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.Close-up of golden Buddha for Lhabab Duchen

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 mune mune maha muneya soha — contributes to the Continuous Flow of Merit needed to build the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall. See details here.

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.

Lamrim Resources

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.

Thought-training Resources

Become familiar with the thought-training teachings, so you can work with issues as they come up in retreat:

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.

Learn About the Abbey

  • Read the Visit sectionof the Abbey website thoroughly. Here you will find information on accommodation, food, and clothing as well as guidelines for living in community.
  • Listen and start to learn the Abbey prayers and chants