Mahamudra Meditation Center (MMC) is a Buddhist Dharma study and practice group established at the encouragement of one of the leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, to facilitate the study and practice of Mahamudra. At the request of the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa and based on his own judgment, Rinpoche actively teaches the view and practice of this profound, and yet simple and direct "path of liberation." He is a recognized master of Mahamudra, serving as the personal tutor to the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa.

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche "In my experience and judgment Mahamudra is especially appropriate and beneficial in this modern age, in particular for people in the West who are very busy. It is a path that is extremely simple, meaning that it does not require a lot of preparation or devices, so it can be practiced at any time or in any situation, provided one possesses mindfulness and alertness."

Mahamudra Programs and Resources

In Fall of 2013, we expect to start our 24th Annual Nine-Month Program and offer additional one-day retreat programs from our curriculum. For ongoing and/or scheduled events, please click on the following link:

To support those interested in Mahamudra or working with Mahamudra study and practice groups, MMC's Meditation Manual (including a link for a PDF version at the bottom of that page) is made available at: An Online Guide to Mahamudra Meditation.

Our program framework is organized into five series: Khenchen Könchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche
  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation - The Teachings of Gampopa
  • Moonbeams of Mahamudra - The Mahamudra Teachings of Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance - The Mahamudra Teachings of Wangchug Dorje
  • Treasury of Basic Space - The Dzogchen Teachings of Longchen Rabjam
  • Songs of the Mahasiddhas - Heart Instructions from the Lineage
For more detail regarding our recommended approach to studying Mahamudra, please click on the following link:

For a list of teachers certified by MMC, please see List of Teachers.

An example of a teaching by one of our teachers (for students who have completed practices of both the tranquility and insight meditations), please see A Teaching on Maintaining Mahamudra Practice.

Finally, serious students of Mahamudra are referred to Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado for access to qualified teachers and an excellent retreat location.

Historical Perspective

The Senior Spiritual Advisors of Mahamudra Meditation Center are:

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is the founding Senior Spiritual Advisor of Mahamudra Meditation Center and provides the primary guidance for our activities. For access to his official website, please click here. For Namo Buddha Publications, please click here. Since the start, we have also been strongly supported by Khenchen Könchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche, who has provided us with a wide range of Dharma teachings and served as a continual source of inspiration. Many of his texts and translated works are available through Vajra Publications. We are extremely fortunate in that we have had the continual guidance of these two leading abbots of the Karma and Drikung Dakpo Kagyu lineages from 1990 up until the present day.

Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche, The Gyalwang Drukpa, Khenpos and Monks, Darjeeling, 1974

Our founding director, Lama Thapkhay, met Thrangu Rinpoche in 1989 at the first Karma Mahasiddha Ling retreat on Moonbeams of Mahamudra. This classic text had been called "the most important sacred text" by his former teacher Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche, tutor to the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, and had been published under the title Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation in 1986. Over a period of several years, Thrangu Rinpoche gave extensive teachings and transmissions on this classic and a number of related texts. One evening, on a porch overlooking Lake Big Bear, he shared his thoughts. "Now that it had been translated into English, per His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa's (16th) request, and the corresponding oral instructions have been given, as I have been doing in fulfillment of his wishes, the most important thing is to put it into practice." It was with this in mind that Mahamudra Meditation Center was established in California in 1991 as a non-profit religious corporation and was operated as such until financial conditions caused us to scale down in 2008.

Since MMC's inception, our teachers have held a variety of retreats ranging anywhere from one-to-ten days long. Texts which have frequently served as the basis for nine-month programs include:

  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation - Gampopa (1074-1153)
  • Moonbeams of Mahamudra - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal (1512-1587)
  • Clarifying the Natural State - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal
  • Pointing-out the Dharmakaya - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556-1603)
  • Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance - Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje
  • Aspiration of Mahamudra - Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339)
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche with Sangha at Stupa in Crestone, Colorado 2006 Retreat

Over the years, Rinpoche has repeatedly expressed his appreciation to us for cultivating Mahamudra practice. In 2004, we felt fortunate to help host Rinpoche's visit to San Francisco including his empowerments and teachings on Mahamudra and Chakrasamvara. In 2005, we held the first group Mahamudra retreat at Vajra Vidya Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.

In 2010, shortly after the April 14 earthquake in Tibet which killed so many people and destroyed Thrangu Tashi Chöling, two of our participants were moved to offer to make their home available to MMC for its retreats and one-day programs. This provides us with an excellent practice location only 45 minutes drive from Petaluma. Upon request, Rinpoche gave MMC's retreat and practice space the name of Thrangu Chagchen Chögar. It is our hope that Thrangu Chagchen Chögar will be the seed for lasting efforts "to preserve and maintain teachings and transmissions of Thrangu Rinpoche and his monastaries." In 2013, we are scheduled to start our 24th Nine-Month Program in the Sonoma/Marin areas and continue with a curriculm of classes and/or short retreat practice programs.

Guru Rinpoche Affiliated Teachings are sometimes included in our program schedules. These typically consisted of select programs from our spiritual advisors. In addition, students of Nyingma lineage practices of our center have been referred to teachings by Loppön Jigme Rinpoche. Loppön Rinpoche received the complete Tersar tradition from H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche, the complete Kama tradition from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and the complete Longchen Nyingthig tradition from Chatral Rinpoche. Since 2005, he has most generously been available to support our members in their Dharma studies and practice and has also provided a wide range of teachings to Dharma students in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Finally, our group is registered with H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley at The Official Website of H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa. In addition, we are listed by The Office of Tibet, New York, The Official Agency of H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government in Exile to the Americas at Office of Tibet, New York and by Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, The North American Seat of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, on the Practice Center List.

For Further Information

Note that we do not have a temple, residential facilities or a residential program.

Please contact Keith (Lama Kunzang) at if you have any further questions or comments. Due to our limited resources, we may not be able to respond to all enquiries.

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