Upcoming Retreats

  • Zoom Only – $108.00

“Heart of the Guru” – The 40th Anniversary  of Lama Thubten Yeshe Passing into Parinirvana

Yangsi Rinpoche and Tenzin Ösel Hita

February 9 - 11, 2024

Don’t miss this precious opportunity to commemorate Lama Yeshes highly influential life and teachings.

The event will begin Friday night with a talk from a prominent guest speaker (yet to be confirmed) and dinner and many opportunities to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and trade Lama stories.

Saturday there will be teachings on the “Heart Of the Guru” from our special guest Yangsi Rinpoche. Additionally, we will make extensive water bowl and light offerings at Lamas stupa, as well as performing Heruka Vajrasattva Tsog with Yangsi Rinpoche, followed by story sharing and celebratory songs of Lamas life and qualities in the main gompa.

The weekend concludes on with inspirational meditations of Lamas led by Elaine Jackson, Karuna Cayton, Tubten Pendé, and Richard Prinz.  Join us for this wonderful weekend to remember and honor the heart of our precious Lama Yeshe!


This weekend’s celebration is part of a two-weekend celebration in collaboration with Land of Medicine Buddha.  We will celebrate the life, history, and heart of Lama Yeshe.  Things start the weekend, Feb 9-11, at Vajrapani with Heart of the Guru Retreat where Yangsi Rinpoche and Osel Hita will commemorate Lama Yeshe’s life through storytelling, light and water bowl offerings, Tsog and more. Visit the event page at Vajrapani to learn more!


Tentative Schedule

Friday, February 9, 2024

~3:00 pm:  Yangsi Rinpoche arrives around 1 or 1:30pm if you would like to come early to greet him.
3:00 – 5:00 pm:  Check in for lodging
6:00 – 7:00 pm:  Community Dinner
7:00 – 8:30 pm:  Intro night talk by Yangsi Rinpoche (streamed on zoom)


Saturday, February 10, 2024

7:00 – 8:00am:  Lama Yeshe Meditation on Nature of Mind, led by Elaine Jackson
8:00 – 9:00am:  Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30am:  Talk (open subject/Q&A) – led by Osel (streamed on zoom)
11:00 – 12:30:  Water bowl offerings, circumambulation around the enlightenment stupa nearest the gompa
12:30 – 1:30:  Lunch
2:00 – 3:30:  What is the Guru, led by Yangsi Rinpoche (streamed on zoom)
4:00 – 5:30: Vajrasattva Tsog in gompa + chat with Yangsi Rinpoche (streamed on zoom)
~5:30pm – Yangsi Rinpoche leaves Vajrapani
6:00 – 7:00: Dinner
7:00: Memories of Lama Yeshe, followed by music/sing-a-long


Sunday, February 11, 2024 – Heart of Lama Yeshe’s Meditations

7:00 – 8:00: Lama Yeshe Meditation, led by Elaine Jackson
8:00 – 9:00: Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00: Lama Yeshe Meditation, led by Richard Prinz
10:30 – 12:00: Closing talk by Osel (streamed on zoom)
12:30 – 1:30: Lunch & departure



Online Attendance

Parts of the weekend will be streamed online via Zoom.  If you’d like to attend online, please register and choose the “Zoom” option for the pricing/lodging option.  We will email out the event’s zoom link a few days before the weekend’s activities.



Two Part Series

This weekend’s celebration is part of a two weekend celebration in collaboration with Land of Medicine Buddha.  We will celebrate the life, history, and heart of Lama Yeshe.  Things will continue the following weekend, Feb 16-18, at Land of Medicine Buddha where Venerable Robina and guest speakers, will dive into how to apply Lama’s teachings in modern life, Lama’s wish for Universal Education, and more.  Visit the even page at Land of Medicine Buddha to learn more!


A 10% total discount will be given to participants who register for both events. This will be applied after you’ve registered. Please email both office@vajrapani.org and spc@medicinebuddha.org with proof of both registrations and they will apply a 5% discount off each center’s rate. This will be sent to the credit card you used to register.



Additional Information




About Varjapani Institute

Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture was the first Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center in America.  Vajrapani aims to provide a friendly and conducive environment for people of all nationalities to learn and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha, and connect with other Dharma practitioners.  Located on 70 acres of secluded land within the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains, Vajrapani Institute has been an immersive space for people of all backgrounds to find and deepen their spiritual practices, with the main goal of bridging the gap between the head and heart of practice.


About Retreat Fees (includes accommodation, 3 meals a day, and facility costs)

The collected registration fees include all accommodations, 3 nutritious vegetarian meals a day, and general facility/operating costs.  Retreat registrations help support the center to keep everything operating, allowing us to invite so many precious teachers, and to hold this precious space of 70+ acres of secluded redwood forest to allow guests to have the quiet, contemplative space to continue spiritual growth.


Financial Aid/ Scholarships

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

Our utmost goal is to helps as many beings as possible to have the gift of retreat. If you have additional questions after reviewing the guidelines for payment plans and/or scholarships, please email the Office at office@vajrapani.org



Yangsi Rinpoche
  Yangsi Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of Geshe Ngawang Gendun, a renowned scholar and practitioner from Western Tibet, at the age of six. Rinpoche trained in the traditional monastic system for over 25 years, and practiced as a monk until the age of 35.   In 1995 he graduated with the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa from Sera Je Monastery in South India. He then completed his studies at Gyume Tantric College, and, in 1998, having the particular wish to benefit Western students of the Buddhadharma, Rinpoche came to the West to teach and travel extensively throughout America and Europe.…
Learn more about Yangsi Rinpoche
Tenzin Ösel Hita
Tenzin Ösel Hita is a radical free-thinker, former monk, filmmaker, and musician. Tenzin Ösel was born in 1985, in the village of Bubión at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, southeast of Granada, Spain. When he was 14 months old he was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Lama Thubten Yeshe, the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). He is one of only a handful of non-Tibetans formally recognized as the reincarnation of a Tibetan master. He was educated in the traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastic university system at Sera…
Learn more about Tenzin Ösel Hita