Spiritual programme

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Understanding Buddhist Psychology & Lam Rim Retreat – With Ven. Lobsang Namgyel
From Tuesday, 31. October 2017
To Thursday, 9. November 2017
Location : Main gompa

A ten-day – almost full silence – introductory retreat to the Buddhist Psychology and Lam Rim: the graduated path to enlightenment led by Venerable Lobsang Namgyel.

Ven. Namgyel is a Western senior monk, with an array of life experiences and a unique, friendly and humorous style which makes students feel comfortable from the start. His western view of Buddhism allows students to understand the Buddhist Psychology in a very experiential manner.

This course serves as either an introduction to Buddhism or as a complementary course for those who have already attended an introductory course and would like to deepen their knowledge of the Buddhist Psychology. The course will include meditation, Buddhist philosophy classes, group discussions and pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa for blessings and inspiration on alternate evening sessions.

This retreat will include full days in silence.

Why retreat on the lam-rim? Because the lam-rim contains every single teaching of the Buddha. Even one syllable of a lam-rim teaching can be seen by the practitioner striving to achieve enlightenment as a personal instruction. Not even one syllable should be left out of the Buddha’s teachings. The main goal of every single word of the Buddha is to tame the mind, because your heart and mind are the creators of all the suffering. When you transform your heart, you are the creator of your happiness and peace, liberation and enlightenment.

Why specifically lam-rim retreat? Because it has a very special presentation to subdue the mind. The cause of all suffering of all sentient beings, from where all suffering and problems come, now and in the future, is the mind. If you analyze throughout your life, you will see this clearly. You can also understand this from what the Buddha said:

Do not engage in any harmful actions
Perform only those that are good
Subdue your own mind
This is the teaching of the Buddha.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche



Tue 31 Oct  
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.15pm First session with Ven. Namgyel
Wed 1 to Wed 8 Oct  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
12 noon Lunch
2.00pm Discussion groups
3.00pm Break
3.30pm Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
6.00pm Dinner
7.15pm Evening meditation/Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa
(alternate days to be announced)
Thu 9 Oct  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Last Session with Ven. Namgyel (with tea break)
12 noon Big Love Lunch

Please note: this schedule is subject to change.

Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.

To maintain a conducive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.

  • Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.

Please be aware:

  • * The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.

General information about the spiritual programme

Our spiritual programme now runs from beginning of September through to end of April.

On the appropriate dates in the Tibetan calendar year-round, however, we observe the standard pujas of the Gelug tradition and these are drop-in sessions which anyone can attend. If you are in Bodhgaya and would like to come along, please feel welcome to join us for:

  • Tara puja
  • Medicine Buddha puja
  • Lama Ch'opa ts'og offering
  • Protector puja

Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all spiritual programme events except drop-in sessions, Festival of Lights & Merit, and Mahabodhi Stupa events.

To book your own individual or group retreat, please go to Blessings > Retreat – at Stupa Garden of Compassion, through which you can also book accommodation.