V-Voice Blog Latest

A Practical Guide to True Happiness: Kopan West Lam Rim Retreat with Glen Svensson

Nov 21, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014



Already Registered? Prepare for your Group Retreat

Want to offer Service? Volunteer to be Course Liaison

Retreat Overview

What is it?

We all want to be happy and we all want to be free of suffering. This 10 day retreat will not only provide you with a clear roadmap of how to overcome suffering and to find true happiness but it will also provide you with the tools necessary to undertake that journey.


The retreat will be based on 'The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment' (LAMRIM Chenmo) by Lama Tsongkhapa. This text describes the stages of the path to enlightenment as set out within the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.


Some of the main topics covered will include:

·         suffering and its causes

·         the mind and the mental afflictions

·         death and rebirth (samsara and nirvana)

·         bodhicitta – the mind aspiring to enlightenment for the benefit of others

·         shamatha practice – developing a calm, clear and focused mind

·         vipashyana practice – gaining insight into the nature of reality


Who is it for? 

This retreat is suitable for both beginners and more experienced practitioners. It provides not only an extensive introduction into the theory and practice of the path to enlightenment but is also an excellent opportunity for more advanced students to deepen their understanding and own practice.


Teacher Bio


Glen Svensson (originally from Queensland, Australia) has been a student and practitioner of Buddhism since 1995 and graduated from the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Italy in 2004.

Since 2005, with a teaching style emphasizing clarity and simplicity, he has taught extensively at Dharma Centres in Australia, Europe and also India where he frequently leads both introductory and intermediate level courses in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation at Tushita Meditation Centre in the town of McLeod Ganj (Dharamsala), home-in-exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

This will be Glen's first vist to Vajrapani and we are really looking forward to hosting him here.

For more on Glen and to see the many helpful resources he has posted online, go to his webpage at www.glensvensson.org


Basic Schedule, Subject to Change


November 21

3:00pm – 5:00pm



5:15pm – 5:45pm

Working Meditation Training


6:00pm – 7:00pm



7:00pm – 7:30pm

Vajrapani Orientation Session (In Gompa)



Introductory Session


Nov. 22-29

7:00am – 8:00am

Guide Shamatha (calm abiding) Meditation


8:00am - 8:30am



9:00am - 10:15am

Teaching Session 1 (including meditation)


10:15am- 10:45am

Morning Tea


10:45am- 12:00pm

Teaching Session 2


12:00pm - 12:45pm



2:00pm - 3:00pm

Discussions in Groups (with assigned questions)


3:00pm- 3:30pm

Afternoon Tea


3:30pm- 5:00pm

Teaching Session 3 (including discussion review)


5:15pm – 6:00pm

Guided Analytical Meditation


6:00pm – 7:00pm



7:30pm- 8:30pm

Guided Analytical Meditation


Nov. 30

7:00am – 8:00am

Guide Shamatha (calm abiding) Meditation


8:00am - 8:30am



8:30am-   9:00am

Remove belongings from Accommodations


9:00am - 10:00am

Teaching Session 1 (summery)


10:00am- 10:30am

Morning Tea


10:30am- 11:30am

Teaching Session 2 (advice)


11:30am- 12:00pm

Retreat close and thank you


12:00pm - 12:45pm



12:45pm - 1:30pm

Final Clean up



Retreat Ends



There are no fees for this retreat.

That's right. No fees. The retreat is offered to anyone who participates. It's an experiment we started at last year's Kopan West- Lam Rim retreat in the spirit of making the dharma freely available to all.  


If it is being offered, who pays for my retreat?

Your retreat has been sponsored by someone who came before you and by past benefactors. Because it's a gift, you can't pay them back - but you can pay-it-forward by making a contribution that will allow future retreatants to experience the same generosity.  


How does this donation system work?

At the end of the retreat, you will have the opportunity to make a donation based on what feels right in your heart. 100% of the proceeds will go towards supporting future retreatants to keep the generosity going. No pressure or questions asked. Let your heart decide what you would like to offer.


Is there a deposit?

A $100 deposit is required to reserve a space. Your deposit will be refunded as long as you attend the retreat. No refunds for cancellations.


How do I choose the accommodation? 

Once you start the registration process, you'll see details of the accommodation that are available from camping to dorm to private rooms. All accommodation is made available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  


Is partial attendance allowed? 

In order to provide the most conducive conditions for retreat, we hold full time, residential retreats only.  This allows the group energy to build and minimizes distractions, so you can gain the full benefit of retreat.  See our retreat philosophy and FAQ for more information. Some exceptions can be made for special circumstances and will need the approval of the teacher and our Community Relations Coordinator (CRC) before the retreat begins. Please contact our office at office@vajrapani.org.