Deepening Your Meditation: Personal Tips, Pointers, and Pith Instructions from the Dzogchen Great Perfection Tradition of Tibet

Join bestselling author, meditation master, and spiritual activist Lama Surya Das for a deeper exploration of your contemplative practice. This 8 session virtual journey is focused on deepening your meditation practice and furthering self-knowledge and wise discernment.

Lama Surya Das is one of the most highly regarded meditation masters in the West, and an authorized and empowered teacher in the ancient Dzogchen Tibetan Meditation Tradition and the NonSectarian Practicing Lineage. Lama has spent over twenty years in retreat, studying with many of the most profound and honored Tibetan masters of his time. He is the author of 16 books– including the international bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within— and has an extensive corpus of teaching and practices, experience and realization from which he draws. The material covered in each master class comes directly from decades of teaching experience leading retreats and workshops. He is known for his innovative adaptations of these invaluable wisdom teachings and making them accessible and applicable to daily life. The master classes are open to new and seasoned practitioners in any spiritual tradition.

Format and Schedule

The Master Class course consists of 8 individual live virtual classes held on one Saturday each month September, 2020 through April 2021, from 11 AM to 1 PM Eastern. Each class will have an introduction, guided meditation, teaching, questions and answers and concluding remarks.

Pricing and Financial Policy

  • The fee for each class is $49. If you would like to register for the whole course at once, the fee is $315 (a 20% discount)
  • 100% of the fee goes directly to the Dzogchen Foundation to support Lama Surya Das’ mission of teaching & transmission
  • We will not turn anyone away for financial reasons. If you have financial challenges, please contact Kathleen Albanese at
  • Registration does not include compensation for the teacher, which will be accepted in the traditional form of dana (voluntary donation) in honor of the teachings.
  • All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing for registrants after the class

“When I become clearer, everything is clearer.”
Lama Surya Das, the American Lama

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Master Class Course

The Master Class course consists of 8 individual classes held one Saturday each month starting in September 2020 and running through April 2021.  The classes start at 11:00 AM Eastern and end generally at 1:00 PM Eastern. Each class will have an introduction, guided meditation, teaching, questions and answers, and concluding remarks. Participants may purchase all 8 courses or choose the ones they prefer.  All sessions purchased will be recorded and available for participants to view.

For those who registered for the whole series, view all master class recordings here.

September 12, 2020
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

The Essence of Awakening: Dzogchen View, Meditation, and Action.

The first class is an overview of the practical training of Dzogchen, exploring the view, meditation and action. The ground of our being is the view, the way of stabilizing the view and making it an unbroken experience is meditation, and integrating the view into our entire reality, and life, is what is meant by action. By exploring the view, meditation and action, the first class brings us closer to understanding the beauty of the Natural Great Perfection – Dzogchen, a direct portal to our highest angels, our best Self, our innate Buddha-nature.

Class recording and materials

October 17, 2020
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time


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Deepening Your Meditation

The second class spurs a jump into deepening your meditation. One of the most helpful ways to learn to meditate or to deepen an existing practice is through pith instructions. Pith instructions are the most essential and practical instructions. Transmitted orally, they provide direct insight into the heart of meditation.  In this class, Lama Surya Das will introduce the pith instructions of the Dzogchen lineage, as passed to him by his teachers from the Whispered Oral Lineage of the meditation masters and Himalayan cave yogis.

November 14, 2020
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time


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Secrets of Tibetan Mindfulness

The third class explores the popular practice of mindfulness, but from a Dzogchen perspective. Mind training and contemplative practices of all kinds have been demonstrated as practical and powerful allies conducive to mental and physical health, emotional and relational health, and spiritual health and nourishment.  In this class, Lama Surya Das will explore the six kinds of mindfulness to help us further explore contemplative practice and to bring depth and breadth to basic awareness cultivations such as mindful breathing, walking meditation, mantra chanting, and centering prayer.

December 19, 2020
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

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In Dialogue with Dr. Roger Walsh

In this class, Lama Surya Das will survey a wide variety of topics with Dr. Roger Walsh, a leading researcher and professor of psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology and religious studies at the University of California at Irvine. What does it mean to live wisely, and what does it take? How can we cultivate love and wisdom, kindness and compassion? What is meant by enlightenment and liberation? What role do practices like psychotherapy, meditation, contemplation play on the spiritual journey. How do we address social problems, anxieties and disruption with a fresh mind?  In this class, Lama Surya Das and Dr. Walsh will explore these topics in the context of awakening.

January 23, 2021
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

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Transforming Hindrances and Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones

The fifth class explores how we turn difficulties and obstacles into the path of awakening. From a spiritual perspective, hardships, obstacles and challenges in life are food for growth. It is said that you cannot make progress on the spiritual path without them. In this class, Lama Surya Das will introduce philosophies and practical methods to transform hardship into liberating wakefulness.

February 20, 2021
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

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Healing Mantras, Chanting, and Shakti Power (Inner Divinity)

In the sixth class, we will explore how to use and meditate with mantras, chanting and shakti (inner divinity). In chant, the power of sound connects us with ourselves, one another, and the divine. It is an ancient, tried and true form of meditation and prayer. One of the most transformative and nonsectarian spiritual practices, chanting almost immediately takes us out of our heads and beyond the mind, into realms of pure spirit and bliss. It helps us discover the spiritual breath and cosmic energy inside the physical breath. Monks and nuns, shamans, yogis, dervishes, chant masters, pilgrims, cantors, singers, and musicians have long known this universal secret.  In this class, Lama Surya Das will lead us into the relaxing and therapeutic benefits of chanting, using Sanskrit mantras, as well as some of his favorite American mantras and chants too, while providing direct access to meditative states and higher realms of subtle spiritual experience.

March 20, 2021
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

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Gurus & Disciples, Teachers & Students: Co-creating Your Authentic Path

The student-teacher relationship is a remarkable and meaningful aspect of awakening. In a traditional sense, the student-teacher relationship as expressed as the guru-disciple is recognized as the root of all good qualities on the spiritual path. In contemporary times, this relationship is fraught with challenges.  In this class, Lama Surya Das will explore the true nature of the relationship and how finding a suitable and qualified teacher can aid in your authentic journey.

April 17, 2021
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

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Dancing with Life: The Joy of Meditation and Contemplative Sweetness

Our home place can be a sacred environment to practice.  This last class will explore setting up our own at-home personal retreat, the mindset we take and the setting we establish to wake up to the buoyancy, clarity, wakefulness and delight of meditative awareness in our daily lives amidst our familiar surroundings.