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Discovering the Nature of Mind: Tasting the Essence of Tantra Series Module 3 with Rob Preece

Sep 9, 2014 - Sep 14, 2014

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Retreat Overview

What is it?

Tasting the Essence of Tantra is designed as a four year meditation training program with 2 residential retreats each year and ongoing support to help you keep your practice going while at home.  

 

Introduction:

Tantra or Vajrayana is one of the most extraordinary aspects of Buddhism that emerged in India and became shaped and developed in its transmission through Nepal and into Tibet. Today this tradition is accessible to Westerners as Tibetan masters come to the West to teach. Many people are attracted to tantric practice but are not always able to make a deep connection to experience. The complexity of practice that has been developed in Tibet is not easy for us as Westerners to relate to and does not always suit the Western mind. Many people try to engage with these practices but struggle with this complexity and become disappointed when they do not seem to be attaining the results they may have wished for.

 

To gain a genuine experience of this path we need to find ways to enable the particular psychological nature of our Western mind to be touched by this profound Eastern tradition. Tantra is a creative process and just as it evolved when it became Tibetan experience, so too it must evolve as it meets the Western mind in order that it genuinely becomes our experience.

 

Program Objectives:

·         Open to the experience of how tantra works

·         Awaken a taste of tantra, not just intellectual knowledge

·         Establish an on-going daily meditation practice

·         Develop a good basis for further preliminary (Gnon Dro) practices

·         Develop a sound relationship between the body and emotional experience

During the course there will be a gradual introduction to the primary deity practices

 

of Kriya tantra and to some of the foundations for the practice of Higher tantra. As the course progresses participants will be supported to establish an on-going meditation practice, learn the processes of making offerings, creating sacred space, purification and healing. Those who are able to participate in the entire program will find this is a good basis for further practice such as the Gnon Dro or preliminary practices as well as the practices of Higher Tantra.

 

Rob’s style of teaching is oriented to opening a dialogue around the material that is being explored. This is to maintain a spirit of exploration and creativity in the way tantra is integrated into Western experience rather than holding to rigid prescriptions of practice. Because of this, it is helpful to bear in mind that elements of the course may change as it unfolds to take into account what emerges as things progress and what is relevant to people’s experience.

 

Program Modules:

Module 1: Becoming a stable vessel- September 3-8, 2013

Module 2: Awakening right intention- March 4-9, 2014

Module 3: Discovering the nature of mind- September 9-14, 2014

Module 4: The nature of Kriya Tantra- Spring 2015

Module 5: Awakening the energy body- Fall 2015

Module 6: Working with the shadow- Spring 2016

Module 7: The Masculine and Feminine- Fall 2016

Module 8: The Mandala and Visions of wholeness- Spring 2017

 

For more information on the learning objectives of these 8 modules look here.icon Learning Objectives.

 

Between retreat support:

 

After each retreat there will 2 audio recordings by Rob.  These will be delivered approximately 4 and 8 weeks after the module ends and students will be contacted by email beforehand so that they can submit their questions for Rob to address.  The aim of the recordings is to help students integrate what they have learned into their daily lives and practices.  Students will also have access to a retreat support blog with recordings of meditations, teachings and other resources. 

 

Attendance:

For the sake of continuity participants are asked to commit to attending the entire program, but we would also like to make it possible for someone to join this process even at the third module.  This will depend upon the availability of space and the experience and background of those concerned.

For those who would like to attend the third module, but were not able to attend the first and second, you will need to listen to the recordings of the first two retreats and practice the meditations. This way you will be able to follow the whole process and not have a gap. Otherwise it would be like coming in to watch a movie half way through and you don't know the plot. Each retreat will be an evolution from the one before and so this would be the best way to approach it.  Once you have registed for the third module and submitted your registration form (see pre-requisites tab), you will be given instructions on how to access these recordings. 

Module 3

What is it?

“Module 3: Discovering the Nature of Mind,” is the third retreat in this series of 8 progressive retreats that will train students in the preparation of Tibetan Buddhist tantra.  For more information on this full program see, “Retreat Overview” tab. 

 

Introduction:

In this module we will bring together the insight of emptiness from Madyamika philosophy with meditation on the nature of mind in Mahamudra. We will look at the cultivation of the insight of emptiness and explore the stages for developing the practice of tranquil abiding and deepen the understanding of Buddha nature, Dharmakaya as the innate clear light nature of mind.  This retreat will be supported by introducing the deity Manjushri.

 

  

Learning Objectives:

• Develop the capacity of clear present awareness resting in the nature of mind from the Mahamudra tradition.

• Establish an understanding of the stages of tranquil abiding and the obstacles to be overcome in the process.

• Gain a taste on a more felt level of the underlying presence of Dharmakaya as the ground of being.

• Develop a relationship to the deity Manjushri.

 

Retreat Structure:

This retreat will be primarily in silence and there will be guided meditation practices throughout. Rob Preece will also open up the space for discussion around these themes so that we can address people’s questions. This is an opportunity to investigate deeply the way in which tantra can be integrated into our western experience and emerge as a creative process.  

 

Who is it for?

For those who have attended the first 2 modules in the "Tasting the Essece of Tantra" series.  See the pre-requisites tab for more information and on how to join for those who are new to the series.  This retreat will be useful for both those who are relatively new to the Tantric tradition as well as those with experience. One should have a strong foundation in the Lam-Rim: the gradual steps to enlightenment or three principles of the path and have at least 2 years of meditation experience and daily practice.

 

Teacher Bio

Rob Preece has been a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for the past 40 years. He was a founding member of Manjushri Institute in the UK and lived there until 1980 when he went into retreat above Daramsala on the guidance of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He remained there for the next five years primarily in retreat but with the opportunity to study with a number of eminent lamas including Song Rinpoche, Lati Rinpoche, Gomo Rinpoche and H.H. Dalai Lama.

 

Returning to the west in 1985 he began to train as a Psychotherapist at the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology in London, a Jungian based psychotherapy. Since that time he has had a busy Psychotherapy practice and has taught many workshops on comparative Jungian and Buddhist Psychology. More recently his work has shifted from psychotherapy to spiritual mentoring.

 

Over the past 25 years Rob has also lead many meditation retreats introducing the practices of the Tantric tradition with a wish to honor Lama Yeshe's profound and creative approach to practice.  Many of these retreats bring together the combination of meditation and movement guided by his wife Anna. In 2005 Rob was initiated as a Granicero or 'weather worker' within the Nahual tradition of Central Mexico something that informs his work with the land and weather within which he lives in the UK. He brings together the Tantric tradition with this shamanic background as a means to help Tantric practice become grounded in relation to the land and the elements of the natural world. Rob is an experienced thangka painter and keen gardener and is the father of two boys. He is the author of The Psychology of Buddhist TantraThe wisdom of imperfectionThe Courage to Feel and Preparing for Tantra.

Schedule

Each residential retreat in this series will follow this basic structure:

 

Day Hours Events
First Day 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Registration
  5:15 pm – 5:45 pm Working Meditation Training
  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner
  7:00 pm – 7:30 pm Vajrapani Orientation Session (In Gompa)
  7:30 PM Introductory Session
     
Full days 7:00 am – 8:00 am Morning Session
  8:00 am - 8:30 am Breakfast
  9:00 am - 12:00 pm Teaching and meditations with a tea break
  12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Lunch
  3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Afternoon talk with discussion
  4:30 pm- 6:00pm meditation and kum nye
  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner
  7:30 PM Evening Session
     
Last day 7:00 am – 8:00 am Morning Session
  8:00 am - 8:30 am Breakfast
  8:30am-   9:30am Pack Up from Accommodations
  9:30 am - 12:00 pm Last Session
  12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Lunch
  12:45 pm - 1:30 pm Final Clean up
  2:00 PM Retreat Ends

Pre-requisites

In order to attend this program one should have a strong foundation in the Lam-Rim: the gradual steps to enlightenment (for example, completed Discovering Buddhism/ Basic Program, completed a lam rim retreat such as kopan west, or other lam rim/ three principles of the path  study program, etc....) and have at least 2 years of meditation experience and daily practice.  It is not suited for beginners.  One does not though need to have received an empowerment to attend.   

 

For the sake of continuity participants are asked to commit to attending the entire program, but we would also like to make it possible for someone to join this process even at the third module.  This will depend upon the availability of space and the experience and background of those concerned. 

If you are new to the program, you will need to listen to recordings from the first 2 retreats and develop familiarity with the foundational meditations presented there.  Once you register for this third module and submit your registration form below, you will then be given access to the retreat resource page containing these recordings.

 

If you would like to take part in this program, it will be necessary for us to have a clear idea of your experience and background particularly in relation to the Tibetan tradition, as well as your meditation and retreat experience. We will also need to know of any mental health issues that you have had as well as any particular physical disabilities that might be relevant to this process.

 

Please download and fill out this registration form, returning to the email listed on the form.icon Registration Form (Tantra Series)

Fees

Option A is a slightly lower cost designed to allow as many people to attend as possible. Option B reflects the true cost of hosting visitors and is higher as a result. The accommodations are the same for both and you can choose whichever price suits your financial needs.

 

Fees (inclusive of accommodation, meals, retreat fees)
  Option A Option B
Camping $440.00 $575.00
Main Dormitory $595.00 $775.00
Semi-Private Dormitory $645.00 $825.00
     
Private Room $895.00 $1,075.00
Private Room SHARE OPTION $550.00 $725.00
Cabin $1,070.00 $1,250.00
Cabin SHARE OPTION $575.00 $800.00
     
SPONSORSHIP    
Level 1: One Student $170.00  
Level 2: Two Students $340.00  
Level 3: Three Students $510.00  
Other    

10% Membership Discounts are applicable for Members.

Preview Accommodations

Financial Aid is Available!

See our FAQ for full Registration Policies.

FAQ

Can I attend if I haven't attended the first 2 modules?

This is possible, but it will be necessary for us to have a clear idea of your experience and background particularly in relation to the Tibetan tradition, as well as your meditation and retreat experience. We will also need to know of any mental health issues that you have had as well as any particular physical disabilities that might be relevant to this process.

 

Please download and fill out this registration form, returning to the email listed on the form.icon Registration Form (Tantra Series)

 

You will also need to listen to recordings from the first 2 retreats and develop familiarity with the foundational meditations presented there.  Once you register for this third module and submit your registration form below, you will then be given access to the retreat resource page containing these recordings.

 

Do I have to fill out a registration form?

Yes, for those who are new to the series, you need to fill out a form.  This helps to give the teacher an understanding of your background in Tibetan Buddhism, meditation and mental health.  These forms are kept confidential and shared with the teacher only.icon Registration Form (Tantra Series)

If you attended the first module in this series, you do not need to fill out another form.

 

Do I need a tantric empowerment to attend?

No, you do not need an empowerment to attend.  

 

Financial Aid

We want to make retreat available to everyone.  With this in mind, we will gladly work out a payment plan with you. If you need even more assistance, we offer several scholarships. Please note that the scholarship deadline is one month before retreat begins.

If you have additional questions after reviewing the guidelines for payment plans and/or scholarships, please email the Office at office@vajrapani.org


Readings

Books by Rob Preece:

  • The Wisdom of Imperfection
  • The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra
  • The Courage to Feel
  • Preparing for Tantra

Other Reading:

  • Introduction to Tantra, by Lama Yeshe
  • The Three Principle Aspects of the Path, by Geshe Sonam Rinchen
  • An Ocean of Ultimate Meaning, by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
  • Awakening the Heart, by John Welwood.