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Bodhicitta Retreat – With Geshe Dorji Damdul
From Tuesday, 14. November 2023
To Monday, 20. November 2023
Bodhicitta Retreat – With Geshe Dorji Damdul

geshe damdul vultures peak 2

Photo of Geshe Dorji Damdul and students at Vulture's Peak, Rajgir during one of the Bodhicitta Retreats   

This popular retreat will focus on the practice of Bodhicitta, the altruistic aspiration to  become fully enlightened in order to benefit others. This awakening and compassionate mind is ever-present as a seed in all sentient beings. The path to awaken and nurture this will be introduced by the most kind Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul la, based on Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings, specifically the Mahayana teachings. In the intensity of the many sessions a day and continuous teaching and meditation, one can come to experience the magic of the Buddha's teachings. The retreat will include a pilgrimage to Vulture’s Peak in Rajgir and Nalanda ruins – the date is to be confirmed by Geshe la at the beginning of the retreat.

Bodhgaya is the very heart of the Buddhist world – the place where Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment and where in the future, one thousand buddhas will descend, display holy deeds and attain enlightenment. Bodhgaya is also near many of the holy sites where the Buddha spent time practicing, meditating and teaching. Thus making the Bodhicitta Retreat with Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul in Bodhgaya an unique experience. 

Root Institute is a tranquil and quiet haven, set amongst trees and gardens, making it the  ideal place for retreat. This is an amazing opportunity to come to Bodhgaya where it is  said that the merit from any virtuous activities we perform here is multiplied many times  due to the blessings from all the holy activities accomplished by countless holy beings.  

This retreat will include maintaining silence from 8:30 pm through to breakfast next day.

Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul  

Geshe Dorji Damdul is one of the most popular teachers of the Tibetan Buddhist Nalanda tradition and a distinguished Buddhist scholar whose interest lies in the relation between Buddhism and science, especially in physics. Geshe la is currently the Director of Tibet House, New Delhi, The Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has a Geshe Lharampa degree (equivalent of a PhD) from  Drepung Loseling, in Mundgod, Karnataka, and was an interpreter for His Holiness for five years.


Tues 14  
5:30 pm Introduction to the Retreat by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC) 
7:00 pm Orientation session with Geshe Damdul
Wed 15 to Sun 19  
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 Meditation & dedication prayers
6:00 pm Supper
7:00–8:30 pm Group discussion (optional)
Mon 20  
6:00 am Morning practice (prostrations and meditations) with Geshe Damdul
7:45 am Breakfast
9:00 am Last teachings with Geshe Damdul
11:00 am Tour of Root Institute and introduction to the charitable projects – Maitreiya School, Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic and the Stupa Garden
12:00 pm Big Lunch


Please note: This schedule is subject to change.

Watch Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul's 2022 teachings at Root Institute here. 

Course / retreat discipline

Students are most welcome to apply for individual or groups retreats here. To make the most of this special time, we would like to suggest the following:

  • It is good to settle all outside communication before you begin your retreat. Telling friends and family that you will be out of contact for the duration will significantly help to reduce distractions. Likewise, settling your travel arrangements, etc. before you come to Root Institute is highly advisable.

  • To maintain a healthy, calm, clear mind, observing silence will also bring you the mental space most conducive to retreat.

  • Practicing Dharma is a source of happiness, so rejoice in your efforts!

  • Thank you for thinking of Root Institute as your place for retreat. We will do our best to support you!

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

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