During the Covid era and considering my health advice, my teaching is almost exclusively online and for members of the Triratna Order. This could change in the future, let’s see.
2022 Five Order Retreats: Approaches to Sunyata
These events will be advertised about a month beforehand on thebuddhistcentre.com Threads and on Triratna Order Members group on Facebook. (If you have suggestions for other places I should announce them, do let me know.)
6 – 12 May 1. Stages of Meditation on Emptiness, the Six Elements and Vajrasattva
This retreat is about ways to enter the natural state of sunyata, the way things really are beyond our usual constructions of self and world. Vajrasattva will be the presiding deity and as well as the traditional Six Element Practice we will take a light look into Khenpo Rinpoche’s ‘Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness.’
Event has finished. Explore the recordings here
24 – 30 June 2. Stages of Sadhana Meditation, the Perfect wisdom of Prajnaparamita
This retreat is about sadhana practice – how the different elements of evoking emptiness, imaginative visualisation, reflection on the maya-way, and union with the deity all work together for all the sadhanas we have been initiated into. So all the yidams will be participating in the event, though the presiding deity will of course be Prajnaparamita who embodies the perfect wisdom that underlies the view of sadhana.
9 – 15 September 3. The Perfect wisdom of Manjusri (with Anandajyoti)
This retreat focuses on Manjusri – the Bodhisattva of Wisdom – and the sadhana that Sangharakshita received from Jamyang Khentse Chokyi Lodro, the Manjughosa-Stuti-Sadhana. Anandajyoti, also known as Anthony Tribe, co author with Paul Williams of ‘Buddhist Thought,’ and author of ‘Tantric Buddhist Practice in India’ a translation of Vilasavajra’s commentary on an important Manjusri text, the Manjusri-namasamgiti. He and Kamalashila have been friends since before the foundation of the West London centre in 1976.
7 – 13 October 4. Perfect Wisdom in the Dying Process
Every practitioner needs to find a way to prepare for their own death by developing an understanding of what that may mean and what it is likely to entail in experience. This retreat focuses on death and dying in the context of the ultimate reality that is directly encountered at death, according to the developed Buddhist tradition. This again is no different from sunyata. We will draw on the Bardo Thodol teachings and death related meditation, such Maranasati and the ten saññas from the Girimananda Sutta.
11 -17 November 5. The Perfect wisdom of Kurukulle
This retreat explores the culmination of all the above approaches to sunyata – opening to emptiness, the sadhana method, the energy of wisdom, and realisation beyond life and death – in the figure of the dakini. Kurukulle dances ecstatically, deathlessly wide awake at the centre of the great cemetery, a metaphor for samsaric death-in-life. Holding her bow like Eros she embodies the attraction of deep dharma, firing flurries of flower-tipped arrows to lodge in the hearts of all beings, causing them to become enamoured with the dharma. The sadhana of Kurukulle that we will be doing was given to Sangharakshita by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
2 January to 5 March. Winter Retreat for Order members
Join for a minimum of three weeks. By optional donation.
An opportunity to turn our home situation into a community based long retreat. We simply arrive online, connect with the other retreatants, and start simplifying our lives, meditating a few times a day and doing as little else as possible apart from deepening the experience of being with ourselves. Yes, it’s just online in our room, but we’ve found from the two previous long retreats that the regular human contact, meditating together, works well to keep us stimulated and fresh in the practice.
This will be partly a collectively led retreat. We’ll begin with a settling in period during which I will lead all the sessions. After that, I will ask others to take part in maintaining the programme. On sessions I am not teaching, others are invited to sign up to ring final bells and, on four evenings a week, lead evening rituals.
All participants will be experienced practitioners with plenty to get on with. Things will naturally be a bit open and unformed over the first week or two, as we all get the measure of what we are embarking on. I will play the teaching by ear and you must please tell me when you do or don’t find something helpful – and anything you’d like to explore.
Previous retreats have lasted three months, but I need a period of solitary retreat. I’ll start that on 21st November and end 18th December, with a two week break for assimilation. Some of you might also like to have a month’s solitary time before our long collective retreat from 2 January.