About Us

Based upon our unparalleled record of retreat instruction and practice, Diamond Mountain Retreat Center, wholeheartedly welcomes everyone—users of the ancient methods for attaining deeper spiritual realization—and modern secular seekers after a happier, more balanced life.

We believe in retreat as a way to help all people achieve their personal, spiritual, and professional goals.
We practice and live the Buddhist tradition of Je Tsongkapa (who lived 1357-1419).  The center was founded 19 years ago by Americans who were trained in this tradition by Khen Rinpoche, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin (1921-2004).

It was incorporated in the state of Arizona as a Buddhist religious non-profit organization in 2001.

Diamond Mountain offers unparalleled conditions for retreats of all types. Our 27 private retreat houses, spread over 1,000 acres, offer the highest level of comfort and a joyful connection to the rhythms of nature around you. Enjoy walking paths and spectacular night skies filled with stars.  Located in the pristine desert mountains of Arizona, an hour from the nearest grocery store, Diamond Mountain Retreat Center offers a space designed to support you on your journey of self-discovery.

Guided by Buddhist values that hold kindness, service and contemplative wisdom in the highest regard, our vision is to provide you with all the conditions necessary to nurture your inner growth for a happier life, regardless of your belief system or religion.

Diamond Mountain retreat houses are available for a solo retreat or group rentals. Retreaters are supported by a team of knowledgeable, experienced meditators. Our staff care for our guests in every aspect of their retreat experience, from guidance on how to prepare for your retreat to meditation instruction once you’ve arrived.

We host a variety of retreat programs throughout the year.  Between these programs, we also offer meditation, Buddhist and yoga classes and offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for those who want to immerse themselves in a spiritual lifestyle. All our houses are equipped with WIFI and supervised 24 hours for maximum safety.  See our calendar for upcoming events. We look forward to meeting you!

Our Story

Less than 150 years ago, where Diamond Mountain currently stands was the Wild West with pioneers regularly passing through searching for riches, adventure and the chance for a better life.

At the turn of the millennium, in 2002, a modern group of pioneers came to the site of the current Diamond Mountain searching for treasures of a different kind.  They were looking for the inner treasures of a clear, disciplined mind and an open heart. They yearned for the adventure of self-realization and self-perfection, of uncovering their greatest potential for compassion and wisdom that will make their life complete.

Their dream was to give anyone who sought a balanced, meaningful life the opportunity to explore their possibilities in the ideal setting, with all the guidance they need. And so the founders of Diamond Mountain created a place both comfortable and peaceful, remote but accessible, where people from all walks of life can be fully supported in their quest for insight.

Now, after 15 years of dedicated efforts guided by the wisdom of ancient texts and realized teachers, thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars invested, the initial vision has been actualized. Today, Diamond Mountain is among the best retreat facilities in the country, offering world-class accommodations, top-notch facilities and highly professional staff with options for every budget.

Thousands of people have already transformed their lives at Diamond Mountain. We welcome you to join them and make Diamond Mountain a part of your life-changing story.

Our Lineage

Geshe Michael Roach (b. 1952)

Geshe Michael Roach grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was an honors student with an interest in religion and social issues.  He was awarded a scholarship to Princeton University and after graduation, he went to study and live at Rashi Gempil Ling, with Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. In 1995 he completed his studies with Khen Rinpoche and at Sera Monastery in India and became the first American to be awarded the Geshe degree. While completing this work, he also developed and taught the seven-year Formal Study Program, which parallels the same core information taught at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery. That original program of 18 courses captures the essence of the six Great Books of Buddhism, as a means to train the next generations of western Buddhist teachers. Asian Classics Institute (ACI) began with the mission to provide the recordings online, live teachings and by correspondence for anyone who would like to pursue these studies.

After years of teaching the 18 ACI courses in New York, Geshe Michael completed 3 years of deep retreat with a handful of his closest students.  After the retreat, Geshe Michael, along with his students, purchased the land upon which Diamond Mountain was to be built with the vision of creating a world-class retreat center and making retreat a common practice in the west.

Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin (1921 – 2004)

Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin was born in Lhasa, Tibet, and he entered Sera Monastery there at an early age. He successfully completed the rigorous 25-year program studying under great teachers directly in the lineage of Je Tsongkapa. After his final public examination by the best scholars of the day, Rinpoche was awarded the highest degree of Hlarampa Geshe (doctor of philosophy), and he graduated with the highest honors in his class of 10,000 monks.

Khen Rinpoche came to the United States in 1972 and became Abbot of Rashi Gempil Ling Temple in New Jersey. After going to South India in 1991 and serving as Abbot of Sera Mey monastery for some time, he returned to the United States. Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin was a lifetime director and an abbot emeritus of Sera Mey monastery, as well as the founder of the Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center, which has branches in New Jersey and Washington, DC. He was also the spiritual director of the Asian Classics Institute and the Asian Classics Input Project (ACIP).

Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419)

Je Tsongkapa, also known as Je Rinpoche Lobsang Drakpa, was perhaps the single greatest commentator in the 2,500-year history of Buddhism. He was born in the district of Tsongka in eastern Tibet and took his first vows at a tender age. As a teenager, he had already mastered much of the teachings of Buddhism and was sent by his tutors to study at the great monastic universities of Central Tibet. Here he studied under the leading Buddhist scholars of his day; it is said as well that he enjoyed mystic visions in which he met and learned from the different forms of the Buddha himself.

The 18 volumes of Tsongkapa’s collected works contain eloquent and incisive commentaries on virtually every major classic of ancient Buddhism, as well as his famous treatises on the “Steps of the Path to Buddhahood.” His students, who included the first Dalai Lama of Tibet, contributed hundreds of their own expositions of Buddhist philosophy and practice.  All of the teachings in the ACI archives are derived directly or indirectly from his writings and those of his students.