Grounded in Freedom | Online Retreat | May 25-26 ’24

Webinar Retreat based on the wisdom of Tarthang Tulku's books Knowledge of Freedom and Joy of Being - a co-production of Nyingma Institute Berkeley and Nyingma Centrum Nederland

Experiential Webinar Retreat
based on Knowledge of Freedom and The Joy of Being by Tarthang Tulku

Led by Abbe Blum, Hugh Joswick and Elske van de Hulst
May 25 – 26, 2024

In this retreat we will challenge the patterns of mind that tend to keep us imprisoned to the known. We will practice with reflections, exercises and contemplation that open our awareness to the infinite potential of each moment. Through relaxation and inquiry we can learn to calm our fear of the unknown and learn to see that the key to unlocking the prison doors lies within us — maybe so close at hand that it is deceptively easy to overlook.

Viewing freedom as intrinsic to our being, we discover that our lives are what we make them.
Knowledge of Freedom

As we release the tension of perception, description, and possession, we move further, beyond tension, beyond even the faintest tones of feeling by letting feelings dissipate into awareness like clouds thinning in the sunlight and trailing off into space.
Joy of Being

We live out our lives in an unceasing stream of change. Nothing stands still, within or without: we and everything in our world pulse with the heartbeat of time. Each new moment arises as an uncertainty, an unknown as vast as the moment before the universe came into being, as deeply significant and full of potential as the moment before our own birth. Can we learn to live with the potential for freedom and change without reflexively seeking stability and freezing experience into sameness and repetition?

We will work with guided meditations, contemplations, and exercises that open body, mind, and senses to their wider potential. There will also be reading and writing assignments, as well as practices to explore in daily life between retreat sessions.

Grounded in Freedom – Experiential Webinar Retreat

Who Can Take this Retreat?

This retreat is included in the international Knowledge of Freedom program, but can be attended separately by interested students who are not enrolled in that program.

Prior experience with meditation or Kum Nye is expected.

The retreat is also warmly recommended for students already engaged in paths of inquiry such as the Time Space Knowledge Vision, different levels of Kum Nye Teacher Training, and other study within Tarthang Tulku’s Understanding Self and Mind series.


The retreat will be held in English.

Retreat schedule

Two 3-hour webinar sessions, held through Zoom, comprise the offerings of the retreat weekend. Each session includes a 20-minute break halfway through.

Participants will be invited to experiment with specific explorations between retreat sessions. Day 2 will begin with short exchanges about these explorations.

Timezone /
Brazil and
Sa, May 2510am-13pm15h-18h18-21hrs19-22hrs
Su, May 2610am-13pm15h-18h18-21hrs19-22hrs

Check for your local time zone.

We recommend that participants free their time from all other obligations during the full weekend of the retreat, from Saturday May 25th, to Sunday, May 26th.

Also, we encourage participants to organise a quiet space for private practice, and to ensure reliable internet access in that place.


Saturday, May 25th, 2024, 19:00 hrs CET
until Sunday, May 26th, 2024 at 22:00 hrs CET

Costs: € 105,-

Retreat staff

The Grounded in Freedom Webinar Retreat will be led by three long-term students of Tarthang Tulku.

Abbe Blum

Abbe Blum is a long time student of Tarthang Tulku and a seasoned teacher, presenting Kum Nye, Joy of Being, Lotus Trilogy and Nyingma Psychology at Nyingma Institute and Dharma College, both in Berkeley. She worked as one of the editors on several of Rinpoche’s latest books.

She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from Cambridge University, England, where she was a Marshall scholar, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Yale University. As an Associate Professor at Swarthmore College, she taught Shakespeare and intensive writing seminars, and she currently teaches in the School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry at Saybook University.

Hugh Joswick, Ph.D., has been studying and practicing at Nyingma Institute under Tarthang Tulku’s senior students since the mid-1990’s. He has also co-edited several books under the close direction of Tarthang Tulku, including Caring and the Lotus Trilogy books.

He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, and a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has taught philosophy at the university level and is currently the Managing Editor of Mangalam Press, the publishing arm of Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, which focuses primarily on scholarly works in the fields of Buddhist and Religious Studies.

Hugh brings a gentle approach and skillful style of inquiry to his teaching.

Hugh Joswick - senior instructor at Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California, USA.

Elske van de Hulst is co-dean and senior instructor at Nyingma Centrum Nederland in Amsterdam.

Between 1969 and 1995, she worked in the theatre as an actress, director and author. She taught at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten and for many years was a member of the Dutch Arts Council. In 1998 she started studying the theatre of the mind, guided by Tarthang Tulku’s books, and has not stopped since.

Elske teaches Meditation, Knowledge of Freedom, Revelations of Mind, Dimensions of Mind, Caring and Lotus Trilogy teachings in Amsterdam and elsewhere.

Elske van de Hulst co-dean and senior instructor at Nyingma Centrum Nederland

The retreat Grounded in Freedom marks the end of the 9 months international Knowledge of Freedom program


The books Knowledge of Freedom and The Joy of Being, by Tarthang Tulku, are available:

Advance purchase of the books is warmly recommended. You will enjoy their wisdom also after this retreat.

Boekomslag Knowledge of Freedom - Time to Change door Tarthang Tulku