Vajrapani Institute
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How to Meditate and Focus the Mind

Event Description


May 26 – 29, 2017



Silence Level


What is it?

In these times, there is always so much to do, we are constantly rushing and multi-tasking, checking our phones and email, and we are becoming more and more distracted. We are less able to focus on the task at hand, which impairs our ability to do things well – our jobs, driving, listening, sports, and also spiritual practice. Recent research has suggested that people spend as much as 50% of their days in mental distraction. In addition, a distracted mind is more prone to falling under the sway of disturbing emotions – depression, anger, obsession, fear, overwhelm – and a focused mind can lead to greater inner peace, joy and emotional balance. A concentrated mind is also needed to develop deep spiritual realizations.

In this retreat we will learn the basics of how to cultivate a focused mind through shi-né (shamatha or calm abiding) practice using various objects of meditation according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

  • Learn how to develop inner peace and greater emotional balance with the methods of calm-abiding.
  • Reconnect and find joy with your daily practice.
  • Cultivate a greater sense of caring and interconnection with others.
  • See how disturbing emotions and mental problems arise.
Suggested Reading

Additional information
  • Please plan on arriving between 3:00 and 5:00 PM on the first day of the retreat.
  • Please plan on departing approximately 2:00 PM on the last day of the retreat.
  • For a preview of our accommodations, please click here.
  • For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.

If you are interested in serving as Course Liaison for this retreat, please apply here.

  • 26 May 2017 - 29 May 2017

Already Registered? Prepare for your Group Retreat Want to offer Service? Volunteer to be Course Liaison

Teacher Bio

Emily Hsu

Emily Hsu completed FPMT's 7-year Master's Program at Instituto Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy in 2004, a condensed version of the geshe studies curriculum. As a graduate of the Master's Program, she is authorized to teach courses which are normally taught by geshes. After completing this intensive study program Emily subsequently completed a ten-month solitary retreat in Spain to integrate the material. Emily continues to do at least one three month retreat in Nepal every year in order to deepen her practice, transforming intellectual knowledge into felt experience. Emily Hsu is currently the resident teacher at our sister center Ocean of Compassion Buddhist Center (OCBC) in San Jose, CA where she teaches a variety of classes including FPMT’s basic program. Emily is also one of the few teachers selected by Lama Zopa Rinpoche as being qualified to lead this type of retreat on shiné (calm abiding).
Emily’s teaching goes beyond the simple explanation of complex texts and ideas; she explains things in a way that show us how to apply the Buddha’s teachings in our lives and leads us by excellent example. She is easy to confide in and gives appropriate advice, even on topics that are uncomfortable to talk about. ~ a student from OCBC

Option A is a slightly lower cost designed to allow as many people to attend as possible. Option B reflects the true cost of hosting visitors and is higher as a result. The accommodations are the same for both and you can choose whichever price suits your financial needs.

Fees (inclusive of accommodation, meals, retreat fees)
Option A Option B
Camping $276.00 $345.00
Main Dormitory $357.00 $465.00
Semi-Private Dormitory $387.00 $495.00
Private Room $537.00 $645.00
Private Room SHARE OPTION $330.00 $435.00
Cabin $642.00 $750.00
Cabin SHARE OPTION $345.00 $480.00
Level 1: One Student $105.00
Level 2: Two Students $210.00

10% Membership Discounts are applicable for Members.

Financial Aid is Available!

We want to make retreat available to everyone.  With this in mind, we will gladly work out a payment plan with you. If you need even more assistance, we offer several scholarships. Please note that the scholarship deadline is one month before retreat begins.

If you have additional questions after reviewing the guidelines for payment plans and/or scholarships, please email the Office at