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.

Maitrivana 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.

The Heart Attack Sutra,
Teachings by Karl Brunnhölzl

Fri., Sept. 9 to Sun., Sept. 11

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

"With lively humour and deep scholarly knowledge, Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl brilliantly unpacks the profundity of The Heart Sutra for modern readers. In accessible ways, he invites us to join the great practitioners of India and Tibet in contemplating the sutra's wisdom. We are fortunate to have teachers of Karl's acumen ...." Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

The radical message of The Heart Sutra is its sweeping attack on everything we hold most dear: the world as we know it, our troubles, even the teachings of the Buddha himself. Overcoming fear, the Buddha teaches, is not accomplished by building walls around ourselves, but by opening up to understand the illusory nature of everything we fear - including ourselves.

In The Heart Attack Sutra (Snow Lion, 2012), Seattle-based translator and author Karl Brunnhölzl guides us through this crazy sutra to the wisdom and compassion at its core. You won't want to miss these talks by Nalandabodhi's illustrious friend and teacher.

SCHEDULE / Four Sessions
Fri., Sept. 9: 7 pm to 9 pm
Sat. Sept. 10: 10 am to 12 noon; and 2 pm to 4 pm
Sun. Sept. 11: 10 am to 12 noon
Doors open 20 minutes before the teachings.
You may attend a portion of the program.
Cost: $25 per session / $70 whole workshop
No one turned away - please pay what you can.
Registration: On site
Where: Maitrivana, 4610 Earles St., Vancouver, BC

Karl Brunnhölzl has been a translator and oral interpreter for Ponlop Rinpoche since 2000. A brilliant scholar, he is the author of a Madhyamaka compendium, The Center of the Sunlit Sky, and received the traditional khenpo degree from Kamalashila Institute (Germany). Karl is also a skilled instructor, notably at Nitartha Institute, and prolific translator. In 2005, Rinpoche appointed him as Mitra, one of four Western Nalandabodhi teachers.

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Nitartha Institute in Vancouver this summer

July 15 through August 13

Registration is Closed

University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Nitartha Summer Institute Banner

Nitartha Institute is happy to announce a very robust course offering for the 2016 Summer Institute! This year's complete summer program will run for four weeks from Friday, July 15th through Saturday, August 13th, 2016 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The Institute is open to all who are interested in deepening their study and practice of Buddhism. Students who attend Nitartha range from those relatively new to the Buddhist path but who are eager to get a thorough foundation in the teachings, to senior practitioners of many years who feel that renewed in-depth study will strengthen their practice and deepen their insight. One of the Institute's great attractions to both Buddhist and non-Buddhists is the in-depth study of how mistaken concepts can cause or perpetuate confusion, and how conceptual mind can be skillfully used to examine, understand, and undo this process.

Nitartha Institute will be offering courses from three of their academic departments:

  • Department of Buddhist Studies (BUD)
  • Department of Languages (LAN)
  • Department of Healing (HEA)

In addition, Nitartha will again offer a Mahamudra Practice Intensive (Gomdra) program for qualified students, similar to what we have offered at the past two Summer Institutes in 2014 and 2015.

MORE INFORMATION: Nitartha's Summer Institute
TO REGISTER: Nitartha's Summer Institute Registration
QUESTIONS? Contact summerprogram@nitarthainstitute.org

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Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) & Mahakala Practice

Thursday evenings (except Aug. 25) (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 Day

Sun., August 28th - 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Guru Rinpoche practice: 9:30 am - 10:15 am
Tara practice (with instruction): 10:30 am - 12 noon
Vegetarian potluck lunch: 12 noon - 1:30 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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