Helping people to live with boundless awareness, compassion, and wisdom

aka Tergar Meditation Community   |   Minneapolis, MN   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 26-4735078


Tergar Meditation Community supports individuals, practice groups, and meditation communities around the world in learning to live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of our guiding teacher Mingyur Rinpoche, our online and in-person programs are accessible to people of all cultures and faiths and support a lifelong path toward the application of these principles in everyday life.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Cortland Dahl Ph.D.

Main address

1621 E Hennepin Ave, Suite 210

Minneapolis, MN 55414 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Rime Foundation



Subject area info



Community and economic development


Population served info



NTEE code info

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The rise of mental psychological challenges like anxiety and depression has reached epidemic levels in recent years, with nearly 40% of US adults reporting struggling with mental health and substance abuse in 2020. It is also estimated that 75% of all lifetime mental health difficulties emerge by the age of 25 years old. Poor mental health can cause significant disability, and for young people, it is associated with an increased risk of antisocial behavior, substance misuse, unemployment, and suicide. Growing economic inequality, social justice issues, climate change, and the COVID pandemic have added further stress and uncertainty to our individual and collective lives, elevating mental health to a major public health crisis. Related to these, another critical aspect of the problem is lack of access to mental health support due to financial barriers, lack of awareness, discrimination, shortage of skilled support, and inability to seek professional help due to social stigma/shame.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Joy of Living

The Joy of Living is a three-stage path of meditation training through which we learn how to calm the mind, open the heart, and develop wisdom. Though rooted in the spiritual tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the meditation practices that are taught in the Joy of Living work with basic functions of the heart and mind, such as mindful awareness and loving-kindness and compassion. These teachings can be practiced by people of all faiths and belief systems.

Population(s) Served

The Path of Liberation is an experiential path of meditation for those who wish to practice the Buddhist teachings under the guidance of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. They build on the foundational teachings of the Joy of Living and encompass essential practices of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. The Path of Liberation presents a series of meditation techniques designed to strip away the causes of suffering and uncover the radiant awareness that underlies all experience.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of dollars received per donor

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

By tracking average number of dollars received per donor, we can evaluate how well we are meeting donors' expectations, and how efficient our fundraising efforts are.

Number of donors retained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Donor retention information helps us measure how well we are meeting donor expectations of impact, and the relevance of our activities to the community.

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

We track number of new donors as a measure of how relevant our programs are to people and communities, and how well we are doing in strengthening relations with members of the community.

Total number of periodical subscribers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This metric tracks the number of people subscribing to our online learning courses, Joy of Living and Vajrayana Online.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The Tergar Community holds regular meditation groups that provide a thorough course of training in the fundamentals of meditation practice. Based on Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s two books.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This metric tracks the total registration for Tergar events and programs during the calendar year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Tergar helps people to strengthen their mental health and realize their potential for well-being by offering step-by-step training in meditation. Through online and local events, online courses, expert guidance, and a global community of meditators, we teach people how to meditate and support them on their journey. These offerings teach both secular and Buddhist meditators practical skills to deal with challenging emotions and to live with more awareness, compassion, and wisdom.

Our core purpose is to help people live with boundless awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Our primary 5-year goal is to have 100,000 people complete our new Joy of Living Essence program, which serves as a launching point for our offerings.

Although there are many programs and products targeting the new, casual meditator, comparatively few target new meditators who are more highly motivated and those that are more experienced, and who are looking for ways to deepen their practice. Tergar is perfectly positioned to serve these groups of meditators, who are likely to be a large and growing segment of the overall market. Such meditators are likely to seek expert, ongoing guidance, a clear path to follow, and a community of like-minded meditators.

We also intend to focus on self-discovery and self-actualization as the core of our identity and offerings, instead of focusing solely on problems like sleep and anxiety. This enables us to stand out from the many existing meditation programs and products, most of which focus on the negative without painting a positive picture of human growth and potential.

Our efforts will reach this audience through a variety of channels, including social media, influencers, and through our many local communities around the world. We will focus on speaking to the problems of the modern world, but focusing on our positive potential for growth and self-discovery, rather than over-emphasizing the problems we all face.

Our outreach to the wider audience of new, motivated meditators and more experienced meditators who wish to deepen their practice will focus on helping them connect to a path of transformative meditation practice that is rooted in a positive vision of human potential.

The greatest strength of Tergar International is our guiding teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and our international staff of committed employees and volunteers. Rinpoche provides the highest quality instructional materials and guidance for reaching the broadest group of people who can benefit from the teachings. His gifted ability as a teacher and his popular books ensure that Tergar is continually introduced to new audiences. We have a strong team of seasoned and dedicated instructors and staff, each of whom are experts in the field in which they work. Our executive director, Cortland Dahl, is also a researcher at the Center for Healthy Minds, strengthening Tergar's ties with the scientific community who are investigating the benefits of meditation. We have a dedicated group of volunteers offering services such as translation and subtitling, a global network of community leadership volunteers holding group meetings at the grassroots level, and a generous and committed donor base.

We offer an engaging secular path of self-discovery, rooted in ancient practices, that appeals to a wide audience, from beginners to experienced meditators. Our programs are direct to those who seek guidance in developing a lifelong meditation practice.

Tergar International supports regular meditation programs in approximately one hundred cities around the world, offers a growing number of online courses, and has served over 100,000 people in various retreats and live events.

We have a large amount of high-quality content and a team that is very experienced in creating online courses. We are already recognized as a leader in the Buddhist world for the depth and breadth of our online courses and events.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Anyone can learn to meditate and Tergar aims to support everyone who wishes to try. Our audience is very wide and ranges from people trying a one-off class to those who have committed years to the practice, study, and teaching of meditation. We serve the general public who may freely access talks and guided meditations with Mingyur Rinpoche and our instructors on Youtube, join an "Introduction to Meditation" session at any of our volunteer-led practice groups or online, or sign up for any of our online courses or events. We serve community members who join courses, programs, or groups on an ongoing basis. We serve community volunteers who run groups, events, and programs at the local level.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently embarked on a large-scale community consultation process. Community volunteers representing different segments of our community systematically accessed our community structure and made suggestions for the growth and development of our community to our board, and our whole community via a town hall meeting. These suggestions are now being incorporated into our community and organization development plan. We added simultaneous translation to online streamed teachings. We created an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access working group to focus on issues of inclusion and diversity in response to community feedback. We made videos of live teaching sessions available for two months after the end of a program due to students' requests to be able to review the information.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2020 Tergar International 2019 Tergar International 2018 Tergar International 2017 Tergar17-Audit Report Final.pdf
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.75 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4.5 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 22% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of TERGAR INTERNATIONAL’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$28,516 $350,715 $277,595 $858,942 $1,097,639
As % of expenses -1.5% 17.3% 11.3% 37.9% 36.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$60,474 $328,996 $225,123 $766,012 $950,639
As % of expenses -3.1% 16.0% 9.0% 32.4% 30.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,887,143 $2,428,398 $2,728,026 $3,120,164 $4,053,588
Total revenue, % change over prior year -3.7% 28.7% 12.3% 14.4% 29.9%
Program services revenue 60.7% 59.8% 69.5% 58.6% 72.8%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 38.0% 38.9% 30.1% 41.3% 27.1%
Other revenue 1.2% 1.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,930,659 $2,032,681 $2,455,433 $2,268,222 $2,998,949
Total expenses, % change over prior year 12.8% 5.3% 20.8% -7.6% 32.2%
Personnel 35.1% 33.3% 32.1% 38.1% 35.4%
Professional fees 12.8% 20.8% 15.4% 24.7% 32.9%
Occupancy 6.9% 6.9% 6.3% 6.0% 4.8%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 5.3% 0.3% 2.4% 1.2% 8.2%
All other expenses 39.8% 38.7% 43.7% 30.1% 18.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,962,617 $2,054,400 $2,507,905 $2,361,152 $3,145,949
One month of savings $160,888 $169,390 $204,619 $189,019 $249,912
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $121,387 $209,381 $197,045 $292,443
Total full costs (estimated) $2,123,505 $2,345,177 $2,921,905 $2,747,216 $3,688,304

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 3.2 4.7 3.4 8.1 9.3
Months of cash and investments 3.2 4.7 3.4 8.1 9.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.9 4.1 3.7 7.5 8.9
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $514,476 $798,577 $700,487 $1,523,414 $2,316,817
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $11,172 $19,485 $73,402 $52,000 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $242,615 $341,943 $537,168 $648,480 $938,606
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 81.0% 57.4% 43.7% 37.3% 41.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 20.1% 9.4% 7.5% 10.3% 7.2%
Unrestricted net assets $511,663 $840,659 $1,065,782 $1,831,794 $2,782,433
Temporarily restricted net assets $10,000 $55,002 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $10,000 $55,002 $50,000 $43,000 $0
Total net assets $521,663 $895,661 $1,115,782 $1,874,794 $2,782,433

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Cortland Dahl Ph.D.

Cortland is a scientist, translator, and meditation teacher who offers workshops and leads retreats around the world. He has practiced meditation for nearly three decades and has spent time on retreat in monasteries and retreat centers throughout Japan, Burma, and India, including eight years in Tibetan refugee settlements in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has a Ph.D. in Mind, Brain, and Contemplative Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was mentored by renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson. He also holds a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from Naropa University. In addition to his work as an Instructor for the Tergar community and Executive Director of Tergar International, Cortland serves as Research Scientist and Chief Contemplative Officer at UW-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds and the center’s affiliated non-profit, Healthy Minds Innovations.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 11/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Rasmus Hougaard

The Potential Project

Term: 2009 -

Isboset Amador

Tergar Puebla

Annie Rosen

Hologram, Inc

Antonia Sumbundu

Tergar Copenhagen

Eliza Cheung

Tergar Asia

Khaldoun Shehadeh

Quantum Collective

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Tergar Monastery

Ebiojo Atawodi


Sybelle da Costa Oliveira Ban

Sotreq S.A.

Cortland Dahl

Center for Healthy Minds

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/2/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/02/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.