Intermediate

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Lam Rim and Medicine Buddha Retreat – With Ven. Lobsang Namgyel
From Monday, 14. December 2020
To Thursday, 24. December 2020
Location : Main gompa

A retreat in two phases

Eight Medicine Buddhas
Eight Medicine Buddhas  (courtesy of digital thangka)

In total this will be a 10-day retreat of almost full silence.

It will begin with a short, intensive Introduction to Lam Rim Retreat – With Ven. Lobsang Namgyel incorporating all the important points of the practice and philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism. This phase ends at breakfast on Thursday, 17 December.

Those wishing to continue on the basis of their Lam Rim understanding, and engage in the practice of Tibetan Buddhist tantra, will stay on to complete the retreat with the Medicine Buddha practice.

The retreat leader, Venerable Lobsang Namgyel, is a senior Western monk with an array of life experiences and a unique, friendly and humorous style which makes students feel comfortable from the start.

Format of the retreat will include:

  • teachings on the Lam Rim
  • group discussions
  • guided meditations
  • stretching, and
  • pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa for inspiration and blessings.

Introduction to Lam Rim

Based on the teachings of the great reformer of Tibetan Buddhism, Atisha, the Lam Rim (Graduated Path to Enlightenment) teachings synthesise the vast array of the Buddha teachings into a systematic path of spiritual development, with meditational practices leading the disciple gradually from a being of small capacity, then middling and, ultimately, great capacity; that is, from short-term, self-centred thinking and behaviour, to more contentment, equanimity, and wisdom, and eventually to be driven by the altruistic wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Medicine Buddha practice

The Medicine Buddha is a very powerful practice for healing, purification and success in our spiritual path and in our daily lives.

When we recite the mantra of the Medicine Buddha, we collect unbelievable merit. If you recite the mantra every day, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas will always pay attention and guide you. Your negative karmas will be cleansed and you will never to be born in the three lower realms. Even just hearing the names of the eight Medicine Buddhas pacifies diseases and spirits harms. This practice is especially beneficial if you are doing healing work, if you have a physical condition or if someone you know or love is suffering, this practice can be done for them, in their behalf.

Schedule

Mon 14 Dec  
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm First Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
Tue 15 Dec  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
10:00 am Lam Rim meditation
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
12:00 noon Lunch
2:15 pm Lam Rim meditation
3:00 pm Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
4:00 pm Break
4:30 pm Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
5:30 pm Lam Rim meditation
6:00 pm Dinner
6:45 pm Evening meditation
Wed 16 Dec  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
10:00 am Lam Rim meditation
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Dharma teaching by Ven. Namgyel
5:00 pm Break
5:30 pm Lam Rim meditation
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Thu 17 – Wed 23 Dec  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast (on Thu 17 Dec, end of Introduction to Lam Rim phase of the retreat)
9:00 am Medicine Buddha practice & teachings with Ven. Namgyel
11:00 am Break
11:15 am Stretching
12:00 noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion group
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Medicine Buddha practice & teachings with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation / pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa, days to be announced
Thu 24 Dec  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Puja and tsog offering with Ven. Namgyel
11:00 am Tour of Root Institute's social service projects
12:00 noon Big Love 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

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.