Spiritual programme

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Buddhism & Yoga – Level 1 – With Ven. Lobsang Namgyel and Annie McGhee
From Monday, 12. November 2018
To Friday, 16. November 2018
Location : Main gompa

A new beginning for body and mind

This is a special course, that will combine the foundational aspects and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism led by Venerable Lobsang Namgyel, and the basics of Yoga led by Annie McGhee. It's an ideal course for those who would like to strengthen, develop and open their bodies and minds.

Retreat leaders

Ven. Namgyel is a Western senior monk, with an array of life experiences and a unique, friendly and humorous style which makes students feel comfortable from the start. His western view of Buddhism allows students to understand the Buddhist philosophy in a very experiential manner.

Annie resides in Australia, is a fully qualified and accredited yoga teacher, has been practicing yoga for over five decades and teaching for more than twenty-five years. She is experienced in numerous styles of yoga that are influenced by her Tibetan Buddhist practice.

Course content

For his presentation of the basics of Tibetan Buddhism, Venerable Namgyel will be following the Lam-Rim. The lam-rim contains all the teaching of the Buddha, which allows one to transform and tame own's mind. Tibetan Buddhism offers an array of points of view and ways to make the most of this very precious life. This philosophy uses logic and reasoning, and incorporates the understanding of the law of cause and effect, reincarnation, how to develop and good heart and focused mind.

The yoga will offer a perfect counterbalance of dropping into stillness of "being" rather than "doing". This type of yoga allows the observation of moment-to-moment awareness discovering a sense of openness and acceptance. 


This retreat serves as either an introduction to Buddhism or as a complementary course for those who have already attended an introductory course and would like to deepen their knowledge of Buddhism and Yoga. The retreat will include mindfulness meditations, Buddhist philosophy classes, Yoga practices, group discussions and optional pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa. For students that would like to deepen their practice we suggest them attending the next course: Level 2- Advanced.

Teachings are presented from an experiential point of view.

This course will include full days in silence.


Mon 12 Nov  
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm First session with Venerable Namgyel
Tue 13 – Thu 15 Nov  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:45 am Yoga session
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Session with Venerable Namgyel
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion group
3:00 pm Break
3:15 pm Yoga session
4:00 pm Break
4:30 pm Session with Venerable Namgyel 
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Fri 16 Nov  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:45 am Yoda session
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Last session with Venerable Namgyel 
12:00 noon Big Love Lunch
2:00 pm Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi temple (optional)


Note: This schedule is subject to change.


Express interest & find out more

General information about the spiritual programme

Our spiritual programme now runs from mid-September to mid-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 events except:

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

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.