Spiritual programme

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Manjushri ~ Wisdom of Emptiness Retreat – With Ven. Namjong
From Wednesday, 28. February 2018
To Friday, 16. March 2018
Location : Main gompa


Manjushri tangka
Manjushri tangka at Root Institute

Manjushri is the embodiment of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. The word manju means "charming, beautiful, pleasing" and shri means "glory, brilliance". Manjushri is first referred to in early Mahayana sutras such as the Prajnaparamita sutras, and through this association very early in the tradition he came to symbolise the embodiment of prajñā (transcendental wisdom).

Manjushri's unimaginable compassion is expressed by druk-tar cher-drok, which means "like the roar of a dragon's thunder". He makes the Dharma teaching known over a great distance with a loud sound. This is an expression of his kind concern and compassion for sentient beings. The ultimate way of benefiting sentient beings is not to improve their physical standard of living, but to improve their spiritual standard.

About the retreat

To be able to do the fire puja at the end of the retreat participants need to have taken a Manjushri Initiation/Jenang before or take with Dagri Rinpoche the Manjushri Initiation at Root Institute on February 25th from 10am to 12 noon, please read on our website the commitments of taking such initiation. Those who want to do the fire puja at the end will also have to recite 400.000 Manjushri mantras. Participants can also do the retreat without taking the initiation, doing the fire puja or accumulating mantras.

This is a semi-advanced retreat, ideal for those who want to enhance their inner wisdom and awaken from the sleep of ignorance. As Manjushri holds a wisdom sword that cuts through delusion, confusion and doubt, engaging in this practice will bring about a process of transformation towards wise discernments, inner power and clarity. Wisdom is Manjushri's quality of mind; compassion is its expression.

This retreat will include taking the Eight Mahayana precepts, Buddhist meditation prayers, Lama Ch'öpa practice, meditations and practices on Manjushri, meditations on emptiness, Buddhist teachings, protector prayers, purification practice, and a fire puja at the end of the retreat.

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 and experienced in this very beautiful practice towards awakening.

This retreat will include days of full silence.

In your application, please do let us know whether you have taken this initiation before, and if you have long daily commitments (as if this is the case we might need to re-adjust the schedule).


Wed 28 Feb  
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm First session with Ven. Namjong
Thu 1–Thu 15 Mar  
5.45am Mahayana precepts, morning prayers, Lama Ch'öpa
7.30am Breakfast
9:00am Meditation on Manjushri with Ven Namjong
11:30am Lunch
2.00pm Meditation on Manjushri with Ven Namjong
3.30pm Break
4:00pm Meditation on Manjushri with Ven Namjong
6.00pm Evening Tea
7.00pm Evening session with protector prayers and purification practice
Fri 16 Mar  
5.45am Mahayana precepts, morning prayers, Manjushri sadhana
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Fire Puja
11:30 am 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.