HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 6-9 APRIL 2023
The first full day’s program at the Shamatha & Mindfulness Retreat was led by Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe which began with a light offerings and recitation of the Buddha of Wisdom Manjushri Prayer. Khenpo la commenced teachings on Shamatha meditation and the benefits, obstacles, and their antidotes. Khenpo la gave extensive teachings on the grasping of self being the root of all the defilements. The self is hard to give up only because we continuously chase it, and to stop that desire to chase it we require the wisdom, which starts with this Shamatha meditation. A lively and interesting Q&A along with walking meditation led by Venerable Ayyas Jitindriya and Jayasara, and delicious food cooked by Tony, completed a beautiful day together.
A reflection from one of the participants, Lily: “I am so grateful to be here and to hear Khenpo’s wisdom and teaching. I feel both rested and motivated to bring mindfulness to my daily life and start a meditation practice”.
The Annual Shamatha & Mindfulness Retreat finished with Khenpo la concluding the precious teachings on mindfulness. We then made dedications and offerings to Khenpo la and our local Ayya las. Attendees commented how this retreat has been so helpful to their lives. At the end of the retreat a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. Thank you to Khenpo la for your teachings and inspiration, Ayyas Jitindriya and Jayasara for your valuable and helpful contributions, all our cooks and helpers, and to all who attended and made this such a successful retreat. May all beings have peace and happiness in their lives.
A very special thank you to Rob Assink who made this new and most spectacular light offering table, brought down from Queensland by another sangha member Anthony. A magnificent creation for Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre.
“Driving off the highway at the welcoming prayer flags of Kamalashila for the Shamatha retreat immediately brought me a feeling of relaxation as a smile spread over my face. It is a special place that I have appreciated for many years now especially with the wise presence of Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe. He shared these precious teachings in such a method that proves so accessible in daily life as well as formal practice. Just the reminder to recall daily events, to check our understanding as we read or listen to teachings is within the capacity of us all to strengthen our mindfulness. I certainly appreciated the weekend and offer my gratitude to Khenpo and the two Venerables.” ~ Kate T.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to reflect. This Shamatha & Mindfulness Retreat was like a deep cleanse self-care spa. The deep kindness, clarity, and accessibility of both Khenpo la and the poignant reflections of the Nuns were like a deep cleansing spa to the mind. Khenpo gave us access and ease of the shared practice and gentle teachings to take care to do what is right for this being at this time in a way to suit. This made it totally accessible and opened the path for practice with ease and curiosity. Then there is the sacred setting and design of Kamalashila, it is a pure land to provide a teaching and resting place to ponder.
“The food, the grace of volunteers and the spacious structure on the sacred mountain of Gulaga, Mother Mountain makes it so auspicious. And finally, being amongst the sangha of fellow seekers of purity in being and living more precious loving lives and building new precious connections. I’m washed and cleansed and always grateful for this community and Khenpo la for him being a pure portal to access the sacred space of Kamalashila Tibetan Buddhist Centre on Gulaga and offering the teachings of Buddha.” ~ Pippa W.
“I too am so grateful for this retreat that has helped me feel grounded in peace. It was such an amazing experience spending time in the arms of the Mother Mountain Gulaga, immersed in the collective wisdom and integrity of such amazing human beings. How blessed I feel. My heart overflows with gratitude. Thank you.” ~ Virginia