Shakyamuni Sadhana Retreat
A note from Lama Shenpen:
There are many reasons why the Shakyamuni practice we do at the Hermitage each day is so important. Firstly whatever Guru figure one feels faith and devotion to their lineage stems from Shakyamuni who is a historical figure about whom we have many carefully documented stories in the sutras about his life and teachings told in a simple down to earth style that is easy to relate to. Shakyamuni is a figure who unites all Buddhists in the world today and his life demonstrates how a human being just like ourselves can strive to reach Nirvana, the cessation of all suffering and then devote his life to teaching others so that they can reach that same goal too.
This particular practice created by the great Mipham Rinpoche in the last century is complete with all the elements that constitute the Preliminary Practices necessary for embarking on the Lojong (including the Tonglen practice) in the Seven Points of Mind Training. It is both a practice of Buddha Smrti (recollection of the Buddha’s qualities) and a Guru Yoga. It includes Refuge, Bodhisattva aspiration, the Apramanas, the seven branches of prayer and insight into the meaning of appearance-emptiness. It draws us into the immediacy of the Buddha’s presence (whether we visualise him or not) in a vivid and alive way by means of the mantra. The mantra is the essence of the Buddha Shakyamuni accessible to us today and linking us directly into the all-pervading presence of the compassionate and transformative power of all the Buddhas.
I look forward to giving more teaching on this wonderful practice.
More information on the retreat:
The Shakyamuni Sadhana - also known as the Treasury of Blessings by Mipham Jamyang Gyatso Rinpoche - is a text that introduces us to the principles and structure of Tibetan Sadhana practices.
Lama Shenpen and other students of the AHS practice this text daily.
This is a rare opportunity for anyone who is interested in understanding more about Sadhana practices to hear Lama Shenpen share her years of experience, understanding and consideration of how westerners can approach these texts.
These teachings are offered to all Dharma students without the need for prior abhisheka/wong/transmission.
This event consists of three days of teaching and meditation practice.
We begin on Thursday 30th July at 10 am and will continue until 5 pm on Saturday 1st August.
The event will include teachings from Lama Shenpen, opportunities to discuss your practice and understanding of the teachings in groups with other students and ask Lama Shenpen questions directly. You are encouraged to join with others in sadhana practice sessions.
You are also invited to join the Sangha’s regular morning and evening prayer and meditation sessions.
This event is suitable for anyone who is interested in taking their understanding of meditation, Dharma and this particular text deeper.
For those who are interested in going further with these practices, you will be invited to join with others in a regular practice group.
A note about commitment and boundaries:
When you book, you are committing to attending the event online. If, after booking you find you are unable to make the event, please let us know as soon as possible.
You are encouraged to participate on the event as fully as you can, and are invited to attend all the sessions listed.
We understand that it isn’t possible for everyone, and therefore you can reflect on what boundaries you would like to include in your participation.
It is up to you how you choose your boundaries.
Once you have chosen them it is good for your practice and for the strength of the whole retreat that you stick to them as best you can.
If that means that you can only join in one session each day, then make that commitment and stick to it. You might also decide that for the whole day you will make a special effort to live by the five precepts (link to read more about them) or you will choose to avoid all emails, phone calls or communication with anyone other than those on the event..
All in all, an online event can be as strict or easy as you make it, but the most important thing is to make your commitment and try your best to stick to it. And if you aren't able to, then notice how uncomfortable it can be, and reassert your wish to keep to your word in the future.
An example of a timetable (specific times will be confirmed before the event for those who are booked on)
Morning Prayers and meditation - 7 am - 8 am Teaching session 9.30 am - 10.30 am Meditation session 11.00am - 12.00 pm
Discussion group - 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm
Meditation session - 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Evening Prayers and Meditation - 7.30 pm - 8.30 pm
A note about donations:
The Shrimala Trust is a registered charity whose mission is to support the activity of Lama Shenpen and the Awakened Heart Sangha.
These events are organised and provided for you on a donation-only basis. Showing gratitude through our donations for the teachings that are generously offered to us is one important way to deepen the connections between us and helps to make these teachings accessible to others in the future.
You can express your gratitude for the people who have made this event possible by donating to the Shrimala Trust using the following link: https://ahs.org.uk/donations-and-payments
You will also be invited to make specific donations to the teacher and details will be sent to those who book.