Our community emphasizes the following qualities:
- Integrating spiritual growth with work
- Putting study and practice into action
- Serving the Dharma and supporting Buddhist practitioners
- Working for the benefit of all beings
This way of studying and practicing the Dharma is a challenging and rewarding adventure. We learn new skills and deepen our understanding of the teachings, and we see every day as an opportunity for growth and accomplishment.
Following these principles lead to several practical distinctions between our community and many other Buddhist centers:
- We emphasize integrating work with more traditional practice, because we see work as a way to challenge our own limitations. We call this approach Skillful Means. Participants in the beginner level program will spend on average about 36 hours per week working on community projects, about 6-8 hours a week doing formal practice, with another 8-12 hours for personal study and practice.
- We focus on understanding how the mind works and on integrating body, mind, and spirit. We do not base our practice on empowerments or initiations.
- Our projects and our life in the community blend traditional elements with a secular approach, from Tibetan yoga adapted for the West to Nyingma psychology to new teachings specially designed for the contemporary world.
- In addition to studying Buddhist texts and doing traditional practices, we look for guidance to the teachings of Tarthang Tulku, the founding Head Lama of the Nyingma Mandala of organizations.