Spiritual programme

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Emptiness & Dependent Arising – With Geshe Rabga
From Tuesday, 27. March 2018
To Friday, 30. March 2018
Location : Main gompa

One of Lama Tsongkhapa's greatest insights was his understanding of emptiness to mean dependent arising, and dependent arising to mean emptiness. Emptiness is the negation of true existence; existence can only be established by virtue of dependent arising.

Our resident geshe, Geshe Ngawang Rabga, will give a presentation on this profound topic, a key source for cutting our ignorance, the root of our bondage to cyclic existence.

Geshe-la teaches in Tibetan and will be assisted by an English translator.

For us ordinary beings, whatever we contact, talk about, or think about – everything – appears truly existent and we believe in that appearance. We grasp things as truly existent. However, when you realise the emptiness of the "I" or any other phenomenon and train your mind in that realisation, you see that this phenomenon is merely labeled by mind. Even though true existence still appears to you, you don't assent to that appearance; you don't believe that phenomena truly exist. You know they exist by being merely labeled by mind, even though they appear truly existent. You have discovered that they're not true, that they exist in mere name.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche



Tue 27 Mar Welcome to Root Institute
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening Meditation
Wed 28–Thu 29 Mar  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
10.00am Break
10.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
12.00pm Lunch
2.15pm Discussion groups
3.15pm Break
3.30pm Teachings with Geshe-la
4:30pm Break
6:00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening meditation
Fri 30 Mar  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
10.00am Break
10.30am Teachings with Geshe-la
12:00pm Lunch
2.15pm Discussion groups
3:15pm Break
3.30pm Last Teachings with Geshe-la

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.