Come live in a spiritual community

Join the Nalandabodhi Three Paths Residential Program

A spiritually-oriented residential program, with its emphasis on lived experience, is a uniquely powerful way to deepen your Buddhist path. It offers a chance for you to delve deeply into the investigation of your whole being and to work with your mind and your potential for wisdom, compassion and kindness.

As a resident in the Three Paths Program, you will live in the supportive structure of a sangha community, with resident teachers living onsite. A place where students, teachers and senior practitioners learn from one another by engaging on the path in a framework of one’s daily life.

Residents have a rare opportunity to slow down and relax into a Dharma focused daily routine, free from the busyness and usual distractions of modern life. Participants can opt for either a short-term retreat ranging from a few days to two months, or a long-term retreat ranging from three months to two years.

The Three Paths program is housed at Nalanda West, located in beautiful Seattle, Washington. It is the International headquarters for Nalandabodhi founded by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Nalanda West has received blessings from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. These blessings, along with Nalanda West’s beautiful shrine rooms, create a sacred and auspicious space for you to study and practice Dharma. Click HERE to learn more about Nalanda West.

Click here to read Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's Vision for the Three Paths Residential Program

As our most precious teacher, the Buddha Shakyamuni taught, the way to enter the path of awakening consists of Three Wheels: study, meditation, and mindful activity. Accordingly, Nalandabodhi follows this fundamental and vital guidance of the Buddha. In particular, we follow the Nalanda tradition that elucidates the Tathagata’s word and intention with reason, compassion, and relevance. Nalanda West, a center for American Buddhism, provides an opportunity to train in these Three Wheels on campus with the support of senior students and Nalandabodhi teachers. The foundation of one’s journey to awakening begins with individual liberation. In this regard, there is great wisdom in all the trainings leading to insight into one’s self, one’s intentions, actions, and responsibilities. At the same time, for complete awakening, loving kindness, compassion, and bodhichitta-in-action are indispensable. Therefore the core of the bodhichitta path depends unquestionably on others. Accordingly, the Three Paths Residency program is designed to cultivate these qualities and bring them into action within a sangha community setting. We see this being accomplished through the teamwork of teachers and students supporting each other and engaging on the path in a framework of one’s daily life.

It’s safe to say your image of a Buddhist residential program will likely not match your actual experience. In some ways, life at Nalanda West can be very ordinary, and learning to let the mind settle down takes time and discipline. In other ways, residency will exceed your expectations, providing you with a transformative experience that continues to unfold in deep and subtle ways long after you leave.

How to Apply

One of the most important and helpful things you can do, if you wish to apply to the Three Paths Program, is to clarify your motivation. Why are you interested in joining a residential program? Touching in with your aspiration and knowing what brings you to want to participate will serve you well throughout your residency.

All Nalandabodhi members, from beginner to advanced levels of study and practice, are welcome to apply. Please feel free to reach out to Marcia King the Three Paths program coordinator at with any questions, or to request an application. If you are interested in applying to the program, but are not currently a Nalandabodhi member, please let Marcia know.