Spiritual programme

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Thought Transformation Retreat – With Ven. Lobsang Namgyel
From Tuesday, 17. October 2017
To Thursday, 26. October 2017
Location : Main gompa

A ten-day – almost full silence – intermediate retreat with Venerable Lobsang Namgyel.

Thought transformation, Lojong in Tibetan, is a method that implants a set of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that work to dismantle habituated patterns of behaviour, emotionality, and perception. The mind training presented during this retreat will plant the seeds of compassion and nurture its growth into the tree of awakening mind until it blossoms fully into effortless activity that benefit others.

The retreat will include meditation, Buddhist philosophy classes, group discussions and pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa for blessings and inspiration on alternate evening sessions.

This retreat will be based on the text, Eight Verses of Thought Transformation by Geshe Langri Tangpa, and is ideal for those with a Buddhist background. Beginners are welcome too, if you consider yourself a beginner we suggest prior preparation; following these Lam Rim guided meditations – PDF – by Ven. Thubten Chodron will assist you with that.

This retreat will include days of full silence.

Course schedule

Tue 17  
4:00pm Welcome / Introduction to meditation
6:00pm Supper
7:15pm First session with Ven Namgyel
Wed 18 to Wed 25  
6:45am Morning meditation
7:30am Breakfast
9:00am Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
12 noon Lunch
2:00pm Discussion group
3:00pm Break
3:30pm Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
6:00pm Supper
7:15pm Evening meditation /Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa
(alternate days to be announced)
Thu 26  
6:45am Morning meditation
7:30am Breakfast
9:00am Last Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
12 noon Big Love Lunch

Last day finishes with group lunch. Please note: this schedule is subject to change.

Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.

To maintain a conducive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.

  • Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.

Please be aware:

  • * The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.

General information about the spiritual programme

Our spiritual programme now runs from beginning of September through to end of April.

On the appropriate dates in the Tibetan calendar year-round, however, we observe the standard pujas of the Gelug tradition and these are drop-in sessions which anyone can attend. If you are in Bodhgaya and would like to come along, please feel welcome to join us for:

  • Tara puja
  • Medicine Buddha puja
  • Lama Ch'opa ts'og offering
  • Protector puja

Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all spiritual programme events except drop-in sessions, Festival of Lights & Merit, and Mahabodhi Stupa events.

To book your own individual or group retreat, please go to Blessings > Retreat – at Stupa Garden of Compassion, through which you can also book accommodation.