With a lifetime devoted to the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Tony Duff has gained a real basis for teaching the Dharma.  In the early 1970.'s, during his post-graduate studies in molecular biology, Tony went to Asia and met the Buddhist teachings in various South-East Asian countries, then encountered Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and has followed it ever since.  After his trip, he abandoned worldly life and was the first Tibetan Buddhist monk to be ordained in his home country of Australia.  Together with several others, he founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery called "Chenrezig Institute for Wisdom Culture", where he studied and practised the Gelugpa teachings for several years under the guidance of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa, Geshe Lodan, and Zasep Tulku.

After spending many years as a monk in Australia, Lama Tony travelled to the USA where he stayed for twelve years taking teachings from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, eventually becoming one of his senior students.  After Rinpoche passed away, Lama Tony moved to Nepal where he worked as Tsoknyi Rinpoche's personal translator for nearly ten years, translating mainly Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings.  He also worked as an oral translator for many other great Kagyu and Nyingma lamas during that time.  From that time until now he has focussed on producing written translations of the essential texts needed by practitioners and has amassed a major selection of excellent translations of key texts needed in the Sutra and Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions.  Lama Tony has been to Tibet several times where he has received the highest Dzogchen teachings and practised them in retreat, and received permission to pass on these teachings on to Western students.

Lama Tony is well-known for his exceptional breadth of knowledge of the Buddhist teachings from high to low, and an unusual ability to impart them with clear and very practical explanations that go to the hearts of the audience.

2019 Retreat and Teachings

The teaching schedule through the summer of 2019 has been finalised.  There will be a three week retreat at the Sukhavati retreat centre in northern Hungary in June and July. Following that, there will be a weekend of teachings at the retreat centre followed by teachings in Budapest after that. The teachings in Budapest will be at a centre connected with the Sukhavati centre and also at Lama Chophel's centre.

Here is the announcement for the retreat:

June 21-July 12, 2019
Sukhavati Retreat Centre, Northern Hungary—A 21 day silent shamatha-vipashyana retreat

The Practice
This is a shamatha-vipashyana retreat, taught and practised according to the instructions of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche by Lama Tony Duff, one of his senior students who has taught these retreats before.  Shamatha-vipashyana is the beginning of Buddhist practice and the end, too.  There is no more basic practice and no more advanced practice than it.  It starts with the most basic mindfulness practice and leads all the way through to the highest practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.

The real heart of Buddhism is sitting practice.  Therefore, there will be some instruction each day on the practice of sitting, but the emphasis will be on doing enough sitting that experience will begin to dawn for the practitioners.  All meals will be done in Oryoki style in order to maintain the shamatha-vipashyana aroused through sitting across the period of eating.  Oryoki is the monastic style of eating.  The form is from the Zen tradition and the chants from the Tibetan tradition.  The chants have been translated into Hungarian.  Eating all meals this way makes a substantial difference to the development of mindfulness and alertness through the retreat.  The retreat will be done in silence, again to assist the development of mindfulness and alertness.

The Teacher
Lama Tony Duff is fully trained in this practice at all levels and has not only been authorized but has also been encouraged to teach by all of his teachers.  He was one of the main figures in the development of Oryoki in the early 1980's, in Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's community.  He received extensive teachings on it from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and taught its practice at many seminaries, dathuns, and other practice venues.

The Teachings
The teachings will be in English with Hungarian translation.

Cost and registration
Price of a 21 day retreat: €1250 which will cover the cost of food and shared room accommodation, and the teachings.  Payment is available in installments.  The number of places available is limited, so it is a good idea to book as soon as you can.  Registration will only be accepted by e-mail.  If the retreat is full, you will be placed on a waiting list and your application will be considered on a space available basis.

A deposit of €500 is required to confirm your booking.  A deposit is requested by March 1, 2019.

Cancellation policy
A cancellation fee will apply to all confirmed registrations.  For cancellations received on or before March 30, 2019, your deposit will be returned minus a €120 cancellation fee.  The cancellation fee will be applied to the Prayer Wheel Project of Sukhavati.  For cancellations received on or after March 31 and also for non-attendance at the retreat, your deposit cannot be refunded.  If you attend the retreat but for some reason decide on your own to leave early, the deposit and balance you have paid cannot be refunded to you.

Sukhavati Retreat Centre provides a special setting with a small Buddhist temple surrounded by 5 acres of orchard gardens and vineyard.  There are several old houses on this area which were rebuilt and redesigned for the retreat center.  The venue is run by The Fourth Noble Truth Foundation.

Júlia Szucs
liaszucs@gmail.com, +36 70 3 130 130

2015 Retreats

The teaching schedule for 2015 has not been finalised.  There is plenty of room for teachings in other places than the ones shown below.  Contact us soon if you are interested in having Lama Tony come and teach.

European Tour Details: June and possibly late in Autumn

June 14th to 21st
Hungary, Tar Retreat Centre—"Ultimate Non-Dual Buddha Nature"

The non-dual buddha nature teachings are similar to Mahamudra and Dzogchen.  The teachings are essential for all Tibetan Buddhist practitioners and especially important for Kagyu and Nyingma followers.  Practitioners from other European countries are warmly invited to come and receive these teachings.  This is a full retreat with teachings starting in the morning and going all the way through to 8pm with breaks for meals, and personal time after lunch.  The days are full with extensive teaching, practice sessions, protector prayers, and so Meals with be done in Oryoki style as taught by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Beatrix Nagy
   e-mail: kagyu.center@gmail.com
   phone: +36-20-6655-622

In the shrineroom at Tar Retreat Centre
June 21st to 28th
Hungary, City Retreat in Budapest—Study and Commentary on the Three and Nine Vehicles

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Beatrix Nagy
   e-mail: kagyu.center@gmail.com
   phone: +36-20-6655-622
  • Monday to Friday teachings and practice will go from 6pm and go until 9pm.
  • Saturday and Sunday teachings and practice will go from 10am until 12am, 2pm until 4pm respectively. The main practice will be sitting meditation with Sending and Taking meditation for the development of bodhichitta.

June 29th to July 5th
Romania, Oradia Kagyu Centre—Explanation of Samantabhadra's Prayer

The teaching will be given in English and Hungarian.  The prayer will be available in English and Hungarian.  These teachings will not be given in Hungary so students from Hungary are warmly invited.

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Ujvarosi Monika
   e-mail: ujvarosimonika@yahoo.com

USA Tour Details: July through September

Teachings and sitting in Ely, Minnesota, and surrounding areas
Lama Tony has specifically been asked to stay in residence for an extended period so that multiple retreats could happen with him and so that an ongoing program of teachings could be presented.  A detailed program is being developed; several teachings and retreats have already been scheduled.  There will be at least three retreats during the period and at least ongoing beginners and advanced classes meeting regularly during weekdays and weekends.  Teaching will, backed by newly translated texts of Longchenpa, focus on the path back to our enlightened condition.  Lama Tony is known for his ability to show the traditional Buddhist teachings in a way that does not lose the tradition but makes it accessible to modern mind.  The teachings will be especially suitable for Kagyu and Nyingma practitioners.

2014 Retreats

Lama Tony did not teach during 2014 but stayed at home in order to translate and publish many needed texts.

2013 Teachings and Retreats

USA Tour Details: April through early May
  • April 11 to 14 - Teachings and sitting in Ely, Minnesota.
    Teaching on knowing the mind, covering the most basic point of all Buddhist teaching which is that mind is king over all.  This will be at the level of general Buddhist teaching.
  • May 1 to 3 - Teachings at the Institute for Consciousness Studies, Santa Barbara, California.  Teaching will be on the Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels.  There will also be a meeting with the graduate students.

European Tour Details: July through September

July 14
Hungary, Tar Retreat Centre—Open day at the centre to celebrate the birthday of the Dalai Lama with public talk by Lama Tony

Each year hundreds of people come to this festival.  This year Lama Tony will give a public address for the assembly.

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Beatrix Nagy
   e-mail: kagyu.center@gmail.com
   phone: +36-20-6655-622

July 15 to 21
Hungary, Tar Retreat Centre—Karmapa III Rangjung Dorje's Prayer of Mahamudra

Rangjung Dorje's prayer is one of the most famous prayers in the Kagyu tradition and a complete and profound exposition of Mahamudra.  Lama Tony received the entire teaching on the prayer from Beru Khyentse Rinpoche.  The prayer has been translated into English a number of times and a Hungarian version is also available.  The teaching will be according to the themes requested by Lama Chophel for his students: the general preliminaries, shamatha, vipashyana, and devotion to the lineage masters.  This text is rarely taught by a Western teacher.  It will be a wonderful opportunity for students to receive this profound teaching from a Western teacher who has the lineage and will teach directly in English.

Tar Retreat center is an excellent place for practising and taking teachings.  Having the blessings of a complete lineage and many dedicated practitioners, it is located in beautiful countryside.

This is a full retreat with teachings starting in the morning and going all the way through to 8pm with breaks for meals, and personal time after lunch.  The days are full with extensive teaching, practice sessions, protector prayers, and so on.

July 22 to 28
City Retreat in Budapest, Hungary—Study and Commentary on Maitreya's Prayer

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Beatrix Nagy
   e-mail: kagyu.center@gmail.com
   phone: +36-20-6655-622

Lama Tony will be returning to Karmapa House in Budapest to give a commentary on a very important prayer recited daily by Mahayana followers the world over.  Here is some more information about the prayer:

The Prayer of Maitreya, found in the forty-first chapter of the Ratnakuta Great Vehicle Sutra, is one of the five great prayers of the Great Vehicle tradition and, after Samantabhadra’s Prayer, one of the most popular prayers for all followers of that tradition.  Many think that the prayer was made by Maitreya, the great bodhisattva disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha.  However, it was not—it was made by a former incarnation of Maitreya many aeons before Maitreya himself appeared.  The Buddha recalled the prayer with his omniscience in order to show the difference between his own approach to enlightenment and the approach taken by Maitreya.

This retreat will be in the style of what we have coined "a city retreat": Monday to Friday teachings and practice will go from 6pm and go until 9pm.
Saturday and Sunday teachings and practice will go from 10am until 12am, 2pm until 4pm respectively.
The main practice will be Sending and Taking meditation for the development of maitri, meaning loving kindness.

Jul 29 to Aug 11
Dharma Gate College, Budapest, A Short Hinayana and Mahayana Seminary

For registration and further information,contact:
   College Web-site
   name: Laura
   e-mail: laura@tkbf.hu
   phone: +36 20 425 4107

Chogyam Trungpa

After spending many years as a monk in Australia, Lama Tony traveled to the USA where he took teachings from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, eventually becoming one of his senior students.  Lama Tony was able to attend five of the Vidyadhara's fabled seminaries.  The Vidyadhara felt that seminary was one of his greatest innovations and was very clear that the tradition of seminary should be continued on after his passing.  Seminary as Trungpa Rinpoche had taught it has disappeared at this time.  Having attended five seminaries, Lama Tony learned Rinpoche's innovative system thoroughly.  Lama Tony is very pleased to revive this system that Trungpa Rinpoche himself particularly wanted to continue on.

The value of this cannot overemphasized.  This style of teaching gives a complete theoretical and practical basis for correctly treading the Buddhist path. It will be of special value to those many people who have heard a little Buddhist teaching, perhaps from a visiting Tibetan teacher, but who have not gained a proper basis in the teaching and are now confused about the way to proceed.  This seminary, because of the special way that it is presented, has the power to fill in the gaps of knowledge both theoretical and practical that many Western Buddhists have been burdened with.

The seminary will be held at the Dharma Gate Buddhist college in Budapest.  Dharma Gate is the one of the few Buddhist Universities in the world that is fully accredited up to the Ph.D. level.  Students currently studying at a Western university will be able to get academic credit for the course.

August 13th
Beru Khyentse Rinpoche's Centre, Budapest—One evening of dharma teaching

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Arniko Gyoriei
   phone: +36 20 425 4107
Everyone is welcome.  Lama Tony will give a practical talk on the Buddhist way in the style of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

August 22nd
Public Talk in Vienna, Introductory talk for the weekend of teachings following on the theme of "What is the Buddha's actual teaching?"

August 23rd to August 26th inclusive
Retreat at Gutenstein retreat centre, near Vienna

For registration and further information,contact:
   name: Sylvester
   e-mail: info@maitreya.at
The retreat will begin with three days of teaching on essence Mahamudra, based on Gampopa's teachings given to his main disciples, Dusum Khyenpa, Phagmo Drupa, and others.  A book with complete translations of the teachings is available through Padma Karpo Translation Committee under the title "Gampopa Teaches Essence Mahamudra.

The fourth day, Monday, will be spent exploring the question of what the teaching of Dzogchen actually is and is not.  This retreat will be a most unusual opportunity.  In it, Lama Tony will teach a synthesis of all the non-dual teachings of the Buddha starting with the sutra teachings of the second and third wheel, and moving on through Mahamudra and Dzogchen.  The retreat will emphasize practice as the container for receiving these teachings.  Lama Tony is one of the few Westerners who has such a significant amount of instruction that he is able to show all of the levels of non-dual practice, showing their similarities and differences.

2012 Retreats

June 16 to 24
Retreat, called "Taking a Safe Direction"

This retreat was based on the Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels with a theme of setting a dependable basis for all levels of practice including Dzogpachenpo.  The sutra focusses on the good qualities of the Three Jewels and these will be taught in relation to the Buddhist journey at all stages, including at the level of Dzogpachenpo.  The text will be taught as Lama Tony heard it taught in person by the incomparable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  This will be a practice retreat with meditation instruction and assistance provided.

This retreat has now completed.  In the words of the organizer Dan Noltensmeier,
"Lama Tony has a unique ability to present the Buddhist teaching.  His integrity, commitment to the students, devotion to the teaching and his teachers, and years of practice combined with deep knowledge of the profound aspects of the teaching are clearly evident"

Month of July, 2012
Lama Tony will be in Halifax, Canada, teaching Dzogchen to selected senior students of the vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and receiving teachings himself.

Month of August, 2012
August 1st and 2nd
Budapest and Tar, Hungary,Karma Ratna Dargye Ling
Heart Sutra, 1st of August 10 am-12 pm (break-lunch) and 2-4 pm in Budapest, at Karmapa House.  Sutra of the Three Heaps, 2nd August, 10 am-12 pm (break-lunch) and 2-4 pm in Tar at Tara Temple.

August 3rd
Budapest, Hungary at Beru Khyentse Rinpoche's Centre
One day of dharma teaching.

Month of September, 2012
September 4th to 10th
Buddhist College of Budapest, "The Buddhist Journey and the Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels"

This will be a practical course featuring meditation and meditation instruction combined with teachings on the Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels.  Lama Tony will pass on teachings on the sutra that he personally heard from the incomparable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who taught it to his students as a basis for the Buddhist journey.

The aim of the course is to create an atmosphere of meditation in which the extraordinary good qualities of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha can be understood as good qualities that can permeate one's own life.  One of the automatic effects of hearing of these amazing good qualities is the appearance of faith and this effortlessly leads to a very personal connection with the Buddha, his teachings, and the global community of people who follow them.

The text of the sutra with three commentaries is available in a book called Unending Auspiciousness recently published by Lama Tony.  Participants should purchase it if they speak English.  It can be obtained at a discount through this link.

Contact: use the contact link on the menu to request information.  We will write back immediately.

Month of October, 2012
Lama Tony will be the senior Western translator at a one month course for translators at KIBI in Delhi, India.  He will be translating the first week's teachings ("Sanskrit to Tibetan translation methods") from Tibetan into English then teaching the second week's section called "Tibetan to English translation methods".  He will be available privately during the earlier part of the course.  The course will accomodate up to one hundred translators; see the KIBI web-site for details.