Mahamudra Meditation Center, a California non-profit religious corporation, was established in 1991 at the encouragement of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and is dedicated to the study and practice of the mahamudra, the path of liberation.

The Sixteenth Karmapa (Karma Kagyu) and Dukchen Thuksay Rinpoche (Drukpa Kagyu) on separate occasions observed that the classic, by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Moonbeams of Mahamudra, is one of the most important sacred Tibetan Kagyu texts. One evening, on a porch overlooking Lake Big Bear, Rinpoche shared his thoughts. "His Holiness had asked that Moonbeams be translated into English, and it was. Secondly, he asked that teachings on it and its practice be given, and I am doing so. Thirdly, he asked that it be put to practice. It is most important that it be put into practice." It is with this idea in mind, that our group was established.

We conduct regular nine-month study and practice programs utilizing Rinpoche's oral instructions and one of the following texts:

  • Moonbeams of Mahamudra ( an English translation is available under the title Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation ) - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal (1512-1587)
  • Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603)
  • Aspiration of Mahamudra - Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339)
  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation - Gampopa (1074-1153), using Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche's translation and comments

On occasion, we have conducted programs or retreats using:

  • Pointing-out the Dharmakaya - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje
  • Clarifying the Natural State - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • The Illusory Body - Drikungpa Dharmakirti
  • The Song of Lodro Thaye
  • Songs of Milarepa
  • Songs of Naropa
  • Songs of Tilopa
  • Pointing Out the Great Perfection - Dudjom Rinpoche
  • The Three Statements of Garab Dorje
  • Maha Ati - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
  • The Cycle of Day and Night- Namkhai Norbu
  • Time, Space and Knowledge - Tarthang Tulku
  • The Heart Sutra - Commentary by Reverand Obora
  • The Song of Meditation - Hakuin Zenji

In 1998, we published the manual A Meditation Guide For Mahamuda to support both student and group facilitator practice of these teachings. During a visit to San Francisco in 1999, we were extremely moved when Rinpoche shared with us his heartfelt appreciation for our efforts, as small and scattered as we all felt they might have been over the years.

Also, since the start, our efforts have been strongly supported by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche (Drikung Kagyu) and some of our members regularly participate in his programs. His example and teachings on mahamudra, bodhicitta, Jewel Ornament, Illusory Body, Chod, Medicine Buddha, Chenrezig, Tara, and Lord Jigten Sumgon's songs have been a constant source of inspiration to us. We have felt extremely fortunate to receive his teachings and for his continuous support and guidance.

We have done "next to no advertising" but somehow have maintained a core group of about 8-10 active members. Most of us are lay practitioners and so one area of focus is the integration of practice with daily life/issues. Some members have gone on to become dharma teachers and/or have helped establish other centers including Sukhasiddhi (San Rafael, CA) and Ratna Shri (Boulder, CO). We typically meet at a member's house (in Petaluma or Sonoma, CA) and occasionally rent facilities for practice space.

Schedule for 2002-2003


Mahamudra Intensive
Third Saturday of every month: 7:30 am -2:30 pm

Last Sunday of every month: 5:00 - 7:00 pm


Summer Mahamudra Practice Session
Week Long - Usually, 2nd Half of June

Please contact Peter Barth (Lama Thapkhay) at if you have any further questions. Beginners and experienced practitioners are welcome.


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