Upcoming Retreats

  • Zoom Only – $108.00
  • Commuting – $108.00
  • RV/Camper Van – $108.00
  • Women's Dorm – $108.00
  • Men's Dorm – $108.00
  • Women's Quad – $108.00
  • Men's Quad – $108.00
  • Private Room- Twin Bed – $108.00
  • Private Room- Double bed – $108.00
  • Private Cabin #1 - "Vajrapani" – $121.00
  • Private Cabin #2 - "Chenrezig" – $121.00
  • Private Cabin #3 - "Vajrayogini" – $121.00
  • Private Cabin #4 - "Chakrasamvara" – $121.00
  • Private Cabin #5 - "Tara" – $121.00
  • Private Cabin #6 - "Yamantaka" – $121.00

Honoring Lama Zopa Rinpoche – 1 Year Anniversary of Passing into Paranirvana

Paula Chichester and Venerable Angie Muir

April 13 - 14, 2024

About the Retreat

Join us for a weekend of activities to remember our precious spiritual guru, His Eminence Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.  On the one year anniversary of Rinpoche’s passing into paranirvana, we will be celebrate with offering practices, meditations, and story telling, based on ones Rinpoche always recommended and taught.  We will also honor precious Rinpoche with story telling and sing-a-longs in the tradition of Vajrapani Institute, many songs which were created when Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa were around our land.


Tentative Schedule

Saturday,  April 13th
10am – Extensive water bowl offerings and recitation of Chanting the Names of Manjushri
12pm – Lunch
1:30pm – Sharing stories and teachings of our journey with Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. Paula will start off with a meditation on bodhicitta. People can share the pivotal moments of Rinpoche’s presence in their lives, along with remembering the history of all Rinpoche’s visits to Vajrapani (starting with Diamond Valley, Yucca Valley, Camp Kenolyn and on and on)
4pm –  Vajrapani music time, singing our old favorite dharma songs with George Galt, Paula and everybody else, feel free to bring instruments. Closing with a meditation on emptiness and the Nature of Mind, led by Paula and the Dedication Song written by George Galt.
6pm – Dinner
7:30-8:30  – Chenrezig practice combined with 8 Verses for Training the Mind, a meditation developed for us by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Sunday, April 14th
7am – Lama Tsong Khapa Guru Yoga
8am – Breakfast
10am – Short Meditation led by Paula and then more story sharing about Rinpoche
12pm – Lunch
2pm – Four Mandalas to Cittamani Tara led by Ven. Angie. This practice was recommended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to create the cause for Rinpoche’s return.



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.


Paula Chichester
Paula Chichester is known for her friendly, experiential teaching style that evolved from 4 decades of full-time training in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation as well as diverse psycho-somatic healing arts from Asia and the West. Her ability to distill and impart the essence of these disciplines is inspired by her main teachers, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. Paula is dedicated to help create a world culture of health, compassion, wisdom and joy.
Learn more about Paula Chichester
Venerable Angie Muir
Ven. Angie Muir, a Tibetan Buddhist Nun from Scotland, has been ordained for 18 years.  During this time she has studied and practiced in the East – India and Nepal – and the West, Scotland and the USA.  She has also been centrally involved in serving, teaching and leading meditations at these places. She currently resides in California, serving at Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s private residence.
Learn more about Venerable Angie Muir