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Nagarjuna’s ‘Letter to a Friend’ – with Ven. Olivier
From Wednesday, 3. January 2024 -  05:30pm
To Tuesday, 9. January 2024 - 12:00pm

Nagarjuna statue Root

The great Indian scholar, Nagarjuna (1st/2nd century CE), wrote his celebrated poem Letter to a Friend, as a gift of advice to his friend, a South Indian king. It covers the entire Mahayana path, combining a practical approach for both householders and the ordained, on how to practice the path leading to liberation and enlightenment.

These instructions, which are easy to understand, are explained with great clarity and imagery and are frequently quoted in the commentaries written by many great Tibetan masters and scholars.


Born in France in 1969, Venerable Olivier Rossi joined the Masters Program at Institute Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy from 1998 to 2005 under the guidance of Venerable Geshe Jampa Gyatso of Sera Jay Jhadrel Khamtsen and took ordination in June 98.

On the advice of his teacher, he remained in Italy and took the position of teacher assistant for the residential Basic Program at ILTK from 2005 to 2007, for the Masters Program 2008 to 2013 and again for the Master Program in 2015 until mid 2016.

Over his 19 years of ordination Olivier also lead numerous retreats and weekend courses in FPMT centers in France and Italy. He is currently studying Tibetan language in South India.



Wed, Jan 3  
1:15 pm onwards Check-in
5:30 pm Welcome to the course by the Spiritual Programme Coordinator
6:00 pm Dinner/Supper
7:00 pm Introductory teaching with Ven. Olivier 
Thurs, Jan 4 to Mon, Jan 8  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 am Teachings/group practice with  Ven. Olivier
10:15 am Break
10:45 am Teachings/group practice with   Ven. Olivier
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Teachings/group practice with   Ven. Olivier
3:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Teachings/group practice with   Ven. Olivier
6:00 pm Supper
7:00 pm Evening meditation 
Tues, Jan 9  
6:15 am  Morning meditation with  Ven. Olivier at Mahabodhi Stupa
7:30 am Breakfast – takeaway picnic
8:30 am Final Teachings with  Ven. Olivier at Mahabodhi Stupa
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Tour of Root Institute and introduction to the charitible projects – Maitreya School, Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic and the Stupa Garden
11:30 am Check-out
12:00 noon Big Lunch
 2:00 pm Film screening on Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Optional)


Note: This schedule is subject to change. 

If you’re arriving before your check-in day or staying on after your check-out day, please book these in advance to secure them with our reception team: . If you arrive early or have a late departure, you are welcome to keep your luggage by the office


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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