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Heart Sutra Retreat – With Geshe Rabga
From Saturday, 23. November 2019 -  04:00pm
To Wednesday, 27. November 2019 - 12:00pm
Location : Main gompa

Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha

Our resident Geshe at Root Institute, Geshe Ngawang Rabga has kindly accepted our invitation to teach on the Heart Sutra and lead a pilgrimage to Vultures Peak, Rajgir.

The Heart Sutra is the most essential point of the 84,000 sets of the Buddha's teachings. This sutra (discourse from the Buddha) has various levels: extensive, intermediate and concise. It is said to contain the condensed meaning of all three levels of the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras.

The Heart Sutra explicitly explains emptiness, the ultimate nature of phenomena, and implicitly explains the paths traversed by a Bodhisattva (practitioner who has an effortless wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings) in order to attain Buddhahood. 

This retreat will include teachings on the Heart Sutra, opportunities to test and clarify ideas through discussion groups, and guided meditations to get a deeper personal experience of the correct view of emptiness.

This retreat serves either as an introduction to the Buddhist wisdom side of the path or as a complementary retreat for those who have already attended an introductory course and would like to deepen their knowledge.


Sat 23 Nov  
4.00 pm Introduction to the course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa
Sun 24 Nov  
5.30am Pilgrimage to Vultures Peak, Rajgir with Geshe Rabga (with take away breakfast)
Mon, Tues 25-26 Nov   
6.45am Morning Meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Teaching with Geshe-la
10:30am Break
11.00am Teaching with Geshe-la
12.00pm Lunch
1.45pm Group discussion
3.00pm Break
3.30pm Teachings with Geshe-la & questions and answers
5.00pm Break
6:00pm  Dinner
7.00pm Evening meditation
Wed, 27 Nov   
6.45am Morning Meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Teaching with Geshe-la
11:10am Visit Root Institute's social projects

Please note: this schedule is subject to change. 

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!

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.