Opening to Knowledge | Online Retreat | Nov 25-26

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, Bram Williams, Angela Bushaway and Elske van de Hulst
November 25 – 26, 2023

In moments of wonder and great humility, human beings through the ages have felt a different awareness arise naturally within the more familiar ways of viewing themselves and the world.
Knowledge of Freedom

It is important to attract mind and senses back to their natural home, where we can tune in to our own inner resources for meaning and satisfaction.
Joy of Being

Most of us tend to take the habit patterns and common concepts that frame our day-to-day experience as real. We usually are not aware of underlying assumptions, let alone that we are subject to a limiting regime of mind.

In this 2-day experiential webinar retreat we explore ways in which we can open our hearts, minds and senses to ways of knowing that take us beyond familiar, constricting definitions and concepts.

During this retreat, we inquire:

  • Do we actually see our everyday surroundings?
  • What happens when we relax and soften our gaze?
  • How do body, mind, heart, breath and senses interact?
  • Can we explore their potential more widely?
  • Can we open our senses without immediately labeling the sensations?
  • Can concepts open to knowledge beyond concepts?
  • What is the power of open inquiry?

We will explore the workings of our mind, body and senses in very basic, experiential ways, combining in-depth Kum Nye exercises and explorations from The Joy of Being with reflections, contemplations and meditative exercises based on Knowledge of Freedom.

Both books explore the architecture that structures our daily awareness, inviting us to open up to a wider way of being in their different ways.

We will look beyond the positions ordinary mind routinely takes, investigating closely what is really going on at deeper levels in our hearts, minds and bodies. In doing so, we challenge the need to submit to the ongoing, subtle anxiety that accompanies so many of us day and night.    

Opening to Knowledge – Experiential Webinar Retreat

Who Should 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. Some basic experience with meditation, yoga or Kum Nye Yoga will be expected.


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, Nov 2510am-13pm15h-18h18-21hrs19-22hrs
Su, Nov 2610am-13pm15h-18h18-21hrs19-22hrs

Check for your local time zone.

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


Saturday, November 25th, 2023, 19:00 hrs CET
until Sunday, November 26th, 2023 at 22:00 hrs CET

Costs: € 105,-

Retreat staff

The Opening to Knowledge 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.

Bram Williams is a long term student of yoga, dharma and Nyingma. As an experienced Kum Nye student and teacher he’s attended many programmes and trainings in California, as well as annual Kum Nye retreats in Holland and Germany. Bram now practices and teaches in London and Oxford. Currently studying facial anatomy, Bram is also an occasional puppeteer and a qualified Lip-Reading Tutor.

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

Angela Bushaway has been practising Kum Nye for many years. She has attended annual Kum Nye retreats in The Netherlands and Germany, as well as training programmes in California. Angela has also participated in a number of other programs based on the books of Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, including Skillful Means, Knowledge of Freedom, Lotus Trilogy and Dimensions of Mind
She currently teaches Kum Nye classe in Malvern with her partner Roger.
Angela is a trained acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner. When not working she enjoys walking their dog in the Malvern Hills.


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