Spiritual programme

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Geshe Dorji Damdul – Bodhicitta Retreat
From Thursday, 21. December 2017
To Sunday, 31. December 2017
Location : Main gompa

Every year Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director of Tibet House in New Delhi, and one of the official translators for His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, comes to Root Institute to lead his signature 10-day Bodhichitta Retreat. Geshe-la has a highly energetic and engaging teaching style that covers the more complex topics of emptiness, tenets, relative and ultimate reality, and bodhichitta.

This retreat is extremely popular among all students – beginners, intermediate and long-term practitioners. If you consider yourself a beginner we suggest prior reading and preparation; these Lam Rim guided meditations – PDF – by Ven. Thubten Chodron would serve as a helpful resource.

The retreat will include teachings and meditations guided by Geshe-la, discussion groups, Geshe-la leading students in aspiring bodhisattva vows and making offerings at the Mahabodhi Stupa, and guiding students on a pilgrimage to Vulture's Peak and Nalanda.

This retreat will include maintaining silence from afternoon through to breakfast.

Tentative schedule subject to change

Thu 21 Dec  
4:00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator
Fri 22–Sat 30 Dec
5:30am Wake up / personal practice
6:00am Morning Practice (prostrations & meditations) with Geshe Damdul
7:45am Breakfast
9:00am Teachings with Geshe Damdul
10:30am Tea Break & group discussion
11:30am Teachings with Geshe Damdul
12:30noon Lunch
2:30pm Teachings with Geshe Damdul
4:00pm Tea break & group discussion
5:00pm Sitting meditation & dedication prayers
6:00pm Supper
7:00pm Group discussion (optional)
Sun 31 Dec
5:30am Wake up / personal practice
6:00am Morning practice (prostrations and meditations) with Geshe Damdul
7:45am Breakfast
9:00am Last teachings with Geshe Damdul
12:30 noon Lunch
2:00pm Root Institute tour
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.