Nalandabodhi FAQ

1. How did Nalandabodhi get started?

Nalandabodhi was founded in 1997 by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, in response to requests from a number of students studying with him at Naropa University. Read more

2. How are Nalandabodhi and Nalanda West related?

Nalandabodhi is the organization created by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche to support his students in their study of Buddhist philosophy and the practice of meditation under his direction. Nalandabodhi is an international organization with centers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Asia, and Europe. Nalanda West is the main center for Nalandabodhi in the US and is located in Seattle, Washington. Maitrivana is the main center for Nalandabodhi in Canada, and is located in Vancouver, BC. NalandaWest often sponsors events which bring the international membership of Nalandabodhi together with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

3. What is the Path of Mindful Activity? What is “work practice”?

The Nalandabodhi Path of Mindful Activity describes how the study of the Buddhist teachings and the practice of meditation are put into action. The Path of Mindful Activity integrates practices of mindfulness and the aspiration of bodhichitta (the intention to benefit all beings) with the activities of daily life. In this way the Nalandabodhi Path integrates Study, Meditation, and Mindful Activity to help the Buddhist practitioner  fully actualize wisdom and compassion in all areas of life. In addition, Nalandabodhi members work in the administration of the organization and centers, using techniques taught by Rinpoche for integrating meditation into our work. This is called “work practice.”

4. What is DPR Office (dprO)?

The Office of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is also called DPR Office or dprO. This office supports Rinpoche in his projects and activities. The secretaries and teams in dprO help Rinpoche communicate with Nalandabodhi students and administrators, as well as with related and external organizations.

5. Where is the best place to find information about Rinpoche?

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s official website has the latest news on Rinpoche, his biography, teaching schedule, sample teachings, his poetry and art! At this site, you will also be able to find links to the organizations under Rinpoche’s guidance – Nalandabodhi, Nalanda West, Nitartha International, and Nitartha Institute.

6. Where will Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche be teaching next?

You can check to learn about Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s confirmed upcoming teaching events. Here you can find out the teaching topics Rinpoche will be presenting, the when and where of his upcoming teachings, as well as  how to connect with the event organizers.

7. How do I get the latest news on Rinpoche?

At you will find the latest news  of Rinpoche’s teachings,

8. Could I get a sampling of Rinpoche’s teachings?

In addition to teachings on the Nalandabodhi site, you can get teachings online in audio files, video clips or text files at (Check out the Teachings page. You’ll find excerpts from Rinpoche’s book Rebel Buddha: A Guide to a Revolution of Mind and blog posts written by Rinpoche, on, as well as online articles on Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s Huffington Post blog.

9. How could I get more information on Rinpoche’s publications?

To obtain Rinpoche’s teachings for Nalandabodhi members, please contact NalandaStore. You can buy selected video teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on DVD at NalandaStore. To learn about Rinpoche’s publications at Nitartha Institute, visit Nitartha Institute Publications.

10. How do I get permission to quote Rinpoche or publish his teachings?

Contact Cindy Shelton, DPR Office Chief of Staff.

11. I have practice questions, how do I get them answered?

As a member of Nalandabodhi, you can receive practice instructions and help from your Nalandabodhi Practice Instructor (PI). Your PI is a trained Nalandabodhi Instructor from your local sangha or another Nalandabodhi sangha.

Practice questions should typically be directed to the Mitra Council through Mitra Council Secretary.

To write Rinpoche on practice questions, contact DPRO Student Correspondence Secretary. If a Mitra cannot answer your question, Rinpoche will try to respond as his schedule and time permit.

12. I am not a student, how do I get in touch with Rinpoche?

To connect with Rinpoche on a personal matter, you could write to Rinpoche’s Personal Secretary, Ben Mikolaj.

13. How can I arrange an interview with DPR?

Write to Rinpoche’s Personal Secretary, Ben Mikolaj, and provide some background as well as reason for requesting the interview. Please let us know if you plan to request Rinpoche to accept you formally as his student during your interview.

14. How can I become a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche?

The ideal situation is to see Rinpoche in person, but this may not always happen immediately because of Rinpoche’s travel and schedule. Sometimes people end up waiting a protracted time to ask in person.

You can instead write Rinpoche a request letter with some basic and pertinent information for Rinpoche to know, by contacting Ben Mikolaj. People have been becoming students through correspondence this way and you can submit a request to meet with Rinpoche as soon as circumstances permit afterwards.

If Rinpoche plans to visit your city or you plan to be where Rinpoche is teaching, you could try to get on the interview list. Write Ben Mikolaj with the basic information about yourself and the request for an interview to become a student. It does not mean you will automatically get an interview and so a request letter is the best first move.

15. How can our Center or Study Group invite Rinpoche to visit and teach at our center?

Send your invitation to Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Stagg, who helps with Rinpoche’s teaching schedule.

16. How do we invite Rinpoche to speak at an event?

Send your invitation to Chris Stagg.

17. How do we arrange for a media interview or other publicity events with Rinpoche?

For media interviews and other publicity events, contact Ceci Miller (Communications / IT).

18. Rinpoche has accepted our invitation to teach, what do we do next?

If you are from a Nalandabodhi center or study group and you have received confirmation from Rinpoche’s calendar planning secretary that your invitation has been accepted, you can contact Nalandabodhi International administration for advice on general planning for DPR teachings. Regarding questions specifically related to Rinpoche’s teaching topic, schedule, or housing, contact Rinpoche’s personal secretary, Ben Mikolaj.

If you are from a non-Nalandabodhi organization that has a confirmed acceptance of your invitation from Rinpoche’s calendar planning secretary, please contact Rinpoche’s Personal Secretary Ben Mikolaj to plan details of the event.

19. I am an administrator at Nalandabodhi or Nitartha Institute and need to clarify something related to Rinpoche’s involvement in those organizations (including participation in future programs). Who should I contact?

Please contact Ben Mikolaj, Rinpoche’s personal secretary.

20. I have legal- or government- related issues to raise with, or questions to ask of, Rinpoche (including questions relating to organizations under Rinpoche’s directions). How do I do that?

Contact Martin Marvet.