Advanced Contemplative Scholarship

Retreat Center Legend














Chanteloube, Dordogne, France

Chagdu Gompa, Junction City, CA, USA

Dagshang Kagyu (Palden Shangpa), Panillo, Spain

Gampo Abbey, Pleasant Bay, NS, Canada

Garchen Institute, Chino Valley, AZ, USA

Karma Ling, Savoy, France

Katog Mountain Retreat, Parthenon, AZ, USA

Kagyu Tubten Choling, Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, Delhi, NY, USA

Pema Osel Ling, Aptos, CA, USA

Samye Ling, Arran Isle and Holy Island, Scotland, UK

Serchö Osel Ling, Goldendale WA, USA

Vajra Vidhya, Crestone, CO, USA



Tsadra Foundation's Advanced Contemplative Scholarships offer Western practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism an opportunity to pursue long-term contemplative training.

There are many ways to approach the vast and profound nature of the Tibetan contemplative domain through individual and collective retreats. The group three-year retreat is a most effective means for achieving a comprehensive introduction to advanced meditation while facilitating the development of the discipline necessary for a long-term contemplative practice.

A number of traditional three-year retreat centers now exist in the West. Each year Tsadra Foundation offers a limited number of  Advanced Contemplative Scholarships to individuals entering such three-year retreats as well as to three-year retreat graduates who wish to undertake further solitary retreat for one year or longer.

Learn more about our Advanced Contemplative Scholarships through the following expandable sections:

>  EligibilityTo qualify for this scholarship, a person wishing to enter a traditional group three-year retreat must have been accepted as a participant in such a retreat. A retreat graduate applying for a scholarship for solitary retreat must present a clearly defined retreat program and demonstrate that physical and support conditions are present for the successful realization of the proposed retreat.In addition Tsadra Foundation will be looking for the following qualifications:●     Applicant must have studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism for at least five years.●     Applicant must have completed the Preliminary Practices of the specific tradition with which the retreat is associated.●     Applicant should have a rudimentary knowledge of the Tibetan language (depending on the requirement of the retreat center.)●     Applicant should exhibit the qualities of a successful practitioner: emotional maturity, flexibility, modesty, selflessness, kindness, humor, etc.●     Applicant must demonstrate financial need justifying the scholarship.At the present time scholarships are limited to retreats taking place in the US, Canada, France, Spain and the U.K.>  Financial AwardThe Advanced Contemplative Scholarships are based on the applicant's need and their retreat budget.  While the costs of retreat centers vary, the amount allocated is based on our study of a number of group and individual retreat situations. It assumes modest living conditions, takes into consideration normal participation in the operating costs of the retreat, and includes some allowance for basic personal expenses. Scholarships generally range between $400 and $1,000 per month. The foundation takes particular note of and appreciates candidates who have made the effort to find partial support for their retreat costs before applying for a scholarship.Scholarships for those participating in group three-year retreats will be for the duration of the retreat. Scholarships for solitary retreats will be awarded on a year-by-year basis.The foundation does not offer support for building or infrastructure costs associated with the applicant’s retreat project.>  Application ProcedureTsadra Foundation Advanced Contemplative Scholarships are made available each year to a number of worthy applicants. Applications are accepted each spring up to the application deadline of August 1st for scholarships that will begin the following year.Once the application period has closed, the applications will be examined and short-listed candidates will be contacted to schedule personal interviews. Final results of the selection process will be announced by the end of November.Those wishing to apply for an Advanced Contemplative Scholarship should submit the following documents to Tsadra Foundation before August 1st:Three-year retreat applicants●    A letter from the lama of the retreat confirming that you have been accepted as a participant.●    A description of the retreat center, the retreat program, and the prospective dates of the retreat.●    An outline of qualifications for entering your retreat and the extent to which you satisfy these qualifications.●    A letter from the retreat manager or administrator specifying the retreat costs.Solitary retreat applicants (three-year retreat graduates)●    A description of your proposed hermitage and of the practical support conditions that will allow you to accomplish your solitary retreat.●    A description of your retreat program including practices and schedules.●    A detailed budget of your retreat costs.All applicants●    Completed application form (see Documentation Download page.)●    A standard curriculum vitae detailing your study and work history.●    A Dharma curriculum vitae detailing your Dharma history (both study and practice).●    A recent head and shoulders photo●    A clear description of your financial situation, including any personal savings or income, as well as any external sponsorship or support and your efforts to secure such support.●    A letter of recommendation from your current lama or meditation instructor. In the case of retreat graduates, you may alternatively request a letter of recommendation from a Buddhist colleague.●    A letter of recommendation from an individual who is not a lama nor a family member. Both letters of recommendation should be submitted directly to the foundation by those writing them on your behalf.●    Completed Document Checklist (see Documentation Download page.)All materials should be sent in pdf format to:contemplativescholarship@tsadra.orgDeadlines for Scholarships●    Application deadline is August 1, of each year.●    Short-listed candidates must be available for interviews from    August 15 to October 31.●    Final decisions will be announced by November 30.>  Reporting and EvaluationScholarship recipients will be required to submit an annual report to the Director of Contemplative Scholarships at the end of each calendar year for the duration of the scholarship. This report should describe in detail the scholarship activity including retreat schedule and program,  progress made and any difficulties encountered in accomplishing the purpose of the scholarship during this period. You are to inform Tsadra Foundation whether or not there were any periods of time when you were not available to accomplish this activity. If there were such periods, you are to indicate their length in days or weeks. You may be required to reimburse the Foundation grant funds for these periods of inactivity.Not more than one month following the completion of the retreat, you are to provide a final report including (i) an activity summary similar to your annual reports for the entire scholarship grant period; (ii) an honest appraisal of your retreat detailing what you feel were its strengths and weaknesses; (iii) how you feel your retreat may have prepared you to benefit others and generally have a positive impact in the world after your retreat.All reports are to be submitted to the foundation as pdf files. Scholarship funds are generally disbursed annually. Disbursement of scholarship funds for a subsequent period is dependent upon timely submission of the year-end report.>  Documentation DownloadTo apply for a scholarship, you should download the Application Form. This you can then open in Acrobat Reader (most computers have Acrobat Reader, a free software from Adobe) which will allow you to fill in the form. Once completed, you press the "Submit" button, which allows you to add your own name and email address and submit the completed form to Tsadra Foundation by pressing the “Send” button.All of the supporting documents described in the “Application Procedure” section should be submitted as pdf files sent to stating clearly the name of the applicant concerned.Once all the appropriate documents have been sent to the foundation, you should repeat the above procedure with the Document Checklist Form to confirm that your application has been completed.We will confirm receipt of the completed application when the two forms and supporting documents have been received.If you wish to download and/or print out the information on the Tsadra Foundation Advanced Contemplative Scholarships, you should click on “Contemplative Scholarship Information”.Remember! Currently, most web browsers don't support PDF form submission. Please don't fill in the forms using your web browser viewer. Instead, save the documents into your computer and fill in and submit the forms using Acrobat Reader. Application FormDownload the PDF Application Form here.    Documentation Checklist FormDownload the PDF Documentation Checklist Form here.   Contemplative Scholarship InformationDownload the PDF document here.




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