Teachings, Courses, & Retreats

  • $725.00 to $997.00 – GENEROSITY RANGE
  • $566.00 to $724.00 – SUSTAINABILITY RANGE
  • $408.00 to $565.00 – ACCESS RANGE

Date & Time Details: Thursday, June 1, 2023 - Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 | Final Exam - Sunday, June 18, 2023

Location: Online - Zoom

Suggested Dana Range: $140-$420

The program prices do not include teacher offerings (dana). To learn more about dana and suggested dana ranges, please click here.

Email us about program

Sutrayana – Walking the Buddha’s Path to Genuine Happiness – ONLINE

With Lopön Polly Ryan, MA, MFT

June 1 - 7, 2023

Apply Buddhist Teachings and Meditation to Your Everyday Life

Join us as we follow the path the Buddha walked to enhanced wisdom, inner peace, and joy in this foundational and immersive 7-day online program with Tara Mandala Senior Teacher, Polly Ryan.

Siddhartha, the historical Buddha, chose to leave his life of royalty in pursuit of understanding life’s deeper truths. The Buddha eventually awakened to his own enlightened state through the wisdom gained on his journey, the development of his mind through meditation, and the fruition of past karmic influences. It was a very human journey of trial and error, of choice and consequence, which brought him into uncharted spiritual and philosophical territory.  

More than just a biography, the details of his life are key metaphors for seeing clearly the underlying causes of our human pain, as well as uncovering our innate ability to access and sustain true contentment and joy.

Over the course of the program, Polly will lead you through the Buddha’s life story and introduce you to the teachings that he offered. You will learn and practice meditation and will be invited to establish a conscious practice of Buddhist ethics, awareness, and wisdom into your daily life.

The daily program will consist of two teaching sessions with Polly Ryan and two 45-minute meditation practice sessions. Students may choose to attend either one or both meditation sessions each day. One practice will be led by Polly and the other by her assisting teacher.

What Will I Learn?

  • Participants will gain a thorough understanding of the key principles of Buddhist philosophy including:
    • The Twelve Nidanas (12 links of dependent origination)
    • The Four Noble Truths 
    • The Three-Fold Training: Ethics (shila), Meditation (samadhi), Transcendent Wisdom (prajna), 
    • The Eight-Fold Noble Path
    • The Four Seals
  • Participants will learn and practice mindfulness meditation (shamatha). Research has shown that regular daily meditation (at least 5 minutes per day) begins to create positive changes to the brain and body in only 8 weeks time.  
  • Participants will be able to incorporate powerful Buddhist principles into their lives through discussion and reflection.

Who Should Attend? 

  • This is program is open to everyone.
  • This teaching is suitable for anyone interested in learning and reviewing the foundational roots of Buddhism and the practice of mindfulness meditation.

This program was formerly known as the Sutrayana Retreat at Tara Mandala and fulfills the same requirement. It is a required program for participants in the Magyu: The Mother Lineage Program, the Gateway Program, and as recommended on a case by case basis for the Ösel Nyingtig Program.  

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. 

The requirements to receive credit for this course are as follows: 

  • Attend all teaching sessions LIVE and with your camera ON.  
  • Attend all meditation practice sessions LIVE and with your camera ON.  
  • Pass the final exam (Scheduled for Sunday, June 18) (only required for students taking the course for credit
  • PLEASE NOTE: For those taking credit ALL teaching and meditation sessions must be attended LIVE (not by recording).  Exceptions may be requested in advance from the teacher. 

This program Includes:

  • Twelve (12) live Zoom teaching and discussion sessions with TM senior teacher Polly Ryan 
  • Two (2) daily live Zoom practice sessions, led by either Polly Ryan or a Tara Mandala assistant teacher (45 minutes each – attendance at one daily session is required for those taking the retreat for credit)
  • Downloadable audio of guided walking and sitting mindfulness meditation
  • Practice log to record daily practice sessions (required)
  • Friendly quizzes and study group support to assess progress
  • Audio and video recordings of each teaching session (access for one year)
  • Summary overview of each teaching session’s topics


Recording Access:
All participants will have a 1-year access period to the recordings. 

What is a Tara Mandala Online Program?
Tara Mandala offers online programming via live and pre-recorded curriculum that give you the opportunity to access dharma teachings, engage in guided practice, experience personal retreat and hands-on learning, while connecting with other participants through easy-to-use online platforms and an engaged community network. When needed, the program description and schedule will inform you in advance if and when a specific online session must be attended live if a direct transmission (Tib. lung) may be given. Access to recordings of all sessions will be available for additional viewing for one year. 

Tara Mandala Program Pricing



Choose an amount within this range if you have the financial security and capacity to support Tara Mandala at a higher level. The contributions we receive within this range make it possible for us to offer a below-cost Access Range to those practitioners with a limited income.

 This range is for you if you:

  • Own your own home and live comfortably without financial worry
  • Have investments and savings 
  • Easily have access to money in times of need or emergencies
  • Have the desire to help make the Dharma more accessible to others



Choose an amount within this range if you have the financial capacity to sustain Tara Mandala’s ability to offer high-quality programs. The contributions we gratefully receive within this range enable us to keep our prices low while covering the basic program costs. 

 This range is for you if you:

  • Have the capacity to meet your basic financial needs
  • Make your rent or mortgage and other monthly payments 
  • Are generally able to purchase new items and experiences for yourself
  • Can afford to take trips and go on retreats



Choose an amount within this range if you have limited financial capacity or are currently experiencing financial hardship. The contributions we gratefully receive within this range go toward covering costs and are supported by contributions of those who choose the Generosity Range.

 This range is for you if you:

  • Have difficulty meeting your basic financial needs 
  • Are experiencing housing, employment, or income instability
  • Live paycheck-to-paycheck and and lack money in times of need
  • Face challenges due to devaluation of your currency against the US dollar. 


Offering dana to the teacher: The practice of offering dana, which means “generosity,” is the traditional offering the student makes to the teacher as a symbol of appreciation, gratitude, and reciprocity for receiving the precious teachings. Information on offering dana to the teacher will be provided during the virtual retreat. To learn more about dana and suggested dana ranges, please click here. 

Payment Plans and Financial Assistance

Tara Mandala offers two types of financial assistance: Deferred Payment Plans and Scholarships. You may apply for one or both of these types of assistance. Read the terms carefully as outlined on the financial aid application. Please see this page for further information.

Sustaining Sangha:

If you are currently a member of our Sustaining Sangha, you may apply your discount to this online program.

Click Here for Our Online Programs Cancellation and Refund Policy

Listed times are the online portions of the retreat. All times are Mountain Daylight Time.
Please use this link to see how this daily schedule translates into your timezone.

June 1, Thursday:
9:00am – 11:00am MDT: Teaching Session
12:00pm – 2:00pm MDT: Teaching Session
2:30pm – 3:30pm MDT: Practice Session

June 2, Friday – June 6, Tuesday 
7:00am – 8:00am MDT: Practice Session
9:00am – 11:00am MDT: Teaching Session
12:00pm – 2:00pm MDT: Teaching Session
2:30pm – 3:30pm MDT: Practice Session

June 7, Wednesday
7:00am – 8:00am MDT: Practice Session
12:00pm – 2:00pm MDT: Closing Session and Refuge Vow Ceremony with Lama Tsultrim Allione

Sunday, June 18th

Final Exam: 11:00- 1:00 MDT (estimated)



Lopön Polly Ryan, MA, MFT
Lopön Polly Ryan, MA, MFT, has been a devoted student of Lama Tsultrim Allione since 1992.   She has a BA in music performance, a certificate in Music therapy, a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and has been a licensed therapist in California and Nevada for 40 years. Feeding Your Demons®…
Learn more about Lopön Polly Ryan, MA, MFT

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Tara Mandala

PO Box 3040
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Phone: 970.731.3711 Web: taramandala.org

Mission Statement

Tara Mandala offers solo and group practice, study, and retreat inspired by and anchored in authentic lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism, nurturing a complete path to ultimate realization as well as exploring the interface between Buddhist teachings and Western psychology … More »