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Please note: Students are responsible for obtaining any required empowerments or transmissions.

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About Our Courses


Students take our courses for a variety of reasons. One approach is simply to watch the videos, which can be highly instructive. A second is to watch the videos, read the text(s), and do the prescribed practices daily, which is far more helpful and meaningful. The best way is to watch the videos, read the texts, do the prescribed practices daily, and complete the homework and daily practice journal. This, of course requires more time with diligence and patience. It is also by far the most beneficial to your practice and level of realization. We accept all of these levels of students. May the classes be of benefit.


Course Availability


Online courses are now available on an open-entry basis, that is, students may begin at any time (subject to mentor availability). Please email us at EmailAwamTBI@gmail.com for specific availability. Tucson course availability is listed in our monthly newsletter.


Course catalog - click for a PDF with complete listing and description of all courses at Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute.


Know which class you want? Click here.


Summer Classes - Tucson or Online

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

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


Summer class in Tucson will begin on Sundays (pending the schedule for Khenchen Lama's currently unscheduled visit to Tucson). If you are interested in joining the Tucson class, you may register through our website AwamInstitute.org.


Rigdzin Dupa - Gathering of Vidyadharas (starts May 27) - Sundays at 1 pm in Tucson: This class will study the Rigdzin Dupa: Gathering of Vidyadharas text and sadhana. It is a highest yoga tantra practice linked to the Guhyagarbha Tantra. It is a treasure text from the Jigme Lingpa (1730-1798) terma, a generation-stage practice with a Dzogchen (Great Perfection) view.  One needs at least a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment to participate.  Fee: $60, 6 weeks.



Numerous other classes are available online. Online classes may be started and taken at any time at your own pace. Online classes include videos and a qualified mentor to assist you. Classes include the Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism, advanced classes on Dzogchen, and other basic or advanced classes of a general interest. Please go to AwamInstitute.org and click on Take Classes for more information and registration.


Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism 1-8: A very thorough program for those who wish to learn but have limited time to practice. The teachings by Khenpo Drimed Dawa are all on video, supplemented with printable handouts. See description below. 6 weeks ea, $60 ea.


Advanced Curriculum - Dzogchen, the Great Perfection: Nine classes for advanced students who have completed the Essentials courses or the equivalent. The course is based on contemporary and classical texts. The teachings are on video. See description below. 8 weeks ea, $80 ea.


Improving Your Practice: An 8-week course from traditional Buddhist views of mind and Western scientific research; addresses difficulties such as staying focused and other common obstacles. 8 weeks, $ 80.


100-Day Ngondro 1-2: Provides a concise structure for completing the preliminary practices based on Jigme Lingpa's Longchen Nyingtik terma, using instructions from HE Jigme Lodro Rinpoche related to The Words of My Perfect Teacher as presented on videos by Khenpo Drimed Dawa. 7 weeks ea, $70 ea.


The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A detailed look at instructions of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) according to the terma of Karma Lingpa; includes other sources on death and dying from Tibetan Buddhism; videos with Khenpo Drimed Dawa. 8 weeks - $80.


What Did the Buddha Say? Exploring the Sutras 1-2: An exploration of Pali and Sanskrit sutras and some related sources to provide Vajrayana practitioners a fuller understanding of selected foundational texts of the tradition, as well as to challenge some of our assumptions and understandings; on videos with Khenpo Drimed Dawa. 8 weeks ea, $80 ea.


Vajrayogini: A Highest Yoga Tantra deity practice of Vajrayana. She is a female Buddha who is the essence of all the Buddhas. Participants should have a Vajrayogini empowerment (in one of her variety of forms) or at least some other form of highest yoga empowerment; on videos with Khenpo Drimed Dawa. 8 weeks; $80.


Kalachakra 1-2: One of the most complex systems in tantric Buddhism. It teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. This class examines the tantra and commentaries, along with practice texts; on videos with Khenpo Drimed Dawa. 8 weeks ea, $80 ea.


Rigdzin Dupa - The Gathering of the Vidyadharas: Coming fall 2018!



Please contact us at EmailAwamTBI@gmail.com if you have questions about any particular course.



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.



The Path of Great Perfection - Dzogchen


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. Spring classes are online only. See catalog (above) for more information.


Admission & Registration


There is no separate admission process for the Essentials courses. Although it is best to take the courses sequentially from the beginning (Part 1), a student may begin with any of the eight parts. Online courses are available on an open-entry basis, that is, students may begin at any time (subject to mentor availability). Please check our website to inquire about specific availability. Class registration is available through our website AwamInstitute.org under “Take Classes”.


The advanced curriculum courses require completion of the Essentials courses or other similar background, the latter of which must be approved by Khenpo Drimed Dawa in advance. The course schedule depends upon mentor availability. Contact Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com for course availability. Once you have been approved and assigned a mentor, you will be able to register for your course simply by going to our website at AwamInstitute.org to sign up under “Take Classes”, or you may register with the instructor in Tucson.


Payment for online classes is made via PayPal by credit or debit card. The cost is currently $60 per course for each part of Essentials and $80 per part for each of the advanced curriculum courses. Books are purchased by students separately either at local bookstores or online.


Courses and cost are subject to changes without notification. For any other questions or information, please contact Khenpo.Drimed.Dawa@gmail.com.


Thank you for your interest in Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute’s programs of study in Tibetan Buddhism. We sincerely wish you great success in your path to innate happiness for the benefit of all sentient beings!


May all beings be happy!