Before attending these, it is ideal for students to already have a foundation in Buddhism.
Some of our retreats are intended for dedicated practitioners with a commitment to the Buddhist path who desire to deepen their experience with an extended period of practice focusing on a particular deity, while others are focused on establishing a healthier connection between the mind and the body.
Our annual Green Tara Retreat belongs within the category of kriya tantra, the first of the four classes of tantra. During the retreat, we generally do four sessions each day, starting with taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts in the morning, followed by Combined Jorcho/Lama Chopa in the first session, and three sessions of the particular sadhana.
The sadhana (or method of accomplishment) consists of taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, and making requests to the appropriate lineage lamas to receive inspiration. Accumulating mantras is not the main focus of this retreat.
According to the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, we will also do prostrations to the Thirty Five Buddhas before each session, as well as incorporate the practice of tong-len and mahamudra. To make the practice more experiential and meaningful, lam rim meditations will be incorporated, as a motivation for the practice and to leave strong imprints of both sutra and tantra in our mindstreams.
Root Institute is a meditation centre with resident nuns and monks and not a guesthouse, so couples, and men and women, must have separate accommodation.
If participating in courses or retreats, friends and family of the same gender will also be asked to stay in separate rooms to help support silence and their focus on the course / retreat.
We ask all our guests and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:
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 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, one 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 Gompa and the 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.
Please be aware:
In April 2016 the Bihar state government passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties, up to capital punishment for those involved in manufacture! Please ensure 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.
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:
Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all spiritual programme events except drop-in sessions, Festival of Lights & Merit, and Mahabodhi Stupa events.