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Take Classes or Watch Free Videos


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Please note: Students are responsible for obtaining any required empowerments or transmissions. Please ask if you need help.


Online class login

(for current students)


About Our Courses & Free Videos


Students take our courses for a variety of reasons. One approach is simply to watch the free videos, which can be highly instructive. What is the difference? Online classes include texts, videos, practices, journals and a qualified mentor to assist you. The class option is best for more serious students and those who prefer some personal guidance. Students study the relevant text(s) for each of the classes, watch the videos, do the practices twice each day, complete a journal: a daily record of (1) practices and experiences, (2) a summary of key points learned from study, (3) descriptions of application in daily life, and (4) questions they have about the study and practice. These are submitted to a teacher or mentor to help guide student learning (normally once each week). Current classes are online only with students proceeding at their own pace. The cost is based upon $10/class session. For example, the Essentials classes are 6 sessions each ($60), and most other classes are 4, 8 or 10 sessions each. May these classes be of benefit to you and other beings.


Course Availability


Online courses are available on an open-entry basis, that is, students may begin at any time (subject to mentor availability). Please email us at for specific availability. 


Course catalog - click for a PDF with complete listing and description of all courses at Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute.  Know which class you want? Click here. In the Login box, click "Create New Account". Enter the requested ID and password (keep a record) and the other details.

NOTE: The Moodle system will present a message "Is this your first time here?" An email will NOT be sent to you (steps 2 and 3). Instead, email
to request that we "confirm" your access, listing your first and last name and the class you wish to take. Once confirmed, you may log in and select the course. 
Please email us if you have questions or encounter problems:

Tucson In-Person Classes

NOTE: Awam Institute will be closed

October 8 - 26, while Khenpo is traveling. Activities will resume Sunday, October 29.

Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism

Sundays  at 9am, Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute

3400 E Speedway, Ste 204, Tucson AZ

The Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism series is on Sundays at 9am (approximately 90 minutes). The 8-part series is a very complete cycle of teachings from preliminary practices through Highest Yoga Tantra and Dzogchen based on the root text of Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava. Each part is 6-weeks (with video recordings available online). This series of courses prepares practitioners with a solid background of practice to advance to the highest levels in this lifetime. No other practices are needed. 

Begins October 29

Essentials Part 4The Path of Tantra continues with the generation stage practices of “deity yoga” – generating yourself as the “deity” (a buddha).

Meditation practices are included throughout the series in easy to learn steps. The text for all 8 Essentials classes is Innate Happiness: A Direct Guidance Manual for Householder Yogis and Yoginis, 2nd Edition (Amazon). Register through the, classes page, or in class, six weeks, $60 or $10 per week.

Closed Oct 8-26

Advanced Dzogchen Class

Khorde Rushen 1

Sundays, 1 pm,

Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute

3400 E Speedway, Ste 204, Tucson AZ


Our advanced curriculum is currently focused on the Path of Great Perfection – Dzogchen. This course begins a 9-class series of advanced courses of study and practice on Dzogchen. This includes rigorous college-level classes, 8-weeks each. These include in-person classes (videos available), reading, study, practice, and a journal (recommended). We require that students attempting this curriculum complete the core curriculum (Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism) or the equivalent prior to beginning this curriculum. The Tucson schedule may include days off when local teachings are scheduled with visiting lamas.


Dzogchen or the Great Perfection is the highest level of the Vajrayana teachings. It deals directly with self-liberation into our innate Buddhanature, abiding in the state of rigpa (pure awareness).


Khorde Rushen is the separation of samsara (delusion) from nirvana (nondelusion). These are a series of practices designed to help the yogi realize and directly experience the difference between samsara and nirvana by transforming the mind, i.e., our way of seeing the world. Khorde Rushen is sometimes referred to as the Dzogchen preliminary practices. Texts: The Great Perfection, Vol. II by the Third Dzogchen Rinpoche (permission required), The Supreme Source: The Fundamental Tantra of the Dzogchen Semde Kunjed Gyalpo (in Part 2 of the course) by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente, and selections from Yeshe Lama by Vidyadhara Jigmed Lingpa (restricted text; versions by either Keith Dowman or Lama Chonam and Sangye Khandro). PREREQUISITE: "Introduction to Dzogchen Part 2". 


This series of courses prepares practitioners with a solid background of practice at the highest levels in this lifetime. No other practices are needed. 


Register through the, classes page, or in class, 8 weeks, $80 or $10 per week.

Online Classes On-Going


Online classes may be started and taken at any time at your own pace. Online classes include texts, videos, practices, journals, and a qualified mentor to assist you. Classes include the Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism, advanced classes on Dzogchen, and other basic or advanced classes of a general interest. Please see the Course Catalog for detailed descriptions of each.

Core curricula:


Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism Parts 1-8: A comprehensive direct practice manual of classes from basics through Great Perfection (Dzogchen) for those who wish to learn but have limited time to study and practice. The teachings by Yogi Khenpo Drimed Dawa are all on video, supplemented with personal support (see the full description at the top of this page). See Course Catalog for details. Text for all 8 parts: Innate Happiness: A Direct Guidance Manual for Householder Yogis and Yoginis by Khenpo Drimed Dawa (each of the 8 courses is 6 weeks, $60 ea).

Advanced classes on Dzogchen, the Great Perfection: A complete series of 9 advanced classes for advanced students, based on contemporary and classical texts. See Course Catalog for details and texts. The teachings are on video (each course is 8 weeks, $80 ea). Permission is required - please contact Generally you need to have completed the Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism series of classes or the equivalent.

Other basic classes:


Mindfulness: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness & Mindfulness with Breathing: Mindfulness practices from the Sattipatthana and Anapanasamyutta Sutras (4 weeks, $40).


What Did the Buddha Say? Exploring the Sutras 1-2: Stories and teachings of the Buddha from the Sutras (8 weeks ea part, $80 ea).


The 37 Bodhisattva Practices: Practices for the sake of all sentient beings (4 weeks, $40).


100-Day Ngondro 1-2: Preliminary practices based on Jigme Lingpa's Longchen Nyingtik terma and Words of My Perfect Teacher (7 weeks ea part, $70 ea).

The Preliminary Practices of the Padling Tersar Lineage: Foundational practices of the Nyingma lineage based on The Words of My Perfect Teacher (10 weeks, $100).


The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A detailed look at instructions of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) according to the terma of Karma Lingpa; includes other sources on death and dying from Tibetan Buddhism; videos with Yogi Khenpo Drimed Dawa. Text: The Tibetan Book of the Dead trans. by Trungpa and Fremantle. 8 weeks. Free.

Other advanced classes:


White Lotus & the Four Roots - The Dzogchen View (in Padling Tersar collection): White Lotus is a commentary on the Seven-Line Prayer to Padmasambhava, revered by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. The Four Roots are Guru, Yidam, Dakini, and Protector: (1) Secret Rigpa Guru Yoga, (2) A Manjushri, (3) Tara, and (4) King Geysar each considered from the Dzogchen view (10 weeks, $100).


Guhyagarbha Tantra 1-2: Study and practice of the core tantra of the Nyingma lineage. Texts: The Guhyagarbha Tantra: Secret Essence Definitive Nature Just as It Is by Longchenpa and Luminous Essence: A Guide to the Guhyagarbha Tantra by Jamgon Mipham (8 weeks each, $80 each).


Rigdzin Dupa - Gathering of Vidyadharas: Rigdzin Dupa: Gathering of Vidyadharas text and sadhana, a Highest Yoga Tantra generation-stage practice with a Dzogchen (Great Perfection) view (6 weeks, $60).


Vajrayogini 1-2: A Highest Yoga Tantra deity practice, some form of Vajrayogini empowerment, your lama's permission, or at least some other Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment required. Text: Vajrayogini by Elizabeth English (8 weeks ea part, $80 ea).

Kalachakra 1-2: The practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment. Other Highest Yoga Tantra experience is essertial. Texts: Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalacakra Tantra by Khendrup Norsang Gyatso (8 weeks ea part, $80 ea).

Admission & Registration


There is no separate admission process for the Essentials courses. Although it is best to take the courses sequentially from the beginning (Part 1), a student may begin with any of the eight parts. Online courses are available on an open-entry basis, that is, students may begin at any time (subject to mentor availability).


The advanced curriculum courses require completion of the Essentials courses or other similar background, the latter of which must be approved by Yogi Khenpo Drimed Dawa in advance.  Contact for course availability. Once you have been approved and assigned a mentor, you will be able to register for your course. Simply click here, or you may register with the instructor in Tucson.


Payment for online classes is made via PayPal by credit or debit card. Books are purchased by students separately either at Amazon or local bookstores.


Courses and cost are subject to changes without notification. For any other questions or information, please contact


Thank you for your interest in Awam Tibetan Buddhist Institute’s programs of study in Tibetan Buddhism. We sincerely wish you great success in your path to innate happiness for the benefit of all sentient beings!

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