Institute for Essential Psychotherapy

A Path to Awakening and Healing




DR. MED. TILMANN BORGHARDT  (Lama Tilmann Lhündrup)

Meditation teacher of the Tibetan Buddhist and Theravada traditions. Co-founder and deputy director of the Institute for Essential Psychotherapy in Freiburg, Germany.

Tilmann founded his meditation practice in 1978. In 1981 he met the Tibetan teacher Gendun Rinpoche, who became a big source of inspiration to him. Shortly after, Tilmann started his daily meditation practice in the Burmese Vipassana tradition.

In 1984 Tilmann began practicing the Tibetan Kagyu tradition. In 1986 he completed his training in medicine and homeopathy. After this he spend 3,5 years in forest meditation under the guidance of Gendun Rinpoche.

From 1990-1994 Tilmann returned to meditation retreat in the Karma Kagyu monastery Dhagpo Kündröl Ling. The 11 subsequent years, Tilmann was in charge of the three-year retreats in the monastery in France. In the same period, he was also involved in the Dharma house Croizet (Guépel Ling) in France. The house serves as a meeting place for people interested in the Dharma. Altogether, Tilmann has spend 10 years in meditation in closed monastery retreats.

Since 2011 Tilmann has been responsible for the spiritual part of the training at the Institute for Essential Psychotherapy in Germany. In addition to this, he leads meditation courses in e.g. France, Germany, Greece and Brazil. He also leads individual and group retreats, trains Dharma teachers and translates and publishes Buddhists texts.

Read more about Tilmann here:




Trained psychotherapist specialized in behavioral psychotherapy. Since 1997 he has worked from his practice in Bonn, Germany, and counts more than 45.000 psychotherapeutic sessions.

Wolfgang is head and owner of the Institute for Essential Psychotherapy in Freiburg, Germany.

Together with Tilmann, Wolfgang has written the book “Buddhist Psychology”, which is a textbook in the three-year training Essential Psychotherapy. A Danish translation of the book is currently in progress.

Wolfgang is experienced within Buddhist meditation an has since 1981 primarily practiced the Karma Kagyu tradition. In addition to this, he practices ZEN and KUM NYE.

Read more about Wolfgang here:

Gelek  Dirk Frettlöh


Dirk Frettlöh (Lama Gelek)

Dirk Frettlöh was born in 1971 in Aachen, Germany. He studied German and Sports Science in Cologne for rehabilitation purposes, and Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan language in France, India and Nepal.

He spent many years in the Dhagpo Kundreul Ling monastery in Auvergne in France, where he completed 2 three-year retreats.

Dirk Frettlöh has more than 20 years of experience with meditation, and since 2006 he has taught in Brazil and Germany.

Since 2008 he has resided in Brazil, where he teaches Dharma and Buddhist mind training in Essential Therapy in courses and retreats.

Finally, he has a therapeutic training in Somatic Experiencing according to Peter Levine and following, he has organized courses in Somatic Experiencing and Integral Somatic Psychology.   


Gendun rinpoche


Lama Gendun Rinpoche

Gendun Rinpoche was Tilmann Borghardts teacher through more than 11 years. He was one of the last great masters of the old generation of Tibetan lamas. He spent most of his life in closed retreats in Tibet and India.

Gendun Rinpoche was bon in Tibet in 1918. His spiritual journey began in his younger years, where he met the 16th Karmapa for the first time. He has great personal experience with everything he has taught, among other things from cave retreats and several years’ meditation in solitude. It is said that he has reached full awakening as one of the few people in this one life.

The Karmapa said that Gendun Rinpoche was the right person to disseminate Dharma in the West. On the Karmapa’s request, and with his blessing, Gendun Rinpoche travelled to France with the mission to promote an openness towards Buddhism in Europe – to help the world understand and handle emotions. The Karmapa thought this was urgently necessary to avoid great suffering.

Lama Gendun Rinpoche founded a temple, two monasteries (for men and women respectively) and 10 retreat centers. Furthermore, he established the Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, a big retreat center for courses and teaching which houses a library with many textbooks, many of which Gendun Rinpoche is author.

For many years, Gendun Rinpoche’s students have been able to experience his authentic and honest nature. His knowledge about Dharma has been deeply established in Europe, and after his death, his words and wisdom continue to exist in his students. He is described as a man full of true joy and love.

”The Great Peacock”​

is about the peacock which can convert what is poisonous for other animals to beautiful green-blue feathers


The beautiful moral of the text is that if we can learn the ways of the peacock, we will no longer be afraid of mental toxicants, because we will know how to handle them and discover and benefit from their inherent values. When we are aware of this, we will be able to leave the poisonous aspect of the affection.

Tilmann and Wolfgang are the authors of the book:
Buddhistische Psychologie: Grundlagen und Praxis” which is based on the text ”The Great Peacock

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