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Schedules



Retreat Resources

Weekly Schedule

Daily Practice in the Garchen Stupa (except during teaching events--please check Events schedule below)

Weekly Practice in the Garchen Temple (except during teaching and rental group events--please check Events schedule below)


SUMMER TEACHINGS
July 24 - August 8 (9 am – 5 pm)

Note: All full days of teachings begin at 9 am and conclude at 5 pm. Empowerments begin at 9 am and conclude at noon. The drubchen will start at 9 am on August 4 and continue around the clock until 5 pm on August 8.

Morning and Evening Practices: From July 24 – August 3, except on the break day August 1, there will be morning Lama Chopa practice from 7-7:45 am and evening White Tara practice from 6:30-7:30 pm. These practices will not take place during the drubchen.

Note: You must have received a Chakrasamvara Empowerment in order to participate in the drubchen.


GREAT DRIKUNG PHOWA INSTRUCTIONS AND PRACTICE with VEN. LAMA THUBTEN NIMA
JULY 24 - 27

Preregistration deadline to reserve meals: July 17

Life’s most awesome event is death, and death comes to all, regardless of our wealth, intelligence, fame, and so forth. Although our death is inevitable, how we die—either terrified and confused, or with confidence and spiritual mastery—is within our control. Phowa, or conscious dying through the transference of consciousness at the time of death, is the Tibetan Buddhist method for gaining this mastery, and it can be of great benefit to both our self and others. Instead of being driven without choice or control through the intermediate after-death state and into a new rebirth in the samsaric cycle of existence, with successful Phowa practice the consciousness transfers directly to a Pure Land. The practice of Phowa may also enable us to help others at their moment of transition.

Ven. Lama Thubten Nima will give the main Phowa instructions on the first day with additional instructions and question & answer sessions on subsequent days, and he will do several Phowa practice sessions with us daily.


TEACHINGS ON THE PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE OF RETREAT AND ON THE ULTIMATE RETREATANT, THE GREAT YOGIN MILAREPA EMPOWERMENT, with VEN. DRUPON RINCHEN DORJEE RINPOCHE
JULY 28 - 31

Preregistration deadline to reserve meals: July 17

The Purpose and Importance of Retreat: July 28

Silent, solitary retreat is extremely important in the Drikung Kagyu lineage and yet many practitioners in the West have little understanding of this treasured tradition. We’ve asked Drupon to explore with us the following topics related to retreat: What is the purpose of retreat? What are the benefits of secluding body, speech, and mind in this way? What do we do in retreat? What can arise in retreat and how do we work with it? Drupon will also talk about the 100-day Four Thoughts retreat, the 3-year retreat, and retreating at home.

“Why should one go to a secluded place? From solitude comes silence, and from silence comes mental quiet . . . the practitioner should stay in a clean, quiet, secluded place. Many great practitioners said that the mind becomes clear and realization is easily attained in a clean place with pure water and air. In such an environment experience and realization have a chance to increase quickly . . .”—Ven. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche


MILAREPA EMPOWERMENT
JULY 29


MILAREPA RETREAT TEACHINGS

The pinnacle of all retreatants, the Great Yogin Milarepa’s last pith and “very secret” instruction to his disciple Gampopa was to show him the hardened calluses on his buttocks from years and years of sitting in meditation. He told Gampopa that this was how he reached enlightenment—through sitting and meditating—and that Gampopa would need to make the same effort to reach enlightenment in that life. He told him there is no instruction more profound than this. Arising from his enlightened mind—the fruition of his decades of retreat practice—Milarepa spontaneously composed 100,000 songs, or “dohas.” Drupon will give teachings on some of the exquisite dohas that directly address retreat practice, and he will alternate the teachings with short contemplation and meditation sessions.

A pith instruction on meditation from Milarepa: “When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick. Every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.”


CHAKRASAMVARA EMPOWERMENT, with VEN. DRUPON RINCHEN DORJEE RINPOCHE
AUGUST 2 (9 am to noon)

CHAKRASAMVARA TEACHINGS, with VEN. DRUPON RINCHEN DORJEE RINPOCHE
AUGUST 2 (2 - pm) and AUGUST 3 (9am - 5 pm)

Preregistration deadline to reserve meals: July 17

Ven. Drupon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will very generously bestow the rarely given Chakrasamvara empowerment and then give teachings on this deity. Drupon has said about Chakrasamvara: “Chakrasamvara emanated from the Buddha Vajradhara and was the treasured yidam (meditation deity) of Lord Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. Most of the famous 80 Indian mahasiddhas attained highest realization relying on this deity, which is considered to be the chief yidam within the Drikung Kagyu lineage. The general lineage derives from Vajradhara down to Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and Phagmo Drupa, and the tradition of practicing Chakrasamvara was established by Ga Lotsawa, a contemporary of Phagmo Drupa.” Drupon emphasizes that this empowerment is considered very secret and is not given nor should it be received carelessly.

He further states: “Whenever we receive an empowerment, there are always accompanying vows (samayas).There are many samayas for the Chakrasamvara empowerment, but the principal one is that we must not cause any discord in the sangha, and especially not among those with whom we receive the empowerment. We must commit to always being harmonious in the sangha and to benefiting sentient beings, or at least to not harming them.”


CHAKRASAMVARA DRUBCHEN, with VEN. DRUPON RINCHEN DORJEE RINPOCHE and VEN. LAMA THUBTEN NIMA
AUGUST 4 - 8 (AROUND THE CLOCK FROM 9 am, 8/4 to 5 pm, 8/8)

Preregistration deadline to reserve meals: July 17

Note: You must have received a Chakrasamvara Empowerment to participate in any part of the Chakrasamvara Drubchen.

Drupon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has asked that together we engage in this profound drubchen annually at Garchen Institute. He says that it enhances the power of the empowerment if we subsequently engage in the drubchen. “Drubchen” literally means “great accomplishment” in Tibetan and is one of the most elaborate forms of Vajrayana Buddhist practice. A drubchen is a rare opportunity to concentrate body, speech, and mind in spiritual application, resulting in realization and merit to sustain spiritual development in this and future lives. Participating in a drubchen with pure intention is said to generate merit and potential realization equal to one year of retreat or seven years of practice. Dedicating the practice to all sentient beings extends this benefit and enhances world peace and prosperity.

Chakrasamvara is the principal yidam (meditation deity) of all the Kagyu lineages. In the old tantras that were brought from India it is said that this deity is the utmost essence of all the deities and all the tantras. The reason we do this practice is to purify the habitual tendencies of samsara and to purify all obscurations. We are also purifying the imprints of the birth process. When we engage in the creation stage practice of Chakrasamvara, the practice that utilizes bliss as the method, we come to an understanding of the wisdom of bliss and emptiness. This is called the illustrative wisdom, depending on which we realize the actual nature of wisdom, which is Mahamudra.


REGISTERING FOR SUMMER TEACHINGS EVENTS

You are welcome to participate in whatever part of the teachings your schedule permits, but you must have received a Chakrasamvara Empowerment in order to participate in any part of the Chakrasamvara Drubchen.

Preregistration is required for all events.

To preregister, please download the Summer Teachings Registration Form and email to questions@garchen.net

By the preregistration deadline of July 17 for the Summer Teachings remit your nonrefundable deposit of one day’s tuition ($30) and 50% of the cost of meals you wish to purchase ($5 for breakfast, $8 for lunch, and $7 for dinner).

Please note that in order to reserve meals for the Summer Teachings, your meal deposit must be received by the July 17 deadline; meal availability cannot be guaranteed after that time.

Tuition for full days of the Summer Teachings is $30 and for half days, including empowerments, is $15.

To inquire about lodging availability and work-study opportunities for this event, please email the Institute at questions@garchen.net or call 928-925-1237.


THE FOUR THOUGHTS THAT TURN THE MIND TO DHARMA, WITH VEN. KHENPO SAMDUP
SEPTEMBER 13 - 14

Registration and meals deposit deadline: September 6

Note: Khenpo will teach in English.

Contemplation of the Four Thoughts, whose fruit is the renunciation of samsara, is a profound practice that lays the foundation for all subsequent practice. As pointed out by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, “If you think getting a full night’s sleep is a good thing, this is a sign you have not really understood the meaning of the Four Thoughts.” He further said that “in order to really integrate their meaning, it is important to think about them every day.”

To lay a firm foundation for practice, we contemplate the following: the preciousness of our human incarnation, the certainty of death and the impermanence of all that exists, the principle of karmic cause and effect, and the defects of samsara. Until our contemplation bears fruit, we will continue to seek happiness through samsaric existence, which always only leads to more suffering.

The practice of the Four Thoughts, also known as the “Ordinary Preliminaries,” may be done as part of one’s daily practice or intensively in 100-day retreat.

Recommended reading: Gampopa, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Chapters 2-11; Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, Chapters 1-4; Khandro Rinpoche, This Perfect Life; and Thrangu Rinpoche, Four Foundations of Buddhist Practice. The first three titles are available through our webstore at  www.garchen.net/gbi-store, our onsite bookstore.

Please join us for these beautiful teachings and contemplative practice sessions, especially suited for those new to Buddhism, participating in all or part as your schedule permits. Khenpo will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Ven. Khenpo Samdup, spiritual director at Gar Drolma Buddhist Center in Dayton, Ohio, was born in Tibet and is a long-time student of His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche. He studied the philosophy of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism under numerous Khenpos, including Khenpo Munsel and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. He taught for five years at Kagyu College in India founded by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, from whom he received the vast teachings and transmissions of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. His current writings include Learning Buddhism: Source of Temporary and Permanent Happiness and The Stages of Meditation: A Meditation Guide plus commentaries on Jigten Sumgon’s Gongchig: Clarifying the Central Thoughts of the Single Intention and on The Supplication of the Seven Taras.

To preregister, please download the Four Thoughts Registration Form and email to questions@garchen.net


AMITABHA MILLION MANTRA ACCUMULATION, WITH VEN. LAMA THUBTEN NIMA
OCTOBER 11 - 13 (10/11 -12: 9 am - 5 pm; 10/13: TSKOK 9 am - noon

Registration and group lunches deadline: October 4

Amitabha’s Mantra: OM AMI DEWA HRI

Buddha Amitabha, known as the Buddha of Infinite Light, is considered the protector of beings who call upon him as they experience death and the after-death transitions in the bardo. Amitabha is also central to the practice of Phowa (the transference of consciousness at the time of death). Buddha Amitabha and related practices work with the enlightened energy of discriminating wisdom and the deluded energy of attachment. Through Amitabha practices, our deluded grasping and attachment are transmuted into the clear-sighted warmth of true loving compassion. The ego’s self-grasping demands yield to our deepening commitment to others’ well-being and enlightenment.

The Amitabha accumulation is done annually at The Garchen Institute at the request of Ven. Drubwang Konchog Norbu Rinpoche. He made this request on the occasion of his liberation at the Garchen temple on June 11, 2000. He urged us to recite the three Kaya mantras (those of Amitabha, Chenrezig, and Guru Rinpoche), which he said were the essence of the Tantric teachings. He asked that the recitations be done with loving kindness and compassion for all beings and that we sound the mantras correctly and clearly for all to hear.

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has said that anyone who participates in the million mantra accumulation—no matter how many mantras they are able to recite—receives the full merit for a million. No prior experience is necessary to participate.

Please join us at the Garchen Institute temple as your schedule permits, or recite the Amitabha mantra at home and add your daily totals to the counter at the Garchen Institute website, www.garchen.net (the counter will be activated at the website on October 1). You can also email your counts to questions@garchen.net or call us at 928-925-1237, and we will add them to the counter for you. We love hearing from you!

There is no meal service for this event, and tuition will be just $15/day for the first two days and $7.50 for the last day. Anyone interested in participating in group lunches the first two days, please email or call Amy at questions@garchen.net or 928-925-1237 by October 4 to see what you should bring.

Ven. Lama Thubten Nima is Resident Lama and Retreat Master at The Garchen Institute. He excelled in his studies at Gargon Monastery in Tibet, where he served as Chant Master and Disciplinarian. After receiving all the Drikung Kagyu teachings and empowerments, he was appointed Chant Master for all H.E. Garchen Rinpoche’s Dharma centers in the West. He is the author of The Protection and Repelling Drubchen of Manjushri Yamantaka, and his knowledge of the Dharma is vast.

To preregister, please download the Amitabha Registration Form and email to questions@garchen.net


THE MEANING OF BODHICITTA AND DEITY PRACTICE, WITH H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE
NOVEMBER 8 - 10

Registration and meals deposit deadline: November 1

As His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has lovingly instructed us again and again: “If you receive empowerment, it’s about bodhicitta. If you receive teachings, it’s about bodhicitta. If you practice teachings, it’s about bodhicitta. Everything comes down to bodhicitta. The essence of practice is about bodhicitta. When you sit down to do your practice, what you practice is bodhicitta.”

  “Bodhicitta” means awakened mind—the mind of the buddhas and our own true nature. Relative bodhicitta is about cultivating love and compassion, and ultimate bodhicitta is about the realization of the empty and aware nature of mind that pervades all. Both aspects are the key to letting go of self-grasping, and they lead to the cessation of all suffering.

When we start upon the path we must begin with the pure motivation of relative bodhicitta, love and compassion for all beings. Only when we truly focus on the needs of others and the aspiration to benefit beings in all that we do can we start to engage in authentic dharma practice. This is the foundation of all practice and we cannot progress upon the path without it.

On the first day of these teachings, Rinpoche will give teachings on the cultivation of relative bodhicitta, and he will include instructions on Tonglen (the practice of receiving and sending in which one takes in the pain and suffering of others on the in-breath and sends them love, joy, and healing on the out-breath). This particular meditation practice can be most beneficial when we ourselves are suffering the most. Through the practice of Tonglen, we contemplate how our suffering and the suffering of others are truly of the same essence, and we transform this suffering in our hearts. When we visualize sending out love and whatever else may be needed for other beings to end their suffering, we in turn relieve our own suffering.

When we have unconditional love and compassion for all beings, we start to see that we are really the same. With ultimate bodhicitta, we see that the essence of all suffering is truly empty and that the nature of mind that is all-pervasive is empty of substantial nature and beyond all concepts. We can most effectively realize this through awareness practices, such as Mahamudra or Dzogchen. These are considered the fruition practices of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, and on the second day of the teachings, Rinpoche will give an introduction. He has said that the essence of Mahamudra and Dzogchen is mindfulness, and we can all practice this.

On the third day, Rinpoche will give teachings on Deity Yoga practice as a way to realize relative and ultimate bodhicitta through the generation and completion stages. Bodhicitta is at the root of why and how we do deity practice. We engage in this practice throughout the year at Garchen Institute, and the combination of visualization and mantra recitation can sometimes seem daunting, but from the beginning it is our heart connection that is most important. Rinpoche always says that when we have love (relative bodhicitta) for others we naturally arise as the deity; the reason all deities arise is the wish to benefit beings. The essence of deity yoga is to see all form as the deity, empty like a rainbow, all sound as mantra, empty like the chime of a bell, and all thoughts as wisdom or the mind of the deity. Through this, we progressively gain understanding of the nature of emptiness (ultimate bodhicitta).

Please join us in receiving the magnificent nectar of these teachings from Rinpoche suitable for both beginning and established practitioners.


VAJRAKILAYA TEACHINGS, EMPOWERMENT AND DRUBCHEN, WITH H.E. GARCHEN RINPOCHE, VEN. DRUPON DORJEE RINPOCHE, VEN. LAMA THUBTEN NIMA, VEN. LAMA ABAO AND VEN. LAMA BUNIMA
NOVEMBER 11 - 16

Vajrakilaya’s Mantra: OM BENZAR KILIKILAYA SARWA BIGNEN BAM HUNG PHAT

Vajrakilaya is a wrathful manifestation of Vajrasattva, the buddha of purification. The practice of Vajrakilaya focuses on removing intense inner and outer obstacles to peace, happiness, and spiritual awakening.

In today’s difficult times, anxieties about our personal life and world conditions can create disturbing thought-forms within us. With billions of people consumed by the same concerns, our shared thought-forms create an interwoven web of great turmoil around the world. This can give rise to afflictive emotions, creating inner obstacles to spiritual practice and happiness, which, in turn, manifest as outer obstacles in life. Vajrakilaya practice is especially helpful and suitable during this time, both for individual practitioners and for the well-being of the world community as a whole. And it is a perfect way to prepare for the New Year.

“Drubchen” means “great accomplishment” in Tibetan and is one of the most elaborate forms of Vajrayana Buddhist practice. A drubchen is a rare opportunity to concentrate body, speech, and mind in spiritual application, resulting in realization and merit to sustain spiritual development in this and future lives. Sincere participation in a drubchen is said to generate merit and potential realization equal to one year of retreat. Dedicating the practice to all sentient beings extends this benefit and enhances world peace and prosperity.

The Vajrakilaya empowerment and teachings are offered, but are not required to participate in the drubchen, and no prior experience in the practice is necessary. You may attend part or all of the event as your schedule permits, and the empowerment may be attended separate from the drubchen.

The Vajrakilaya sadhana available through our webstore and onsite bookstore is "The Daily Practice of the Secret Attainment of the Unsurpassed Extremely Secret Vajrakilaya, called 'The Essence of the Play of Concerned Activity" and a very helpful book on Vajrakilaya practice is The Practice of Vajrakilaya. Both are available through our webstore at www.garchen.net/gbi-store (search for "Vajrakilaya") and our onsite bookstore.

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned in eastern Tibet by the former Drikung Kyagbon Zhiwe Lodrö. He was brought to Lho Miyal Monastery at age seven and administered it from the age of eleven. From great masters, he received vast and profound instructions on the preliminary practices (Ngondro), the Fivefold Practice of Mahamudra, and the Six Yogas of Naropa. At the age of 22, after completing a two and one half year retreat, he was imprisoned for 20 years during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in Tibet. While in the labor camp, he received meditation instructions from his root lama. Enduring hardship and practicing secretly, he attained realization of the lama’s wisdom mind. Since 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has made great effort to rebuild the Drikung Kagyu monasteries, reestablish the Buddhist teachings, and build four boarding schools for local children in Tibet. Rinpoche, known for his vast realization and kindness, is the founder and spiritual director of The Garchen Institute.

To preregister, please download the Vajrakilaya Registration Form and email to questions@garchen.net


H.E. Garchen Rinpoche U.S./International Tour 2014

July 26 – August 3: RIGPA NEWCASTLE & RIGPA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

August 14 - 17: DRIGAR THUBTEN DARGYE LING, SINGAPORE

August 20 - 27: LERAB LING RETREAT CENTER, ROQUEREDONDE, FRANCE

September 1 - 25: DRIKUNG GARCHEN INSTITUTE, MUNICH, GERMANY

October 2 - 8: MILAREPA RETREAT CENTER, SCHNEVERDINGEN, GERMANY

October 8 -14: INSTITUTO CHANGCHUP, PORTO, PORTUGAL

October 14 - 20: DRIKUNG SAMTEN CHOLING, WARSAW, POLAND

October 20 -29: DRIKUNG COMMUNITY RATNASHRI, KIEV, UKRAINE

October 29 - Nobember 4: VIENNA, AUSTRIA