Course overview

Foundations of Sowa Rigpa: Self, Family & Community Care (2024/25)

September 28 2024 - June 28 2025 - first live class is October 6 2024 (self-paced videos available September 28)

This one year training presents the fundamentals principles of Tibetan healing in order improve quality of life, and learn how to promote health and rejuvenation at home, for one's self and in one’s family and communities.

The course follows the main structure of the Root Tantra (tsa gyu), the first of the Four Tantras (gyu zhi), the principle medical texts of Sowa Rigpa, with supplementary information from the (2nd) Explanatory Tantra (shé gyu) and (4th) Final Tantra (chi mé gyu) and special emphasis on safe and practical applications at home.

As a standalone course, this program is open to all and is suitable for both new students, dharma practitioners, as well as practitioners of other medical traditions. 

This course is also the first year of Sowa Rigpa Institute's multiyear professional programs, Sowa Rigpa Practitioner (4-year training) and Sowa Rigpa Counselor (2-year training). Students wishing to continue on to one of our professional programs are required to pass cumulative examination and have personal interviews at the conclusion of this course prior to entry into year 2.

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$3000 or $250/ month includes:

- 100 hours of self-paced video content taught by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and other esteemed Sowa Rigpa doctors

- 36 weekly 90-minute online discussion and QnA sessions (ZOOM)

- Audio, video, and PDF course materials to support your study and practice

Course Details

Format & Schedule 

This is a hybrid course that combines self-paced video learning with weekly online teaching and discussion sessions.

- Approximately 100 hours of video content taught by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang and other Sowa Rigpa doctors to be watched at a pace of 3 hours per week.

- 36 weekly ZOOM sessions with Dr. Sangay Tenzin to review and discuss the video teachings.

Schedule of weekly sessions:

October 5 2024 - June 28 2025

Saturdays 8 - 9:30am 

(Los Angeles/ Pacific Time)
Check your time zone

Self-paced video content is released one week prior to each weekly session

*Schedule is subject to slight modifications


Module One:
Introduction to Sowa Rigpa: Four Tantras and Tanaduk

Module Two: 
Health/ balance according to Sowa Rigpa

Module Three:
Disease/ imbalance according to Sowa Rigpa

Module Four & Five:
Sowa Rigpa Diagnostic Techniques:
- Observation: Tongue and Urine
- Palpation: Pulse
- Questioning

Module Six:
Method of Treatment One: Diet

Module Seven:
Method of Treatment Two: Lifestyle

Module Eight:
Method of Treatment Three: Herbs

Module Nine:
Method of Treatment Four: External Therapies

Module Ten:
Method of Treatment Five: Spiritual Healing for Body, Energy, and Mind

Self-Care Retreat

Required Reading

Foundations of Sowa Rigpa, by Dr. Nida Chenagtsang, published by Sky Press (available in print and digital formats)

- All other course materials are provided in your course and include audio, video, and PDF files.
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Professsional Trainings

At the conclusion of this course, students wishing to continue on with three more years of the Practitioner program or one more year of the Counselor program will first take a comprehensive exam. After successfully passing the exam, written applications will open; all professional track students will have an interview with SRI's Dean of Students Sarah Falkner, and Counselor candidates will have an additional interview with Dr. Caroline Van Damme, in order to enter Counselor Year 2.
Dr. Nida Chenagtsang, founder of the Sowa Rigpa Institute: School of Traditional Tibetan Medicine, is a traditional Tibetan physician and international teacher of Tibetan Medicine (Sowa Rigpa), Buddhism, and yogic practices.Born in Amdo, in North Eastern Tibet, Dr. Nida completed his medical studies in Lhasa, while training in all lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism, especially in the Longchen Nyingthig, Dudjom Tersar, and the Yuthok Nyingthig, the unique spiritual tradition of Tibetan Medicine. His extensive research and revival of ancient Tibetan healing methods has gained him high acclaim in the East and West.

In addition to his work as a physician, he trains students in Sowa Rigpa and the Yuthok Nyingthig tradition in over forty countries around the world.