Flight of the Garuda: A Dzogchen Solstice Retreat

  • Tara Mandala Tara Mandala
  • Dec 16 - 21, 2017 (6 days)
  • Prajna 3-Bed Room - $720.00 Prajna Double - $930.00 Prajna Queen Double - $1,230.00 Prajna Queen Single - $1,560.00 Temple Camping - $482.00

About This Event

This winter join us for an extremely rare opportunity to receive teachings and transmissions on three of the most famous and profound Dzogchen instructions practiced in Tibet. Drubpön Lama Karma will teach on Zhabkar Tsogdrug Rangdröl’s (contact info blocked)) ultimate Dzogchen song called the Soaring Wings of the Garuda: Songs on the View of the Luminous Great Perfection Practice of Cutting Through that Has the Power to Swiftly Traverse All the Grounds and Paths without Exception. This amazing series of twenty-three vajra songs directly introduces and explains in exquisite detail the entire path of the Dzogchen practice of cutting through (tregchö) conceptual thoughts into the primordially pure nature of the mind.

Lama Karma will also grant the rare precious reading transmissions of two other connected incredible songs by Zhabkar on the Dzogchen practice of direct crossing (thögal). These are the Key that Opens the Hundred Doors of Meditative Absorption: A Song on the Practice of Direct Crossing into the Spontaneous Presence of the Luminous Great Perfection and the Exquisite Vase of Nectar: A Melodious Song on the Experiential Instructions of the Key Points of Direct Crossing. Lama Karma received extensive oral commentary on these three songs from his root teacher Lama Naljorpa, who received them from Nyoshül Khenpo. Lama Karma also spent many years in strict retreat meditating upon these instructions, and he uses these songs by Zhabkar to transmit his experiential Dzogchen lineage to his students in Bhutan. Translations of these materials will be available for those that attend the reading transmissions.

This retreat is open to all. However, Lama Karma has asked that those attending have completed ngondro, are practicing ngondro, or are at least willing to do some ngondro practice in the future.

Suggested Dana: $180-$240

You must have a 4-Wheel or All Wheel Drive vehicle to safely drive to Tara Mandala at this time.

Venue Highlights

Bordered by the San Juan National Forest and Southern Ute Tribal Land, Tara Mandala Retreat Center is on 700-acres of rolling hills and meadows adorned with many varieties of wildflowers, ponds, and forests. The land itself is a mandala with a stunning peak in the middle surrounded by four valleys. Retreat cabins are scattered across the landscape designed for deep retreat, and at its heart, is the extraordinary three-story Tara temple which celebrates the sacred feminine. The center has a Community Building, where residents and retreatants convene for meals, and other activities.


Tara Mandala offers a large residence hall (Prajna Residence Hall) for luxurious accommodations. Rooms have single or double beds. Private or shared bathrooms are available. Toiletries and towels are not supplied, so it is recommended that retreatants please bring their own. Retreatants can stay in one of our two Dorm Yurts. These yurts house 8-10 beds. We also offer a large camp-ground, for those who want to get back to nature for their retreat accommodation. For those who are camping and staying in yurts, showers are available in the Community Building, a short walk away. There are plenty of cubicles in the bathrooms to store your toiletries and personal belongings.


  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


All meals are delicious, vegetarian, made with all organic ingredients, and served buffet style. Kitchen staff ensure an abundant offering for every meal, in a variety of styles and culinary traditions. We offer tea stations in the Community Building and Temple, with a wide selection of teas and coffee, open 24 hours.


We are 90 minutes from the La Plata County airport in Durango (DRO) and 4 1/2 hours from the Albuquerque airport. The closest international airport is Denver (DIA). Our retreat land is a 25 minute drive from Pagosa Springs. You are responsible for arranging your own transportation. There are several options for ground transportation including professional shuttle services and rental cars from the airports in Denver, Durango, and Albuquerque. For ground transport from Durango Airport to Tara Mandala, we recommend Wilderness Journeys Pagosa. With this service, group discounts can be arranged for $50 each person, each way. A custom reservation is $100 one-way, $190 round trip. In addition to the options listed, you may be able to share a ride with other retreatants coming from various locations. There is a rideshare group listing to help you facilitate a rideshare at: (contact info blocked).

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Doris Hintsteiner   June 19, 2019


    It’s a very special place to participate in retreats, whichever! The whole surroundings of land and people living and working there makes it what it is , a place to learn, practice and live there and of course the presence of two Lamas . A chance to change in a positive way , even crusted staff has a chance to solve.

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