Kālachakra Tantra Study & Practice Intensive

March 06 - March 15, 2020

Robert A.F. Thurman

Michele Loew

Michael G. Burbank

Robert Thurman vividly brings to life the many dimensions of the Kālachakra Tantra in this special series of study and practice Intensives, which focus on familiarizing practitioners with a traditional Kālachakra Mind Mandala sadhana practice which Dr. Thurman himself uses and deeply explores with all participants. This retreat is intended and reserved for those who have participated in any Kālachakra Initiation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or another qualified lama, taking the requisite lay, bodhisattva, and tantric vows, and who are interested in deepening their understanding and practice of the Kālachakra Tantra.Thurman has attended over a dozen Kālachakra initiations and has led small groups through the complex initiation process conferred by the Dalai Lama, shedding light on its underlying philosophy and its complex symbolism. Having been preserved for centuries in the fabled kingdom of Shambhala, the Kālachakra Tantra is an Unexcelled Yoga Tantra system of teachings which is believed to originate directly from Shakyamuni Buddha and which revolves around the concept of cycles (chakra) of time (kāla), from the cycles of the planets and the outer world to the cycles of human breathing and our physical-spiritual development.It teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's mind and body on the path to enlightenment, through famously complex deity yoga which helps practitioners with a basic understanding of emptiness dissolve their ordinary sense of self and re-create themselves in the ideal form of the Kālachakra deity pair in union, who represent omniscient Buddhahood--the union of great bliss and the wisdom perceiving emptiness. Since Kālachakra is time itself, and everything manifest is under the influence of time, Kālachakra Buddha is experiential knowledge of all manifest reality. Vishvamata, his spiritual consort and complement, is aware of all that is timeless, not time-bound, or out of the realm of time. In yab-yum union, they are temporality and atemporality conjoined and represent the full glory of the ultimate nature of reality, compassionately abiding in a vast multidimensional mandala rich with symbolic meaning.In this Kālachakra Intensive, Dr. Thurman will focus discussion and contemplation-based lectures on unpacking the very center of the mandala, the Mind Mandala, within the larger context of the Kalachakra and pulling from several textual sources to enrich our remembrance of our experience of the initiation and of entering the mandala and beholding Kālachakra-Vishvamata. While emphasis is on working with students to ensure they understand all the symbolic elements of the practice and iconography, plenty of time for actual practice and mantra accumulation is allotted. Afternoons will include free time after lunch for spa treatments, further personal practice, and optional student-led discussions. The retreat will conclude with an instructional puja and celebration lead by Thurman.Join us in the breathtaking hidden mountain valley of Tibet House’s Menla retreat and spa, for this personally transformative and very inspiring retreat intended to help initiates, from total novices to more advanced practitioners, deepen their connection to, their understanding of, and ultimately their embodiment of the magnificent reality of Kālachakra-Vishvamata.Please bring your own vajra, bell, damaru, and inner offering vessel (ritual skullcup).Please note: If you cannot attend the entire retreat, you may still register for partial attendance by emailing frontdesk@menla.org or by calling 845-688-6897 ext 101.Out of respect for the tradition, if you have not received a Kalachakra Tantra initiation from a qualified lama, you may not attend this retreat.
ScheduleFriday, March 6th
  • 3 – 8pm Check-In
  • 6 – 7pm Dinner
  • 7:30pm Introductory Session
Saturday, March 7th - Saturday, March 14th
  • 6:30 – 8am Optional Yoga Asanas or Extra Self-Led Sadhana Practice
  • 8 – 9am Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 11:45am Morning Session
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
  • 1 – 4pm Free time for Spa Services or Relaxation
  • 1 – 3pm Optional Extra Self-Led Sadhana Practice
  • 4 – 6pm Afternoon Session
  • 6 – 7pm Dinner
  • 7:30pm Evening Session
Sunday, March 15th
  • 6:30 – 8am Optional Yoga or Extra Self-Led Sadhana Practice
  • 8 – 9am Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 11:45am Closing Session
  • 11am Check-Out of Room
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch & Departure
Note: Schedule is subject to change at anytime


Robert A.F. Thurman

Robert Thurman is a recognized worldwide authority on mind science and spirituality, Asian history, philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, and H. H. the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman is an advocate of the relevance of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist sciences, arts, and practices in our daily lives. ...

Michele Loew

Michele Loew is an international yoga teacher and the founder and director of The Yoga Space in Portland, Oregon.  She is known as a teacher’s teacher and is respected for her 200 Hr. & 500 Hr. Yoga Schools and her ability to combine Western knowledge of the body (anatomy & ph...

Michael G. Burbank

Michael G. Burbank has been a student of Robert Thurman and HH the XIV Dalai Lama for 20 years, since his undergraduate years at Columbia University. In February of 2002 he was invited to help the Thurmans and Tibet House start the newly acquired Menla retreat. Over the years, he...


375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464
845-688-6897 ext 101