Prepare now for the Shakyamuni Buddha Winter Retreat &
Retreat from Afar
The one-month Winter Retreat is coming soon— beginning January 3-31, 2020. The Retreat from Afar will extend January 3 to March 27.
This year, we focus on the Shakyamuni Buddha practice and Lamrim Meditation.
The Shakyamuni Buddha meditation is an excellent foundation for bringing the stages of the path teachings into your daily meditation practice and your daily life. Check out the detailed sadhana — practice text — here.
In addition, your recitation of the Buddha’s mantra —Tayata om muni muni maha muniye soha — contributes to the Continuous Flow of Merit needed to build the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall.
- You can join in person for the One-Month Residential Retreat.
- Or sign up for the Retreat from Afar, where you can participate from your home.
Scroll down for resources on how to prepare for retreat, beginning right now.
More preparation resources will be added in the coming months.
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.
The value of your time in retreat is directly related to the level of your preparation beforehand. Please take the time to study these materials carefully
If you are coming for the 1-month retreat, it is a good idea to increase your sitting time as the retreat approaches. We will do 5 sessions daily, each about 90 minutes long. Therefore, If you can set aside a day or two as full days of practice before you come, it will make the transition into the retreat schedule easier.
Learning Lamrim—the stage of the path to awaken ing (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 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—Vajrasattva meditation, the lamrim topics, and thought-training teachings—your understanding will deepen as your readiness for retreat grows.