Introductory

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Finding Happiness (in an Uncertain World) – With Ondy Willson
From Sunday, 2. February 2025
To Friday, 7. February 2025
 

5-day course

spiritual search From our earliest memories of life, we are taught to seek happiness through looking outwards in the world – for status, achievements and the self-worth that comes through romantic relationships. We all know that these are indeed rewarding but can bring in themselves many problems. If we continue to replace broken dreams and disappointments with more external goals, it is likely that we repeat a self-defeating habit.

In this course we will consider what we mean by that loaded word “love” and how Buddhist teachings can help us find a more authentic and reliable source of happiness that cannot be hijacked by the vicissitudes of life.

Concepts covered

  • Love and compassion
  • Nurturing a healthy relationship with our egos
  • Emotional resilience
  • Self-worth

Teacher

Ondy Willson has been a Dharma practitioner since 1980 and has served as an FPMT Touring Teacher since 2007. Find out more on our visiting teachers page.

Schedule

Sun 2 Feb  
4:30 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm First session with Ondy
 
Mon 3 to Thu 6 Feb  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Session with Ondy (with tea break)
Noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion groups
3:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Session with Ondy (including Q & A session)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation / Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa (alternate days to be announced)
 
Fri 7 Feb  
6:45 am Morning meditation 
7:30 am Breakfast 
9:00 am Last session with Ondy (with tea break)
Noon Farewell 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!

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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