Dzogchen and Shikantaza Retreat

Pittsburgh, PA with Tempa Dukte Lama and Zen priest Catherine Gammon
Saturday, August 18, 9:30am-5pm and Sunday August 19, 10am-1pm
Olmo Ling Bon Center and Institute, 1101 Greenfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

This special retreat brings together Tibetan Bon Lama, Tempa Dukte Lama, and Soto Zen Priest, Catherine Gammon, to approach the true nature of the mind through the ancient Tibetan practice of Dzogchen and the Zen practice of Shikantaza.

The Dzogchen teachings are the highest teachings of Bon as they offer a means to directly recognize the true nature of the mind and further attain stabilization of this recognition. Dzogchen is the practice of Open Presence. Openness reveals the nature of emptiness, or the interdependent nature of all beings. Presence reveals the true nature of awareness. This awareness is the key that establishes us into our true nature. Dzogchen practice is to abide in the unity of emptiness and awareness.

Shikantaza is the Zen art of “just sitting,” a nondual objectless meditation. What does this mean in practice? We sit, wholehearted, upright, awake and aware, in the stillness and silence of body and mind, allowing whatever comes to come—sensation, perception, thought—without engaging, without making objects and a self. Even when body and mind are noisy, we rest in the stillness and silence that are their nonduality, awake and aware.

This retreat will include teachings, dialogue, and time spent in meditation.


Tempa Dukte Lama is an ordained Tibetan Bon lama. He studied in Menri Monastery, India, from the age of six under the close, personal guidance of the late His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizin, the spiritual head of the Bon tradition. Tempa Lama is the founder and spiritual director of Olmo Ling Bon Center in Pittsburgh, PA, a non-profit and Bon Center affiliated with Menri Monastery, and co-founder of the Humla Fund, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening the Bon culture through access to quality education, healthcare, and sustainable economic development in Nepal’s Humla Region.

Tempa Lama is an artist and poet and author of four books with Olmo Ling Publications: Heart Drop of the Loving Mother (2014), Journey into Buddhahood (2013), Inexhaustible Miracles (2011) and The Intimate Mind (2011). Since 2000 Tempa Lama has lived in the US. He is dedicated to making the ancient teachings of Bon available and accessible in the West, helping people bring a practice of compassion, healing and happiness into their lives. He teaches in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Europe.

Catherine Gammon is a fiction writer and a Soto Zen priest. Ordained a priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in 2005, she has trained for twelve years in residence at San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC). Before beginning her period of residential Zen training, Catherine taught on the MFA faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. Her novel Sorrow (2013) was a final nominee for the Northern California Book Award. Her novel Isabel Out of the Rain was published in 1991 by Mercury House, and her shorter fiction has appeared in literary journals for many years. Since serving as Shuso at Green Dragon Temple/Green Gulch Farm in 2010, Catherine has given teachings in Zen and writing in the U.K., in Brooklyn, in Pittsburgh, in Massachusetts, and at SFZC’s Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.


Workshop fee through Tuesday August 7: $90 (Olmo Ling members), $100 (non-members). From August 8: $108 (Olmo Ling members), $120 (non-members). We offer a couple-rate of $150 for Olmo Ling members and $165 for non-members.

If you are unable to pay the full fee and would like to request a scholarship, please email us at or call us at 412 904 1112. To register, please use the button below, or send us a check marked “August 18-19 retreat”.

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