Saraswati Bhawan and Phurba Thinley Ling

About This Center

Saraswati Bhawan is a non-profit religious organization founded by Acharya Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche. It operates the retreat facility, P'hurba Thinley Ling, in Lansing, Iowa, and is home of the P'hurba Peace Mandala and Buddha Temple. We are dedicated to the practice and preservation of the ancient Buddhist Tantric tradition as held by the Nyingma sect of Tibet. In particular, we focus on the Khandro T’huk-t’hik path of the Dudjom Tersar and the Rigdzin Sogdrub yogic practices of the Northern Treasures lineage.

We are dedicated to upholding the tradition of the Yogis, or ‘Ngakpas’ according to the precepts set forth by Guru Rinpoche. Ngakpas and Ngakmos are a unique order within the tantric Buddhist tradition, dedicating their lives to the profound meditative and yogic practices of the tantras which involve long, isolated retreats.

Under Rinpoche’s direct supervision, students traverse the path of practice, beginning with the Ngondro, and progressing through the generation and completion stages of the Three Roots (Khandro, Lama, and Yidam). After successfully completing these retreats, students are taught the ‘Five Essential Yoga’ practices, beginning with the practice of Tummo and Tsa-Lung – from the outer yoga exercises (trulkhor) to the inner and sacred levels of practice – and continuing with the practices of Illusory Body, Bardo, Dream Yoga, and Chod. Finally, the most advanced levels of the path, the profound practices of Dzogchen – Khorde Rushen, Trekchod, Todgal, and Odsal – are emphasized.

Located on the bluffs overlooking the pristine Upper Mississippi River Valley in Northeast Iowa, Saraswati Bhawan is dedicated to providing an ideal environment for in-depth and personalized instruction, especially for those fortunate practitioners who recognize the importance of following a dedicated path of practice. We are not a public Dharma center; rather, we are a small, dedicated community of practitioners who operate a private retreat facility, providing practice opportunities for those who wish to study directly under Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche’s guidance.

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

This sounds like a dream! I am an education student and I have spent way too much time working all summer to pay for school. My boyfriend of 5 years is a government firefighter and has been away working most of the summer. His 30th Birthday and our 6th anniversary is coming up this winter, we would love to celebrate with a yoga retreat! We both love yoga but have barley had time to practice in the past few months. Keeping our fingers crossed! Jaimee and Dan

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.