Retreat from Afar

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2024 Retreat from Afar

Four Truths and Refuge Ngondro

Seated gold Buddha

January 5 – March 22

The Four Truths are the foundation of the entire Buddhist path, and the refuge ngondro (preliminary practice) brings us into deeper insight into and reliance on the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

With this practice, we develop concentration and nurture renunciation and bodhicitta, strengthening our bodhisattva commitment to attain buddhahood as quickly we can.

Preparation Resources

Ven. Thubten Chonyi teaches on Taking Refuge, a weekly course on the refuge ngondro practice, Thursdays at 8 am Pacific Time.

Download the refuge ngondro meditation outline here.

This document lists examples of possible actions to purify.

See Ven. Thubten Chodron’s 2009 and 2016 teachings on the practice here.

Save the Date: You’re invited to the Retreat from Afar Zoom Orientation on January 3rd, 2024. Join us at either 9am PST or 4pm PST for an overview of what RFA involves, and an opportunity to ask questions and connect with other retreatants from afar.

You must be registered to receive the Orientation link invitation. Register here.

A reminder with the Zoom info will be sent closer to the date for everyone registered for the retreat.

What Is It?

Abbey monastics spend every winter in silent retreat. Only a few can join in person, but hundreds meditate in the Retreat from Afar.

Retreat from Afar occurs during the same timeframe as the Abbey winter retreat, and participants meditate on the same topic.

Generally, to join in Retreat from Afar, you commit to do at least one practice session every day.

People love doing Retreat from Afar, and 200-300 people join in every year. It supports “distance meditators” to maintain a regular daily practice, deepen their understanding of the Dharma, and gain insights into their life.

In addition, their practice supports the people doing retreat at the Abbey.

Your voluntary offering generates merit for you and supports the Abbey to continue offer the Dharma freely worldwide.

Click here for the Retreat from Afar Handbook (PDF)


Register for the Retreat from Afar here.

Want to help fellow retreatants in prison?

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 practitioners.

You can support their retreat and make merit by making an offering to support the prison Dharma mailings. Go to the Donate page. Under the drop down called “My donation is for …” choose  “Prison Dharma Fund.”

Hundreds join in the winter Retreat from Afar.
“My practice is most stable during the Retreat from Afar. I tangibly feel the support of everyone at the Abbey and around the world.”
Susan Mitchell

Cataldo, Idaho

Turkeys, deer, and other wildlife make their winter retreat appearances.

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Sravasti Abbey

692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA
[email protected]