Santa Cruz Mountains: Vajrayana Meditation Retreat

  • Ngakpa International Ngakpa International
  • 12100 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033
  • May 29 - Jun 3, 2018 (6 days)
  • $725.00 - Tuition (Meals and Lodging charged separately)

About us

Retreat into the beautiful redwood forest, unwind with restorative yoga, experience deep meditation, enjoy organic vegetarian meals, converse with fascinating people and best of all, receive Buddhism’s most profound teachings…

This meditation retreat focuses on Buddhism’s esoteric practice for transforming the most difficult experiences into opportunities for awakening. It is a method which harnesses the heroic energy of enlightened intent to change neurotic mind patterns and heal from traumas. It is a practice for opening to intrinsic wholeness, loving compassion, and natural resilience.

The retreat will offer training and immersion in the method known as “Cutting Through” or Chod. Chod is a practice cherished by every lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a dynamic meditation which incorporates, vision, mantra, prayer, music, and ritual to cultivate open-hearted presence in the face of one’s fear. Chod is a Buddhist method for healing and transforming the hidden content within one’s own mind. By giving up grasping and externalized projections, the meditator taps into intrinsic courage.

The retreat will alternate between teachings, training, dynamic meditation practice and silent sitting meditation. It will include instructions on

  • How to use the Chod instruments, drum, bell and thighbone trumpet
  • Chanting the Laughter of the Dakinis Chod in Tibetan
  • The visualization and meaning behind Chod
  • The Chod technique for working with emotions and subconscious mind
  • The song of the Dakinis of the five directions
  • Dzogchen and Chod – Buddhist philosophy on the nature of mind

If you are new to Vajrayana Buddhism, we recommend you take this class first:

Buddhism As a Way of Life


Vajrayana Training

What to Bring

This retreat will use Vajrayana instruments, so please bring chod drum and bell with you. If you don’t have one please notify the organizers so that one can be ordered for you.

General Schedule of Events

*This is the approximate daily schedule and is subject to change.

Tuesday, May 29th

4:00pm – Arrival, registration and check-in

5:30pm – Dinner

7:00pm – Opening Empowerment

Every Day Wednesday – Saturday

8:00am   – Breakfast

10:00am – Presence as the Path – Meditation

11:00am Chod Teaching and Practice

12:30pm –  Lunch

1:30pm   – Free time

3:30pm  – Classes and Workshops

5:30pm  – Dinner

7:00pm  – Chod Practice

Saturday Evening Celebration

7:00pm  – Celebration


8:00am  – Breakfast

9:00am  – Chod Practice

10:00am – Pack out lodging

11:30am  – Final Transmission

12:30pm –  Lunch

1:30pm   – Closing Ceremony

3:00pm  – Group Picture and Departure

Member Discounts

*Membership discounts apply to Tuition Only

**Use your membership discount code at checkout.

10% discount  –  Supporter Members

20% discount  –  Mandala Holders

50% discount  –  Snow Lion Members (with a 6-month commitment)

100% discount  –  Sustainers and above (with a 3-month commitment)

Click Here to Learn More about Membership

Meals, Lodging and more at Jikoji Zen Center

  • Lodging is limited and on first-come-first-serve basis
  • All program participants are welcome to enjoy all parts of the land and center, including hiking trails.
  • Organic Vegetarian Meals and snacks will be served. Non-gluten and non-dairy options are available at every meal.
  • Please, no food, drugs, alcohol, pets, incense, candles or other flammables.
  • Please do not wear scented body products, as these cause severe toxic reactions in some people.

Tuition Fee Schedule & Lodging 


*Member Discounts Apply

Early-bird tuition  –  $595 before April 13

Regular Tuition     –  $675 April 10 – May 9

Late Tuition           –  $725  May 10-20

Accommodations, Lodging, and Meals

*are charged separately based on the choice of accommodation, which are first-come-first-serve.

**Includes 3 meals/day. Meals and snacks are all freshly prepared, organic, and vegetarian.

Single room   (1 person) with shared bath     –  $875

Double room (2 people) with shared bath     –  $700 per person

Dorm room   (4-7 people) with shared bath  –  $595 per person

Camping        (own tent) with shared bath     –  $445 per person

All sales are final and non-refundable

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Book Now:

Santa Cruz Mountains: Vajrayana Meditation Retreat

at Ngakpa International

  • May 29, 2018 - Jun 3, 2018 (6 days)


Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

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

To drop deep into the practices and connect with my true nature... Alison

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.

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