Spiritual programme


Introductory courses & retreats

Root Institute offers a unique opportunity to learn about Buddhism from renowned Tibetan and Western teachers in the holy land where the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

Courses and retreats often include visits to the Mahabodhi Stupa for extra blessings and inspiration. Many also incorporate pilgrimages further afield, as we are located in an area surrounded by very significant pilgrimage sites.

Being in retreat

  • Gifting yourself the opportunity to do retreat is a very special venture. It will take you away from your conventional life and support your discovery of becoming an "inner being".
  • Retreats require discipline, flexibility and energy. It may take a few days to settle into the schedule; it's good to relax and enjoy the process.
  • You will be asked to relinquish technology including your mobile phone and, for some courses, participate fully in periods of silence. This might be a new experience for you. It is designed to support your spiritual journey by reducing distractions and giving you the space and time for reflection.
  • Being part of a retreat is about the collective experience of all participants. You will all be in this together, supported by your retreat leader, as well as our Spiritual Programme Coordinator and all the family at Root Institute. You won't be alone!

Introductory courses & retreats

General information about the spiritual programme

Our spiritual programme now runs from mid-September to mid-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 events except:

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.

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.