Justin will introduce the Ngöndro and explain its two sections: common outer preliminaries and uncommon inner preliminaries.

Join us and learn more about the Ngöndro, how it fits into the Namchak curriculum, Tantric Buddhism, and the practices of the Namchak lineage.


About One Community

For one evening each month, we come together as a community to deepen our understanding of the dharma and connect with our fellow sangha members. Each gathering is facilitated by a different Namchak teacher, thought leader, or staff member and will revolve around our theme of the month. These gatherings are two hours in total. The first half will consist of a dharma talk, and the second half will offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on the teachings through small group discussions in short break-out sessions. These group discussions will be followed by a Q&A session with the teacher. Participation in small group discussions is encouraged but not required. You can always sit these out! We encourage Learning Circles and meditation buddies to attend together. Inviting friends, partners, family members, neighbors, and co-workers is always welcome.

About the teacher

Justin has been studying and practicing Buddhism for over twenty years and has been working as a Tibetan translator and interpreter for more than ten. He lived in India for eight years, studying and practicing with many great teachers and spent three of those years as a monk, studying Buddhist philosophy in a Tibetan monastic seminary. He now works at the Namchak Foundation as a translator of texts, as Namchak Khen Rinpoche’s interpreter, and as a meditation teacher.

Zoom Link

Zoom link will be provided upon registration. Please note: Confirmation emails from Eventbrite often end up in spam/promotions tab. Please check there if you do not see the confirmation email.

Our Community Commitments

In order to co-create a brave, inclusive, anti-oppressive and learning centered space, in our community we each agree to:

    • Be inclusive of diverse opinions and backgrounds through treating each other with respect and appreciation.
    • Commit to words and actions of non-harm within our group interactions.
    • Learn by immersing in and committing to the practices at hand.
    • Hold personal sharing in confidence.
    • Be present, practice mindful listening, and not offer unsolicited advice.
    • Allow and invite for equal sharing of voices as well as the right to pass.
    • Take care not to speak for others in the group.
    • Assume good intent and come from a place of curiosity and care.
    • Come as we are with permission to be “raggedy.”
    • Be mindful of and take personal and collective responsibility for our own biases including the use of language that may “other,” “cancel,” or dehumanize any person, groups of people, and/or their experiences.
    • Ask for consent before hugging or initiating physical contact during in-person gatherings.
    • Use the “Ouch/Oops” tool to address hurtful comments and language in the moment and to allow space for repair.*

We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge

*Ouch/Oops . This is a tool for addressing hurtful comments/language in the moment. If someone says something hurtful, anyone can bring attention to it in the moment by saying “Ouch” and then explaining what was hurtful. If it is a word choice issue, be sure to give the first speaker the chance to rephrase and try again (remember, it’s okay to be raggedy, and we are all assuming good intent!) When someone says something that comes out wrong or hurts someone else, they should start with “Oops” – first, acknowledge the impact of their words, and then try again. This can also be done outside of the event if someone feels an “Ouch,” but does not feel comfortable sharing it with the group at that time. We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge.