Dzogchen Spring 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 country.  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 day along with group and individual meditation instruction.  All meals are oryoki style.

Cost: $1200.00 includes room and board

Event Date 05-01-2023
Event End Date 06-04-2023
Individual Price $1,200.00
$1,200.00 10

Quintessential Trungpa Rinpoche:  Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation: "Touch and Go"

May 5-7,2023

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 always 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.


Cost  $195.00

Includes room and Board 

Event Date 05-05-2023
Event End Date 05-07-2023
Individual Price $195.00

Shambhala Kyudo Retreat


"Touch and Go" Retreat

This retreat will explore Kyudo as a Shambhala Art In the sense that the formal practice of Kyudo-- contemplative Japanese archery-- works as the method in which we engage and realize the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche--the Dorje Dradul of Mukpo.  
     Many well-meaning people argue that Kyudo is not a "Shambhala Art."  Even in Japan Kyudo practitioners and scholars argue about whether Kyudo is a form of standing zen or more Shinto in origin.  There is a lot of heated scholarly debate.

I think we can leave these questions up to the scholars and leaders of religious organizations and dojos.  For our purposes,  as students of Trungpa Rinpoche, the reason for studying such a Contemplative Art is to mix our minds with the mind of the lineage as it is handed to us by a master warrior such as the Dorje Dradul of Mukpo.

 We have many forms for doing this in our lineage because the Dorje Dradul of Mukpo was a master of profound realization-- therefore the practice of shado, brush calligraphy, became a method through primordial Ashe practice-- waltzing, table manners, military drill, wearing kilts, dressage.  All of these forms certainly exist outside and independently of Shambhala Training.  However, for a genuine student of the lineage of Shambhala there is no point in engaging these arts from that point of view.  It would be like sitting in meditation without knowing the key point of that practice. 

When we engage kyudo as a Shambhala Art we join the ultimate view with the method and realize the great perfection or, in this case, the Great Eastern Sun.

This retreat is open to all.  Beginners will receive "first shot" instruction.  Class equipment is available.

$395.00 includes room and board.

Event Date 05-19-2023
Event End Date 05-21-2023
Individual Price $395.00


Purnachandra Fleet Rendezvous Penobscot Bay

This retreat is an opportunity to explore the phenomenal world from point of view of non reference point experience.  The sea is by nature groundless and lacking in the usual reference points that  we lubbers rely upon which provides the perfect situation to explore non reference point experience-- the essential aspect of Dzogchen.  

In this case, the form of learning to sail provides the skillful means for entering a world without reference point.  Besides learning the basics of sailing a 30 foot vessel we will be engaging in fundamental shamatha/vipashyana meditation on board.  The sailboat becomes the "practice container."  
     This is a nine day retreat.  For the first few days we will do day sails around Rockland Harbor.  During the later part of the retreat we will do overnight cruises in Penobscot Bay.

At the end, we will rendezvous back in Rockland for Dining in ceremony.

For more information contact Captain Tashi Armstrong, Purnachandra.  (207) 607-3392

Event Date 08-11-2023
Event End Date 08-20-2023

The Three Words:  Integrating the Pointing Out with Daily Life and Practice

November 3-12, 2023

In this retreat we will be going over Garab Dorje's "Three Words that Strike the Vital Point" along with Patrul Rinpoche's commentary and Trungpa Rinpoche's teachings on the pointing out in "The Early Tantra Groups" and other Vajrayana Seminars.  

Participants must have taken refuge and bodhisattva vows and received the pointing out instructions from a qualified master.  They must have completed half of their prostrations by number.



Event Date 11-03-2023
Event End Date 11-12-2023
Individual Price $795.00