Ewam Sang-ngag Ling
and the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

Yangti Nagpo (Dark Retreat)
with Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche
June 15-30, 2016 


Wednesdsay, June 15, 2016 
Thursday, June 30, 2016 

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Ewam Garden of One Thousand Buddhas 
34574 White Coyote Road
Arlee, MT 59821

Driving Directions 


 Devi Zdziebko                                                                        admin@ewam.org

 Beth Lee-Herbert                                                      beth.lee.herbert@gmail.com   




Yangti Nagpo Information by Sarah Schneider

Dungtso Repa the Earlier, was a tertön in the thirteenth century in Tibet. His reincarnation was Dungtso Repa the Later in the fteenth century in Tibet. Dungtso Repa the Later became a disciple and then the consort of the female tertön, Kunga Bum. From among the treasures he revealed, three are most famous. The last of these was revealed in Lake Mandal Nagpo behind Dakpo Gampo Monastery. From this lake, Dungtso Repa discovered a treasure casket. Inside was the cycle called, The Single Golden Letter of the Black Quintessence in English, yang ti nag po gser gyi ‘bru gcig in Tibetan. Much later, the previous incarnation of Trulshik Rinpoche, named Trulshik Do-ngag Lingpa (1862-1922) rediscovered the Black Quintessence, or Yangti Nagpo in the form of a mind treasure. This second opening of the treasure added the Lama and Dakini to the three roots practice of the peaceful and wrathful ones, and also supplemented practical instructions. There is both the long lineage transmission for this cycle, and the short lineage. The short lineage for the Black Quintessence goes from Dungtso Repa the Later, to Trulshik Do-ngag Lingpa, to Shuksep Jetsunma (1828-1953) to Trulshik Do-ngag Lingpa’s reincarnation, Trulshik Rinpoche (1923-2011), to Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche. Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche has a close connection to this practice. Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Gochen Tulku Drimed Lingpa. There is some dispute over how many reincarnations there have been. Some say Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche is the fth incarnation, some say the sixth. Going with Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche being the fth incarnation of Gochen, the third incarnation was named Tsewang Tendzin. Tsewang Tendzin’s primary meditation practice was the Black Quintessence, as was his sister’s. They focused on this cycle, the Black Quintessence, as their main practice.Therefore, when Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche was living in Nepal, he made a point to receive the Black Quintessence from Trulshik Rinpoche. Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche began at the beginning of the cycle with ngondro, and progressed through the stages of the generation stage of the peaceful and wrathful ones, through Great Perfection. Then and only then was Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche able to actually practice in what is known as dark retreat. Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche completed ngondro and then wanted to do the mantra recitations of the generation stage in strict retreat. Conditions at Shechen Monastery in Nepal, where he was living, wouldn’t allow for that degree of privacy. So Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche went into a cave in Paro, Bhutan and sealed the door for his recitations. Many years later, Tenga Rinpoche gave the reading transmission of the tengyur at Shechen Monastery. During this long reading transmission it was easy to meet with Trulshik Rinpoche, who was staying on the same upper oor as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. During this time, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche sealed himself in his room to do the rushen and dzogchen practices. He set up a radio in his room with the reading transmission going. So he could hear Tenga Rinpoche’s voice giving the transmission of the tengyur while he did his practice. Once that was completed, Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche practiced in the actual dark retreat. He used the restroom as his dark retreat hut. In Trulshik Rinpoche’s restroom, there was a small toilet closet with a window, and then a larger restroom area. They sealed off the toilet closet so the restroom was pitch dark. It was there that Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche did his dark retreat. Trulshik Rinpoche came in and sat on a chair everyday to give Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche his instruction and visualization for the day.The Black Quintessence is a very rare lineage. Trulshik Rinpoche told Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche to come back and do the dark retreat again. But Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche ended up traveling extensively and Trulshik Rinpoche has now passed away. Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche feels the need to pass this lineage on to his disciples for fear of this lineage dying out with him. Many students have asked about attending the Black Quintessence, Yangti Nagpo teachings in Santa Fe in May. Regarding this, Rinpoche says that anyone is welcome to attend to receive the blessings. Plus, we will begin at the beginning with ngondro, so there isn’t anyone that is not permitted to receive ngondro teachings. That being said, Rinpoche does want to clarify that we will not immediately be heading into dark retreat. For Rinpoche’s students that have participated in the Yeshe Lama program for example, Rinpoche wants them to perfect the practices they have already received. Or deepen the practices through attending the tödgal retreat. These students are still welcome to come to the Yangti Nagpo teachings if they are curious or interested.The outcome of receiving the entire Yangti Nagpo cycle and doing all of the practices required, is that Rinpoche will lead one student at a time through dark retreat. Rinpoche is looking into a special retreat area for this, and students can build the actual dark retreat hut with Rinpoche down the road. But Rinpoche wants to make clear that because this cycle is so rare, and because Rinpoche himself had to go through many years of practice and preparation before doing the actual dark retreat, Rinpoche has no intention of presenting a watered-down version for westerners. Rinpoche’s intention is to bestow the authentic and complete cycle from beginning to end, thereby preserving this precious and rare lineage.

Our retreat will have two parallel tracks this year, a continuation of the fourth year cycle and a first year cycle. The first year teachings will focus on the Yangti Nagpo Ngondro and you will need approval to attend. To continue into each subsequent year of teachings, students complete an assigned practice commitment.   

Teachings will begin on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 pm and conclude with a tsok on Thursday, June 30th around 1pm. 


Please let us know as soon as possible whether you will be camping or need a bed. Feel free to call me if you have any questions about accommodations as well. 

We ask that you use the outdoor portable toilets as much as possible to reduce the stress on the septic system at the sangha house. 


Bring your own tent and gear and sleep outside which reduces the cost of the retreat. Temperatures during the day range anywhere from 50-80 and in the evenings it can range anywhere from 30-60 degrees. Campers and RV’s are also welcome.


Ewam serves three vegetarian meals daily served. There will be a cook for lunch and dinner, however you will prepare your own breakfast with food provided. Items for breakfast will be: nut butters, jelly, cereal, muesli, milk, yogurt (fat-free, regular), fruit, bread, oatmeal, and eggs. We cannot accommodate all dietary needs and preferences, but invite you to tell us your concerns here. We will work with you as best we can! 

Air and Ground Transportation

We are 30 minutes from the Missoula airport. There is a section on the registration form for you to list whether you need a shuttle from the airport and your flight details. Depending on how many people are flying in for this retreat, you may have to wait at the airport for your ride to limit the amount of trips back and forth. 

If you are driving, here are directions to Ewam and the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.

For a smoother operation of the necessary preparations needed for the retreat, we encourage those attending to pay the full amount of the retreat. However, you may request in writing to pay 20% of the cost of the retreat 30 days prior to the retreat and the remaining 80% of the cost over an 8 month period or by December 31 of the year in which the retreat is held.   

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga (work service) represents time offered to support the needs of the retreat and is an intrinsic part of spiritual practice. All retreatants are expected to participate in approximately one hour of karma yoga daily. We greatly appreciate your willingness to help in this way. You will have the same job every day can trade jobs with people if you prefer on your own.

What to Bring

  • Layered clothing for hot days and cold nights, temperatures range anywhere from 35-100
  • Sunhats
  • Bath towels
  • Camping gear if camping—tent with rain fly and/or tarp, comfortable padding, and warm sleeping bag
  • Lantern or flashlight and batteries
  • We provide cushions, but please bring whatever makes you comfortable for meditation
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Refillable water bottle AND thermos (help us reduce landfill trash by using your own water and coffee cups)
  • Personal items, alarm clock, bath towel, washcloth, toiletries
  • Earplugs
  • Meditation clothes, zens, chubas, malas, instruments, and texts from last year


We will offer new texts at the retreat for purchase and the Cascade of Blessings which includes daily prayers. Many of you may already have these texts from last year, so please bring them along.


To pay for the retreat, you can either click on the Paypal link on the registration form or mail a check into Ewam. If you are interested in becoming a member with a monthly donation in order to receive the discounted retreat prices, please go to Ewam’s  membership homepage.  

Pre-registration is required. 

Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche 
is the founder and spiritual director of Ewam International Centers. Rinpoche was recognized in early childhood as the reincarnation of the Gochen Tulku. Sang-ngag Rinpoche is an outstanding meditation master and scholar.  Rinpoche's vision of a peace garden in a mountainous valley came to him as a small child, eventually leading him to Montana to build the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. His primary residence is in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he has established a retreat and practice center, Pema Khandro Ling.  (Complete Bio)