About This Center

By understanding the nature of mind, we can unlock our full human potential.

Nyingma Institute offers guided retreats, independent personal retreats and a signature annual Two-Month Retreat. 

Relax tightly held patterns that manifest in the body, breath, and mind. Learn awareness practices that cultivate new insights and deeper compassion both for yourself and others. Awaken to your full human potential. 

At the Nyingma Institute, you can explore multiple, inter-related fields of study including:  Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga, Nyingma Meditation, Nyingma Psychology, Buddhist Studies, Skillful Means and more. Together, our 7 fields of study allow students to cultivate a depth and breadth of understanding that yields profound insight and lasting transformation. 

Our offerings appeal to both those who are interested in well-being and awareness from a humanistic perspective, as well as those who would like to learn more about traditional ways of practicing Tibetan Buddhism. 

Our feelings and our bodies are like water flowing into water. We learn to swim in the energies of the senses. — Tarthang Tulku

Venue Highlights

The Nyingma Institute, founded in 1972, is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist centers of learning in the U.S. It was groundbreaking in its early introduction of Tibetan Buddhism to Westerners, and it continues to be singular due to the unique and multi-faceted quality of Rinpoche’s teachings, which have been developed for the Western mind by a lama who has devoted fifty years of his life to teaching, observing, and working closely with his students here in the U.S.


Located a block away from UC Berkeley at the foothills of Highland and Hearst, we offer a quiet and reserved environment ideal for reflection and introspection. Rooms offer beautiful views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge, or our peaceful meditation garden.

Furnished private and shared rooms are available for individuals, with shared kitchen, bathrooms, and showers.

This is a supportive, contemplative space for those who wish to take a workshop or to engage in a personal retreat.


  • Yoga Studio
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegetarian


Vegetarian meals are prepared onsite, and served buffet-style for lunch and dinner. We select organic produce, fruits and staples whenever possible.

For breakfast, toast, eggs, cheese, fruit, yogurt, milk, soymilk, almond milk, fruit, coffee and a selection of teas are available to you in the kitchen.


The closest airports are Oakland International and San Francisco International airports, both of which connect directly to BART (at Coliseum and San Francisco International Airport stops, respectively.)

If you are arriving by plane, we encourage you to either arrange a shuttle from the airport (we recommend Bay Porter) or take BART to Downtown Berkeley and a taxi or rideshare service from there to the Nyingma Institute.

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Chaos is what we've lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control. Terence McKenna

Why Retreat?

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

My inspiration sparks from my innate charge to connect with a collective innate goodness. I aspire to live in a way that continuously blossoms and embraces my wise and compassionate human nature. Freundl

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.