Spiritual programme

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Bodhicitta Retreat – With Geshe Dorji Damdul
From Monday, 26. October 2020
To Sunday, 1. November 2020
Location : Main Gompa

Every year Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director of Tibet House in New Delhi, and one of the official translators for His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, comes to Root Institute to lead his signature Bodhichitta Retreat. Geshe-la has a highly energetic and engaging teaching style that covers the more complex topics of emptiness, tenets, relative and ultimate reality, and bodhichitta. 

Geshe Damdul is an eminent scholar, illustrious teacher, author and pioneer in the renaissance of the Nalanda Buddhist Philosophy. He has written several important papers for National and International Conferences. He is widely known for his inimitable proficiency and interest in science and Buddhism alike. He is praised for his eloquent, insightful and powerful teaching style.

This retreat is extremely popular among all students – beginners, intermediate and long-term practitioners. If you consider yourself a beginner, we suggest prior reading and preparation; these Lam Rim guided meditations – PDF – by Ven. Thubten Chodron would serve as a helpful resource.

The retreat will include:

  • maintaining silence daily from 8:30 pm through to breakfast next day
  • teachings, practices and meditations guided by Geshe-la
  • discussion groups
  • Geshe-la conferring the aspiring bodhisattva vows at the Mahabodhi Stupa (schedule TBA)
  • Geshe-la leading a pilgrimage to Rajgir – Vulture's Peak and Nalanda (schedule TBA).


Mon 26  
2:30 pm

Introduction to the Retreat by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC) 

7:00 pm Orientation session with Geshe Damdul
Tue 27 – Sat 31 Oct  
6:00 am Morning Practice (prostrations and meditations) with Geshe Damdul
7:45 am Breakfast
9:00 am Teachings with Geshe Damdul
10:30 am Tea break and group discussion
11:30 am Teachings with Geshe Damdul
12:30 pm Lunch
2:30 pm Teachings with Geshe Damdul
4:00 pm Tea break and group discussion
5:00 pm Sitting meditation & dedication prayers
6:00 pm Supper
7:00–8:30 pm Group discussion (optional)
Sun 1 Nov  
6:00 am Morning practice (prostrations and meditations) with Geshe Damdul
7:45 am Breakfast
9:00 am Last teachings with Geshe Damdul
12:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Tour of Root Institute's social service projects


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 and, due to our commitment to following His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice and supporting his work, we do not share our materials and facilities with those who knowingly continue to practice Shugden against his advice.