Spiritual programme

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How to Achieve Calm Abiding – With Geshe Rabga
From Sunday, 17. November 2019
To Saturday, 23. November 2019
Location : Main Gompa
Tibetan depiction of the nine stages of development of calm abiding, as obstacles to concentration are overcome by their antidotes
Illustration from the northern outer wall of Root Institute's Main Gompa (click to view larger version)

Calm abiding (Sanskrit: Shamatha; Tibetan: Zhine) is a state of extraordinarily stable, one-pointed concentration. It is cultivated on the bodhisattva's path because, even if one's mind has insight born of the wisdom teachings of the Buddha, without this laser-like focus it will not have sufficient power to overcome one's deep-seated, innate ignorance and fundamentally transform one's mind on the path to enlightenment.

It is said that the deepest cause of the development of calm abiding is the practice of pure ethics.

On that basis, a solitary retreat is called for, in a very quiet place with excellent conditions for practice.

Another vital preparation is to clearly understand the nine stages of development of calm abiding, each with its own obstacles to concentration and specific antidotes, with instructions on how and when to apply them. The aim of this course is to give students such a clear basis of understanding.

This course will be taught by our resident geshe, Geshe Ngawang Rabga, in Tibetan and translated by our experienced English translator.


Sun 17 Nov Welcome to Root Institute
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening Meditation
Mon 18 to Fri 22 Nov (Note: 19 Nov is Lhabab Duchen, a Buddhist holy multiplying day; during this day the schedule will include Buddhist prayers and practices which students are encouraged to join.)
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Geshe-la
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings with Geshe-la
12.00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Meditation
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings with Geshe-la & questions and answers
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Sat 23 Nov  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Geshe-la
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings with Geshe-la
12:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Meditation
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Last Teachings with Geshe-la


Please note: This schedule is subject to change.

General information about the spiritual programme

The span of our spiritual programme is approximately six months – the last few months of one year and the early months of the next – during the cooler season in Bodhgaya..

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
  • Guru Puja with Tsog
  • Protector Puja.

Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all events except:

If you wish to do a self-directed individual or group retreat separate from our spritual programme:

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.