Program Overview

The Mandala Training Program is a beginner level, work-study program that introduces our way of life as a Buddhist lay community rooted in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition. It is a six-month residential program, ideal for individuals who want to explore living in a Dharma community that integrates spiritual practice with daily life and everyday activities.

You do not have to be a Buddhist to participate in the program, nor do you need to have extensive knowledge of Buddhist thought and practices. However, you should be open to learning about Buddhism and engaging with our way of life during the time that you are here. You should have an interest that is more than casual or experimental. The program is also well-suited to those who are willing and eager to explore their own mind and experiences.

Program at a Glance

  • Affiliation: Tibetan Nyingma
  • Founding Head Lama: Tarthang Tulku
  • Place: Berkeley, California
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Requires dedicated, full-time participation in all activities
  • Housing: Shared or single room at the Nyingma Institute, Dharma College, or Mangalam Center
  • Meals: Vegetarian community meals (lunch and dinner) five days per week
  • Work: You will be assigned to staff one or more of our projects or organizations 5 days per week
  • Classes: Evening classes at Nyingma Institute and/or Dharma College
  • Practice: Evening or morning meditation practice
  • After Completion: After completing the first level of MTP, students who wish to go further may be invited to enter the second level (MTP 2), taking on greater responsibility in the community and working with senior students to deepen your practice. Students who complete MTP 2 can apply to join the residential community long-term.

If you think you might be interested in the MTP, please read the material available through this website, as well as the websites of our Mandala Organizations.