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Samsara and Nirvana – With Geshe Tenzin Namdak
From Wednesday, 2. January 2019
To Saturday, 5. January 2019
Location : Main gompa
Central motif of the Buddhist Wheel of Life
Central motif of the Buddhist Wheel of Life
(Khachoe Ghakyil Ling, Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo by Piero Sirianni.)
This symbolises that mental afflictions are the root of our problems, and shows our capacity for change, negative or positive.
  • How do mental afflictions cause unwanted suffering?

  • How can we apply antidotes to these disturbing emotions?

  • Can we become completely free of them and attain liberation and enlightenment?

This course will be an opportunity to understand the Buddha's answers to these questions, by becoming familiar with the nature of the six root afflictions of the mind (attachment, anger, pride, ignorance, doubt, and afflicted views) and their antidotes in Buddha Dharma.

The thorough development of these antidotes enables one to eliminate samsara (cyclic existence), and to achieve the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment (nirvana) through generating bodhicitta (a sense of universal responsibility) and the view of emptiness (ultimate reality).

These points will be explained according to the different schools of Buddhist philosophy in the context of the Lam Rim (Graduated Path to Enlightenment).

Format of the course will incorporate:

  • Dharma teachings

  • group discussions, and

  • guided meditations.

Geshe Tenzin Namdak, who will lead the course, is a Dutch monk who in 2016 received the title of Geshe from Sera Je Monastic University in recognition of his completion of the advanced Buddhist studies and practice program. Completing the geshe studies program is a remarkable achievement in itself. As a Westerner, Geshe Namdak’s completion of the program speaks to his exemplary dedication to the study and practice of Dharma.


Wed 2 Jan  
4:00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm First Dharma teaching by Geshe Namdak
Thu 3–Fri 4 Jan  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Teachings / session with Geshe Namdak (with tea break)
noon Lunch
2:00 pm Discussion group
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Teachings / session with Geshe Namdak (with tea break)
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Evening meditation
Sat 5 Jan  
6:45 am Morning meditation
7:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Last session with Geshe Namdak (with tea break)
11:30 am Feedback and wrap-up
noon Farewell lunch


Please note: This schedule is subject to change.

Samsara & Nirvana – With Geshe Tenzin Namdak
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.