HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 2-10 October 2020
Excerpts from each day – published by Zara
In these difficult times, Khenpo la’s teachings on the Four Foundational Thoughts that Turn the Mind Towards Dharma encouraged us to appreciate how fortunate we are in many regards:
We live in a time and place where the Buddha’s teachings exist, and we have a mind that can understand and implement them.
Realising our profound good fortune, we should make the most of this opportunity to practise Dharma.
Realising the impermanence of all phenomena, we should not delay our practice until a later time.
The law of causality teaches us that the only reliable cause to gain the result of the peace we long for is the practice of Dharma.
Investigating the suffering of samsara motivates us to practise the Mahayana’s Great Compassion so that each being may be freed from misery.
“Just like the sun is not separate from sunlight, a kind mind radiates peace to all beings who encounter it.” Khenpo la
Khenpo la explained the benefits of a kind mind as he taught on Taking Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. He guided us through of how we can cultivate that kind mind, starting from where we are now.
The method being The Four Immeasurables:
We wish from the depths of our heart:
“May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness. May all beings be apart from suffering and the cause of suffering. May all beings rejoice in the virtue of others; and May all beings avoid being ensnared by attachment and aversion by practising equanimity.”
Kamalashila’s natural beauty shone on Day 6 as the sun came out after a few days of rain. Shamatha Retreat 2020 concluded after eight wonderful days of rich Dharma teachings from Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe. The retreat concluded with a moving ceremony, in which Khenpo la expressed how harmonious and warm the group had been, and how fortunate in these times that we can gather in a safe way to share and learn the precious Dharma together in person and via Zoom. It was an historic event for the centre, being the first time, we have run a whole retreat including online attendees. Sophia and Bianca then presented Khenpo la with a song offering that they had composed during the retreat. Their sweet voices filled the air and warmed our hearts even further.
Thank you to Khenpo la for all your incredible teachings and all you do for us and thank you to some participants for your beautiful images…
Appreciating the perspectives of our dedicated participants
Halfway through Day 3, my experience is that this keeps getting better and better. I am feeling the rhythm and flow of the days now. Khenpo la is constantly amazing, but my perception of him and admiration of him grows and grows. I have never encountered such universal loving kindness and his knowledge and wisdom is more and more evident. This space is incredibly beautiful and calming and the people are so warm and welcoming. Every new meeting, every meditation, every walk, silence, or meal is a new gift. Mark W
I cannot thank everyone enough for the opportunity to zoom in to Khenpo la’s retreat from Hobart. Many small details: showing us the gompa and how you have placed Khenpo’s TV screen; the use of a roving mike during question time; the attention to sound monitoring; etc are making my zoom retreat experience wonderful. Thanks again, Emilia
Teaching on how to prepare for meditation: a quiet place, ethics, appreciation, less desire, less attachment. Then the purpose of meditation is to remove the six root afflictions: desire, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, and self-grasping. Simple, clear, and so profound... Thanks, Khenpo. Dino
I have been slacked with meditation lately so am incredibly lucky to be able to be immersed in Shamatha for eight days. I have found “concepts” like Equanimity, Loving-Kindness and Compassion have been really opening in a magical way. I feel I am starting to slow down and relax more wishing to abandon practices which no longer support me. I can feel my heart. Karen
I love the mind-cleansing that has occurred in the past few days, befriending and lovingly working with this wild monkey mind. With the torch of Loving-Kindness and the meaning of Dharma being so simply and profoundly laid out by Khenpo la, I now feel a deeper connection and understanding of what it means to say – ‘I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha’, which will help grow my intention for a good, wholesome life. To serve, to love, to give, to freely live a purposeful, fulfilling life, to envisage difficulties as an opportunity to create a joyful relationship with my mind. Pippa
I started to study and practise meditation some 20 years ago, but due to not having clear explanations of the objectives and correct methods, my advancement has been limited and my motivation diminished. Now studying Shamatha with Khenpo la, I am much more confident of success. I feel I have the correct information to establish a stable foundation to build on. Wyn
I would like to share a moment from today’s teachings that opened my heart and mind. Khenpo la said “Buddhahood is the most benefit to sentient beings. The practice that helps to develop this is love and compassion.” The atmosphere became more spacious and lighter. What a beautiful, profound teaching… Anthony G.
The Buddha turning all the spears and arrows the Mara’s threw at Him, into the flowers of enlightenment. Today Khenpo la taught-on Exchanging Self and Others Meditation, how to use afflictions and difficulties to generate Loving-Kindness and Bodhicitta, a very inspiring day. Tjenka
Gentle rain falling, warm sun shining, clouds dispel, the seed is sprouting. Zara
What has been the best thing from being at this retreat? Seeing Khenpo la, reconnecting with my beautiful friends, listening to Khenpo la’s teachings, meditation (being more patient!), becoming more spiritual, closer to having less defilements, eating healthily, being amongst nature and feeling peaceful. Thank you. Maryanne
How wonderful to have such a compassionate teacher and such a conducive environment in the company of like-minded people. My favourite quote from Khenpo la “don’t give wine to your monkey mind”. Anthony