Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies

Founded in 1996 by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, the Institute’s goal is to transplant intact the teachings of the monastic colleges of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and to then transform the tradition in genuine and applicable ways for Western minds.

The overall objective of the curriculum is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the views of the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Intensive study of those views and accompanying contemplative practices bring theoretical comprehension and personal engagement together. Classes are taught by both Tibetan and Western faculty. They are offered in an educational setting and online, and in some cases, for credit.

“In-depth study helps us to think precisely about our path and our mind, and work precisely with our basic state of being. Meditation plays a key role in actualizing the path, but is in some sense limited to individual experience. Study has a manifestation that reaches out to other people, not only in this time and century, but throughout the centuries. So this knowledge that we develop, share, and try to preserve for future generations has a very important role in transplanting Buddhadharma to this culture.”
—Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Nitartha Institute has been supported by Tsadra Foundation grants from 2003 to 2011.

Completed curriculum texts as a Tsadra Foundation Grantee
  • Mind & Its World (Books 1-4), Clear Thinking and Debate 1: Nitartha Institute Foundation Curriculum textbooks covering classic shedra (monastic college) texts on Classifications of Mind, Collected Topics, Classifications of Reasons, and Hinayana Tenets. All textbooks include study questions, charted outlines, analytical meditations, and keypoint summaries.
  • Intermediate Curriculum textbooks include Mind Only Tenets, Madhyamaka Overview, Paths & Bhumis, and Buddha Nature.
  • Advanced Curriculum publications include The Profound Inner Reality (the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje, commentary by Jamgön Kongtrul), Abhidharmakosha, Advanced Madhyamaka texts and materials, and more.

For an extensive and detailed publications list, please visit and go to the publications section.