In our monthly Sangha gatherings, what we call One Community, 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 a particular theme.
These Sangha gatherings are two hours in total. The first half consists of a Dharma talk, and the second half offers 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.
What You Will Learn
Students will be introduced to a variety of practices, concepts, and ideas related to Tibetan Buddhism. Each month a different teacher will explore Dharma concepts and Buddhist teachings around a particular theme connected to the Vajrayana branch of Buddhism. After each event, we send out a recording of the teaching, along with key moments, takeaways, supportive readings, reflection questions, practices, and more. We encourage you to apply the teachings to your own life and see how they impact your daily life and relationships. As Lama Tsomo reminds us, “Inner work goes hand-in-hand with outer work to create something powerful that can manifest in the world.”
You can find our monthly One Community Dharma themes below! Explore our previous Dharma talks on our Youtube Channel.
- January – Bodhicitta relative, ultimate/aspirational and Engaged Bodhicitta.
- February – the Paramita of Generosity – Letting Go, and the power of releasing attachment.
- March – the Paramita of Discipline – avoiding negativity, gathering virtue, and working for the welfare of beings.
- April – the Paramita of Patience – Keeping the Peace (an undisturbed mind).
- May – the Paramita of Diligence (Joyful Effort).
- June – Meditative concentration – Settling in stillness; focus, calm abiding, reclaiming of concentration; recentering, centering, gathering our energy (main points about focus, stillness or concentrating our scattered attention).
- July – No One Community gathering.
- August – The Sixth Paramita of Wisdom. Knowing things for what they are, discernment, ultimate (sublime) intelligence, as it is (seeing reality) and the topic of emptiness.
- September – Ngöndro and the Tantric Path
- October – The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind
- November – Sixteen Reasons You Think You Don’t Have Time to Practice According to Tibetan Buddhism
- December – Your Guide to Personal Retreat
What is a Dharma Talk?
A Dharma talk is an opportunity to learn concepts and teachings central to Buddhism. Namchak teachers prepare discourses that provide an opportunity to help us deepen our innate wisdom and cultivate more compassion, kindness, perspective, and right understanding.
Who should attend?
Everyone is welcome! Our One Community event is open to the public; you do not need to be in a Learning Circle or have a mediation buddy to join. If you’re interested in Buddhism, connecting in Sangha or community, or would like to learn more about the Dharma, these monthly talks are perfect for you! We encourage folks to invite their friends and family, and if you’re in Missoula, Montana, attend in-person.
Will there be time for meditation?
These monthly events are centered around Dharma teachings and community discourse. Therefore, we do not meditate together during these events. If you would like to meditate with others, you can explore our free Morning Meditations that are hosted Monday through Friday from 10 to 10:20 am MDT. If you’re interested in committing to your practice in a unique way, we offer students the opportunity to volunteer to host the Morning Meditation. Volunteers sign up in advance to host the virtual practice sessions. It’s a great way to have accountability for your practice and meditate with others. Learn more.
How can I get more involved with Namchak?
If you’re interested in getting more involved with the Namchak Sangha, we offer a variety of opportunities for you to connect, deepen, and grow your meditation practice. Explore some of our ongoing opportunities below.
- Learning Circles: These are our form of meditation groups. Members meet on a regular basis, either online or in-person to meditate, discuss the Dharma, and strengthen their practice. Sangha is an essential ingredient for deepening on the path. Learning Circles are a great way to cultivate a supportive network of other practitioners. Participation is free. You can learn more about starting or joining an existing circle HERE.
- Stepping into Meditation and Community: This is an eight-week online program that is offered three times a year. Participants are introduced to Buddhist practices, including Calm Abiding or Shamata, Clearing the Stale Winds, Tonglen or Compassion practice, and Loving Kindness meditation. Students meet once a week to learn not only the meditation techniques but to meet with other students from around the world and create rich relationships. This program is intended to help you form new Dharma-inspired friendships, deepen your experience with meditation, and learn heart-inspired ways of being in the world.
- Introduction to Meditation: This is a four-week online & in-person program that is offered three times a year. In this course, we will cultivate habits of seeing and relating to our own inner and outer worlds in a new way that brings us comfort and ease. We will discuss various types of meditation practices and their benefits while focusing on the practice of Calm Abiding (Shamata) meditation. We will meet for four consecutive weeks, each session will last one and a half hours and will be made up of short periods of instruction followed by many short meditation sessions.
- eCourses: We offer a variety of free meditation eCourses that students can sign up for and complete at their own pace. Our ecourses are a perfect way to become familiar with our teachers, be introduced to Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices, and establish a meditation practice. If you are new to meditation, we suggest starting with the Always Smiling eCourse Part One. If you’re looking for a short course to develop more ease, presence and calm, our Shamata eCourse with Namchak Khen Rinpoche is a great option for you. In our week-long Lojong course, Lama Tsomo provides practices to help you experience the world around you differently, with greater insight, compassion, and productivity. Browse our full eCourse library HERE.
- Morning Meditations: Each weekday morning starting at 7 am PT/ 8 am MT/ 9 am CT/ 10 am ET, Namchak community members will come together to meditate. Hosted by volunteer members of our Sangha, these morning meditations are a chance to start each day with a dose of Dharma. These drop-in meditations will last for 20 minutes and will begin promptly on the hour. This is a drop-in offering, and you are welcome to attend whenever it works for you. Learn More.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are these events online or in-person?
Our One Community events will always be available online, with the option of being in-person in Missoula, Montana on occasion. Our Dharma talks will be made available online after the teaching.
- I am totally new to meditation, is this event for me?
Absolutely! Our One Community events are oriented at making the Dharma accessible to all. Our teachers do their best to provide context, reference points, and stories that are easy to understand and approachable. If you are new to meditation, we encourage you to learn more about our Introduction to Meditation program or try one of our free eCourses.
- I’ve meditated before, is this event for me?
Yes, of course! These events intend to convey Tibetan Buddhist insights and wisdom to Westerners. They offer a chance to learn concepts that we can apply to our lives to live with more happiness and presence.
- Who is Namchak? We are a Tibetan Buddhist organization that works to preserve and share the teachings of the Namchak lineage. Our mission is to help Westerners learn and develop a meditation practice to embody more compassion and wisdom.
- I signed up for the One Community and can no longer attend. Now what?
No problem! You will still receive the post-teaching email with all of the resources from the event. This email will also include a link to a recording of the teaching.
- Who leads these events?
A Namchak teacher or guest speaker will lead the Dharma portion of the event. The second half of the evening will be led by Namchak staff. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the event.
- How much is the registration for the One Community gathering?
Our One Community gatherings are absolutely free! You can sign up to receive event updates using our interest form or browse our upcoming events to find more details about next month’s gathering.
What People Are Saying
I most enjoyed the feelings of warmth, sincerity, patience, generosity, loving kindness, and insight into the teachings that came through from all of you. I quickly felt safe and at home and in the company of people who could share meaningful insights and support – and the joy of that! Very good feeling. Thank you all!
Thank you so much for offering this, I’ve attended two sangha gatherings with Namchak, and I always walk away with new skills and a feeling of gratitude.
I am deeply grateful for all that Namchak offers to spiritual seekers. I’m so glad I found you!
Sangha is Namchak! Let’s dive deeper into the Ocean of Oneness.
I am grateful for finding a community that embraces me in all my human complexity. For the chance to connect with others who ponder over the “big” questions: about life, nature, the mind, the self, and the universe. For the feeling of being “at home” that comes with such shared vulnerability and mutual compassion.
How Can I Register?
Our One Community event is offered for free at the beginning of each month. If you’re interested in attending a future teaching, you can sign up to receive updates and communications for the One Community event using the link below!
- Why Bother? Is the first text of the Ancient Wisdom for Our Times series. In it, Lama Tsomo shares an introduction to the Namchak Lineage, stories from the time of the Buddha, and describes some of the benefits of developing a meditation practice.
- Wisdom & Compassion Is the second volume of the Ancient Wisdom for Our Times series. In this book Lama Tsomo continues her journey with Tibetan Buddhist practice, sharing insights from her teacher Gochen Tulku Sangak* Rinpoche, Buddha, and her own personal journey. Wisdom & Compassion provides an approachable progression through three foundational meditation practices that work in complementary ways, to promote happiness and well-being. These Vajrayana practices include Tonglen meditation, Shamata meditation, and Cleansing the Stale Winds.
- Deepening Wisdom, Deepening Connection Is the third book of the Ancient Wisdom for Our Times series. In it, Lama Tsomo offers Buddhist teachings and meditation practices as an antidote to the crisis of our times. It is a guide for those of us seeking to experience more present, fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others.