Spiritual programme

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Tibetan New Year Retreat – Wth Ven. Tenzin Namjong
From Sunday, 23. February 2020
To Thursday, 27. February 2020
Location : Small Gompa
Statue of the Founder, Shakyamuni Buddha
Founder Shakyamuni Buddha

In Tibetan Buddhism, there are a few days on the calendar that are multiplying merit (positive potential) days: powerful days to engage in practice. The Tibetan New Year on the lunar calendar which in 2020 falls on 24 February, and the following 15 days, called the Days of Miracles (commemorating days when the historical Buddha displayed miracles) are some of those very conducive days in the year to purify negativities and create merit, which are the two main causes for success in our spiritual path.

This retreat will combine specific practices done during Losar, Tibetan New Year, like offering lights and robes to the Buddha statue at the Mahabodhi Stupa and teachings of the Heart Sutra with Ven Namjong. The Heart Sutra is part of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, the profound vehicle that clarifies the philosophical view of emptiness.

The idea of this special retreat is to set in an extremely altruistic and profound way, our motivations, goals and aspirations for our practice and our lives for the next year and to use this special time in the most meaningful way.

This course will include:

  • regular visits to the Mahabodhi Stupa
  • daily recitations of the Heart Sutra, with teachings and explanations
  • light offerings and robe offerings to the Buddha statue at Mahabodhi.


On 21 February, before this course starts, Ven. Namjong will lead a pilgrimage to Rajgir – to Vulture's Peak, where the Buddha taught the famed Perfect of Wisdom Sutras, the Heart Sutra, and other great teachings, and also to the ruins of the great Nalanda University. The pilgrimage is optional, though highly recommended. The suggested donation for this pilgrimage is separate from the course and it will be confirmed closer to the dates as it will vary depending on numbers.

When applying for this course, please do also select the pilgrimage on the "express interest" form if you wish to come.


Sun 23 Feb
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Introduction to course by Ven. Namjong
Mon 24 – Wed 26 Feb   
6:45 am Tibetan New Year practices and activities – to be confirmed
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Teachings with Ven. Namjong
11:30 am Break
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Teachings with Ven. Namjong
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Tibetan New Year practices and activities – to be confirmed
Thur 27 Feb
6:45 am Tibetan New Year practices and activities – to be confirmed
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Teachings with Ven Namjong
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Visit to social projects
12:00 noon Group lunch
2:00 pm Film screening and talk by RI Generosity Officer 

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.