Spiritual programme

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Radical Compassion and Profound Wisdom – With Jimi Neal
From Wednesday, 1. January 2020
To Tuesday, 7. January 2020
Location : Small Gompa

Hands in meditation pose

Join us in the land of enlightenment for this seven-day course where long-term teacher and practitioner, Jimi Neal, will lead us to a deeper understanding of how and why the essential and profound spiritual practice of compassion is the only true path to enlightenment.

The retreat includes the Mahayana practices of tonglen, taking on others' suffering and giving away one's happiness, and lojong, translated as "mind training" or "thought transformation", and draws upon the Buddha's profound wisdom of emptiness as taught in the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasutra, often translated as the Heart Sutra, as it is considered the heart or very essence of the perfection of wisdom. Suitable for advanced students and sincere beginners.


Wed 1 Jan
4:00 pm Introduction by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
4:45 pm Introduction to the retreat
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm First teaching
Thu 2 – Mon 6 Jan
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am

On Sat 4 & Sun 5 Jan, replaced at 9:00 am by:
Lojong Plus Questions & Answers – With Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche

10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Tue 7 Jan
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Last Teachings
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Visit Root Institute's social projects
12:00 noon Group lunch
2:00 pm Video screening and interaction with RI's Generosity Officer

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.