Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen is pleased to announce that His Holiness the Sakya Trichen has consented to visit the Washington, D.C. area in May to bestow the entire 21 Tārās Initiation cycle in the Atisha Tradition at the invitation of Sakya Phuntsok Ling, as well as a long-life initiation and teachings on the Four Mandalas’ Rite of Ārya Tārā. The teachings will be bestowed in English and simultaneously translated into Mandarin. Everyone is welcome to receive these very special blessings. You may attend in full or in part as your schedule allows, and no sadhana commitment is required. Early registration is encouraged. See  “Registration” for more details.

May 3 -5

10:00 AM: 21 Tārās Initiation Cycle
02:00 PM: 21 Tārās Initiation Cycle

May 6

10:00 AM: Four Mandalas’ Rite of Ārya Tārā – Teaching & Explanation
02:00 PM: Long Life Empowerment

About His Holiness the Sakya Trichen

His Holiness the Sakya Trichen is the patriarch and revered 41st Sakya Trizin head of the Sakya School, which is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Tibet in 1945, His Holiness belongs to the ancient and distinguished Khön family, whose history extends back tot he early days of Tibet, before the arrival of Buddhism. For more information on His Holiness including biography please visit Our Teachers page.

About Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen

Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen is spiritual director of Sakya Phuntsok Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Study and Meditation in Silver Spring, Maryland, which he established in 1986. He is also Abbot and Vice President of Tsechen Kunchab Ling, which was established in 2001 at the advice of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen as the Seat of the Sakya Dolma Phodrang in the Americas. He is a widely recognized and accomplished teacher and translator of Buddhism. His Holiness the Sakya Trichen and other high lamas of the Sakya Order have repeatedly praised his Dharma activities as exemplary. For more information on Khenpo Kalsang Gyatlsen please visit Our Teachers page.

About Ārya Tārā

Ārya Tārā, or Jetsun Drolma in Tibetan, is a female Bodhisattva closely associated with Avalokiteshvara and Amitabha. She embodies all of the Buddha’s enlightened activities and is affectionately referred to as the Mother of all the Buddhas for she is none other than the wisdom of reality whence all Buddhas are born.

Ārya Tārā’s twenty-one emanations each have their own mantra and embody various qualities of enlightened activities such as protection, pacification, long-life, healing, purification, etc. Endowed with motherly loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom they assist in the removal of obstacles to achieve one’s goals in ordinary life and to attain the highest spiritual goal of Buddhahood.

About the Four Mandalas’ Rite

The Four Mandalas’ Rite of Ārya Tārā helps to remove obstacles and to achieve one’s goals in our ordinary and spiritual lives thereby helping one to attain the highest spiritual goal of Buddhahood. The puja (ritual) is common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is often performed at monasteries and Dharma centers daily. The ritual is centered around the prayer “Homage to the 21 Emanations of Tārā” which praises each of Tārā’s 21-emanations and describes Her qualities. We are fortunate to have the opportunity of receiving an explanation of both the meaning and method of practicing the ritual from His Holiness the Sakya Trichen himself.

Prerequisites & Commitments

Prerequisites: To receive the initiations students should have received refuge and a sincere desire to work for the benefit of all beings.

Requirements: Initiates should follow a vegetarian diet without egg, garlic or onion on the days of the initiations.

Commitments: To cultivate bodhicitta. There are no sadhana or mantra recitation commitments, these initiations may be received as a blessing. A manual of sadhanas of the 21-Tārās in the Atisha tradition will be available after the initiation.


Registration is required for all participants (those in the monastic sangha please see below).

The donation amount for the entire initiation cycle is $210 per person. Students who cannot attend the entire cycle in full but would still like to participate can donate $35 per session or $70 per day. Opportunities to sponsor and offer the mandala can be found in our Sponsorship section.


Initiation Cycle: $210

Per Session (AM or PM): $35

Teaching (Four Mandalas' Rite): $20

Long Life Empowerment: $20; Free admittance for children and teens under 18 years.

Initiation Cycle + Teaching + Long Life Empowerment: $250

Monastic Sangha: There is no tuition for monastics but we respectfully ask you to register prior to the event: PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To Register Pay Here

Sponsorship Opportunities

For more information on sponsorship opportunities please visit our SPONSORS PAGE.

Schedule & Location


Morning Session(s): 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lunch: 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Afternoon Session(s): 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

National 4-H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Ave,
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

The 4-H Conference center is right outside of Washington, D.C. within the beltway. Parking is available on site free of charge. There is an onsite cafeteria for both breakfast and lunch that serves vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals; however, for those who do not want to eat on-site there are plenty of restaurants not far from the conference center in downtown Bethesda. For those who would like to use public transportation the center is accessible via Metro on the Red Line - several options are outlined below:

1. Exit "Friendship Heights" metro station and take either the L8 or L1 buses directly to the conference center.
2. Exit "Bethesda" metro station and walk 1.3 miles to the conference center.
3. Exit "Bethesda" metro station and take taxi, Uber, or Lyft to the center.

Accommodations & Food

For those coming from out of town there are accommodations on site at the National 4-H Conference Center. Please see their website for more information:
4-H Conference Center - Room Reservations

Group Code: 180502SAKY

If students are planning on having lunch on campus 4-H requires a meal ticket to be purchased prior to arrival – feel free to purchase a meal ticket from 4-H Conference Center on Eventbrite by April 25

For those who would like to book their hotel reservations elsewhere we recommend the Bethesda area which is metro accessible connecting you to downtown Washington D.C. and is a short distance from the conference center: