Spiritual programme

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Developing a Good Heart – With Geshe Rabga
From Tuesday, 16. January 2018
To Friday, 19. January 2018
Location : Main gompa

This course will be lead by our resident geshe, Geshe Ngawang Rabga, and its focus is to explain the Tibetan Buddhist methodology of training our minds to develop a good heart that abides in loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom and the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

Geshe-la teaches in Tibetan and will be assisted by an English translator.

The course will include teachings, meditations and discussions.

Remember that there is not one living being who wants to receive harm—not even one. Because of this, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, trained his mind in compassion for all living beings and completed this training. This was the main practice accomplished by Buddha. With himself as an example, out of his great compassion, Buddha then advised us to have compassion for all other living beings, and not to harm them.

It is very important to have a generous, compassionate mind. Without a generous mind, a compassionate heart, no matter how wealthy we are, there is no mental peace in our daily life. Our problems become even greater than before we became wealthy. Our mind becomes more dissatisfied, with more worry and fear. We have more enemies and tend to harm others.

If our heart is empty of compassion, no matter how educated we are—even if we know everything taught in all the universities, have every single degree!—again we have the same problem: we have no peace of mind. We have more pride than when we were uneducated and so many more problems. Our life passes full of problems and finishes while we are experiencing big problems, such as disharmony, worry, and fear.

Even if we are a Buddhist and know by heart all the sutra and tantra teachings of Buddha, and all the commentaries written by the pandits, even if we can explain them all well, if our heart is empty of compassion, if we do not have a generous mind towards other living beings in our daily life, there is still no peace of mind. Even extensive, intellectual understanding of Buddhism does not guarantee mind-peace. This can apply to any religion.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche



Tue 16 Jan Welcome to Root Institute
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening Meditation
Wed 17 & Thu 18 Sep  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
10.00am Break
10.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
12.00pm Lunch
2.15pm Discussion groups
3.15pm Break
3.30pm Teachings with Geshe-la
4:30pm Break
6:00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening meditation
Fri 19 Sep  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
10.00am Break
10.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
12:00pm Lunch
2.15pm Discussion groups
3:15pm Break
3.30pm Last teachings with Geshe-la

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.