Walking The Path
About the Program
Walking the Path is a two-year program that offers a systematic and interactive approach to the way we practice meditation.
This program is ideal for students who already have some experience with meditation but are looking for a program that will help them go deeper in their practice within the context of the Buddhist path of liberation.
We are currently accepting applications for Cohort 4, which will begin in the Spring of 2024. If you’re interested in attending this teaching either in-person or online, use the form below to receive program updates.
Over the course of two years, Walking the Path students will attend four weekend retreats where they will receive detailed meditation instructions from Namchak Khen Rinpoche to clarify the techniques, practice together, and after each retreat, leave with meditation homework.
Students will receive a schedule of practices that build upon one another leading up to the next retreat. During the six months between retreats, students will have monthly opportunities to check in on their progress with Khen Rinpoche and his translator Justin Kirkwood, as they follow the daily practice schedule. There are also recommended readings to accompany the practices and opportunities to meet with others in the program to discuss their meditation practice.
The Walking the Path program is a wonderful opportunity to deepen your practice, engage with a close group of meditation practitioners (sangha), attend regular dharma teachings, and embark on the path of liberation.
Students register for each year of the program separately. We accept new applicants for the program on a rolling basis, but new programs will only begin each spring.
If you have attended the first retreat of the program, our Walking the Path: The Way to Develop Calm Abiding Retreat, please email [email protected] for further assistance with registering for the first year of the Walking the Path two-year program.
What You Will Learn
During year one of the program, participants will study and practice Calm Abiding (Shamatha). This serves as the foundation for all other practices. It is a technique used to develop our power of attention and bring our coarse and subtle thoughts to a restful state. Calm Abiding is the most important foundational meditation practice as it will stabalize and empower any further practices you may do in the future. Khen Rinpoche’s Walking the Path teachings and practices are based Gochen Tulku Sangak Rinpoche’s book, The Way to Develop Calm Abiding and Profound Insight. A digital copy of the book will be provided to all participants and physical copies are available for purchase at: https://namchakpublishing.com/collections/books/products/shamata
Calm Abiding alone cannot eliminate our afflictive mental and emotional states or give us insight into the nature of reality, thus we will move into Profound Insight (Vipassana) meditation in year two of the program. When we practice Profound Insight meditation, we gain insight into the nature of the ultimate truth. It is the combination of Calm Abiding and Profound Insight practices that helps students gain a deeper understanding of reality.
- Calm Abiding Meditation practices for cultivating stability, calm, focus, and presence.
- Vipassana Meditation for seeing reality as it is. This meditation practice helps us to remove the roots of ignorance, attachment and aversion.
- Detailed explanations of meditation posture, the practice of clearing the stale energies, and setting our intention to prepare us for meditation.
- Opportunities to work with the Three Jewels of Buddhism. The Buddha, the Dharma, and Sangha.
Who is This Program For?
This program is recommended for those who have some experience in meditation and are ready to focus on the Buddhist path and particularly for those who are seeking a guided, systematic path and a connection to a teacher. Students may attend the first year of this program online (however, in-person attendance is recommended), with the second year of this program being in-person only. Dharma teachings will be held in Missoula, Montana.
If after the first year of Calm Abiding practice, participants wish to continue on to year two, which covers Profound Insight (Vipassana), they must come to the retreat in-person to take refuge vows (the ceremony of formally becoming a Buddhist). If you are uncertain if you are ready for or interested in taking refuge vows, you may join for the first year of calm abiding practice and decide later.
Walking the Path Retreat Dates
If you apply and are accepted into the Walking the Path program, new applicants will be part of Cohort 4 of the program. You can find the retreat dates outlined below. If, for some reason, you cannot attend a teaching, you can attend the following year’s teaching with the next cohort. Retreats are held in the Fall and Spring of each year.
If you are interested in attending a future Walking the Path retreat, please fill out the sign-up form. We are accepting enrollment for Cohort 4. Teachings will begin in the Spring of 2024. Dates TBA.
Walking the Path Cohorts 1, 2, and 3: September 8 – 10, 2023
You can sign up to receive program updates and more information about the Walking the Path program below.
Students pay for each year of the program separately. During the registration process students can select their preferred payment plan and one of the suggested payment options below. Travel to Missoula is not included in the tuition price outlined below. If program costs present a financial barrier or you are interested in a stipend to offset the cost of childcare, please contact [email protected].
● Supported – $350/yr – For those with limited financial resources who will benefit from participating in the Walking the Path Program this reduced fee will be supplemented by the community.
● Suggested – $550/yr – For those with sufficient financial resources who can pay fair value for the experience.
● Sponsored – $750/yr – For those with the financial resources and the desire to support access for others interested in the Walking the Path program.
● If you have attended the first retreat of the program, our Walking the Path: The Way to Develop Calm Abiding Retreat please email [email protected] for further assistance with registering for the first year of the Walking the Path two-year program.
What People Are Saying
"Khen Rinpoche is one of my favorite teachers. His ability to weave humor and stories into these profound teachings makes it an absolute joy to learn with him".
“Khen Rinpoche is a master at distilling complex situations and ideas into simple timeless truths with his teaching. As I sit listening to him, I await for the translation. This process slows down my mind and heart rate to take notice of what IS at that moment. Seconds later, I comprehend. Since learning from him, I see the world more clearly and I am happier".
“Khen Rinpoche is a wonderful, radiant teacher. He puts deep thought into answering every question he is asked".
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to register for the full program now?
No, you can register for the retreats as we offer them. However, it is highly encouraged that you register for year 1 of the program so you’re able to consult with Namchak Khen Rinpoche regarding your meditation practice and ask any questions you have regarding the teachings.
Do I need to be a Buddhist to practice these meditations?
No, participants do not need to be Buddhist to join. However, if after the first year of Calm Abiding practice, participants wish to continue on to year two which covers Profound Insight (Vipassana), they must come to the retreat in-person to take refuge vows (the ceremony of formally becoming a Buddhist) If you are uncertain if you are ready for or interested in taking refuge vows, you may join for the first year of calm abiding practice and decide later.
What if I have to miss a retreat that is part of the Walking the Path program?
If you cannot attend one of the retreats within the program year, you can join the next cohort to receive the teachings. Due to the nature of the material, receiving instructions directly from a teacher is a necessary step. We will offer video access of the retreats only to students who attended the retreat.
What is the the difference between the Ancient Wisdom Engaged Program and Walking the Path?
The Walking the Path program is intended for students who want to deepen their meditation practice, specifically Shamata and Vipassana, over the course of two years with Namchak Khen Rinpoche. Students enrolled in this program will be expected to maintain a daily practice, attend four retreats throughout the two years, and work closely with Khen Rinpoche.
The Ancient Wisdom Engaged (AWE) program is intended for students who are interested in pursuing a Buddhist path that will include the practices previously mentioned for Walking the Path in addition to learning the Ngöndro, or Preliminary Practices on the Vajrayana path. This program also integrates practices of personal leadership and sangha skills. Students are expected to maintain a daily practice, attend the four weekend retreats for Walking the Path in addition to Ngöndro retreats and teachings. They are also expected to participate in monthly cohort calls, attend individual sessions with the AWE teachers, and meet regularly with their Learning Circles.
Items to Note
This is a program that includes Shamata and Vipassana over the course of two years but we will only go into Shamata in the first year.
Meet Your Instructor!
About Khen Rinpoche:
Khen Rinpoche is one of the younger brothers of Tulku Sangak Rinpoche. They are descendents of the Great Treasure Revealer Tsasum Lingpa, since nearly three centuries ago, and became known as the Namchak family. The Namchak family originates from the Sum (pronounced “soom”) family of the Tong clan, one of the six original clans of the Tibetan people. After entering the Namdroling Monastery Shedra of HH Penor Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche completed the study of all the Indian Buddhist philosophical traditions and the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism under numerous great teachers. He also completed the nine years of rigorous training and served at the Namdroling monastery for several years.
Enthroned as Khenpo by HH Penor Rinpoche, he taught at the Shedras of Ringo Tulku and Shechen Monastery for many years, as instructed. Khen Rinpoche strictly abides by his precepts in everyday life and is diligent in his practice. As it was necessary for assistance to Tulku Sangak Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche was sent forth from Namdroling by HH Penor Rinpoche. He taught at the Nunnery and Purbaling retreat centers in Nepal, beginning from the Preliminary Practices through the stages of generation and completion, and then to Tsalung. Besides representing Tulku Sangak Rinpoche as his spiritual heir, he visits and teaches a variety of places around the world, including the Namchak Foundation and the Namchak Retreat Ranch, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other locations. While in the U.S., he resides and meditates at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee, Montana. Khen Rinpoche teaches a variety of retreats and programs including Shamata, Vipassana, The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind, and Walking the Path. He is revered by his students as a teacher who thoroughly answers questions and infuses profound wisdom with humor and levity.
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