Get Ready for the Medicine Buddha Retreat
Join a community of meditators around the world to take part in Sravasti Abbey’s annual Winter Retreat.
Retreat from Afar coincides with the Abbey’s annual winter meditation retreat. While monastics and guests are in retreat, you can join us and several hundred meditators all over the world, including about 200 practitioners in US prisons.
This year, we focus on the Medicine Buddha practice and Lamrim Meditation.
Medicine Buddha practice is especially effective for developing compassion, love, and bodhicitta, and for physical healing. Through meditating on Medicine Buddha, we come to deeper understanding of healing as we purify the causes of suffering and enhance the causes for lasting happiness.
How does it work
To join in the 2022 Retreat from Afar, you commit to do at least one practice session of the Medicine Buddha sadhana every day, including one mala (108 recitations) of the short Medicine Buddha mantra.
There is no charge. Your voluntary offering generates merit for you and supports the Abbey to continue offer the Dharma freely worldwide.
To sign up:
Retreat Preparation & Resources
Many conditions must come together for you to be able to do retreat. You create these causes and conditions by preparing internally as well as externally for the retreat experience.
Set a specific time each day when you will do your practice. At the Abbey, we will do five, 90-minute sessions daily, but for folks at home, one session of about an hour a day is fine.
Medicine Buddha Resource
- Download the full Medicine Buddha sadhana.
- A shorter version is here.
- You can also find it in the red Pearl of Wisdom Book II,
- Ven. Thubten Chodron’s teachings on Medicine Buddha retreat 2021 – Video series with Ven. Thubten Chodron
- Guided meditations on Medicine Buddha 2021- Video series with Sravasti Abbey Monastics
- Explanation of the Medicine Buddha Practice – Audio teaching with Ven. Thubten Chodron
- Visualizing the Medicine Buddha – Video teaching with Ven. Thubten Chodron
- Medicine Buddha Retreat 2000 – Audio teaching series with Ven. Thubten Chodron
- Medicine Buddha Retreat 2007-2008 – Audio and transcripts of teaching series with Ven. Thubten Chodron
- Medicine Buddha Retreat 2016 – Video series with Ven. Thubten Chodron
Learning Lamrim—the stage of the path to awakening (gradual path)—is another important preparation.
In each meditation session you will do Lamrim meditation. This is a powerful way to gain insight into the Buddha’s teachings. Please read some lamrim books and think about and meditate on their contents.
- Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path, by Thubten Chodron, Snow Lion Publications, 2007
- Approaching the Buddhist Path by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, and Ven. Thubten Chodron, Wisdom Publications, 2017
- Listen to and read audio and transcribed teachings in the Lamrim section of thubtenchodron.org.
- Watch Ven. Chodron teach the beautiful lam rim text, The Easy Path to Travel to Omniscience
- Watch the “Stages of the Path” videos on the Sravasti Abbey YouTube Channel. Begin with the introduction series, and then search “stages of the path” for subsequent playlists.
Become familiar with the thought-training teachings, so you can work with issues as they come up in retreat:
- Download a pdf of these antidotes to the afflictions, study them, and bring them with you to retreat
- Transforming Adversity into Joy and Courage: An Explanation of the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, by Geshe Jampa Tegchok, Snow Lion Publications, 2005
- Don’t Believe Everything You Think, Thubten Chodron, Shambhala Publications, 2012.
- Watch the Wisdom of the Kadam Masters series of short teachings
- Watch the Sharing the Dharma Day teachings on Don’t Believe Everything You Think.
As you gain familiarity with all these practices—Medicine Buddha Meditation, the lamrim topics, and thought-training teachings—your understanding will deepen as your readiness for retreat grows.
Practice with a Community
The Sravasti Abbey Lay Community Practice Group meets every morning at 6:30 a.m. (MST). Volunteer leaders guide you through all the preliminary practices, the Medicine Buddha meditation, and a lam rim meditation. Please join when you can.
An Abbey monastic leads the group on Saturday mornings. This will continue through the winter retreat.
The group also meets in the evening at 7:00 p.m. (MST). Write the host for current schedeule and practices.
The Zoom link for all practices is the same and is below:
Kathy Elton is your host. Write her directly for info and the passcode.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 303 640 9712
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Meeting ID: 303 640 9712
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Support for Prison Dharma Retreat from Afar
Retreat material are emailed to you each week, but there’s no email in prison. Hard copy practice packets are snail-mailed to the prison practitoners at a cost of about $3,000. You can support their retreat and make merit by making an offering toward the prison Dharma mailings. Go to the Donate page. Under the drop down called “My donation is for …” choose “Prison Dharma Fund.” You can add more notes in the Comments box.