Teachings, Courses, & Retreats

  • $508.00 to $762.00 – Generosity Range
  • $381.00 to $507.00 – Sustainability Range
  • $254.00 to $380.00 – Access Range
  • $30.00 – $30 For Your First Program (First-time participants only - welcome*)

Date & Time Details: Saturday, February 17, 2024 8:00am-3:00pm (MST); Sunday, February 18, 2024 8:00am-3:30 (MST)

Location: Online - Zoom

Suggested Dana Range: $40 - $120

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

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Integrating Shamatha and Vipassana: Practice Retreat with Guided Meditations (online)

With Lopön Robin Gayle

February 17 - 18, 2024

“While the mind is stable, ascertain whether there is just that stillness, joy, and peaceful presence. Is there a clarity, freshness, and unimpeded-ness, or not?  What kind of a vacuity is this? In your own experience, is there a difference between the nature of relaxation and that of investigation?” (From the teachings of Drungchen Kun-ga Namgyal, The Spacious Path to Freedom by Karma Chagme)

Along the path to liberation, we are asked at all stages to stabilize our mind by concentration meditation, whether that be concentration on our breath, a deity, our impure mind, or awareness itself. And this makes sense because without a stable mind, almost nothing else can be done in meditation. This shamatha with an object that cultivates the qualities of relaxation, stability, and vividness may then release into shamatha without an object, leaving the mind just as it is, calm and at ease, not focusing on anything but watching all that arises. In this phase of quiescence we may naturally bump into, or, begin to ascertain the emptiness of self and phenomena. And with a now stable mind, we can then investigate the next practice. 

Through vipassana practice, we familiarize ourselves with the nature of how things seem and how they really are by probing into the nature of body, feelings, mind, and phenomena itself. This, too, may release into a direct perception of reality that gives rise to the qualities of bliss, luminosity, and non-conceptuality.

This weekend retreat will explore how these two foundational practices, shamatha and vipassana, integrate and refresh each other within our meditation sessions and how we may practice them seamlessly either as preliminaries to successful Vajrayana and Dzogchen practice, or as paths that alone take us all the way to enlightenment.

Utilizing teachings and meditations offered to us by Lama Tsultrim Allione, Padmasambhava (Natural Liberation), and Karma Chagme’ (Spacious Path to Freedom) we will experience and investigate the nature of our mind and its dimension of awareness that is waiting to be unveiled.

Guided meditations will include:

  • Settling Body, Speech, and Mind
  • Mindfulness of Breathing
  • Taking the Mind as the Path
  • Identifying the Space of the Mind
  • Awareness of Awareness
  • Four Applications of Mindfulnesses


Who Should Attend?
This program is open to everyone.

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

$30 For Your First Program
*Will this be your first online program at Tara Mandala? If so, we are offering a special introductory rate of $30 in honor of our 30th Anniversary! Please note that this price level is not eligible for scholarships, deferred payment plans or any other discounts.

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 program. 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. Please note that the $30 for Your First Program price level is not eligible for scholarships, deferred payment plans or any other discounts.

Sustaining Sangha:

If you are currently a member of our Sustaining Sangha, you may apply your Online Program discount to this course. To learn more about Sustaining Sangha membership, benefits, and discounts, click here

Click Here for Our Online Programs Cancellation and Refund Policy



The live sessions of the program are listed below. All times are Mountain Standard Time. Please use this link to see how this daily schedule translates into your timezone.

Saturday, February 17, 2024:
8:00am-10:00am MST: Opening Gathering & Teaching Session
10:30am – 12:00pm MST: Reflection and Meditation
1:00pm – 3:00pm MST: Teachings

Sunday, February 18, 2024:
8:00am-10:00am MST: Teaching Session
10:30am – 12:00pm MST: Reflection and Meditation
1:00pm – 3:30pm MST: Teachings & Closing Discussion


Lopön Robin Gayle
Lopön Robin Gayle, PhD, MDiv, MFT has undergraduate and graduate degrees/publications in theology, psychology, and east-west studies. She is a Tara Mandala authorized Feeding Your Demons® psychotherapist in private practice in Marin County, CA, and currently serves as Professor and Chair of Counseling Psychology at Dominican University of California, and…
Learn more about Lopön Robin Gayle

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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 »