Foundational Practices (Ngondro):

The Brilliant Basics of the Buddhist Path, Part I

Build or deepen your daily spiritual practice with the very foundation of all Buddhist traditions.

Foundational Practices (Ngondro): The Brilliant Basics of the Buddhist Path, Part I

Ongoing program! Join now!

Self paced videos with live online meetings

Join us if you want to:

  • Develop a daily practice.
  • Break through reactive patterns.
  • Settle your mind.
  • Ease into confidence.

This series includes:

  • Recorded teachings allow you to set your own schedule
  • Guided meditation audios. 
  • Live online monthly meetings with main teachers our lamas.
  • Live online monthly meetings with peers for support and community.
  • Supplemental recorded teachings on sutras that anchor key points of practice, newly translated by the 84,000 project.
  • First time in the west, focus on Adzom Drukpa’s ngondro text Lamp, a companion to Words.
  • A reading list to further learning.


Self-paced videos with live meetings January 7 2023 through May 31 2023

Tiered pricing $450/$375/$300

20% discount code for Full Cycles members

For questions: [email protected]

Live Meeting Dates:

These dates are subject to change. All times listed in CST

January: Saturday 7th 12:00 pm|
February: Saturday 4th 12:00 pm, Saturday 18th 11:30 am
March: Satuday 4th 12:00 pm,  Saturday 18th 11:30 am
April: Saturday 1st 12:00 pm, Saturday 15th 11:30, Saturday 29, 12:00 pm
*additional date TBA

Our goal is to support your understanding, practicing, and genuinely digesting absorbing the famous foundational practices. Patrul Rinpoche called them even more profound than later practices. This is what we explore. We welcome everyone whatever your tradition.

Part 1 of this ongoing series is common to all Indian-based Buddhist traditions; Part 2 delves into with uniquely Mahayana material to provide trainings key to tantra and Dzogchen.  

The course is also a rare opportunity to experience a unified stream of practices under the consistent guidance of the same teachers, Lamas Rigzin Drolma and Namgyal Dorje, for the duration of the course. 

This full course is also available as a self-paced self-study course and can be joined at any time. We will learn to explore for ourselves how tradition meets the issues of your everyday lives, preparing us to meet daily circumstances with an increasingly open, untroubled heart, while also being kind to ourselves and to others at the same time. 

A unique element is our inclusion of the newly translated Lamp Lighting the Path by Adzom Drukpa (1842-1924), which explicitly connects us with classic Indian Buddhist sources and the living heritage of the wide circle of Jigme Lingpa’s dharma heirs and their followers.  Adzom Paylo Rinpoche asked Lama Rigzin Drolma to translate this work into English. We provide it to program participants to strengthen our connection with the lineal blessing of the Adzom Drukpa transmission. 

Another special feature is the inclusion of  carefully selected sutra teachings. Sutras are the common inheritance of all Buddhist tradition and  relate to every  type and stage of practice across all Buddhist traditions.  

The sutra’s nuanced, often witty, depictions of foundational principles are surprisingly resonant with contemporary concerns.  An initial exploration of sutras related with Ngondro is offered through our fall Teaching Tuesdays series “Sutra Heritage: Inspiration for Everyone” September-December 2022. Some of this material will be offered as a supplement to the Brilliant Basics Ngondro program that begins January 2023..

For seasoned practitioners, this program is an opportunity for re-inspiration. For newer students it is an opportunity  to carefully learn the details of foundational practices—how to recite and sing in English or Tibetan, how to deepen through establishing a daily practice, and how to go about maintaining the continuity needed to complete accumulations, if you so wish, while taking account of your own life situation.Finally, we see the entire spectrum of these teachings as furthering our relationship to all life, and to our own lives, for the benefit of the social and natural worlds in which we live.  

In brief, this  multimedia program brings you a coordinated sequence of video/podcast teachings and guided meditation audios, with live monthly support from the teachers, as well as a monthly peer support meeting.

This is part one in an ongoing series. Through future installments Dawn Mountain will cover the entire Ngondro!


Begin the year 2023 focused on daily practice with guidance and community!

Course Instructors

Anne C. Klein, Lama Rigzin Drolma, M.A., Ph.D. Professor in Religion and former Chair, Rice University, author/ translator of seven books, including Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse and the forthcoming Lamp Lighting the Path. A Founding Teacher of Dawn Mountain.

Harvey B. Aronson, Lama Namgyal Dorje, Ph.D. LCSW Psychotherapist and a founding teacher of Dawn Mountain. Author of Love and Sympathy in Theravada Buddhism and Buddhist Practice on Western Ground.

Nathaniel Rich, M.A., Ph.D. 84,000: Translating the Words of the Buddha, Translation Team and Grants Committee member; Buddhist Texts Translation Initiative (Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara), Visiting Scholar and Executive Committee member.