9-Day Mahamudra Retreat

Richard John

February 4–13, 2022

Tuition $0 + 9 nights

This program has been cancelled. More information about a 3-Day Online Mahamudra Intensive coming soon!

Mahamudra, the “great seal,” is among the most profound streams of teaching and practice of Vajrayana Buddhism. Revered as a powerful support for all other tantric practices, it is also extremely simple and direct, focused on recognizing and gaining confidence in the nature of mind through direct experience.

This year, the practice text will be Pointing Out the Dharmakaya, the classic liturgy by Wangchuk Dorje, the Ninth Karmapa. We will incorporate pith instructions by Yeshe Tsogyal, Lodro Thaye, Paltrul Rinpoche, Rangjung Dorje, Chögyam Trungpa and Sakyong Mipham.

The Retreat will be mostly silent, with times for circle conversation. Each day will include the physical practices of Lujong, Shamatha Yoga, and Lungtse. We will include the Stroke of Ashe, and there will be two sessions for Scorpion Seal practitioners to do the “morning practices” from SSA.

Tuition has been set to $0 and lodging prices for this retreat have been reduced by between 20% and 40%, depending on lodging type, to support the sangha in practicing at Shambhala Mountain Center. Learn more about Financial Assistance.

Please review and understand SMC’s current COVID-19 policy before visiting SMC.


This retreat is restricted to Shambhala tantrikas, those who received vajrayana transmission at Vajrayana Seminary, Sacred World Assembly, or through Ocean. Participants who wish to engage in further mahamudra practice should have the Pointing Out the Dharmakaya liturgy and sourcebook from Nalanda Translation Committee (separate from the published book). For this retreat, bring the liturgy if you have it, and if not, the sourcebook and temporary photocopies of the liturgy will be available.


First-time participants: must begin at the beginning and commit to the entire 9-day retreat

Participants who have already done a Mahamudra retreat using Pointing Out the Daharmakaya: may attend as much of the retreat as they wish, starting from the beginning of the retreat. To register, please click on the “Register Now” button above and use the “Comments” box to type “Departure: [enter the date you’ll depart], and for Payment select “Personal Check” from the dropdown list to bypass payment. This will register you, automatically notify us, and will not charge your card. We’ll edit your arrival & departure dates and finances, and contact you for credit card information.

Heart Gift

It is customary to offer a monetary Heart Gift to the teacher, who depends upon this income. This is completely voluntary according to your inspiration, and there is no suggested amount—any amount is appreciated.

Richard John

An early student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Richard completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey, and for 25 years has led mahamudra retreats at Karme Chöling, Dorje Denma Ling, Shambhala Mountain Center and Casa Werma. Richard and his wife Liz live in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.