Thu 08/06/2023 - Sun 18/06/2023


Subject for returning students: Citipati, the Dancing Skeletons

Subjects for new students: Buddha Face + The Buddha or Medicine Buddha

In this wonderful 10-day thangka drawing & painting retreat in Italy you will learn to draw and color or paint a Buddha according to the Tibetan Buddhist thangka tradition. The course is suitable for everyone, from beginners (even without any drawing experience!) to advanced:

New Thangka Students:
-Will first learn the basics and draw the Face of the Buddha. After that you can also choose to draw The Buddha (Buddha Shakyamuni), the Historical Buddha of our time, or the Medicine Buddha, the Buddha of Healing Note that it may be easier to stick to coloured pencil techniques for a while before moving on to painting as the thangka painting techniques take a long time to master, and painting a thangka can easily take a year or more. During the retreat you may want to draw your Buddhas and paint a few small symbols to see if the painting is something for you.

Thangka Students who have joined Carmen’s courses before:
– Can go for Citipati, the Dancing Skeletons and/or may also choose to finish their other artwork during this retreat

Citipati and Impermanence
The Citipati are also called ‘Lady and Lord of the Charnel Grounds’. They are the main Dharma protectors associated with the tantric systems of Vajrayogini.

The charnel grounds were terrifying places far from the city, where corpses were cremated. But more often the bodies were ripped apart and eaten by the wild animals that hung around, such as the vultures. It was littered with human flesh, bones and blood… Usually no one came, except for a few courageous yogis who did their tantric practices and – especially at night – meditated on the impermanence of all phenomena.
The Skeletons dance around happily and wildly – with their limbs entwined – and are surrounded by a halo of flames.

They remind us of the constant change and impermanence of life.
And it is precisely because of this that they make us aware of the precious life (and body) we have, and inspire us to use it in a meaningful way and not to waste it.

During the retreat, Carmen offers a lot of individual guidance, each student at their own level (and she will bring you to a higher one!).
Carmen will be in touch with each of you before the retreat to note your preferred subject so she can prepare this for you. You will also receive a list with art materials to bring.

The teachings will be offered in clear English. If you don’t understand English, the used texts (meditation/lectures etc.) can be translated in Italian or any other language for you so you can read along. 
If you request this please Contact Carmen about it well ahead.

This retreat offers you a complete experience: besides the art sessions you will start each morning with a (guided) meditation and will learn all about the subjects and their iconography/symbolism through lectures. There will also be a movie night, and there will also be sufficient time to go for hikes, explore the surroundings, go to the Garda Lake, walk to the nearby village etc.
This retreat will offer you so much more than just the drawing/painting part. Thangka drawing is a meditation in itself and creates joy and inner peace that you will definitely experience.

More benefits:

  • In this 10-day thangka retreat you can really go in-depth
  • Including all nights and delicious (vegetarian) Italian meals, with organic vegetables from own compound, freshly prepared every day with love
  • Meet students from different countries and make new friends
  • The course is set in Kushi Ling, the most beautiful Buddhist Centre in Italy, amidst the mountains and olive trees
  • You sleep in a 2 or 3 persons room (single room cannot be guaranteed, only possible if there are rooms left), or you can bring your own tent and camp anywhere on the premises
  • You will also have time to fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings and make a walk, visit the nearby village to have a drink or taste the best ice cream, or go to the medieval castle on top of the hill
  • Halfway during the retreat there will be an afternoon off that you could use to visit Lake Garda
  • You can fly to Verona or Milan
  • You can travel together with Carmen from Verona, Peschiera or Riva del Garda on the first day
  • Great possibility to combine this retreat with vacation in Italy (e.g. to Lake Garda and Verona that are nearby)

Any questions that are not answered on this page? Contact Carmen

Want to travel together with Carmen and other participants?
In the morning on the first day of the retreat, Carmen and some other students will travel together to Kushi Ling, most probably by taking a bus from Verona to Peschiera (bottom of the lake) where they take the beautiful boat trip (around 9.45 AM) to Riva del Garda (top of the lake), have lunch together, and share a 20min. taxi ride to Kushi Ling.
Around a week before the course Carmen will be in touch with you with the latest details, and ou can let her know if you want to travel together.

Friday June 9, 2023: you can arrive at your own pace during the day and get settled in your room. In the evening we start at 19.00hr / 7pm with a welcome dinner for all participants and get to know each other.
Sunday June 18, 2023: the course ends after lunch (around 14.00hr / 2pm).

If you are unable to join the full retreat you can opt for a half retreat (9-13 June or 14-18 June), but note that this is only possible when you bring your own tent or camper, stay in the meditation room, or stay elsewhere. There is a limited amount of beds in the center that fill up quickly, so they are reserved for the people that stay for the whole retreat.

Course fees:

full course: 375 Euro ( 25 Euros membership fee) / half course:
(+ 15 € Euros annual membership fee for non-members)

Register before:
June 1


If not indicated differently our courses begin on the evening of the first day and end after dinner of the last day.

We ask you to kindly register before the date indicated in the program.

Please send an email or call us to register; your registration will be accepted as soon as we have received the bank transfer of the course fee.

If you have to cancel your registration at a later point in time we will keep 15 € service charge.
If your cancellation arrives only 3 days before the beginning of the course we will have to keep the whole course fee.


Please fill in the form below or call us

You will receive a confirmation email specifying whether there is a place available for you, how much you have to send and the bank details.


I would like to register for this event:
 For the whole duration For half of the course

Annual membership:

 I am already a member I am not yet a member (annual membership fee 15 €)


Accommodation choice:
The number of our rooms is limited; we cannot guarantee that your wishes can be fulfilled.
See costs


Meals choice:


Name and Surname(required):

Email (required):

Phone (required):

Special needs: