During the annual Winter retreat, Abbey residents connect deeply with the Dharma in order to transform our minds. This year, we are focusing on Tara’s swift compassion, trying to cultivate her qualities in order to benefit all sentient beings. We are also purifying our body, speech and mind from non-virtuous deeds done in this and previous lives. This is a rare and precious opportunity and we are grateful to all those who make this retreat possible.
On February 13, we celebrated Chinese and Tibetan New Year with a Cittamani Tara puja requested by students from Singapore and Malaysia. The event was streamed online. It was a happy and inspiring occasion as we celebrated with each other and with Arya Tara.
Winter retreat is a special time for Abbey residents to reconnect with the most nourishing aspects of their practice. This year, half of the community offers service to keep the Abbey running, while the other half is devoted to “strict” retreat. Then, halfway through the three-month timeframe, our roles will switch. Most residents are doing the Green Tara practice, while some are doing refuge, mandala, and prostration ngondros (preliminary practices) or deity retreats.
A record 164 people participated in the 2021 New Year’s Vajrasattva Retreat, our most popular retreat held online this year. After all, what better way to bring in a new year than letting go of our regrets, making amends, and recommitting to our deepest values?
Varsa—the annual three-month monastic retreat—is one of the rites the Buddha stipulated for a functioning monastic community. The Abbey’s annual varsa coincides with our winter meditation retreat. It’s a time for community meditation, study, and deepening in the Dharma. This year’s varsa includes 12 fully ordained nuns (bhikshunis), one fully ordained monk, and four shiksamanas—nuns in training for full ordination.
Monthly eNews & eTeaching
Find out what's happening at the Abbey.
Learn from books by Ven. Thubten Chodron.