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2018 Dzogchen Buddha Path
Long Weekend Urban Retreat

with H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

April 12 - 15, 2018

Retreat Details, Conditions, and Policies

Group Photo

Last updated: Feb 22, 2018

This is a rare opportunity to receive teachings from
H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche
in an urban retreat setting in the U.S.

Retreat Schedule

This retreat will last for four days, from 5 PM on Thursday, April 12th through approximately 3 PM on Sunday, April 15th, 2018. Retreatants will need to arrive no later than 3 PM on April 12th and attend all sessions to participate in the retreat. In other words, without special permission, retreatants cannot miss any of the sessions and then continue to participate in the remainder of the retreat. You may leave the retreat early, but you should not enter the retreat with that intention.


  • Hotel Conference Room in Oceanside, California.
  • Approx. 38 miles north of San Diego.
  • Lively seaside town with miles of beach and many local and nearby attractions for visitors.
  • Seven-minute walk to the beach or four-minute walk to the Oceanside Marina.
  • Numerous restaurants and lodging accomodations within walking distance. Less than one mile to downtown, beach, pier, theaters, museums, transportation, etc. http://visitoceanside.org


If you need to book flights after your application is approved, most people will fly into the San Diego International Airport (SAN), which is 38 miles south of the retreat location. Train transit is available from San Diego to downtown Oceanside, less than a mile from the retreat location. Upon request, the San Diego Sangha can make recommendations regarding transportation. We suggest you buy plane tickets early since San Diego is a popular destination. We will send directions to the retreat location once your registration is accepted.

What the Retreat Fee Includes

  • Four days of teachings from a Dzogchen Lineage Holder Master
  • Reserved space in a hotel conference room setting
  • Conference room and other hosting costs. There is no charge for the teachings.
  • This is NOT a residential retreat. Food and lodging are the responsibility of each participant.
  • Four days of amazing Dharmic experiences.

The Food

Meals are the responsibility of each registrant. The retreat location, a hotel near the Oceanside Marina and Beach, has a highly-rated restaurant where breakfast and dinner are available at a reasonable charge. There is also a small onsite “hotel store” for various sundries. A water station will be situated outside the teaching room. There are numerous restaurants within walking distance.


Lodging is the responsibility of each registrant. The host hotel is fully booked on April 13, but the other days are available. There is a budget hotel next to the retreat site, nicer hotels within a half mile, and many more hotels within one mile. Oceanside is also the site of numerous vacation rentals via Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc. April is a good month for discounted rates and there are no extra resort fees on hotels in Oceanside, so this also helps keep lodging costs manageable. Retreat directors will give you the name of the host hotel upon registration and can provide more information on nearby lodging. Contact us for more information if you would like to share a room to reduce costs.


Without exception, whether staying at the retreat location or not, students are expected to attend every session of the retreat, exact hours to be determined. Students who leave the retreat once it is in progress are not permitted to return to the retreat. Exceptions are sometimes made in cases of emergency or when given advance written permission from the retreat director and teacher guiding the retreat.

What to Bring

Below is a suggested packing list. Plan for the weather to be both warm and dry and damp and cool. Rain is possible any day of the year in this part of Oregon. Please bring appropriate sleeping gear, clothing, and shoes.

  • Computer (with charger) OR Notebook and pens
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle
  • Ritual objects i.e., your bell and dorje, drum (a puja table will be provided)
  • Copy of The Buddha Path practice book (you can purchase a copy at the retreat)
  • Sitting cushion or chair of choice (some chairs and cushions are available on site)
  • Lap blanket (to keep knees warm for long sittings in the shrine)
  • Plenty of socks and underwear
  • Shoes appropriate for walking a dirt path to the Marina and Beach
  • Enough changes of clothes to get you through the retreat
  • Extra cash to make offerings to the teacher or contributions to special events

What NOT to Bring

Below is a list of things not to bring:

  • Cigarettes, tobacco products, or other smoking materials
  • Drugs that have not been prescribed to you by your physician
  • Marijuana or its derivatives in any form even if you have a prescription
  • Drinking alcohol for personal consumption
  • Weapons such as guns
  • Fireworks
  • Pets

Possession of drugs, cigarettes, personal alcohol or weapons can be grounds for expulsion from the retreat.


When packing just before the retreat, please check the online weather forecast for Oceanside. For the scheduled week of this retreat the average high is around 70° F, the average low is around 56° F. The forecast is for the low 70s to mid-50s every day but can be warmer or colder. Skies are usually clear. Bring layers just in case!


Retreatants should be prepared to take care of their own health, bring along any emergency supplies such as antidotes to any life-threatening allergies, and expect to be able to handle the somewhat rigorous teaching and practice schedule of the retreat. If you are taking any type of pharmaceutical that can influence your mental state (including, but not limited to antidepressants and diabetes and thyroid medications), we require that you bring an adequate supply for your entire visit here, and that you consistently follow the usage pattern and medical advice prescribed by your physician. You must inform the event director of your special medical conditions when you register.

Meditation and Sitting Practice

Meditation practice will be incorporated and keyed to the daily teaching subjects, with the goal of moving from a superficial understanding of the Buddha's teachings to a profound and incontrovertible realization of their truth in our present moment thinking. During teaching and meditation sessions you are welcome to sit in a chair, but most people choose to sit on a cushion on the floor. If sitting on the floor, please bring your own cushion or blanket. Chairs are provided.

Daily Retreat Schedule and Sessions

We do not have a teaching schedule confirmed at this time, but you should be prepared for a program of up to 12.5 hours per day. Everyone is expected to remain in all teaching and practice sessions without creating disturbances. It is permissible to step out briefly for an emergency. There are breaks between sessions, which typically last 1.5 to 2.5 hours each, with up to five sessions per day. There will be eight to ten hours of scheduled practices and teachings per day. In addition, during break times, yoga, music, dancing, art, and other Dharma activities may take place.

As part of your daily practice, for an eight-hour period at night you may be required to maintain a vow of silence and not engage in any normal waking activities except using the bathroom. These times may vary from day to day, but the idea is that you will be lying down resting your body for eight hours every night, whether you are at the retreat location or not.

Additional Requirements

Everyone will be expected to follow the rules of the retreat which are outlined on this page. The rules are subject to revision. Also you must adhere to the schedule of the retreat and attend all the scheduled events of the retreat, unless given permission by the teacher. You may leave the retreat at any time, but you may not return to the retreat once you have left.

To attend the retreat, one must be a non-smoker, drug-free, and mentally stable. Possession or use of smoking materials, illegal or mind-altering drugs, or non-prescribed pharmaceuticals are not permitted. You may, of course, bring and ingest any prescribed medication except medicinal marijuana, which is not permitted.

You should bring any supplies you need with you for the entire duration of the retreat, as there may not be time for shopping. You should bring adequate supplies of things like clothing, toiletries, and medicine.

No pets are allowed on property.

You must have the willingness and commitment to practice with the group during all sessions of the retreat. You should have enough physical and mental stamina to sit with the group for the daily schedule, and a temperament that enables you to get along with others.


The retreat fee is $120, paid in full by April 1, 2018 with your submitted application. Pay early to reserve your space. The late registration fee is $140, if space is still available.

Visit the Payment Options page for more information on how to pay.

Cancellation and Refunds

There are no refunds after April 1, 2018, except in the event that your application is not approved. In that case, any payments you have made will be returned to you in full.

You may cancel any time before April 1, 2018 and receive a full refund (100% of any fees you have paid) if we are able to fill your spot with another retreatant.


Please contact the retreat director or simply indicate on your registration form and add to your registration fee if you are able to contribute to the scholarship fund. We aspire to assist all diligent students who have need of financial assistance.

Donations (Dana)

Retreat costs do not include any payment or donation to the guiding teacher. Any donation to the teacher or to the hosting organization that you would like to make should be prepared outside of your payment for the cost of this event.

The Buddhist teachings during the retreat are free, but note that within Dzogchen Buddhist tradition, the teacher does not charge the organizers for the teaching services, and therefore individual donations by retreatants to the teacher are always welcomed and needed in order to support the teacher's Dharma activities. This is also a gesture of appreciation, respect and aspiration for the perpetuation of the teachings. This offering to the teacher by the individual student is often referred to using the Sanskrit term dana.


If you have questions or wonder if this event is for you, please contact the retreat directors in advance to discuss. This page will be updated with some of the answers to questions posed, so questions are very much welcomed.

How to Register Today

Retreatants need to register early in order to reserve limited attendance. Reservations are required and are currently being accepted. Everyone is welcome to register by filling out the Online Registration and making a deposit of half the retreat fee to hold your place. We need to process as many applications, and receive deposits, as early as possible in order to properly prepare for the retreat. We hope you can help us with this.

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