Intermediate

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Wisdom of Emptiness – With Ven. Tenzin Namjong
From Wednesday, 12. February 2020
To Wednesday, 19. February 2020
Location : Small Gompa
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA
Mantra of the perfection of wisdom: OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA

Join us for these 10-day teachings on emptiness with Venerable Tenzin Namjong. The teachings will be based on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, especially the Heart Sutra and Vajra Cutter Sutra, and the writings of the Indian pandits, Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti, and the great Tibetan scholar-yogi and found of the Gelug Tradition, Lama Tsongkhapa.

This will be an experiential retreat where teachings will be supported by meditations to lead us step-by-step to a deeper understanding of emptiness and its relevance to our own development of happiness and compassion.

Ven. Namjong is an American-born monk currently living and studying in Sera Jey monastery in southern India, so he is able to make the topics relatable to our Western way of thinking. This course will include:

  • on the first day, robe offerings to the Buddha statue at the Mahabodhi Stupa
  • regular visits to the Mahabodhi Stupa, for teachings and practices
  • daily recitations of the Heart Sutra and Vajra Cutter Sutra, with teachings and explanations.

On 21 February, after this course ends, Ven. Namjong will lead a pilgrimage to Rajgir – to Vulture's Peak, where the Buddha taught the Perfect of Wisdom Sutras – The Heart Sutra and Vajra Cutter Sutra – and also to the ruins of the great Nalanda University. The pilgrimage is optional, though highly recommended. The suggested donation for this pilgrimage is separate from the course and it will be confirmed closer to the dates as it will vary depending on numbers.

When applying for this course, please do also select the pilgrimage on the "express interest" form if you wish to come.

Schedule

Wed 12 Feb  
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
Thu 13 Feb  
6:45 am Robe offerings to the Buddha statue at Mahabodhi Stupa
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Ven Namjong
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings with Ven. Namjong
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings with Ven. Namjong
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Fri 14 – Tue 18 Feb  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Ven. Namjong
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Teachings with Ven. Namjong
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings with Ven. Namjong
5:00 pm Break
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Wed 19 Feb  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Teachings with Ven. Namjong
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Visit to social projects
12:00 pm Group lunch
2:00 pm Film screening and talk by RI Generosity Officer
 

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.