• Buddhist Studies Immersion – $1,885.00
  • Tibetan Language Immersion – $2,305.00
  • Dharma Service Immersion – $735.00
  • Online Participant – $350.00

Date & Time Details: July 10 – July 31, 2024

Location: Onsite & Online

Address: 412 Glimmerglen Road, Cooperstown, NY, USA

Contact: [email protected]

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Samye Summer Immersion

With Tulku Migmar Tsering, Joie Szu-Chiao Chen, Oriane Lavole and Matthew Zalichin

July 10 - 31, 2024

Applications are now open!

Join us for a three-week immersive program in Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice, offering college-level instruction to learners of all ages. The Samye Summer Immersion combines rich study with practical application—a precious opportunity to not only explore the vast world of Buddhist wisdom but also to integrate it into our lived experience—amidst the rolling hills of Cooperstown, in all its summer glory.

Three tracks are available: Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Language, and Dharma Service. Our Buddhist Studies track features an academically-focused introduction to the philosophical and cultural breadth of the Buddhist traditions, led by Joie Szu-Chiao Chen (Harvard). The Tibetan Language track provides an introduction to Tibetan for those who wish to deepen their Dharma practice, led by Oriane Lavole (Stanford). The Dharma Service track will work with the Samye staff to provide essential, hands-on support for all aspects of the 26-acre hermitage, including the kitchen, grounds, and technical assistance.

At the heart of all three of these tracks will be daily teaching and practice with Tulku Migmar Tsering, available on Zoom. A genuine lineage-holder of the Tibetan Buddhist practice tradition, Tulku Migmar’s deep experience and wisdom will serve as a guiding light, allowing for a deeper connection to the heart of the teachings, while ensuring that participants navigate this immersion program with authenticity and good humor.

Program Details

Buddhist Studies Immersion: The Buddhist Studies Immersion delves into the rich tapestry of Tibetan Buddhism, offering a sensitive exploration of its cultural nuances and philosophical foundations. Open to students of all backgrounds, this intellectual exploration will be complemented by a daily schedule of meditation practice, allowing us to not only grasp theoretical concepts but also learn to embody the Buddha’s teachings. The study component of the Buddhist Studies Immersion will be led by Joie Szu-Chiao Chen, who will offer an introductory course on the foundations of Buddhist culture and practice. Joie will help us engage with the core concepts of the Buddhist tradition, while guiding us into a more nuanced understanding of the rich history of the Dharma in our world and our lives.

Tibetan Language Immersion: The Tibetan Language Immersion will be an opportunity to gain an introduction to the Tibetan language.. Combined with group practice and traditional Dharma teachings, this track aims at cultivating a familiarity with key terms and concepts found in the Buddhist practices of our Tibetan tradition. The Tibetan Language Immersion will be conducted in a collaborative setting, led by Samye translator Oriane Lavolé. Students are expected to complete an online course in the Tibetan alphabet and in basic spelling prior to this immersion, so that our focus will be on vocabulary and context, and especially of gaining a felt sense of Tibetan language’s power and beauty.

Dharma Service Immersion: The Dharma Service Immersion is our student volunteer program, which provides an opportunity to offering service while joining our community of scholar-practitioners. In exchange for six hours per day of service, Dharma Service participants will be provided with discounted room and board, as well as the opportunity to join daily teachings and practice Tulku Migmar, as our service schedule permits. While the Dharma Service Immersion minimum commitment is three weeks (July 10 to 31), we encourage interested applicants to arrive at least one week prior and stay one week after this period, at no further cost for room and board.

All Immersion Tracks: Our spiritual guide throughout the summer will be Tulku Migmar Tsering, who will offer afternoon teachings on the essence of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and lead daily meditation sessions, with pith guidance he received from his own teachers. Students from the Buddhist Studies, Translation, and Dharma Service tracks will join daily practice and teachings with Tulku Migmar, with interpretation into English provided by Oriane Lavolé. Resident instructor Matthew Zalichin will also be available throughout to provide personal practice support, as well Samye Institute instructor Michael Friedman. Guest lectures by visiting scholars on special topics will also be opportunities for all students to broaden their exposure to the richness of Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice.

Financial Support

This retreat has been priced to cover the many costs that go into organizing such a program, which includes food, labor, supplies, and, of course, time. We strive to price our retreats to cover these costs while leaving a modest amount of surplus to help us maintain our physical campus year-round. We are committed to making our program as accessible as possible, so for those who are in need of financial assistance for either the online or onsite retreat, please send a message to [email protected] to discuss how we can provide assistance.




Tulku Migmar Tsering
Tulku Migmar Tsering is a master of the Chokling New Treasures lineage of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Nubri, Nepal in 1975 and began his training at an early age after having been recognized as a reincarnate lama. Tulku Migmar began his formal education in 1983 at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Kathmandu. Through the years, Tulku Migmar proved to be an outstanding practitioner, mastering all of the elaborate vajrayana rituals and sacred arts so essential to the Chokling New Treasures tradition. Tulku-la completed a 3-year retreat under the close guidance of his root guru,…
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Joie Szu-Chiao Chen
Joie is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Harvard University, where her research looks at the confluence of various modes of learnedness in Tibetan Buddhism, in particular how the language and visual arts play into the formation of a learned Buddhist person. She holds a BA in Film Studies and English from Yale University and an MPhil in Tibetan & Himalayan Studies from the University of Oxford.
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Oriane Lavole
Oriane Lavole is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies (Religious Studies Department) at Stanford University. Her research centers on the role of sacred sites in the tradition of the New Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa. In parallel, Oriane continues to work as a translator and interpreter of Buddhist texts and teachings from Tibetan to English. She has been interpreting for Phakchok Rinpoche and other Chokling Tersar lineage masters and scholars and has been a part of Samye Translations and Publications (formerly Lhasey Lotsawa) since 2015. Oriane also occasionally produces translations for 84,000 and Khyentse Vision.
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Matthew Zalichin
Matthew Zalichin began studying Buddhism as an undergraduate in 1971. His teachers include many of the past and current century’s most eminent Tibetan lamas of all main lineages, but principally the Kagyu and Nyingma through his two root gurus Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, whom he met in 1977. He has, for the most part, practiced as a householder in North America, and from roughly 1981-2000 focused on ngondros, various yidam practices, and dharma center administration while working full time, raising a family, paying mortgages, and so on. Authorized as a meditation instructor in 1981, he taught meditation,…
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