Upcoming Retreats

  • Commuting – $261.00
  • Camping – $324.00
  • RV/Camper Van – $363.00
  • Women's Dorm – $399.00
  • Men's Dorm – $399.00
  • Women's Quad – $552.00
  • Men's Quad – $552.00
  • Private Room- Twin Bed – $705.00
  • Private Room- Double bed – $705.00
  • Private Cabin #1 - "Vajrapani" – $780.00
  • Private Cabin #2 - "Chenrezig" – $780.00
  • Private Cabin #3 - "Vajrayogini" – $780.00
  • Private Cabin #4 - "Chakrasamvara" – $780.00
  • Private Cabin #5 - "Tara" – $780.00
  • Private Cabin #6 - "Yamantaka" – $780.00

How to Train a Happy Mind

Scott Snibbe

August 8 - 11, 2024

About this retreat

Based on his book How to Train a Happy Mind, this three-day retreat with Scott Snibbe offers a relaxed tour of eight meditations that help bring out your best qualities, deepen your relationships, and build a better world.

Each of the retreat’s practices is derived from the Tibetan Buddhist lamrim “stages of the path,” a series of analytical meditations highly refined over the centuries. This lesser-known form of meditation complements the more popular mindfulness meditation by using stories, emotions, and critical thinking to actively steer the mind away from frustration, craving, and loneliness, and toward happiness, connection, and satisfaction.

The retreat requires no prior knowledge of Buddhism and each topic naturally prepares you for the next: from life’s preciousness and impermanence to compassion and the interdependent nature of reality.

Committed Buddhists have also found the How to Train a Happy Mind sequence valuable because it brings a modern approach to age-old Buddhist topics, while honestly exploring questions that come up as Westerners learn the Buddhist path.

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.

Teacher’s Offerings

Traditionally, spiritual teachings are considered priceless; remuneration of our teacher(s) is not included in the fee information detailed on this page. Instead, we invite you to consider bringing a cash donation with you to express your gratitude for the teachings. Participants get a chance to present a cash offering to the teachers on the last day of the retreat and this is supplemented by a donation from Vajrapani Institute. Please note that we don’t offer a credit card option for teacher’s fees.

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.


Scott Snibbe
Scott Snibbe is the founder and host of the meditation podcast ‘A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment’. Snibbe is a twenty-year student of Tibetan Buddhism whose teachers include Geshe Ngawang Dakpa, Choden Rinpoche, Ven. Rene Feusi, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inspired by his teachers, he leads meditations that infuse the pure lineage of the great Buddhist masters with science, humor, and the realities of the modern world. Over the course of a career as a digital artist and entrepreneur, Snibbe has created bestselling art, music, and social apps, and collaborated with…
Learn more about Scott Snibbe