Spiritual programme

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Introductory Course to Buddhism – With Ven. Namjong
From Friday, 16. February 2018
To Sunday, 25. February 2018
Location : Main gompa

This course is ideal for those who are very enthusiastic to learn about the basic aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. It will include meditations, group discussions, Buddhist teachings and pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa for blessings and inspiration.

Ven. Namjong is a young Hawaiian monk who has been studying intensely at Sera Jey Monastery in South India for his Geshe degree (equivalent to a PhD in Buddhist Studies). He is very friendly and approachable, creating a great opportunity for beginners to ask questions.

This course has the aim to create a peaceful environment for seekers from all around the world to learn and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. Some of the topics that will be covered are:

  • Karma & rebirth
  • Mind & its potential
  • Generation of compassion
  • View of dependent arising

This course will include days of full silence.


Fri 16 Feb  
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm First session with Ven. Namjong
Sat 17 to Sat 24 Feb  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
9.00am Session with Ven. Namjong  
10.30am Break
11.00am Session with Ven. Namjong  
12 noon Lunch
2.00pm Discussion groups
3.30pm Break
4.00pm Session with Ven. Namjong (including Q & A session)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening meditation / Pilgrimage to Mahabodhi Stupa
(alternate days to be announced)
Sun 25 Feb  
6.45am Morning meditation 
7.30am Breakfast 
9.00am Session with Ven. Namjong
10.30am Break
11.00am Last Session with Ven Namjong
12 noon 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 Bodhgaya's blessings > Retreat – at Stupa Garden of Compassion, through which you can also book accommodation.