Guru and Yogini: Encountering the Treasures of the Dakinis

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Guru and Yogini: Encountering the Treasures of the Dakinis

Lama Liz Monson, Gina Michaels, Ron Thomas, Kathe McKenna
August 2, 2021 - August 6, 2021

Live Online + unlimited access to retreat recordings

During this four-day online retreat, we will enter the vivid, luminous world of Guru Rinpoche’s secret advice to the Yogini Yeshe Tsogyal through the teachings found in Dakini Teachings, a “revealed” (terma) text discovered in the twelfth century by the great treasure revealer, Nyang Ral Nyima Oser. This is a unique opportunity to explore Guru Rinpoche’s oral instructions on the Vajrayana practices as he imparted them to his foremost disciple, Yeshe Tsogyal. Upon practicing these instructions, Yeshe Tsogyal attained full liberation, becoming a lineage holder and extremely powerful Dharma teacher in her own right. Join us as we enter into the world of this text, positioning ourselves as the “model readers” who not only hear what is spoken, but who are also transformed by it. We will also explore the phenomena of treasure revelation (terma) to make sense of how this mode of transmission brings forth exactly the teachings we need at this time in human history.

This retreat will bring participants into a deeply contemplative relationship with the teachings found in the texts in order to take what we read beyond the conceptual level to commune with the essence of the meaning. Sessions will include group reading sessions, contemplative meditations on select sections, group meditation practice sessions, and break-out room discussion forums.

You will want to have a copy of the Dakini Teachings available for the retreat. Please look for it your favorite bookseller:

Padmasambhava, Erik Pema Kunsang (translator), Dakini Teachings: Padmasambhava’s Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal, Shambhala Publications, 1990.


Padmansambhava, Erik Pema Kunsang (translator), Dakini Teachings: A Collection of Padmasambhava’s Advice to the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications 2nd Edition, 1999.

There is a PDF file attached to the confirmation email you’ll receive after registering that has a list of booksellers where you can purchase a copy.

This retreat is only open to those who have received Vajrayana transmission and are looking for deep practice support in community. If you are not presently on the NDF Vajrayana track but have a Vajrayana practice and wish to attend the retreat, please email the NDF Vajrayana Coordinator at This retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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.


PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE (this may change)

Monday, August 2 
5:00 – 6:30 pm              Opening Session

Tuesday, August 3 through Thursday, August 5
10:00 – 11:00 am         Group Reading Session
11:15 – 11:45 am         Contemplative Meditation Session
11:45 am – 12:15 pm  Discussion
12:15 – 1:00 pm           Group Meditation Practice Sessions (Prostrations, Vajrasattva,Mandala, Guru Yoga, Vajrayogini Sadhana)
1:00 – 3:00 pm             Lunch and break
3:00 – 4:00 pm             Group Reading Session
4:15 – 4:45 pm             Contemplative Meditation Session
4:45 – 5:30 pm             Group Meditation Practice Sessions (Prostrations, Vajrasattva,Mandala, Guru Yoga, Vajrayogini Sadhana)

Friday, August 6
10:00 – 11:00am          Group Reading Session Morning
11:15 – 11:45 am         Contemplative Meditation Session
11:45 am – 12:15 pm   Closing Session

All times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Please note: If you are enrolled in both the Varjayana retreat (Aug. 2-6) and the Vajrayana six-week course, there is a thirty minute conflict at the end of the day on August 4th between the two schedules. If you are in both of these programs, please DO NOT join the group practice session in the Vajrayana Retreat beginning at 4:45pm on August 4th and instead come to the Vajrayana class beginning at 5pm. The only thing you will miss is that one group practice session at the end of the day on August 4th.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Please read carefully! The Zoom link will be emailed to all those registered two days before the retreat begins. If you don’t see an email from Natural Dharma Registrar or Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, it may have mistakenly gone to your spam/junk  folder or Promotions or Update categories. Please check your spam/junk folder and, if you find an email from us, open it and mark it as “Not spam.” Then add the email address you see in the From line to your Contacts to ensure our emails land in your inbox. Contact the registrar at on Thursday if you have not received the Zoom link.

PROGRAM COST – It is Natural Dharma Fellowship’s aspiration that no one be turned away from our teachings and retreats because they are unable to pay the full cost. In order make our courses affordable for all who wish to attend, we are offering a three-level fee structure that takes into account people’s differing financial circumstances:

  • Benefactor – for those who can afford it, this fee level helps provide support for those with limited financial resources and assists with the care and maintenance of Wonderwell Mountain Refuge
  • Program fee – for those who can cover the basic cost of a retreat or course
  • Supported – for those with limited financial resources or recent financial hardship

The amounts listed are suggestions. You may write in any amount that fits your financial situation. Any amount offered above the Course Fee level will be considered a tax-deductible donation and will be acknowledged as such.



A new feature of our website—user accounts—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 resources – retreat recordings and other retreat materials, including Zoom links – 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 24-48 hours prior to its start. Please be aware that this does not happen automatically with registration. It is a separate, manual operation.
  • You must have a user account set up 48 hours prior to the start of an event for access to any pre-retreat materials provided by the teacher.
  • If you register less than 48 hours before a retreat, we cannot guarantee you will have access to your account when the program begins. In that case, your account will be synced 24-48 hours after the program has finished.

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.



Wonderwell Mountain Refuge Full Calendar

Monday through Friday, Aug. 2 to 6, 2021. Please see schedule for daily times. All times are Eastern Daylight Time. You can use this time zone converter to determine the start time at your home.

[email protected]

We appreciate your registering early so that retreat materials can go into your user account before the retreat begins.

Please see the paragraph titled Program Cost for an explanation of the fee structure for this retreat.

About the Teachers

Lama Liz Monson

Managing Teacher, Spiritual Co-Director
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Gina Michaels

Meditation Teacher, Vajrayana Practice Coordinator
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Ron Thomas

Supporting Teacher, Vajrayana Coordinator
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Kathe McKenna

Dharma Teacher, NDF Board President
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