If we gain deep experience of Lamrim there will be no basis for these problems; we shall be completely free of all of them. For this reason every September we engage in a week long retreat that covers the 21 Lamrim meditations.
Vajrasattva Purification Retreat
Since purification is the root of future happiness and spiritual realizations, we should strive to cleanse our mind of delusions and negative karma by practising the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva. This is a very powerful method of purification.
Vajrasattva retreat happens late autumn or early winter.
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are known as the Three Jewels. When we go for refuge to the Three Jewels we can begin making progress on the Buddhist path. This week long retreat focuses on increasing our practice of refuge through contemplation of refuge in each session. We also strengtehn our refuge in Dharma – Buddhas teachings – by meditating on the 21 Lamrim meditations.
This retreat is every March.
Guru Yoga Mandala Offering Retreat
This retreat combines the practices of Guru Yoga, which is the gateway to receiving blessings, and Mandala Offerings which is the gateway to receiving merit.
In other words, Guru Yoga is a special method for receiving the blessings of all the Buddhas and Holy Beings and making mandala offerings is a special method to accumulate a vast amount of merit (positive karma/ energy).
Guru Yoga Mandala Offering Retreat happens at the end of the spring term.
New Year’s Eve Compassion Retreat
We start the new year at our Center with the practice of the Buddha of Compassion ~ Avalokiteshvara ~ an enlightened being who is a manifestation of all Buddhas’ compassion. During this evening retreat we make prayers for all living beings to be released from their suffering.
There is nothing more precious to us than our life. Because we have a precious human life, we have the opportunity to experience both temporary and ultimate happiness. To increase our life span, merit, and wisdom we practice the Yoga of Buddha Amitayus.
Look for this retreat near the start of the new year.
Compassion Fasting Retreat
This special fasting and purification practice is performed in conjunction with Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara. It is very powerful for purifying negative karma of body, speech, and mind, and for pacifying strong delusions such as desirous attachment and hatred. It is also a special method for receiving blessings and improving our experience of love, compassion, and bodhichitta.
Usually this practice is done over two days, with the eight Mahayana precepts being taken at the beginning of each day. We engage in this practice in the first half of April.