Bodhi Path Annual Teachings with Shamar Rinpoche & Meditation Retreat

Two Summer Programs
at Bodhi Path Natural Bridge, VA

Program 1:

Shamar Rinpoche's Annual Teaching Program: The 3rd Karmapa's Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer
September 21-23, 2012

- and -

Annual Bodhi Path Members Meeting
September 24, 2012

Followed by Program 2:

Discovering Mahamudra:
A Practical Application of Shamar Rinpoche's Teaching Led by Dharma Teacher Tsony
September 25 (evening intro) to September 30, 2012

Other programs:

Dharma Movie Night, time TBA
Dharma Teacher's Panel Discussion
Sitting Posture Tune-up, and
Celebration Supper and Entertainment, Sunday evening

Program 1: The 3rd Karmapa's Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer
by Shamar Rinpoche
September 21-23

The Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer by the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje provides profound instructions on how to realize Mahamudra, the ultimate nature of mind. Simple and pithy, it lays out the essential points for training the mind to realize its natural uncontrived peaceful nature, which, in fact, is already present within us.

Shamar Rinpoche, a widely recognized Mahamudra master, will give a rare extensive commentary to this prayer, explaining the profound practice and making it accessible to meditators of all levels. Understanding this prayer helps create conditions to realize the profound state of Mahamudra.

Rangjung Dorje, the 3rd Karmapa (1284-1339), was both a supreme meditator and a great scholar. Receiving the full transmissions of both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism, he reintroduced a high level of intellectual understanding as part of the practice and unified the traditional Kagyu Mahamudra teachings with the Nyingma Maha-Ati or Dzogchen teachings. An important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, his many texts and commentaries are still being used today, with perhaps the most famous one being The Mahamudra Aspiration Prayer.

Shamar Rinpoche
Shamar Rinpoche is the the 14th Shamarpa, or Red Hat Lama, is the second-oldest reincarnate lineage of Tibet. Rinpoche was born in 1952, and received the full teachings and transmissions from the 16th Karmapa as well as many important lamas of other lineages. In 1980, his activity began to spread with frequent teachings in Asia and the West, where he became well-known for his ability to make even the most profound teachings easily accessible. In 1996, he organized the Bodhi Path Buddhist Centers, a worldwide network of centers based on a non-sectarian approach to Buddhism.


Friday-Saturday, September 21-22
Teaching by Shamar Rinpoche.
Two sessions per day, 10 am to noon, 2 to 4 pm. Lunch provided.
Q & A with Dharma Teacher Tsony will follow an afternoon tea break at 4:30.
Program is open to all students.

Sunday morning, September 23
Teaching by Shamar Rinpoche continues.
One session only, 10 am to noon.

Sunday afternoon, September 23
Dharma Teacher's panel discussion, 3 pm.
Sitting Posture Tune-up: The mechanics of proper meditation posture, and yoga stretches to support stable practice and ease discomfort. Taught by Chris Fang, 4:30 pm.

Sunday evening, September 23
Bodhi Path celebration. 6 pm. Family and friends invited. Supper provided. Entertainment requested. Please bring your musical instruments and favorite dharma songs.

Monday, September 24
Bodhi Path members meeting. 10 am to 3 pm. This is an administrative meeting, primarily of interest to those involved in the day-to-day matters of their Bodhi Path Center.

Lunch will be provided at all events. Supper will be provided at the celebration.

*Dharma Movie Night date/time TBA

Program 2: Discovering Mahamudra 5-day Retreat
led by Dharma Teacher Tsony
September 25 (evening intro)-30

The waves of gross and subtle thoughts spontaneously subside
And the river of unwavering mind naturally abides.
Free from the stains of dullness, sluggishness and agitation,
May we be stable in the unmoving ocean of mental calm.

When looking again and again into the mind, which cannot be seen,
The fact that there is nothing to see is vividly seen as it is
And all doubts about its nature being existent or non-existent are severed.
Free from confusion, may our own nature recognize itself.

-From Karmapa Rangjung Dorje's Mahamudra Prayer

Based on instructions given by Shamar Rinpoche in the preceding teaching, Dharma Teacher Tsony will lead a 5-day retreat, which will explore the stages of mind's nature realization. Practice will focus on methods for “Calm-abiding” and “Insight” meditation. This program is a perfect opportunity to deepen understanding of Rinpoche’s teaching through practice.

Dharma Teacher Tsony
A Buddhist monk for over 25 years, Tsony completed two traditional 3-year retreats under the guidance of the great meditation master Gendun Rinpoche. For 15 years, he was Abbot of Kundrel Ling Monastery in France. Since 1999 he has been teaching philosophy and meditation throughout Europe and the U.S. He is now the resident teacher at Bodhi Path Natural Bridge.


Tuesday evening, September 25
7 to 8:30 pm. Introduction to retreat.

Wednesday-Saturday, September 26-29
9 am to 6 pm. Lunch provided.

Sunday, September 30
9 am to noon. A picnic celebration will follow the conclusion of the retreat.

You may attend any or all of the meditation sessions, however, to preserve an atmosphere of tranquility, please enter the meditation hall only during a break.

General Information


All events for both programs will take place at Bodhi Path Natural Bridge, located eight miles south of Lexington, Virginia, at the south end of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

Address: 12 Bodhi Path, Natural Bridge, VA, 24578.


Please make your reservations directly with the establishment of choice as soon as possible.


For other accommodations 10+ miles from the center, please visit the Lexington Visitors Center's website at

Natural Bridge KOA. 540-291-2770. RV hook-ups, cabins, tents. 2 miles from the center.

A Shared House
For a few people attending both programs we have rented historic Middleton House, 111 South Jefferson Street, Lexington, to share. This lovely, completely renovated house has four bedrooms, two with queen beds ($50 per night), one with a double bed ($45 per night) and one with twin beds ($45 per bed per night). All have private bathrooms and there is a full kitchen. (To view house go to Located 9 miles from the Bodhi Path Center and walking distance to downtown Lexington, this house is available to the first people (1 or 2 couples and 3 or 4 singles) registering for both programs. Accommodation must be paid in full at time of registration. Please note: There can be no refund for cancellations after September 1. Email to inquire about availability.

For a few people staying for Tsony's retreat, several spaces in cabins on site may become available after Rinpoche's program is over. $35 per person per night. Email to inquire about availability.


All airports require renting a car, limo service or ride sharing to get to the center.

The closest airport is in Roanoke, Virginia, about 45 miles away. Car rental available at airport.
Alternatively, limo service available from: Roanoke Airport Transportation Service, 540-345-7710, and Prestige Limousine, Inc., 540-342-8049. Price depends on number of people traveling together. Call for pricing. Make arrangements early to insure availability.

Lynchburg, Virginia, is a regional airport about one and a half hours from the center. This airport is often cheapest for those flying from the west.

Washington DC airports, Dulles International or Reagan International, about 200 and 210 miles respectively.

Baltimore International Airport, about 240 miles away.

Some special deals:
For folks coming from Florida or points south, check Allegiant Air's website for very cheap flights directly into Roanoke. At last check, Allegiant only flies from Tampa/St. Petersburg or Orlando. If you go on the site and sign up for their newsletter, they will let you know when they have the $9 sale to Roanoke! From New York City, Delta Airlines has a $150 round trip ticket to Lewisburg, West Virginia, which is a1.5 hour drive away.

Ride Sharing:
Ride sharing information will be sent out with confirmation of registration.


Teaching Program: Shamar Rinpoche's Teaching:
$250 for entire program including teaching, celebration supper and daily lunch. (Housing additional.)

Practice Program: Dharma Teacher Tsony's Meditation Retreat
$150 for entire retreat or $40 per day. Lunch included. (Housing additional.)

If attending both programs:
$350. (Housing additional.)

Package pricing also available if attending Bodhi Path Studies Program:
More information at Bodhi Path Studies Program (September 5-18, 2012) Page.

Space is limited. Advanced registration is important and must be made, along with full payment, no later than September 1, 2012. We expect a full house and highly recommend you make your program and hotel reservations early. (See Cancellation Policy.)


Advanced registration for both programs must be made, along with full payment, by September 1, 2012. You may register and pay on line with a credit card or mail a check payable to Bodhi Path along with this printable registration form to:

Please reserve early to help our planning.


Prior to September 15, 2012, your total program fee, minus a $40 per person registration fee, will be refunded upon cancellation. After September 15, 2012, no refunds will be made.

For those sharing Middleton House (see above) no refunds will be made after September 1.


Email:, or visit our website:

Bodhi Path Buddhist Center,
12 Bodhi Path, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.