Course Information

This year’s Great Seal Course at Chestermere Lake, Alberta will be an immersive four-day experience of digging into Buddhism’s most profound teachings, learning advanced meditation techniques, and connecting with a vibrant lay Buddhist community.

A Diamond Way Buddhist course has something for all skill levels. Experienced meditators will use the time to recharge and deepen their own practice while those new to Diamond Way Buddhism will get a thorough experiential introduction. The dynamic of new and old creates a rich backdrop for the highly engaging teachings of the Diamond Way.

This course will be guided by Lama Ole Nydahl, a meditation master in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Ole is the founder of nearly 700 groups and centres across the world, including Canada. During this course, he will teach on the Great Seal (Mahamudra in Sanskrit; Chag Chen in Tibetan), which is considered to be the crown jewel of Buddha’s teachings.

Each day of the course will include lectures, meditation, and Q&A with Lama Ole. Diamond Way teachers will also give panel lectures, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn the unique meditation practices that we do in our centres.


To understand the Great Seal is to know the inseparability of subject, object and the interaction in between. By meditating on enlightened Buddha forms of energy and light, “we understand we can only see this perfection outside because we have the seed of it inside us all the time,” according to Lama Ole.

For centuries masters of the Kagyu lineage have taught the Great Seal in a variety of ways ranging from more systematic and gradual to intensely direct and experiential. Lama Ole delivers these teachings in a fresh and spontaneous manner that is both accessible and in keeping with the style and authenticity of the colorful Kagyu tradition.

In a Great Seal course Lama Ole will typically teach:

  • Wishing Prayer for the Attainment of the Ultimate Mahamudra: a classic Buddhist text written by the third Karmapa in the 14th century. These 25 verses spell out Diamond Way Buddhism's basis for development, path and goal in stages. Lama Ole has also written a commentary, The Great Seal: Limitless Space and Joy, on this famous work.
  • Ganges Mahamudra: a more direct approach to the Great Seal given by Tilopa, the 10th century founding father of the Kagyu lineage known for his wild-yogi style and deep wisdom, to his main student Naropa.
  • The Ultimate Supreme Path of Mahamudra: another highly regarded text originally given by Lama Shang (or Lama Zhang), a charismatic, larger-than-life, and enlightened spiritual teacher. Lama Shang was also a highly effective military and political leader during a turbulent time in 12th century Tibet. He, like Lama Ole, was known to teach in a simple, straightforward and accessible way.

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