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Tasting the Essence of Tantra Module 1: Preparing the Ground

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Event Description

Preparing the Ground: Mahamudra Retreat is the first module in Tasting the Essence of Tantra, Series 2. This series of retreats builds on the hugely successful experiential meditation training program, Tasting the Essence of Tantra, Series 1 that Rob Preece offered here from 2013 to 2017.

Series 2 is a six-module program that commences in the Spring of 2018. It will be delivered twice yearly for three years, ending in the Fall of 2020.

Each module comprises a five-day residential retreat which may be completed as a standalone. However, since each retreat will form part of an unfolding series, an engagement in the entire process would be recommended for the full benefit to be gained.

Module 1 Description

The practice of Mahamudra will be introduced as well as an emphasis on the relationship to the body as the essential ground of transformation and awakening. Through this, we begin to discover the capacity of awareness to be with our experiences and a true meaning of inner refuge. This retreat will be the foundation of some of the fundamentals of meditation upon which the other retreats are based. Mahamudra introduces us to the innate clarity of our mind through a process of meditation that goes beneath our ordinary conceptual mind. This will particularly follow an approach that was often taught by Lama Yeshe when he was alive.

During this retreat we will also explore the nature of refuge and our alignment with our innate Buddha potential. It will orient around the practice of Shakyamuni Buddha as the source of refuge and the reflection of our own innate nature. Our understanding of refuge shifts and deepens as the journey of awakening unfolds; what often begins as a refuge in intellectual knowledge must change to become a real and direct relationship to our true nature.

There will be a particular emphasis upon working within the body. Meditation will be supported by the movement practice of Kum Nye to help sustain a healthy release of processes arising within the body.

Prerequisites Apply. See Prerequisite tab for more info.

Retreat Structure

This retreat will be primarily in silence with guided meditation practices throughout. Rob will also open up the space for discussion in order to 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.

Additional Info

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

  • 27 February 2018 to 4 March 2018

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

Teacher Bio

Rob Preece

Rob Preece has been a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for more than 45 years. He was a founding member of Manjushri Institute in the UK and lived there until 1980 when he went into retreat above Dharamsala 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 Zong 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 30 years Rob has also led 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 Tantra”, “The Wisdom of Imperfection”, “The Courage to Feel” and “Preparing for Tantra”.

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
Main Dormitory $625.00 $798.00
Semi-Private Dormitory $677.00 $850.00
Private Room $940.00 $1,107.00
Private Room – extra person
$578.00 $747.00
Cabin $1,124.00 $1,288.00
Cabin – extra person
$604.00 $824.00
Commuter Option A: $315.00 Option B: $464.00
Level 1: One Student $170.00
Level 2: Two Students $340.00

Prerequisites apply. Those who did not attend Tasting the Essence of Tantra, Series 1 are required to complete a pre-registration questionnaire so their suitability for this advanced program can be assessed. (A background of study and understanding of the sutra teachings particularly found within the Lam Rim or some equivalent is necessary. Previous study of the Discovering Buddhism series or The Foundation of Buddhist Thought or attendance at the Kopan West Lam Rim retreats held at Vajrapani Institute twice yearly would be useful.)

These retreats will be suitable for those who have received higher Tantra empowerments as well as for those that have not. Within the processes of practice however, this will mean there will be some variations in the way of meditation.

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