Welcome to Maitrivana

Maitrivana (Sanskrit: "Garden of Loving Kindness"), home of Nalandabodhi Vancouver, is a meditation and study centre offering an extensive, graduated curriculum of Buddhist theoretical study and meditation practice under the direction of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a leading scholar and meditation master in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche is fully fluent in English and is known for his penetrating intellect, warm humour, and lucid teaching style.

Wheelchair accessableMaitrivana is located at 4610 Earles Street in east Vancouver.

Events, Programs & News

Rebel Buddha

Rebel Buddha Book CoverThere's a rebel within you. It's the part of you that already knows how to break free of fear and unhappiness. This rebel is the voice of your own awakened mind. Dzogchen Ponlop guides you through the inner revolution that comes from unleashing your rebel buddha. For more information on Rebel Buddha, please visit www.rebelbuddha.com.

Rebel Buddha is available for sale at Lotus Books at Maitrivana.

Shakyamuni Festival (Saka Dawa Duchen)

Tuesday, May 29 7pm to 9pm
Everyone welcome

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Shakyamuni Festival, also known as Saka Dawa Duchen, is a major Buddhist holiday that celebrates three great events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha: his birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana. Buddha was born in Lumbini, became enlightened during a full moon night in the city of Bodhgaya, and entered parinirvana (passed away) in the city of Kushinagar.

Shakyamuni Festival is considered one of the most auspicious days of the year. Actions taken this day are said to carry more karmic weight than on other days, both positive and negative. For this reason, many Buddhists devote the day to spiritual practice and acts of generosity, with the results multiplied many times over for the benefit of all.

Nalandabodhi Vancouver will celebrate this special day with Lama Rabten, starting at 7 pm.

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Meditation & Teaching by Lama Rabten: Shantideva's "The Way of the Bodhisattva"

Sundays, May 6, 13 & 20
9:30 am to noon

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver
Meditation & Teaching by Lama Rabten

What better way to spend Sunday morning than with Lama Rabten Tshering, our resident spiritual advisor?

For the next three Sundays, Lama offers his inspiring exploration of The Bodhicharyavatara: The Way of the Bodhisattva. This brilliant text by 8th century Indian master, Shantideva, spells out the Mahayana path of cultivating bodhicitta, the awakened heart. On May 6, 13, & 20, Lama will teach on the Meditation chapter, which focuses on developing the attitude of exchanging oneself with others.

All are welcome, even if you've missed earlier sessions.

Doors open: 9:15 am
Shamatha meditation: 9:30 am to 10:20 am
Lama's teaching: 10:30 am to 12 noon
By donation ($5 suggested; no one turned away).

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Dharma Book Club
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Saturdays, May 12 & 26
11 am to 12:45

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

We're delighted to begin a new Book Group based on Pema Chödrön's book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living.

Sessions will start with guided meditation, followed by informal small group discussion of key concepts through focus questions, chapter by chapter. Pema Chödrön says: "These practices show us how to accept ourselves, how to relate directly with suffering, how to stop running away from the painful aspects of our lives." This group is facilitated by senior practitioners.

Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humour, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can "start where we are" - embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. She frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist slogans, such as: "Always apply only a joyful state of mind" and "Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment."

Starts January 20th and meets every second Saturday (see calendar) from 11am to 12:45pm at Maitrivana (4610 Earles Street, near 29th Ave SkyTrain Station). Coffee, tea & refreshments.

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Monday Night DVD Dharma Series

"Transforming Suffering and Happiness."
Teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.
Every Monday (except May 21)

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

All are welcome to this month's screening of "Transforming Suffering and Happiness" by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. (Note: No sessions on May 21))

This multi-part series presents a profound, yet accessible approach to transforming suffering and happiness from obstacles to aids on the path to enlightenment. Drawing on a text by Shantideva, Rinpoche provides a method for working with habitual patterns that is applicable to all forms of suffering, from minor annoyances to life-threatening illness and financial disaster. The same liberating method may be applied to happiness! Recorded at the Canadian Retreat, 2012.

Feel free to drop by, even if you have missed earlier sessions.

DOORS OPEN: 6:30 pm
MEDITATION: 6:45 pm to 7:15 pm
DVD SCREENING & DISCUSSION: 7:30 pm to approx. 8:45
Suggested donation: $5 or what you can afford - no one turned away
Open to all - drop-ins and newcomers are welcome, even if you have missed previous sessions!

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Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) & Mahakala Practice

Thursdays, (except not May 10 & 24) (7:30 pm to 9 pm)

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver
By donation - Newcomers welcome

Nalandabodhi Vancouver invites you to join us in practicing Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) and Mahakala practice every Thursday evening.

These are traditional practices chanted in Tibetan, led by our resident Lama, Lama Rabten Tshering.*

CHENREZIG (Avalokiteshvara) is the Buddha of Compassion. Practicing Chenrezig helps one to develop bodhicitta (loving kindness) towards all sentient beings.

MAHAKALA is a protector deity for the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Practicing Mahakala helps to pacify obstacles for oneself and others.

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm: Chenrezig
8:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Mahakala

By donation ($5 suggested donation, or what you can afford; no one turned away for lack of funds). For more information, contact vancouver@nalandabodhi.ca or phone 604 675 9282.

Open to everyone - newcomers are most welcome.

*If Lama Rabten is away, then this practice is led by senior Chenrezig & Mahakala practitioners.

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Community Practice & Potluck

Sunday, May 27 (10 am - 1 pm)

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Community Practice & Potluck on the last Sunday. Everyone's welcome to this sangha gathering, especially newcomers. This month, participate in Sitting and Walking Shamatha Mediation.

Shamatha meditation: 10 am - 12 noon
Vegetarian potluck lunch: 12 noon - 1 pm

Everyone welcome. Feel free to pass this message along.

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Rinpoche visits his Guru in Nepal

A Message from The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Dear Sangha Friends,

DPR in Nepal

I recently had the great fortune to visit and spend time with my guru Khenpo Rinpoche at Tek Chok Ling in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rinpoche is doing very well and he is cheerful and happy to see students and give teachings. I, along with six other students arrived in Kathmandu on November 16. We had daily audiences with Rinpoche in the morning and received profound instructions in doha form. Students also had the chance to ask questions and Rinpoche answered them perfectly in doha verses, just as before. With his instructions, we also sang and danced as before. Rinpoche gave further instructions on how to dance. Rinpoche is also teaching the nuns occasionally and we were so lucky to have Rinpoche at one of the evening Tara dance practices of the nuns. As requested by the head nuns during my stay at Tek Chok Ling, and with the permission of Rinpoche, I taught the nuns on various topics, including Khenpo Rinpoche's guru yoga that was written by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. Rinpoche spends his time resting in the nature of mind retreat when he isn't seeing students or engaging with his close disciples and personal staff. I also met many of Rinpoche's disciples from the east and the west. They were also enjoying the true presence and instructions of our beloved father guru, who is the Buddha in person for us. As always, Rinpoche continues to manifest as a very spontaneous, unconventional, and uncompromising true vajra guru. His true, attachment-free love and compassion for beings is shining as brightly as ever with the sharp wisdom of his Buddha mind.


I was extremely happy to see the completion of the new nunnery, Tek Chok Ling and the Dhondrup Guesthouse. It was beautifully designed by an American architect named Lama Tenzin. The construction was directed by Chime Dorje, the son of Rinpoche's late general secretary, Karma Dargye. The nunnery is maintained and overseen beautifully by the Ani Lopon, Jampa Chozom. Rinpoche is served and cared for deeply by the nuns and his personal attendant and secretary Tsepak Dorje, another son of Rinpoche's late general secretary. Rinpoche is enjoying his presence there and is in good hands.

I wanted to share this cheerful news with all my dharma brothers and sisters of the lineage. Here are some pictures and A Dreamlike Song of Appearance-Emptiness which I had the fortune to write down. Please enjoy and continue to serve our lineage and our guru, Vajradhara Dechen Rangdrol.

With love,

Download A Dreamlike Song of Appearance-Emptiness (PDF)

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Nalandabodhi Vancouver's Dharma Centre, Maitrivana (Sanskrit: "Garden of Loving Kindness"; pronounced my-tree-vana), is open to the public. All are welcome. Having completed our renovations (started in March 2007) and successfully acquiring a Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Vancouver (November 2007), we are fully permitted and equipped to host public programs.

Please visit our Calendar to see what kind of teaching, meditation, and study programs Nalandabodhi has to offer in the coming months.

Group Photo at Maitrivana
Lhabab Duchen 2007: First group photo taken in Maitrivana's new and completed shrineroom.

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Artwork by His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Orgyen Drudul Trinley Dorje

Nalandabodhi, as a registered non-profit organization in Canada, provides high calibre Dharma study and practice opportunities to the greater community, at very nominal or no cost. We fundamentally believe that the teachings of the Buddha should be free!

However, being part of the material world, we must also meet our financial obligations, just like any other householder, including the mortgage for our new Dharma centre, Matirivana (The Garden of Loving Kindness).

Help us help others! If you happen to like what we do and what we have to offer the community, we have a very special way of enabling you to support us. To our great fortune, His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa gifted Nalandabodhi with original artwork to aid our financial sustainability projects. We have made the highest quality fine art reproductions of this artwork and we're "selling" these limited edition reproductions to the public as way of generating financial support for our activities.

His Holiness Karmapa's Calligraphy
Note: watermarks do not appear on the originals

In the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, The Karmapa is regarded as a very high spiritual figure, much like His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

One of the best ways you can help Nalandabodhi is to purchase one of these Limited edition reproductions. All the funds generated by these art sales will go towards supporting Nalandabodhi with its Maitrivana project costs (i.e. renovation and ongoing mortgage costs). By purchasing one of His Holiness' artwork reproductions you not only support Nalandbodhi's activities, but you also take home a beautiful piece of spiritual artwork. To view samples and for more details click here.

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