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 Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Saturdays continues Sat., April 9 & 23
11 am to 12:30 pm

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Nalandabodhi Vancouver is pleased to offer a new meditation course, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Part 1). This 5-session course begins Saturday, Feb. 27 and runs every second Saturday til April 23, 2016.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness practice is the wisdom of relating directly with the nature of our body, feelings, mind, and all phenomena, without any barrier between ourselves as the experiencer and the object experienced.

Having developed the ability to be present in shamatha, the practices of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness mark the natural transition from stable resting to actively and directly looking into reality by investigating the variety of our experience.

This first course covers the mindfulness of body and feelings; a second course will cover mind and phenomena. Developed under the guidance of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, the classes will include guided meditation instruction and group discussion.

The first class (Feb. 27) will be taught be special guest Stephanie Johnston, one of Nalandabodhi's most esteemed practice instructors. We're very fortunate to have Stephanie launch the course!

Dates: Saturdays Feb. 27, March 12 & 26, April 9 & 23
Time: 11 am to 12:30 pm
Fee: $40 (or what you can afford)
Prerequisite: Some background & familiarity with shamatha meditation
Registration: In first class

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Teachings By Lama Rabten Tshering

Sunday, April 3, 10 & 17
9:30 am to 12 noon

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Lama Rabten Tshering, our spiritual advisor, discusses the profound Mahayana text, "The Way of the Bodhisattva." This brilliant text by Indian master, Shantideva, explores the Mahayana path of cultivating bodhicitta (the awakened heart).

Open to all. Drop-ins welcome, even if you have missed previous sessions!

9:30 am - 10:15 am: Meditation
10:30 am - 12 noon: Lama's teaching
By donation ($5 suggested, but no one turned away).

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"Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness."
Teaching by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Everyone's welcome to our Monday Night tradition: a blend of meditation, dharma teachings, and light discussion.

The evening begins with meditation, followed by a screening of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's teaching, Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness.

Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness is a classic text by the great modern-day yogi, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche teaches on this text which presents the main schools of Buddhist philosophy with their progressively more refined views of the essential nature of reality. Rinpoches commentary provides the means to realize the nature of reality through a series of meditation practices beginning with coarse, commonsense understanding and progressing through increasingly profound practices. Rinpoche practices several of the techniques with the students.

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

DOORS OPEN: 6:30 pm
MEDITATION: 6:45 pm - 7:15 pm
DVD SCREENING: 7:30 pm to approx. 8:45 (includes light discussion after screening)
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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Sitting Together Meditation

Wednesdays (cancelled April 13) (7 to 8:30 pm)

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

This shamatha session includes basic instruction on calm-abiding sitting and walking meditation.

Shamatha (calm-abiding) meditation is a foundational practice common to all Buddhist traditions. This profound meditation helps to relax the mind and bring forth its natural qualities of spaciousness, clarity, and attentiveness.

"The practice of meditation is basically a process of getting to know yourself by becoming familiar with your mind," says Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. "The Buddhist view of the mind is that it is always awake. Its nature is awareness and compassion."

Open to all. By donation.

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Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) & Mahakala Practice

Thursday evenings (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 with Stephanie Johnston

Sun, April 24

@ Maitrivana, 4610 Earles Street, Vancouver

Everyone's welcome to this sangha gathering, especially newcomers. The morning begins with Guru Rinpoche practice (9:30 am) and continues with Tara practice (with instruction) from 10 am to 12 noon. Afterwards, enjoy a vegetarian potluck lunch (12 noon til 1:30 pm). Come for all or part of Community Day.

Shamatha practice: 10 am - 10:30 noon
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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