Diamond Way Buddhism

Course with Lama Ole Nydahl in Wisconsin, Oct 11-14 2019

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This course will be given by Lama Ole Nydahl, who established Diamond Way Buddhism more than four decades ago and is currently the principle teacher of nearly 700 groups and centers across the world.

Lama Ole transmits the Buddha's highest teachings—known in the Karma Kagyü tradition as the Great Seal (Sanskrit: Mahamudra; Tibetan: Chag Chen)—by guiding students through essential texts of the lineage. They point beyond our ever-changing experiences in daily life to the ultimate, timeless nature of the mind.

Each day will include one session with Lama Ole as well as the chance to ask questions and meditate together with him. Newcomers will also have the chance to take Buddhist refuge. Diamond Way traveling teachers will fill out the rest of the day with panel lectures, meditation practice explanations and guided meditation sessions.

If you would like to learn more we recommend visiting your local Diamond Way Buddhist center.


Lama Ole is one of the few Westerners fully qualified as a lama and meditation master in the Karma Kagyü Buddhist tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1969, he and his wife Hannah became two of the first Western students of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the lineage and one of the greatest meditation masters of the 20th century.

Under the tutelage of the 16th Karmapa—as well as the many of lineage’s most esteemed masters—Ole and Hannah completed three years of intensive meditation training. In 1972, they began teaching Buddhism in Europe at the 16th Karmapa’s request.

Lama Ole has chronicled he and his wife Hannah’s first encounters with Tibetan Buddhism and the challenges of bringing it to the modern, Western world in two books: Entering the Diamond Way and Riding the Tiger. Their journey—including all of the exciting trials and tribulations—has also been captured in the the award-winning documentary, Hannah: Buddhism's Untold Journey.

Additional books Lama Ole has authored include:

  • The Way Things Are: an essential overview of Buddhism and the unique and deeply transformative approach of the Diamond Way.
  • The Great Seal: a commentary on a classic text on the nature of mind and the underlying basis for the Diamond Way.
  • Fearless Death: a guide to the unique perspective of Tibetan Buddhism on the joy and meaning of the dying process.
  • Buddha & Love: teachings on how timeless Buddhism wisdom can be skillfully applied to modern relationships.


For centuries masters of the Karma Kagyü 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 Karma Kagyü tradition.

From Lama Ole's book, The Great Seal:

Any observation of the outer and inner worlds refers one to mind. Only mind is constantly and truly present, although not as a substantial “something.” Consciousness is like space, unchanging and timeless, while its object, all outer phenomena, as well as the inner states are conditioned; they come and go. Only the experiencer is present always and everywhere.

The Great Seal, Mahamudra in Sanskrit or Chag Chen in Tibetan, was taught by Buddha in order to fully awaken mind’s potential and to seal its enlightened nature. Whoever rests in the radiance of the mirror while enjoying its images and recognizes the indestructibility of the ocean beneath the play of the waves has reached this goal.