Vajrapani Institute
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A Practical Guide to True Happiness: Kopan West Lam Rim Retreat

Event Description

Dates

November 3 – 12, 2017

Level

All Levels

Silence Level

Partial


What is it?

Have you been curious about Buddhist practice, but don’t know where to begin? Have you attended Buddhist teachings, but don’t know how to meditate on the subjects you’ve studied?

This class will be based on the “Stages of the Path” (lamrim) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and will include lectures, guided meditations, discussion periods, and experiential homework assignments. The “Stages of the Path” was developed as a synthesis of main subject matter of all the sutras taught by the Buddha. Subjects to be discussed will include: impermanence, karma, death and rebirth, developing loving-kindness, compassion and the awakening mind (bodhicitta), the ultimate nature of reality, and more.

This class will also teach you the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation, and give you the tools you need both to begin a daily meditation practice and to deal with problems and difficulties once you have started to meditate. Throughout the week, you will learn new information about the theory and practice of meditation, and will also be led in a guided meditation on the subject matter presented in class.

Who is it for?

Beginners are welcome and encouraged, as well as more advanced students wanting to review the stages of the path in an experiential format.

Background on the retreat

A one month meditation course was established in 1971 by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. Since then the course has been held every year, attended by thousands of people looking for meaning and happiness in their lives. The course is based on the lamrim, or Stages of the Path teachings of the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism which provides a systematic and practical approach to the Buddha’s teachings.

If Nepal is too far and too expensive for you to visit, join this unique retreat modeled after Kopan Monastery’s month long November course, right here in California!

Suggested reading
  • The Four Noble Truths, Geshe Tashi Tsering (Wisdom Publications)
  • What Makes You Not a Buddhist, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (Shambala Publication)
  • How to Meditate, Kathleen McDonald (Wisdom Publications)

Additional information
  • Please plan on arriving between 3:00 and 5:00 PM on the first day of the retreat.
  • Please plan on departing approximately 2:00 PM on the last day of the retreat.
  • For a preview of our accommodations, please click here.
  • For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.

If you are interested in serving as Course Liaison for this retreat, please apply here.


  • 3 November 2017 to 12 November 2017

Already Registered? Prepare for your Group Retreat Want to offer Service? Volunteer to be Course Liaison

Teacher Bio

Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi

Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi became interested in meditation after reading Be Here Now and Autobiography of a Yogi in the early 1970s. For the next 20 years, she describes her spiritual path as meandering and haphazard that included several dead ends. In early 1991, she she bought a one-way ticket to India with the intention of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In late 1991, she became co-director of Vajrapani Institute in California. In 1995, she began working at FPMT International Office, first as co-director and then later as center services coordinator. In early 2000, Venerable Tenzin began a long, solitary retreat that lasted 6½ years. She decided to become ordained in the third year of her long retreat and left retreat for a quick trip to India in 2004 for novice ordination with His Holiness. Since 2008, she has been teaching at various centers worldwide. Most recently, she was the resident teacher at Gendun Drugpa center in Canada and is now resident teacher at Vajrapani Institute.

Pay-It-Forward:

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 2012’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 $150 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.