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Transcending Madness – Finding clarity in World of Chaos – With David Marks
From Friday, 10. January 2020
To Tuesday, 14. January 2020
Location : Main gompa

meditation posture close-up

In a world of confusion and uncertainty, it's sometimes hard to find our place or make sense of life and while we all want happiness most of us look in the wrong direction. Buddha taught that true happiness is an inner quality which arises from cultivating the mind in a healthy and appropriate way and not something which can be found outside of ourselves. During this short course, we will explore the fundamentals of Buddhism – the nature of mind, the purpose of life and the path to lasting happiness.

The course will be led by David Marks, an Australian senior student of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Format of the course will incorporate:

  • Dharma teachings
  • group discussions
  • guided meditations and
  • yoga.


Fri 10 Jan  
4.00 pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Meditation
Sat 11 to Mon 13 Jan  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Teaching
10.15am Break
10.45am Teaching
12.00pm Lunch
2.00pm Discussion groups
3.00pm Break
4.00 pm Sunset Yoga
5:30pm Break
6:00pm Dinner
7.00pm Teaching / Evening meditation
Tue 14 Jan  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Teachings
10.15am Break
10.40am Last teaching
12:00pm Big Lunch
2:00pm Visit to social projects

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.