During the Third Tibetan lunar month (April 30 – May 30), Samye Institute invites you to participate in a home mini-retreat. Due to the disruptions of the pandemic, this format eliminates the issues that make attending in-person retreats difficult. You can choose your own dates (within the one-month period). You can do this retreat at home, or in your own chosen location, and you set your own schedule.
This format asks you to commit to doing two consecutive days of practice with four sessions per day. We advise you to choose a session length that is appropriate for your own practice experience. Phakchok Rinpoche often advises us to be gentle but disciplined. It is more important to keep to your selected schedule than to try to push yourself too hard. But a retreat should also allow us to develop personal experience with longer practice periods, so aim for a balanced approach. You can choose to do this on any two or more days between New Moon, April 30 and New Moon, May 30.
This retreat is designed for all students. During your practice sessions you should follow the meditation instructions you have received from Phakchok Rinpoche or another of your teachers. Each student practices at their own level and does the practice that they are currently following. Samye Institute will be hosting a series of live meditation sessions so you can join with the rest of our global sangha.
The overall idea is to not engage in normal activities for these two days, allowing the dharma and meditation to permeate your mind. It is important to try to complete four sessions each day (traditionally this means upon waking up, after breakfast/before lunch, afternoon, and after dinner/before bed), but don’t feel that these sessions have to be extremely long if you’re not used to that sort of practice.
Join Our Sangha!
Throughout the month of May, Samye Institute will host a series of live practice sessions where we will collectively practice the Treasury of Blessings Shakyamuni Buddha practice composed by Mipham Rinpoche. These events will take place on Zoom on the following dates:
May 8th – 6:45PM Kathmandu (find your local time here)
May 14 – 6:45PM Kathmandu (find your local time here)
May 22 – 6:45PM Kathmandu (find your local time here)
There are no special requirements to attend these practices, all are welcome.
Join these meetings using this link.
Submit Your Meditation Time
We invite you to submit the hours you spent in meditation during your retreat on our form below:
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Submitting the hours you spend in mediation helps Samye understand the practice backgrounds and experiences of our community.
We wish you well in your practice. If you have any questions or comments, please use this thread in our discussion forum!
Here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your mini-retreat:
- Create a Sacred Space: Even if you don’t have a shrine, choose a clean and quiet spot. Add a photo to inspire, light a candle, burn some incense, offer a flower, and prostrate or bow to the space.
- Start Small: If you are a beginner, try out a one-day or two-day retreat
- Set Intention and Motivation: Take time to think about why you are meditating. Bring to mind your loved ones, your community, and try to extend the feeling that you are practicing to benefit all sentient beings.
- Short Sessions: Be realistic about your ability to sit. If you normally sit for 10 or 15 minutes a day, try to sit for 30 minutes before taking a break. And be gentle with your body. If you need to stretch or move, do so–gently and with awareness. If you need to sit in a chair to be comfortable, that is fine. The key point of body posture is to keep your spine straight, but to be relaxed.
- Incorporate Self-reflection: Choose some key points to contemplate. In the breaks between your silent sitting meditation, read over teachings and spend time seriously considering the teachings. You could choose topics like the four mind changings. What do those topics mean to you–can you consider them deeply? And reflect on your own recent behavior and experiences. Phakchok Rinpoche often reminds us that self-reflection is necessary no matter how much experience we have or how long we have been practicing. Are you noticing improvement in your character?
- Supplication: Reflect on the kindness of the teachers, the lineage of past masters, your dharma community, your parents, and all sentient beings. Really take the time to soak up that kindness and let it open your heart. Repeat this process frequently throughout the retreat, especially if you are feeling a little sad.
- Rejoicing and Dedication: Be joyful that you have this opportunity to practice! And at the end of each session, remember to dedicate the merit–all the goodness that you have generated–for the benefit of all beings.
- Reflect on the merit of group practice! Even though you may be practicing in your own space, you are not alone. Be aware that others throughout the world are also practicing at the same time with the same motivation to benefit beings. Take a moment to reflect on the connection with others and rejoice also in their practice!