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Green Tara Retreat
November 22 – 30, 2016
Led by Jimi Neal.
Tara represents the wisdom and compassion of all the enlightened beings in a female form.
Meditating on Tara is a very powerful way to identify and connect with our own inner potential for wisdom and compassion. It also helps to eliminate obstacles to the spiritual path and to being able to work for others.
About the Retreat
This is a Sadhana based on the Guru Yoga of Cittamani Tara written by Lama yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.
During the retreat we will do six sessions per day. four of the Tara Sadhana which includes:
Praises with prostrations to the 21 Taras with commentary describing the meaning, color and aspect of each of the 21 Taras before we prostrate to them. At the end of each session with the dissolution of the Tam we meditate on the clear light mind seeing all that appears as empty: merely a reflection in our mind.
One session we meditate on the lam rim as presented in the Lama Chopa puja. From which we bring lo-jong TONG-LEN meditation into our retreat. Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that he was happy at the inclusion of lo jong in the yidam retreats.
One session is an introduction to Tantra, the Sadhana, with explanations of the practice offered with question and answer.
A few days into the retreat we will take the Eight Mahayana precepts each morning.
The sadhana (or method of accomplishment) consists of taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, and making requests to the Green Tara lineage lamas to receive inspiration. Although accumulating mantra is not the main focus of the retreat, for those who are able, we will try to accumulate 10,000 mantras.
At the end of the retreat, we will offer extensive dedication for the long lives of our teachers and for world peace. It is possible that the retreat will include an all night Tara Puja on the last night, this will be confirmed during the retreat.
Requirements to join the Retreat
Tushita’s group tantric retreats are most suitable for those who are Buddhist (having formally taken Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), have taken the Bodhisattva Vows and have received a Green Tara Initiation. However, our Green Tara retreat is also suitable for those who might not be ready to make these commitments usually involved with a tantric retreat. The very basic requirements are:
- You must be familiar with the Lam Rim (the Graduated Path to Enlightenment) and have attended at least one introductory course in Tibetan Buddhism (at Tushita, Kopan, Root Institute or an equivalent Lam Rim course).
- Know about Green Tara practice and have a deep wish and/or commitment to doing this practice, which includes Guru Yoga and many prayers and practices.
Students on all our our Tantric Retreats are also required to follow our general discipline guidelines, which you see at the bottom of this page.
Guidelines for Behaviour
Since Tushita is a semi-monastic meditation centre and not a guesthouse, we ask all of our retreatants and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:
- 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. This is easy when observing silence!
- Be celibate: no sexual activity. This also includes no 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, one can smoke at a designated place within the centre boundary).
- Be considerate of others’ silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the Gompa and the dormitories. No singing or playing music and in general, maintain a quiet demeanor 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).
- Please settle all outside communication before the course begins. Telling friends and family that you will be out of contact for the duration of the course and sticking by that decision significantly reduces distraction from investigation into the workings of your own mind! Likewise, please settle your travel arrangements etc before you come to Tushita!
- You are expected to observe silence (no talking at all) from the evening of the first day until the end of the course.
- Do not leave Tushita property for the entire course.
- Participants must attend all sessions of the course and come to sessions on time.
- Please put all communication / entertainment devices (laptop / mobile phones /cameras / MP3/CD players) etc into our safe at check-in.
- Please be gentle in your behaviour and sensitive to fellow group members.
- Do not point your feet towards the teachers, the altar or any holy object.
- Do not put Dharma materials – prayer books, texts, Dharma books or notebooks with Dharma in them – on the floor, or sit or step over them.
- Do not lie down or do any yoga exercises in the Gompa at any time.
- No idle chit-chat in the Gompa (ie. You can ask the teacher questions during class, but do not talk with other students).
- Guided Meditation on February 20, 2017 9:30 am
- Movie Day on February 20, 2017 2:00 pm
- Losar on February 27, 2017
- Sutra of Golden Light Reading on February 27, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on March 2, 2017
- Guru Puja on March 7, 2017 6:30 pm
- Chotrul Duchen on March 12, 2017
- Medicine Buddha Puja on March 12, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on March 20, 2017
- Introduction to Buddhism on April 6, 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