Path of Study

Learn how to harness philosophical, meditative, and practical trainings in everyday life.

The Buddha’s teachings shine light on how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. This clarity leads to insights that can deepen our compassion, expand our understanding, and help us realize our full potential.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche emphasizes the importance of engaging in study and contemplation, even before meditation. Under his direction, Nalandabodhi has developed a comprehensive and systematic Buddhist study curriculum that applies to our lives today.

We’re cultivating our intelligence as opposed to expanding or upgrading its contents. It’s like brightening a room by putting a higher-watt lightbulb in a lamp. Suddenly we can see everything in the room much more clearly.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche


In order for members who cannot access a physical center to participate in Nalandabodhi’s rich array of study courses, most of the Nalandabodhi curriculum is available for self-paced, modular study online.

For the complete guidelines and how to get started on the Path of Study, please click here

Path of Study Courses

Our curriculum covers the philosophical, meditative, and practical teachings presented in the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. On the path of study, students will develop insight as they progress through the following courses. To learn more, contact

Introduction to Buddhism

The introductory series of four classes explores the basic principles of the Buddha’s teachings, and is offered for free. This series provides practical advice for applying these teachings in our lives and broadening our understanding of the world around us while laying the groundwork for later courses. The books for this course can be purchased through the Nalandabodhi bookstore.


Also known as the “foundational vehicle,” Hinayana is the basis of entering the path as taught in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. In this stage of study and contemplation, we take a courageous look at our personal unease and suffering, as well as our comfort and happiness. By working with these experiences, we learn how to step away from confusion and toward truly helping ourselves and others. The books for this course can be purchased through the Nalandabodhi bookstore. There are fees for these courses.


Mahayana builds on the foundation of Hinayana, expanding the concern for our own happiness to include that of others. These teachings introduce us to the possibility of transforming even the most negative emotions into positive states of mind. By working with our emotions and exploring the illusory nature of all phenomena, we can develop a heart of genuine compassion. Mahayana also introduces us to the idea of buddha nature—the understanding that our hearts and minds are, from the beginning, the same as the Buddha’s. The books for this course can be purchased through the Nalandabodhi bookstore. There are fees for these courses.


Vajrayana Buddhism is the innermost essence of the Mahayana teachings. Continuing studies at this level are available to Nalandabodhi members who are actively engaged in the Vajrayana practices of our Path of Meditation. There are fees for these courses and study materials to purchase.