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2015 Dzogchen Lineage Internship

One-Month International Dzogchen Buddha Path Internship

A Full Month of Intensive Dharma Training
at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA

Friday, July 3 ~ Tuesday, August 4 ~ Sunday, August 16, 2015

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Last updated: March 2, 2015

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Announcing the 2015 Dzogchen Lineage Internship

The Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 Dzogchen Lineage Internship, an International Dzogchen Buddha Path Teacher Training Program conducted by His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche. This intensive program of Dharma study and practice will begin on Friday, July 3, 2015.

One-Month Dzogchen Buddha Path Internship

Date: Retreat starts on Friday, July 3rd, 2015 and concludes on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015.

Encouraged: Retreatants are encouraged to arrive a couple of days up to one week before July 3rd so you can acclimate your body and mind. Encouraged departure is August 5th, 6th, or later.

Qualification: This is a private retreat and is only open to authorized Buddha Path Teachers and those who are trained and invited by authorized Buddha Path Teachers.

About the Dzogchen Lineage Internship

The One-Month International 3rd Edition Buddha Path Teacher Training Program is an annual assembly of the International Dzogchen Lineage students. Attendees of the first month are required to have attended at least one seasonal retreat within the Dzogchen Lineage or be tutored by an authorized Buddha Path Teacher who can help applicants prepare for the Internship.

Translations and Interpretations:
Sessions during the one month Internship will include Mandarin Chinese translation by Lama Lau Kin and Li Heng, PhD, and Russian language translation by Buddha Path Teacher Zhenya Evgeny Golyuk.

Dzogchen Rigdzin Dupa Drupchen Practice Option

Date: Starts Thursday, August 6th, 2015 and ends on Saturday, August 15th, 2015. (Departure on or after August 16th).
Qualifications: Only those who complete the 2015 One-Month International Dzogchen Buddha Path Internship may be eligible to attend the 2015 Dzogchen Rigdzin Dupa Drupchen.

Our Kind Vajra Master

We are extremely happy to announce that our kind teacher His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche, a meditation master, professor of Dzogchen Shri Singha University, and Dzogchen Lineage Holder, will lead this Dzogchen Lineage Internship and provide daily instruction to all students during the entire Internship.

His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche in 2014. Photo by Wongmo.

This program is an extraordinary opportunity to receive profound instructions directly from a living Vajra Master born and trained in Tibet.

Bio of His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Overview of the Dzogchen Lineage Internship

Celebrating Eight Years of Dzogchen Lineage Internships

Since 2008, the annual Dzogchen Lineage Internship Program has been an intensive course of study and training in the view, meditation, conduct, and result of Buddhist Sutras and Tantras. This program integrates scholastic methods with personal instruction and meditation techniques to allow students to progress infallibly and swiftly from a logical understanding of the Dharma to the unwavering realization of Dzogchen. This internship program is a rare and precious opportunity for contemporary students to study and train in the methods of the Dzogchen Lineage.

2015 Dzogchen Spring Retreat logo

Participants in the 2014 Dzogchen Lineage Internship

Dzogchen Buddha Path Internship Curriculum

The Dzogchen Lineage Internship is an intensive course of study and training in the view, meditation, and conduct of the authentic Buddhist Sutras, Tantras, and Shastras. This teaching and training method is based on the time-tested tradition of Dzogchen Shri Singha Five Sciences University of Tibet, Nalanda University and Oddiyana Mandala City of ancient India. For thousands of years, these methods of training have led many Buddhist practitioners to attain the supreme result of enlightenment and become holders of the Dzogchen Lineage.

Interns also study the five minor sciences of poetics, semiotics, prosody, drama, and astrology. These classes ensure that students receive a comprehensive education in authentic Buddhist view, meditation, and conduct with special emphasis on firmly grounding that education in the fundamental ground, path, and result principles of Buddhism. These teachings and curriculum adhere to the system of the Dzogchen Shri Singha Five Sciences University of Tibet, Nalanda University, Odantapuri Temple, and the Oddiyana Mandala City of ancient India.

An Immersive Training Experience

Admitted Dzogchen Buddha Path interns stay sequestered at a designated Internship site for the duration of the Internship program. All interns are required to attend every session and activity of the Internship program, which consists of a daily twenty-four hour schedule of training.

A typical daily Internship schedule begins and ends with at least an hour of group practice. The interim is centered on a minimum of six hours and up to twelve hours of in-class study with the Guiding Vajra Master, Dharma teachers, and senior Dharma tutors. These class sessions cover topics of the traditional Buddhist major sciences of art, medicine, linguistics, philosophy, and especially the Buddhadharma, which is learning, contemplating, and meditating on the teachings and shastras of the Vinaya, Sutra, and Abhidharma in general, and the Vajrayana Tantras and the Dzogchen Tantras in particular.

In addition, classroom sessions include training in meditation techniques, academic research, translation, composition and editing, teaching and public speaking, pedagogy, debate, leadership, counseling, conflict resolution, healing techniques, miracle powers, parapsychology, yoga, ritual ceremony, nutrition, and other practical knowledge, skills, and competencies. Interns must also demonstrate ability in self-guided study through reading and writing assignments, memorization, media presentations, speeches, and teachings.

An Internship program also functions as a practicum. Periods in between the main sessions are utilized to further train Interns in the context of team roles, individual and group projects, committee participation, event organization, and management positions.

Interns are directed to utilize the principles they have acquired throughout all periods of the daily schedule by meditating on enlightenment, reminding themselves and others to embody Buddhist principles, practicing Buddhist visualization, reciting Buddhist mantras and teachings, and acting and speaking in accord with Buddhist guidelines for conduct. Students are also taught techniques for transforming mundane daily activities such as sleeping, waking up, tending to personal hygiene, walking, eating, drinking, and even physical work into Buddhist enlightened practice.

Dzogchen Buddha Path Internships provide one of the most complete and holistic programs of Buddhist learning and training in the world. Graduates of these programs receive a breadth and quality of education that is difficult to quantify. Many past and present interns have described their participation in these programs as the single most important activity and defining experience of their lives, transforming their entire view and approach to living. Those who attend multiple Internships progressively deepen their understanding, experience and realization of Dharma. Dzogchen Interns graduate as scholars learned in Buddhist principles, Buddhist practitioners on the path to enlightenment, and teachers who are benefitting their families, communities, and the world at large.

Gaining Credit Hours and Achieving Awards

The Dzogchen Buddha Path Authentication Committee (the Committee) was formed in the U.S. in 2013 by members of the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA and international Dzogchen Shri Singha institutions for the purpose of developing criteria for verifying those Dzogchen Buddha Path students who have achieved a sufficient level of Dharma learning, contemplation, and meditation to be recognized as Buddha Path Teachers.

The Committee recognizes the value of integrating traditional educational models with modern academic standards. Accordingly, these criteria incorporate the modern system of standards following the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Education. This system awards course credit hours based on both contact (in-class) and assigned (out-of-class) study.

The Committee believes that by establishing criteria that combine the rigorous requirements of these respected educational models, recipients of Dzogchen Buddha Path certificates, diplomas, and degrees can be trusted as knowledgeable teachers of Buddhist principles. These criteria far exceed those normally used for determining expertise in a field of study. The criteria’s emphasis on identifying those students who have both knowledge and faith in authentic Buddhism is especially noteworthy. Thus, the Committee unreservedly recognizes award recipients for their accomplishments in authentic Buddhist training.

The Committee encourages and authorizes all certificate holders to teach Buddhist principles in general, and to teach The Buddha Path in particular to all mankind for the True Happiness of all beings. However, these awards do not support recipients as qualified Dharma teachers if they do not properly uphold Buddhist principles, including moral conduct. If this moral contract is broken, then these certificates and awards will be invalidated.

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Internship Requirements

It is important that prospective Interns understand the demands of this internship and are willing to meet certain requirements.

Prior Retreat Experience

Please contact the Internship director if you need any clarification on the following prerequisites:

Prerequisites for the One-Month Option of the Internship:

  1. Students attending the one-month option are required to have taken Buddhist Refuge
  2. Must have attended at least a one week retreat within the Dzogchen Lineage OR have received 10 tutoring sessions by an authorized Dharma Teacher of The Buddha Path
  3. Must have permission to attend by the Internship Director
  4. Must arrive by July 3 and promise to remain in retreat through the one month concluding ceremony
  5. Must be fluent in one or more of the following languages: English, Chinese, Russian

Prerequisites for the Three-Month Option of the Internship:

  • Students attending the one-month option are required to take or retake Buddhist Refuge within the Dzogchen Buddha Path Lineage.
  • Must have attended at least a one week retreat within the Dzogchen Lineage OR have
  • received 10 tutoring sessions by an authorized Dharma Teacher of The Buddha Path.
  • Must be evaluated by and have permission to attend from the Internship Director.
  • Must arrive by July 3rd and promise to remain in retreat for the specified time through the concluding ceremony of the chosen option.
  • Must be fluent in one or more of the following languages: English, Mandarin, or Russian.


Minors must be accompanied by parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and provided with full-time care if they are not attending the sessions. All students must be of sound mind and body. Students must commit to attend whichever retreat option they select in its entirety, and plan to forgo other obligations or distractions during that time. Students can expect to have limited contact with the outside world and should prepare their friends and families accordingly.

Students will live at the rural and secluded Dzogchen Retreat Center USA, where they will study and practice in groups and individually for approximately sixteen hours a day on a rigorous and dynamic schedule. Students will be expected to obey all federal, state and local laws as well as the rules of the retreat center and the specific rules and schedule of the Internship.

Is the Dzogchen Lineage Internship Right for Me?

This internship is intended for those who sincerely want to benefit others and realize wisdom and compassion in this lifetime. It is for students who have faith in the Dzogchen Lineage and who understand that progress in Dharma, the root of happiness, requires comprehensive training and continuous diligence in the three techniques: learning, contemplation and meditation.

As Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche teaches us, "Human life is precious. Life is impermanent. If you realize in this life that your top priority is teaching Dharma to others for the sake of world peace, then the Dzogchen Lineage Internship program is for you."

Based on the belief that lasting change must come from within, the Dzogchen Lineage Internship serves to create Dharma teachers with a firm foundation in Buddhist fundamentals. Throughout the course of this internship, students will train in increasing renunciation, compassion, faith, love and wisdom, changing themselves for the better so that they might better serve others.

The intensive and comprehensive approach to the teachings used in this internship are specifically intended to help students to become tutors, guides & teachers of the Dharma, as well as Dzogchen Lineage Holders.

Khenpo Choga Rinpoche teaches all courses in English, drawing upon his knowledge of Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese when appropriate. Internship translators and tutors facilitate discussion and understanding of each day’s teachings in English, Chinese, and Russian.

Retreat Preparation

Students must prepare for the internship in advance by completing the specific preparatory exercises and study program outlined in the 2015 Internship Handbook, which will be distributed electronically to all admitted applicants.


Admission to the Internship will be based on an application process. The Internship Application Committee will review all applications. Attendance is limited, so please apply early if you think you want to participate.

We welcome applications from all who would like to attend. We encourage all sincere and well-intentioned Buddhist students to learn more about this program by visiting the internship website, contacting us and asking any questions they have.

Application Process

The application process is as follows:

  1. Applicant fills out the online application form.
  2. The Internship Director acknowledges the receipt of the application and sends more information.
  3. The Internship Director interviews the applicant over the phone.
  4. The Internship Director presents the applicant to the Internship Committee for approval.
  5. If approved, the Internship Director asks the applicant to sign the Internship Agreement and return it with a 25% non-refundable down payment.

Internship Fees

For the benefit of participating students, Internship fees reflect a built-in scholarship because there is no profit motive and fees have been minimized to just cover projected operating expenses. Food, lodging, and all utilities are included. Instruction is provided free of cost. Donations to the teacher are optional, but are encouraged. Students must support themselves financially during the internship and are expected to cover the costs of their health care and any personal necessities. Students are required to purchase in advance the books listed above. Due to the consecutive nature of the instructions, students who leave the internship for any reason will not be allowed to return. No refunds will be made for any reason after the Internship has commenced.

Expenses everywhere are increasing, but since 2008, we have only minimally increased the fees for Internship and have made great efforts to minimize our operating costs through conservation, technological upgrades, and volunteer support. While we have been able to offer more generous discounts to our retreatants, we can no longer sustain operations with this discount structure.

Even so, this year’s rates do not nearly cover the Retreat Center’s actual annual operating and infrastructure expenses. To make up the difference, we rely on the Sangha’s generosity. The Dzogchen Retreat Center and Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation operate entirely based on a volunteer basis. There are no paid staff or instructors at the Retreat Center or the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA. Therefore, we request and encourage everyone to donate to the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation USA and the Dzogchen Retreat Center.


Cost of the One-Month Internship Option:
$2,300 USD
(Discounts may apply, see below.)

You can train at the Dzogchen Retreat Center for about 45 days (from July 3 to August 16, 2015) and receive university quality Buddhist education. This covers your accommodations, three meals per day, and educational resources. Also included is the entire training program, all instruction, and the Drupchen practice.

Discount Options

Any one of the following discount options can be applied to your Internship fees. The following discount options cannot be combined in order to obtain a deeper discount:

One-Month retreatant discounts:

  1. International travel discount
  2. Returning intern discount
  3. Senior discount
  4. Student discount
  5. Teen discount
  6. Youth discount

International Travel Discount:
In order to encourage international sangha to attend this year’s Dzogchen Lineage Internship Programs, an additional discount of $300 USD is offered to applicants in need who are flying to the retreat from outside North America (e.g., from Asia, Russia, Europe, South America, Africa, or Australia).

Returning Intern Discount:
Graduates of past internships can deduct $25 per each prior successfully completed month of Internship up to a total maximum discount of $250.

Senior Discount:
For seniors 65 and over, there is a $25 discount.

Student Discount:
In order to encourage young people to attend the Internships, a discount of up to 5% may be offered to applicants in need who are 20 to 25 years of age.

Teen Discount:
For those 13-19 years of age, there is a $150 discount.

Youth Discount:
Instead of the flat $2,300 rate, youths 5-12 years of age will be charged $1 per year old per day. For example, a 12 year old who resides 48 days at the DRC will be charged $12 x 48 = $576 USD.

To apply for discounts, contact the Internship Director.

All fees must be paid in full by July 1, 2015.
Your early payment allows us to better prepare retreat facilities for the Internship. We appreciate your early commitment.

If you have a sincere intention to participate, but have time or resource restrictions, you may contact the Internship Director to discuss other possible options.

For each of the previous Dzogchen Lineage Internships, not only have all internship fees been used entirely toward operational expenses, but each internship has been heavily subsidized by the generous sponsorship of sangha members around the world. So even if you cannot attend this year’s program, we sincerely request your support. Please contact the Internship Director if you would like to contribute or volunteer.

Contact Information

Please visit the Contact page for a list of Internship contacts.

The Great Merit of Supporting Dharma

Even if you will not be able to attend this internship, you or anyone else you know will earn tremendous merit by supporting those who do. As internship fees do not cover the cost of running the program, your financial contributions provide an invaluable condition for the success of this internship. We also accept donations of property and stocks. As we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donations are tax deductible. Supporting Buddhist education generates great merit for the donor. If you would like to contribute financially or with your time, please contact us immediately. Your assistance is necessary and greatly appreciated.

There are many ways you can help:

  • Offer donations of money, property, or stock
  • Sponsor students or other volunteers
  • Volunteer at the retreat center before or during the internship
  • Recite the Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer
  • Encourage your friends to participate
  • Request an Invitation Letter for an Extended USA Visa

Visa Invitation Letter Request

If you come from a country where you need to apply for a visa to stay in the USA for the duration of your retreat, an invitation letter may help. To request an invitation letter from the Dzogchen Shri Singha Foundation, please register as soon as possible for your retreat, then fill out the Invitation Letter Request Form for each person in your family who will be attending from overseas. One of our volunteers will respond with your invitation letter as soon as possible.

Dzogchen Internship Information and Registration Site

Retreat Overview


Online Registration Form

Retreat Payment Options

Invitation Letter Request Form

Heartfelt Dharma Aspiration Prayer

Sign-up For Our Newsletter

Contact the Internship Directors

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