Explore Our Meditation Practices & Events











Tashi delek! We have made changes in our weekly events and Dakini Day.


Weekly Meditation & Yoga Opportunities at Awam

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


We are delighted to be able to offer additional practice sessions suitable for a wide variety of people from beginners to advanced practitioners. We welcome everyone, regardless of religious or secular beliefs, who would like to experience the benefits of meditation and yoga!


Sunday Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Hour - Sundays, 11:00 - noon: Khenpo Dean leads a one-hour meditation practice including chanting, a variety of deity practices, a short dharma talk, and a ritual blessing. This is an opportunity for group practice in a convenient weekly format. The benefit of group practice is multiplied by the number of participants, so please join us! Everyone is welcome to attend. FREE (donations to support our temple gratefully accepted).


Silent Meditation - Tuesdays, 6:00 pm NEW: Come rest your mind with any form of silent meditation during any part or all of this hour. You may schedule a session to learn basic meditation by calling Ruth at least one day ahead at 520-615-0445 for an appointment. FREE (donations to support our Meditation Center gratefully accepted).


Tibetan Yoga and Meditation Class meets on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am led by Patrick Flint, an experienced yoga practitioner and teacher. The 21 Tibetan Yogas are a form of yoga by the Tibetan master Longchenpa that is particularly suitable as a preparation for meditation and is very adaptable to those with physical limitations that are a barrier to many other forms of yoga. A book by Khenchen Lama is available for $15. Suggested donation: $5 per session.


Meet with Khenpo Dean - You may schedule a session with Khenpo Dean todiscuss your practice, Vajrayana, Buddhism in general, or how best to live the dharma in daily life. Send an email request to Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com. FREE



Dakini Day Practice - Simhamukha:

4th Wednesday, September 27th, 6-7 pm New Date & Time

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


Our Dakini Day practice and tsok, now on the 4th Wednesday is based on a series of four practices from HH Dudjom Rinpoche's The Dakini Heart Essence: (1) Yeshe Tsogyal as the outer dakini, (2) Kurukulle as the inner dakini, (3) Simhamukha as the secret dakini, and (4) Troma as the innermost secret dakini. We rotate through these four practices over 4 months. The next practice will be Simhamukha. Texts will be provided. You may bring a simple snack food to be included in our tsok offering. FREE. Donations gladly accepted.



Friday Movie and Potluck Tsok

Paths of the Soul

3rd Friday, September 15th, 6-8:30 pm

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


We are delighted to share another Buddhist movie and potluck dinner.


There's never been a road movie quite like Paths of the Soul, an extraordinary chronicle of ordinary Tibetan citizens undertaking a 1,200-mile pilgrimage to Lhasa. Much more than simply a long walk down National Highway 318, this act of Buddhist devotion requires participants to prostrate themselves every few yards while trucks and cars zoom past. Filmed in simple documentary fashion and performed with immaculate conviction by a non-professional cast, the pix, helmed by Zhang Yang ("Shower," "Getting Home") is a stirring study in faith and spirituality that will inspire many viewers to think about big and small questions of life.


Simplicity is the key to every aspect of the movie. Keeping his camera at a distance and rarely indulging in closeups, Zhang gently shows how Buddhist beliefs and practices are woven into every facet of life in a remote village in Mangkang County, part of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. It seems perfectly natural when Nyima (Nyima Zadui) and his uncle, Yang (Yang Pei), have a very relaxed conversation and decide the time is right for a pilgrimage to Lhasa. For Yang, the trip is especially important: His brother died before being able to make the journey, and Yang himself has never traveled beyond his village.


Please bring a friend and some food to share. While there is NO CHARGE for attendance, we do appreciate donations of however much you can contribute toward our monthly rent for this beautiful space. Thank you for your generosity and consideration.



Fall Classes - Tucson or Online

Starting Week of September 17th

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute, 3400 E Speedway, Suite 204, Tucson AZ

(Located just east of Whole Foods in the Rancho Center)


We are planning three classes in Tucson for this Fall, as well as many others online. Here is a brief description of the Tucson classes. Online class descriptions may be found on our website AwamInstitute.org, under "classes".


Basic General Courses


We offer a variety of general courses to supplement our Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism and Advanced Dzogchen curricula. These are divided into two categories - Basic and Advanced. They are open to all students, though they should have some general familiarity with Buddhism in general and Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism) specifically. The two categories provide some guidance regarding the degree of background and practice that will be helpful to prospective students. Additional details are included in the individual course descriptions. Please contact us at EmailAwamTBI@gmail.com if you have questions about any particular course.


100-Day Ngondro - Sundays at 1 pm in Tucson:

This class will be divided into two 7-week parts, completing the entire 100-day practice, and is a prerequisite for most advanced Vajrayana practices. The ngondro (preliminary practices) provide a very important foundation for the practices of tantra or Vajrayana, yet the high number of repetitions often required can become a serious barrier to lay practitioners. The great master Longchenpa shows us an alternative way to accomplish this in a more compact package. This course is also an excellent refresher for advanced practitioners who have completed the ngondro practices previously. They get even better through repetition.


This class is based on a book by HE Jigmed Lodro Rinpoche explaining the 100-Day Ngondro as described by Longchenpa, along with The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche. (The 100-Day Ngondro textbook is currently being finalized for use in these classes and will be available on PDF.)


Ngondro is essential to establishing our attitude and motivation through the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind. Then, our mental obscurations, afflictive emotions and other mental fixations are systematically addressed through contemplations on the Four Immeasurables, Guru devotion, Bodhicitta, and the Six Perfections. In addition, these practices provide a solid understanding for advanced Vajrayana practices. Fee: $70 each part.



Study & Practice of the Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism


Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism provides is a very thorough program for those who wish to learn, but have limited time to practice. To supplement these, we also invite master lamas to give empowerments and teach on specialized topics and texts in Tucson.

      The teachings by Khenpo Drimed Dawa are all on video, supplemented with printable handouts. This program is organized around a very concise series of practices given by Padmasambhava in a text translated as Natural Liberation and is supplemented by similar concise practices from other masters. These practices are particularly appropriate for householders as most take little time to learn or master and were taught specifically for such practitioners. Together they form a carefully crafted set of incremental steps leading to the deep inner peace of innate happiness or enlightenment.

      More specifically, the teachings are divided into an introduction and four main paths of practice that are sequential within Tibetan Buddhism: (1) the Path of Individual Liberation, (2) the Path of Altruism, (3) the Path of Tantra, and (4) the Path of Great Perfection. Within each path, the courses follow a teaching by the Buddha called the Three Trainings: (1) ethics, (2) meditation, and (3) wisdom. So within each path, the courses cover that view of ethics, its main meditation practices, and its view of wisdom. In the end, there is a review and focus on the realization of the deep inner peace of the innate happiness of enlightenment. The text for this course is Innate Happiness: Realizing Compassion-Emptiness by Khenpo Drimed Dawa, available as an eBook or paperback from Amazon.com and other outlets. This text was written specifically for this course, as well as to benefit others who might read it.


Essentials Part 1 - Sundays at 9 am in Tucson (also available online): A survey of Buddhism in India and Tibet, an overview and introduction to key Vajrayana principles and practices, and the first part of the Path of Individual Liberation: ethics and shamata meditation - single-pointed calm abiding. The text for this course is Innate Happiness: Realizing Compassion-Emptiness by Khenpo Drimed Dawa, available as an eBook or paperback from Amazon.com and other outlets. This text was written specifically for this course, as well as to benefit others who might read it. Fee: $60.


Essentials Part 2 - Sundays at 9 am in Tucson following completion of Part 1 (also available online):

Continues after the Path of Individual Liberation with vipassana meditation (special insight) regarding "self" and "other" and the early view of wisdom; followed by the Path of Altruism (Bodhisattva): ethics, practices of the Six Perfections, Tonglen (giving and taking) and Metta (lovingkindness) meditations, and the Bodhisattva view of wisdom, including the Perfection of Wisdom literature, Buddhanature, and the Middle Way. Fee: $60.


Advanced Study & Practice


Our advanced curriculum is focused on the Path of Great Perfection - Dzogchen. This includes five rigorous college-level courses with two 8-week parts each, which require watching videos, reading, study, homework, and practice. Each course also includes the study of at least one classic text from the Dzogchen tradition. We require that students attempting this curriculum complete the core curriculum or the equivalent prior to beginning this curriculum.


Introduction to Dzogchen (Parts 1 & 2) - TBA in Tucson (also available online): Please email Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com if you would like to take this class. Dzogchen or the Great Perfection is the highest level of the Vajrayana teachings. It deals directly with self-liberation into our innate Buddha Nature, abiding in the state of rigpa. This overview describes the three branches of Dzogchen teachings-the mind series, the space series, and the special instructions (including trekcho and togal). Text: Quintessential Dzogchen: Confusion Dawns as Wisdom translated and compiled by Eric Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schmidt and The Golden Letters translated, introduction and commentaries by John Myrdhin Reynolds. Fee: $80 for each part.




May all beings be happy!