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The Buddhist Path to Healing:
The Medicine Buddha Retreat
March 21 – 29, 2017
Led by Venerable Drolma
Normally people think that Medicine Buddha is for healing but it’s not only that! You can use the Medicine Buddha practice for ANY purpose, ANY problem, ANYTHING. The Medicine Buddha practice is so precious.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Benefits of the Medicine Buddha Practice
- Our Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, explains: “Any living being who hears the name of Medicine Buddha never gets reborn in the lower realms – that’s the benefit of just hearing the name, the mantra of Medicine Buddha. This is due to the great compassion of the Medicine Buddhas.”
- It is very powerful for purification – it purifies any broken vows or precepts.
- It is very powerful for healing sickness.
- And not only that, it is also very powerful for success.
About the Medicine Buddha Retreat
This retreat is the perfect opportunity to spend time developing a relationship with the Medicine Buddha deities and their qualities in ourselves. The retreat will include teachings and meditations on: awareness of suffering and its causes; how to develop compassion for self and others; and visualizing healing energy. The main part of the retreat consists of the Medicine Buddha sadhana practice with mantra recitation sessions for visualizing healing, as well as positive outcomes, for ourselves, others, and the environment.
Requirements to Join the Retreat
It is not necessary to have received the initiation of Medicine Buddha in order to participate in this retreat. It is most appropriate for people have committed to Buddhism as their lifelong spiritual path and are ready to begin practice with a tantric deity as the focus. One should have participated in an introductory course to Tibetan Buddhism such as those offered at Tushita Centre or Kopan Monastery.
This is a full time residential retreat. Participants are asked to commit to attend the full retreat and to abide by the course discipline as explained by the retreat leader at the beginning of the retreat.
Background to the Medicine Buddha Practice
To the Bhagavan with great compassion,
Whose name when merely heard dispels the sufferings of the lower realms.
Dispeller of disease and the three poisons,
I prostrate to the Medicine Buddha Lapis Lazuli Light
Many eons ago, seven bodhisattvas strongly prayed for the temporal and ultimate happiness of all sentient being and that their names would become wish-fulfilling in order to heal both the mental and physical sicknesses and diseases of sentient beings.
They vowed that their prayers would be actualized during these degenerate times when the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha are in decline. When they became enlightened, one of the ten powers of a Buddha is the power of prayer – that means that all the prayers that have been made get fulfilled. As the Buddha’s holy speech is irrevocable, you can wholly trust in their power to quickly grant blessings to help all sentient beings in these degenerate times.
They are called the Seven Medicine Buddhas. The main one is ‘Lapis Buddha of Medicine, King of Light’. Buddha Skakyamuni taught the teachings on the Medicine Buddha, and according to one tradition, is also considered as one of the Medicine Buddhas, and hence the Eight Medicine Buddhas.
- Sutra of the Medicine Buddha, translated under guidance of Dharma Master Hsuan Jung, by Minh Thanh & P.D.Leigh (International Buddhist Monastic Institute, 2001)
- The Healing Buddha, by Raoul Birnbaum (Shambhala Publications)
- Ultimate Healing, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Wisdom Publications)
- Teachings From the Medicine Buddha Retreat, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive)
- Healing Buddha – a practice for the prevention and healing of disease, translated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche (FPMT)
- Feeling Wisdom by Rob Preece (Shambhala Publications)
- Medicine Buddha Teachings, by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (Snow Lion Publications)
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristen Neff
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