No one with a sincere desire to attend will be turned away from registration due to lack of funds. We have staff and workstudy positions, as well as scholarships available.
Kagyu Ngondro Retreat The General and Special Preliminaries
November 24-November 26, 2023
"Prostrations is a world of its own process, and it doesn't really matter at all if you find yourself confused or upset. In fact prostration practice has a lot of aspects. In the beginning it is very difficult and tiresome and a lot of emotionalism comes up. I remember when I was doing prostrations and particularly when my tutor wasn't watchng me, I used to do them very hard and just break into tears without any reason. Those things just happen. You should see what happens from experience, rather than trying to get the whole thing explanined in a logical way before you begin. Thamel gyi shepa is like ignition: it sparks your surrendering and comes to you as awareness of the need to surrender; so you begin to develop a sense of prostrating all the time throughout the day. Thamel gyi shepa is like a pilot light, transparent, which causes all kinds of other awarenesses to come to light. It might come as intense emotionality, for instance, in realizing the fragility of our lves. While we are doing the four foundation practices, the basic attitude to have is that you are a millionaire because you are bankrupt already and don't have a penny. The sense of being a penniless mllionaire happens all the time in daily life. It is complete surrender, like throwing yourself off a cliff. And you never get anything in return, but somehow you acquire things on the path. Without this attitude there are possibilities of becoming Rudra.
It is important to remember the vastness of what we have to learn, how little time we have to learn it, and that all kinds of difficulties and obstructions could come up to interrupt our practice.
Trunpga Ripoche 1974
"All the vidyadhara siddhas agree unanimously that the root of the entire Buddhadharma is to gain mastery over our own mind. And yet, there are many people who immerse themselves in a view and meditation made up solely of dry words, or who cling to a blank meditation state that is an exercise in mental fabrication. It is therefore of chief importance to guide qualified disciples in accordance with their different capacites and faculties, such as the gradual, instantaneous or skipping-the-grade types. First of all, they should persist in the general and special preliminary practices until the signs appear."
Tsele Natsok Rangdrol
|Event End Date||11-26-2023|
Quintessential Trungpa Rinpoche: Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation: "Touch and Go"
There are no prerequisites for this retreat
"A common misunderstanding is that the meditative state of mind has to be captured and then nursed and cherished. That is definitely the wrong approach. If you try to domesticate your mind through meditation--try to possess it by holding on to the meditative state-- the clear result will be regression on the path, with a loss of freshness and spontaneity. If you try to hold on without lapse all the time, then maintaining your awareness will begin to become a domestic hassle It will become like painfully going through housework. There will be an underlying sense of resentment, and the practice of meditation will become confusing. You will begin to develop a love-hate relationship toward your practice, in which your concept of it seems good but, at the same time, the demand this rigid concept makes on you is too painful.
So the technique is based on touch and go You focus your attention on the object of awareness then, in the same moment, you disown that awareness and go on. What is needed here is some sense of confidence--confidence that you do not have to securely own your mind, but that you can tune into its process spontaneously." Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The Quintessential Teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche series are a set of weekend retreats suitable for beginners and advanced students which engage the pith oral instructions of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In this retreat we will engage the fundamental instructions on Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice given by Trungpa Rinpoche to his direct students.
As beginners one often comes at practice with a mind conditioned by certain assumptions. Generally we attempt to sustain a fabricated concentratiion by focusing on a technique. But in this case one needs to develop a fundamental awareness which knows when you are present directly and then we let go of any attempt to hold on to a fabricated concentration. This is both the development and realization of "knowing the one" or "resolving the nature of mind." It is not about feeling "good" particularly or pushing away thoughts so that we can achieve a "thought-free state." It is realizing that this moment of knowing when we are present in a way which is not conditioned by our habitual reactions is the ultimate reference point -- the ultimate nature of our awareness.
The weekend will consist of talks by the resident teacher and the Practice of "mixing mind with space" the essential training of Dzogchen practice. There will be group discussion and individual meditation interviews.
Includes room and Board
|Event End Date||01-07-2024|
Dzogchen Winter Dathun:
"Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism"
Prerequisite: " Touch and Go Weekend"
"To begin with, we have to actually recognize, realize and manifest our ego problems properly, fully, and thoroughly. And we have no way of doing that. We could join primal scream therapy or go to an encounter group or take a heavy dose of LSD, or smoke a gigantic joint, or drink a whole bottle of tequila. But whatever we do in the name of spirituality, nothing really happens because all of those things are sudden measures. They only last for a short time-- the longest trip would last for only twenty-eight or thirty hours. You could not have a longer LSD trip than that. That is a problem.
So if we are going to actually make a journey of some kind, if we are actually going to be able to work with ourselves properly, thoroughy, and fully--then we have to sit. That is the only way. We begin to realize all sorts of problems, of course. It is not going to be very smooth and pleasant and comfy and nicey. And at the same time, it is also going to be very painful to realize that sense of irrgularity--that brings a sense of pain and confusion as well. Well, that is our problem. We have to do something about that. The sitting practice of meditation has to be considered the most important, the best, the highlight of all our activities.
Before I got over here, over at my house, we discussed the corruption taking place around the buddhist world. And we concluded that the most critical one was that even Tibetans do not sit. Even the highest people who are reputed to be good sources of inspiration do not sit. Supposing communist China had not invaded Tibet-- quite possibly we would then have no way of presenting the real buddhadharma in this coutry. Buddhism would be dead, having perished in its own graveyard. So from that point of view, we have a lot of responsibility to practice the real buddhadharma as the Buddha taught it and as the lineage has described it--that without the sitting practice of meditation, nothing can happen. So the sitting practice of meditation is very basic and very simple, I do not want to indulge you people at this point by giving you a whole discourse on how to meditate, how to do the whole thing. I think you know that already. And if you don't, too bad. You should know more. And if you want to know more, sit more.
There is no point in me running the whole thing back again and again, replaying the whole idea, spiel. If we sit, if we actually get into the practice, there is some kind of chance. If we do not, there is no chance, no hope. It is not even hopeless in the sense of the dogma of hopelessness or egolessness. But it is the hopelessness of fundamental failure--that we have heard so much and we have studied so much, but we have just made ourselves into completely super pieces of garbage. We have not actually learned to sit enough, to sit properly. It is like we have produced a baby that can not even cry or piss or shit. He is just this little lump of flesh, which cannot even express his expressions. It is the level of infanthood which is pre-infanthood in fact. We cannot refer to ourselves as infants anymore, just pieces of meat-- a thousand year old egg which has not been eaten but is still sitting in somebody's Chinatown shop. It is a very grim picture.
We have to sit if we want to hatch eggs; we have to sit if we want to cook food; we have to sit if we want to perk up. And sitting is very dull. It does not say very much. There are no encounter groups taking place and no sensory awareness or feeling each other taking place. Nothing of that nature is happening at all. It is very ordinary and very simple. And because of that , it is so hghly precious. Precious. It seems to be the best idea that mankind ever came up with. And the first person who thought up that idea was Buddha himself. We feel very grateful to him that he came up with such an idea. It is a fantastic thought. Not only was he enlightened, but he was more than enlightened. He was an enlightened practical person. He knew how to handle us--even in the 20th century. So his logic never dies. It is an important thing. I have nothing more to say than that at this point."
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, 1975 Vajradhatu Seminary. Dathun is a month-long retreat designed by Trungpa Rinpoche for his students. Without establishing a proper sitting practice "nothing can happen" in our journey as Buddhist practitioners. Dathun consists of 8-10 hours of Shamatha/Vipashyana meditation each along with group and individual meditation instruction. All meals are oryoki style.
Cost: $1200.00 includes room and board
|Event End Date||02-05-2023|