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Dharma Insight – Cutting Through Illusion – With Geshe Tenzin Namdak
From Monday, 6. January 2020
To Thursday, 9. January 2020
Location : Main gompa
Rainbows and clouds
Both rainbows and clouds can be seen as metaphors of illusory appearances

In order to achieve more happiness for self and others, it is important to understand reality, that is, to understand how we perceive the world around us and to see what is actual reality.

Through a thorough understanding of reality we can see how the ignorance of grasping at a self gives rise to attachment, anger and other afflictive emotions and karma which produce contaminated rebirth of suffering samsara. Samsara and nirvana are created by the mind.

In order to get out of the cycle of suffering and help others to achieve the same, we have to generate the wisdom realising ultimate reality that cuts all the wrong views of ignorance. In this course, we will be guided through these important points of understanding dependent origination and emptiness in the context of the Lam Rim, the graduated path to enlightenment.

The course will be taught by Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak, a Dutch monk who graduated from the Sera Je Monastic University as the first Westerner ever to complete the full formal studies of the geshe degree. He is an FPMT registered teacher and has extensive teaching experience.

The course will include:

  • Buddhist philosophy classes
  • meditations, and
  • group discussions.

Geshe-la will not only teach, but will also kindly lead meditations.

Beginners are welcome too. If you consider yourself a beginner, we recommend as preparation following these Lam Rim guided meditations – PDF – by Ven. Thubten Chodron.


Sun 6 Jan  
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
Tue 7 & Wed 8 Jan  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Geshe Namdak
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings with Geshe Namdak
12:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings with Geshe Namdak
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Wed 9 Jan  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Geshe Namdak
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Last Teachings with Geshe Namdak
12:00 pm Lunch


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

Our spiritual programme now runs from mid-September to mid-April.

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.