Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche offered the first seminar in 1992 at the request of two senior western students. It allows modern lay people to remain involved with family and community while nourishing Dharma practice by committing an hour a day or more to formal practice. Rinpoche said, “Our approach with the seminar, at the very beginning, was to emphasize not rejecting work, family and so forth-but to integrate a daily practice into one’s lifestyle.”
Bokar Rinpoche traveled to Portland, Oregon in 1996 where he taught the seminar in the west for the first time. Bokar Rinpoche asked that Lama Michael Conklin and Lama Tara of Victoria, BC, co-host the seminar for practitioners in North America, which they did yearly until the beginning of the 3-Year Retreat in 2015.
Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche was the Dharma heir of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, a recognized meditation master in the Karma Kagyu lineage and holder of the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage.
Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche was a close student of Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche for 50 years and taught at his side at the annual Bokar International Mahamudra Seminars in India until Bokar Rinpoche passed away in 2004. After numerous heartfelt requests by the international students of Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche and with the blessing and strong encouragement of His Holiness Karmapa, Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche agreed to resume the seminars in 2007 and continues to offer them annually in India.
After completing five years of the Mahamudra Program along with the requisite practice commitments, participants have the option to begin a yidam practice, personally selected by Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche for his foreign students. Students gradually progress through outer, inner, and secret components of this practice. These seminars are currently offered only in India on a biannual basis. The next one will be held at Bokar Monastery in Mirik, India, from October 29 to November 7, 2019.