About Rigpa

Rigpa is a Tibetan word, which can be translated to mean ‘intelligence’ or ‘awareness’. In Dzogchen however, the highest teachings in the Buddhist tradition of Tibet, Rigpa has a deeper connotation and means ‘the innermost nature of the mind’. The entire teaching of the Buddha is directed towards realizing this ultimate nature of mind which is also known as enlightenment; a truth so universal and primordial, that it goes beyond all limits and beyond even religion itself.

Rigpa is open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist learning. The organisation operates under the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offering a complete path of Buddhist study and practice.

Courses and Programs

Rigpa’s international network of Buddhist centres and groups offer structured programs to support students who wish to engage with Tibetan Buddhism. Programs include courses, retreats, workshops and meditation evenings and aim to make the Buddha’s teachings available as widely as possible, in a way that is authentic, accessible and beneficial for people of all ages, and from all walks of life. Rigpa also seeks to explore how the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha’s teachings can benefit many different areas of life in today’s world.

For those who are new to Buddhism, Rigpa offers an introductory course called “What Meditation Really Is” which provides a practical and interactive opportunity to engage with Tibetan Buddhism. Other courses are designed to offer students at all levels a complete and graduated training in Buddhist teachings and practice.

Children, teenagers and parents

Rigpa Australia offers a program specifically tailored to meet the needs of children, teenagers, families and parents. Rigpé Yeshé is an association of parents and educators, who are creating a culture where families can experience a joyful and authentic spiritual path. It has two main areas of activity:

  • offering programs for children and teenagers during Australian retreats;
  • supporting parents and families in integrating Buddhist values into the upbringing of their children.

The programs are designed to teach children about meditation and the benefits of cultivating inner peace and empathy. Each child is encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility and confidence in their fundamental goodness. They have the opportunity to participate in different workshops and meditative arts like calligraphy, tea offering and film-making, as well as outdoor co-operative games and nature hikes.

Spiritual Care

Rigpa’s Spiritual Care Program offers practical insights into how the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist teachings can benefit those facing illness or death, while supporting families and care-givers. This non-denominational and contemplative educational program supports people to discover their own inner resources for well- being, when facing life’s greatest challenges.

In particular, our Australian Spiritual Care educators conduct Compassion and Presence seminars. This training focuses on cultivating presence and mindfulness, while deepening the capacity for compassion. It also helps to enable people to remain present, spacious and loving in the face of suffering. The Compassion and Presence seminar has been endorsed by Royal College of Nursing, Australia and the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Remote Learning

For those who cannot readily visit one of our centres, Rigpa Australia offers a distance learning program called the Bush Telegraph. This series of courses aims to connect students and provides instructor-led teachings throughout regional Australia, New Zealand, Asia and beyond, using web resources, online forums and conference calling.

Supporting Rigpa

Rigpa Australia is a non-profit organization. Its work is supported entirely by contributions and donations from students and friends of the organisation. The overwhelming majority of people who work for Rigpa are volunteers.

If you would like to support our work visit our donations page.