2024 - 2026

Karuna Basic Training Program in 20 Months

See Costs & Dates
Three Residential Retreats at Ari Bhöd Retreat Center, Tehachapi CA.

Monthly Online meetings for three hours each.

Monthly Continuity and Mentoring groups for 1.5 hours each.

Karuna Basic Training Summary


1st Residential Retreat

A 7-day group retreat in-person at Ari Bhöd


Karuna Online course

Abhidharma in Everyday Live. Three 3-hour Online courses, one per month


Karuna Online Course

Compassionate Exchange Four 3-hour Online courses, one per month


2nd Residential Retreat

A 7-day group retreat, in-person at Ari Bhöd


Maitri in Everyday Life

Seven 3-hour sessions every other week



Continuity Group Meetings, Mentoring for the 25-hour Community Project.


Bardo Course

3-hour monthly courses online for 7 months


3rd Residential Retreat & Graduation

Final 7-day group residential retreat combines Maitri Space Awareness and Graduate Offerings

KTB 1: Foundations in Contemplative Psychology

Residential Retreat at Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, CA
Saturday, September 28 - Friday, October 4, 2024
This retreat focuses on the Five Buddha Family Mandala through the Elements: Space, Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. We form the community cohort, meet each other as teachers and students, and receive instruction and practice in Sitting Meditation, Embodiment Practices, and Foundations in Buddhist Psychology.
Contemplative Psychology
Introduction to Basic Sanity, Intrinsic Health, and the foundational Karuna Methods of Sitting Meditation, Embodiment, and Speaking from the Heart Group.
The Mandala of the Five Buddha Families
Participants are introduced to the Mandala of the Five Buddha Families through the elements. Instruction on the development of ego and the six Realms of psychological experience.
Karuna Embodiment Practices
The basis of all Karuna methods is embodiment. The methods taught in Karuna Training require us to be attuned to our bodies' capacity to feel what is arising in the present moment.
Community & Social Awareness
Karuna Training takes place in a cohort community. Through cohort relationships, we awaken to our unconscious biases and embark on a journey of social awareness, inclusivity and Maitri (loving kindness).

KTB 2: Abhidharma in Everyday Life

Each 3-hour session is held on the 3rd Saturday of the month: 9-12 PT, 10-1MT, 11-2 CT, 12-3 ET
Ego and Egolessness
Saturday, October 19, 2024
Contemplative Psychology's definition of Ego, understanding the mind, the operating system of skandhas and the development of ego.
Emotions and Realms
Saturday, November 16, 2024
Introduction to the six realms and corresponding emotions and energies. Introduction to Embodiment practice of the Four Step Process.
Transmuting Realms in Everyday Life
Saturday, December 21, 2024
Correlating the Six Realms to the Five Buddha Families Mandala and learning to lean into extreme emotions with curiosity and Maitri (loving - kindness)
Continuity Groups, Readings and Study, Karuna Circle Online
Monthly Continuity Group meetings; Readings and study questions; study buddy from cohort; Karuna Online Circle for discussion on private cohort channel.

KTB 3:  Compassionate Exchange

Each course is held on the 3rd Saturday of the month in 3-hour intervals: 9-12 PT, 10-1 MT, 11-2 CT, 12-3 ET.
Embodied Compassion through Exchange
Saturday, January 18, 2025
Maitri and Tonglen Practice Introduction and teachings on the Four Immeasurables. Instruction and practice rousing one's awakened heart: bodhicitta.
Exchange in Everyday Life Saturday, February 15, 2025
Introduction to Compassionate Exchange and Tonglen, Taking and Sending practice; the primary practice of Karuna Training. Compassionate Exchange is a contemplative practice that occurs as a form of sacred communication.
The Four Bones in Space                               
Saturday, March 15, 2025
The Four Bones of Compassionate Exchange are articulated; Welcoming, Discernment, Mutual Agreement, and Transition.
Shining the Jewel
Saturday, April 19, 2025
Introduction to Shining the Jewel, an extension of Compassionate Exchange. Shining the Jewel hones the skill of seeing and cultivating the brilliant sanity of others through thoughtful, loving feedback .

Karuna Basic Training can be committed to two phases: Phase One is Seminars 1 - 3, and Phase Two is Seminars 4 - 8.

KTB: 4 Maitri & Compassionate Exchange

During the 2nd Residential Retreat, Maitri Space Awareness (MSA) is introduced and practiced along with Compassionate Exchange.
Saturday, May 31- Friday, June 6, 2025, Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, CA
Compassionate Exchange
Practice Compassionate Exchange and Shining the Jewel in small groups with rotating instructors.
Maitri Space Awareness
Maitri Space Awareness practice with colored glasses and Aimless Wandering two times a day.
Process Groups
Process Groups, a more direct method of Speaking from the Heart, are introduced at this retreat to deepen cohort relationships.
Community and Social Awareness
Social justice issues in relationship to the Five Buddha Families are discussed to integrate compassionate awareness of that which is "othered".

KTB 5: Maitri in Everyday Life

Seven 3-hour sessions every other week on Saturday: 9-12 PT, 10-1 MT, 11-2 CT, 12-3 ET
Saturday, June 21, 2025:  Introduction to Maitri Space Awareness at home

Saturday, July 5, 2025: Buddha: Embodiment in Everday Life

Saturday, July 19, 2025:  Padma: Speech in Everday Life

Saturday, August 2, 2025: Vajra: Mind in Everday Life

Saturday,  August 16, 2025: Ratna: Quality of Everyday life

Saturday, August 30, 2025: Karma: Action in Everday LIfe

Saturday, September 13, 2025: Mandala Integration through Offerings

Cohort Support on Circle Readings and weekly assignments and reflections are encouraged on Karuna's community platform built on Circle.

KTB 6: Karuna Compassionate Exchange Projects

Karuna Community Project
September 2025 - May 2026
Participants work independently with their mentors on offering compassionate exchange within their community or other means of bringing compassion into one's life.
25-hour Compassionate Exchange project and practice working with others contemplatively, documentation and creative reflection on experience and learning independently driven by the participant.

KTB 7: Entering the Bardo in Everyday Life

Seven 3-hour monthly sessions on Saturdays: 9-12 PT, 10-1 MT, 11-2 CT, 12-3 ET
Saturday, October 18, 2025: Discovering Space through Transition: An Introduction to the Tibetan Bardos.

Saturday, November 15, 2025: Preparing for Death in Everyday Life.

Saturday, December 20, 2025:  Illusory Clues: the Bardo of Dreams

Saturday, January 17, 2025: Cultivate the Stability of Mind: the Bardo of Meditation

Saturday, February 21, 2025: Letting Go with Grace: The Bardo Before Death

Saturday, March 21, 2025: Remembering What Matters at the Moment of Death: The Bardo of Luminosity

Saturday, April 18, 2025: Cutting Through Projections: the Bardo of Becoming

Saturday, May 16, 2025: Culminating Grief Circle

KTB 8: Maitri Celebration Graduation Residential Retreat

Saturday, May 23 - Friday, May 29, 2026 at Ari Bhöd Retreat Center
Participant Offerings
Participants come prepared to present a final offering of their Karuna journey and experience during their projects of compassionate exchange in the world. Each person is appreciated for the brilliant sanity they possess.
Maitri Space Awareness Practice
The intensification of Maitri Space Awareness, again revisiting the Five Buddha Families Mandala as we dissolve our cohort, heightens our awareness of our interconnectedness. The program is tender with genuine love and transmutation of confusion into wisdom.

All Course Details & Dates

Use a time converter here
ProgramPlace & TimeDates
Foundations in Contemplative Psychology
Residential Retreat
Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, CA

Saturday, September 28 to Friday, October 4, 2024
Abhidharma in Everyday Life
Online, Every 3rd Saturday: 3 hrs. 10 AM - 1 PM, MT

Saturday, October 19, 2024
Saturday, November 16, 2024
Saturday, December 21, 2024

Compassionate Exchange
Online, Every 3rd Saturday: 3 hrs. 10 AM - 1 PM, MTSaturday, January 18, 2025
Saturday, February 15, 2025
Saturday, March 15, 2025
Saturday, April 19, 2025
Maitri and Compassionate Exchange

Residential Retreat
Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, CA
Saturday, May 31 - Friday, June 6, 2025

Maitri in Everyday Life
Online, Seven, 3-hour sessions: every other week, 10 AM - 1 PM MT

Saturday, June 21, 2025
Saturday, July 5, 2025
Saturday, July 19, 2025
Saturday, August 2, 2025
Saturday, August 16, 2025
Saturday, August 30, 2025
Saturday, September 13, 2025
Compassionate Exchange Project
Online: Dates and Time TBD by Continuity Groups and MentorOngoing monthly meetings for 1.5 hours and 3 hours of individual mentoring - dates and times TBD by participant and mentor

Entering the Bardos in Everyday Life

Online, Eight, 3-hr sessions
Every 3rd Saturday: 10 AM - 1 PM MT
Saturday, October 18, 2025
Saturday, November 15, 2025
Saturday, December 20, 2025
Saturday, January 17, 2026
Saturday, February 21, 2026
Saturday, March 21, 2026
Saturday, April 18, 2026
Saturday, May 16, 2026

Maitri Celebration

Residential Retreat
Ari Bhöd, Tehachapi, CA
Saturday, May 23 - Friday, May 29, 2026

97 CE Credits available through CAMFT 262 hours of Training

Cost: $7,000.00 for the total training

If paid in full by August 1, 2024, the cost of the program is reduced to $6,500.00

Costs for Ari Bhöd Retreats are additional:

Price for room and board for six nights and two half days:

Camping $600.00
 bring your own tent.

Glamping $675.00 if you use an Ari Bhöd tent (stand-up tent, foam mattress, bath house)

Dormitory $750.00 shared units, bathhouse.

Single rooms. $900.00 single room in Sangha House with shared bath.

*Ari Bhöd prices may rise over the period of the course due to rising costs.

Karuna Training offers monthly payment plans without interest; however we do not offer the completion certificate until participant have fully paid.
Some scholarships are availabe on a needs basis.                            
Continuing Education Units are available for an additional cost of $150 for the entire program. Please register license number at registration.
Each applicant must go through a personal interview with Karuna faculty before being fully admitted into the program.
Karuna Training is an inclusive training. When we meet in-person, we honor the land and the people from whom it was taken and we honor the differences we each bring into community. 

We seek kind and skillful ways to address our unconscious biases and work toward a more compassionate exchange with not-knowing those whom we perceive as different.
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