Spiritual programme

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Heart Sutra Retreat – With Ven. Olivier Rossi
From Saturday, 31. March 2018
To Monday, 2. April 2018
Location : Main gompa

Experienced western monk, Ven. Olivier Rossi, will lead this experiential retreat on the Heart Sutra – The Perfect of Wisdom.

The Heart Sutra is the most essential point of the 84,000 sets of the Buddha's teachings. This sutra (discourse from the Buddha) has various leves: extensive, intermediate and concise. It is said to contain the condensed meaning of all three levels of the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras.

The Heart Sutra explicitly explains emptiness, the ultimate nature of phenomena, and implicitly explains the paths traversed by a Bodhisattva (practitioner who has an effortless wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings) in order to attain Buddhahood. 

This retreat will include teachings on the Heart Sutra, opportunities to test and clarify ideas through discussion groups, and guided meditations to get a deeper personal experience of the correct view of emptiness.

This retreat serves either as an introduction to the Buddhist wisdom side of the path, or as a complementary retreat for those who have already attended an introductory course and would like to deepen their knowledge.


Sat 31 Marh  
4.00pm Introduction to course by Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC)
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm First session with Ven. Olivier
Sun 1 April  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Session with Ven. Olivier
10.00am Break
10.30am Session with Ven. Olivier
12 noon Lunch
2.00pm Discussion group
3.15pm Break
3.30pm Session with Ven. Olivier
5.00pm Break
6.00pm Dinner
7.00pm Evening meditation
Mon 2 April  
6.45am Morning meditation
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am Session with Ven. Olivier
10.00am Break
10.30am Session with Ven. Olivier
12 noon Lunch
2:00pm Discussion group
3.15pm Break
3.30pm Last session with Ven. Olivier

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.