Entering the Mahayana

A Contemplative Retreat for Living with Intention

Songtsen Gampo
OpenBuddhistDeep Meditation Retreats


Kristine McCutcheon

Date & Time Details:

March 2024


Program Fee:

Generosity Price - $660

Tuition - $550

Room/Meals Fee:

This will be added in during the registration process.
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Contact Us:

Karmê Chöling
(802) 633-2384

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Living an Intentional Life

Through the practice of meditation

For many in this day and age, speed and efficiency is a priority. In this retreat we will slow down and question that assumption. Many cultures have supported other values. What values do we want in our lives? How does our intention actually manifest in our living?

A culture of meditation is what the Buddha proposed. That experience has manifested differently as it grew inside of various existent cultures, shifting them from the inside. During this week we will look at one ruler's proposal to shift his country's culture to the view of Mahayana Buddhism with King Songtsen Gampo's "Edict of Wholesome Human Conduct". (See more on King Songtsen Gampo below)

We will explore how meditation changes our behavior, impacting both our inner and outer world view and influencing how we engage differently in the world.

Learn Meditation Practices

To lead a more intentional life

  • We will have activities and discussions that bring us into our own awareness of what we are assuming about ourselves and others.
  • There will be a consistent daily schedule with periods of silence and not.
  • We'll use movement, walks in nature and lots of meditation to give ourselves time to be here and feel now.

There are no pre-requisites. Bring yourself as you are, no experience necessary. Everyone is welcome.

Living Intentionally

Workshop Retreat Schedule

  • 7:00am Session 1
    Opening Chants, meditation, morning walk
  • 8:00am Breakfast
    Silent on our own
  • 9:00am Session 2
    Meditation, Movement, Contemplation
  • 12:30pm Lunch
    As a group
  • 1:30 - 2:30 
    Community Work Period
  • 3:00pm Session 3
    Meditation, Movement, Contemplation
  • 6:30pm Dinner
    As a group
  • 7:00pm Session 4
    Meditation, Study
  • 9:00pm
    End of Day

King Songtsen Gampo

An example of a country living intentionally

King Songtsen Gampo is an example of a ruler who moved his constituents towards living the intentional life of Mahayana Buddhism. He was a Tibetan monarch who reigned from 617 to 650. At the time of the King's rule, Bön was the dominant religion, with Buddhism barely having a presence in the country.

Two of King Songtsen Gampo's wives are credited with sparking his interest in Buddhism; Bhrikuti from Kathmandu and Princess Wengchin, daughter of the Tang emperor. The King wanted to bring Buddhism to Tibet but found that the lack of a written script for Tibetan hindered his efforts. In order to facilitate translations of the Buddhist teachings, the King charged one of his ministers with developing a written language for the country. He then went on to commissioned the translation of several thousand Buddhist texts.

King Songtsen Gampo is credited with preparing the ground for Buddhism to be able to take root and flourish in Tibet.

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Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

Generosity Price: $660.00
You're able to help us with this commitment by choosing the "Generosity Price". The money above the basic tuition cost goes into a scholarship fund for those who might not be able to attend a program otherwise.

Tuition: $550.00
This is the price of the program, it does not include housing options or material fees.

Please Note:
Price does not include accommodations, which will be added during the registration process.


Payment Policies:
Please read the payment policy before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:
Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:
If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x3000). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.


Kristine Mccutcheon
Kristine McCutcheon

Kristine McCutcheon has been meditating in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 30 years. Studying the dharma has led her to travel to Nepal and India and then back to Nova Scotia.

Drawing on her background as a Montessori teacher, Kristine presents the dharma in a hands-on way, incorporating movement, song and contemplation to help participants ground in shamatha meditation.

Taking her teachers’ examples to heart, Kristine is a householder and lives with her partner in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, between the mountain and the ocean.

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