Residential — Igniting the Flame of Wisdom: Exploring the Terma Teachings of Guru Rinpoche

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Residential — Igniting the Flame of Wisdom: Exploring the Terma Teachings of Guru Rinpoche

Lama Liz Monson, Ron Thomas, Gina Michaels, Kathe McKenna
June 11, 2022 - June 15, 2022

This is the residential component of the hybrid annual NDF Vajrayana retreat. For the online component, click here.

Open to current NDF Vajrayana practitioners only.  

There is an ancient saying in Tibetan Buddhism that “When the flames of the dark age rage rampantly, the teachings of the vajra vehicle of Secret Mantra will blaze forth like wildfire.”

While the flames of the dark age seem to be raging, now is indeed the time prophesied by this phrase so many hundreds of years ago. Please join the leaders of the NDF Vajrayana Track as we explore the martri (the personal advice) given by the great Mahasiddha Guru Rinpoche to his closest disciples, including the yogini Yeshe Tsogyal. As the conveyer of the Vajrayana teachings to Tibet, Guru Rinpoche stands out in Tibetan Buddhist history as a second Buddha. The practices, teachings, and yogic instructions he imparted to the people of Tibet have been passed down to us today through an unbroken stream of lineage transmissions and connections.

In this retreat, we will explore Guru Rinpoche’s terma instructions for practicing the Vajrayana through a close reading of Advice from the Lotus Born, a collection of secret teachings revealed by different treasure revealers that details the attitudes, approaches, instructions, and insights originally taught by Guru Rinpoche in the seventh and eighth centuries in Tibet. Entering the magical world of this text, we will discover the “timeless time,” the space of openness, clarity, and compassion that continually issues from the words of these teachings, which transcend our concepts of time and space, speaking to us as directly and accurately as if we were present at their original evocation.

This retreat will include substantial time for group and individual practice, both for onsite and for online participants.

Required TextAdvice from the Lotus Born: A Collection of Padmasambhava’s Advice to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal and Other Close Disciples, Rangjung Yeshe Publications. This book can be purchased via Amazon and other book sellers. It is also available as an E-book.


SCHEDULE – All times are Eastern Time

June 11
7:00 – 8:30 pm             Opening Session

June 12 – 14
7:00 – 8:00 am             Individual Morning Practice Session (Thun I)
8:00  – 9:30 am            Breakfast and Break
9:30 – 10:30 am           Dharma Talk
10:45 am – 12:00 pm   Group Meditation Practice Sessions (Prostrations, Vajrasattva, Mandala, Guru Yoga, Vajrayogini Sadhana) (Thun II)
12:00 – 2:00 pm           Lunch and Break
2:00 – 3:00 pm             Group Reading Session
3:15 – 3:45 pm             Contemplative Meditation Session
4:00 – 5:15 pm             Group Meditation Practice Sessions (Prostrations, Vajrasattva, Mandala, Guru Yoga, Vajrayogini Sadhana) (Thun III)
5:30 – 7:00 pm             Dinner and Break
7:00 – 8:30 pm             Individual Evening Practice Session (Thun IV)

June 15
7:00 – 8:00 am             Individual Morning Practice Session (Thun I)
10:00 –11:00 am          Group Reading Session
11:15 – 11:45 am         Contemplative Meditation Session
12:00 – 12:30 pm         Closing Session
12:30 pm                      Lunch and Departure


If you register for a shared room, you are agreeing that you accept that you may be sharing it with someone you don’t know, though unrelated men and women will never be assigned to the same room. If you are not willing to make that agreement, please do not register for a shared room. You may want to consider registering for the commuter option instead. Scroll down on this page for information about nearby accommodations.

You must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 on arrival at Wonderwell. Full vaccination does include a booster shot. We recommend that you take a photo of your vaccination card so that, if you forget to bring the card with you, the image will be on your phone.

Masks must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking or in participants’ rooms.

A negative COVID-19 test result is required before admittance to the retreat. Please test within 72 hours prior to your expected arrival at Wonderwell, using either a PCR test or a rapid (at-home) test kit. You may take a photo of the results.

Important information about 2022 retreats at Wonderwell: Information about pandemic safety protocols in place can be found on this page of our website. For details about Wonderwell itself, registration procedures, pricing, cancellation policy, and other FAQs, please use this link.


Wonderwell Mountain Refuge strives to offer retreats in a manner that is inclusive for persons of all means. If the full retreat cost would create an undue financial burden, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. Please visit this page on our website to learn more about financial aid. Depending on the type of work that you do, you may be eligible for a Hemera Contemplative Fellowship. Please click on this link for more information. You must register first before applying for either.

Cancellation Policy – Wonderwell charges a $75 cancellation fee for residential (onsite) retreat cancellations more than 4 weeks before the start of a retreat. Any cancellations between 4 weeks to 11 days prior to the program are charged a $150 cancellation fee. For any cancellations 10 or fewer days prior to the start date of the program, no refunds are offered. However, if you are feeling ill or have concerns about exposure to the COVID virus, please cancel your attendance at any Wonderwell retreat even at the last minute. In this case, we will provide a full refund of your payment.



The user account feature of our website provides a secure place where materials from your retreats can be posted and accessed. If you don’t have an account already, you’ll want to set one up as soon as you register.

  • Paid resourcesretreat recordings and other retreat materials – will only be available in the dashboard of your user account.
  • If you haven’t already created an NDF user account, please visit our website to Create an account as soon as possible.
  • User accounts are manually synced with the retreat 7–10 days after the retreat. Please be aware that this does not happen automatically with registration. It is a separate, manual operation.

Please visit the Technical FAQ page on our website for useful information about user accounts, helpful tutorials, as well as answers to many other questions. You can contact with questions about your user account.

Check-in at Wonderwell is between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on the day of arrival. The retreat ends at noon on the final day and a light lunch is offered.

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  • Private room with queen bed and ensuite bath - $1,100.00
  • Private room with queen bed and hall bath - $848.00
  • Private room with twin bed and hall bath - $848.00
  • Shared room with ensuite bath - $712.00
  • Shared room with hall bath - $648.00
  • Tent camping - $500.00
  • Commuting - $416.00

Full access to all recordings and retreat materials through your user account.

About the Teachers

Lama Liz Monson

Lama, Managing Teacher, Spiritual Co-Director
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Ron Thomas

Supporting Teacher, Vajrayana Coordinator
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Gina Michaels

Meditation Teacher, Vajrayana Practice Coordinator
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Kathe McKenna

Dharma Teacher, NDF Board President
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