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Tushita took an unusual break this monsoon, as most of our staff and students attended the Kalachakra Initiation conferred by HH the Dalai Lama in Leh, Ladakh, J&K State, India from July 3 – 14, 2014. During this period, Tushita was closed and there were no courses or drop-in events between these dates.
After the initiation in Leh, in order to support practitioners new and old, Tushita held 2 special Kalachakra related courses and retreats led by Kalachakra expert Andy Wistreich; “Harmony in Kalachakra” (July 23 – 30: an 9-day Intermediate-level course), and “Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga Approximation Retreat” (August 2 – 18: a 17-day Group Retreat, open only to those who had received the Kalachakra initiation). These courses were designed to enable students to explore important personal and global issues within the framework of the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) Buddhist system.
In addition to the excellent guidance from Andy, on July 29th students on the “Harmony in Kalachakra” course were particularly fortunate in receiving special instruction from Jhado Rinpoche in the Vajrasattva gompa (pictured above right).
Andy Wistreich tells more:
We held the Harmony in Kalachakra course followed by the Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga Approximation Retreat with Fire Puja, after His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the Kalacakra empowerment in Leh in July. These two programmes each attracted around forty participants from all over the world, and a harmonious positive energy pervaded all our Kalachakra activities. This isn’t to say that there weren’t one or two minor obstacles, such as the fire going out during the fire puja, and one or two people experiencing lung (wind energy disturbance) during the retreat. However, the obstacles were overcome, and most members of both groups experienced positive spiritual development, a deep sense of harmony, and eventual joy in their practice, even though everyone had to work very hard and intensely.
The Harmony programme introduces students to the Kalacakra system, using experiential methods, including meditations, pair exercises and small group discussions. It is open to non-initiates, although most participants this time had taken the empowerment. The Kalachakra is a powerful system for developing bodhicitta and wisdom realising emptiness, so all-comers can benefit from learning about this special buddhist system.
The Kalacakra Six Session Guru Yoga Approximation Retreat with Fire Puja has been devised by Jhado Rinpoche (former abbot of Namgyal monastery, now abbot of Gyuto monastery) specifically for us beginner practitioners in the modern world who have little time to practice the more extensive mind mandala sadhana retreat. This retreat was pioneered at Tushita in February 2012, and has since been practised at Vajrapani Institute in California, at Centre Kalachakra in France, and now once again here at Tushita. We are very fortunate that on both occasions at Tushita, Jhado Rinpoche offered direct support, and both times we had successful retreats. A number of practitioners plan to progress to the mind mandala sadhana retreat following this one.
These Kalachakra programmes help to fulfil the wish of Lama Zopa Rinpoche that the FPMT offers an approximation retreat with fire puja each time that His Holiness the Dalai Lama bestows the Kalachakra empowerment. We will endeavour to continue this tradition into the future. At the end of the retreat we held a 24-hour ‘teacher training’ seminar for those interested in leading the retreat in future. 22 people attended, and showed promise and enthusiasm for one day being capable of leading this retreat themselves. Jhado Rinpoche expressed satisfaction that this process of planning for the longer term is taking place. In general we offer the merit from these retreats to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Jhado Rinpoche with great gratitude for their inspiration and support.
Jhado Rinpoche was unbelievably kind in also finding time to give a short talk to the Introduction to Buddhism students (pictured above left), and on checking in on the progress of our Gompa painters (pictured above centre and on facebook here), to whom Rinpoche has given extensive advice on the painting of the four ceiling mandalas in recent months (as in this recent news item). We also struck it lucky – once again – by having our very dear friend Geshe Kelsang Wangmo act as translator during all these events (pictured above right, sitting next to Andy Wistreich).
More photos from the Harmony in Kalachakra course can be seen here, and from the Kalachakra Six Session Guru Yoga Approximation Retreat, here.
Rejoice rejoice rejoice!
- Guided Meditation on April 29, 2017 9:30 am
- Movie Day on May 1, 2017 2:00 pm
- Guru Puja on May 5, 2017 6:30 pm
- Introduction to Buddhism on May 9, 2017
- Special Lam Rim Retreat on May 10, 2017
- Medicine Buddha Puja on May 10, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on May 29, 2017
- HH the Dalai Lama public teaching on June 5, 2017 6:30 am
- Saka Dawa on June 9, 2017
- The Two Truths on June 14, 2017
Tushita is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. We're located in Northern India, in the forested hills above the town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala - the seat in exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Tushita aims to provide a friendly and conducive environment for people of all nationalities and backgrounds to learn about and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. With this in mind we offer regular drop-in events and courses on introductory Buddhist philosophy and meditation, as well as intermediate level courses and group retreats for more experienced students.
February to November
Monday - Saturday
9:30 - 11:30am
a break for lunch and then...
12:30 - 4:00pm