Dzogchen Summer Seminary Mahayana Practice Intensive

August 6-12,2018

“The sword of prajna cuts both ways: it cuts oneself, that is to say, what you hang on to as ego fixation, and it cuts your projection, what you hang on to as other. When you cut both ego fixation and grasping, then you experience the basic truth, which is called shunyata, Shunya means “empty,” and ta means “ness,” so “empty-ness.” This is the heart of the Buddha’s discovery, the basic teaching, the basic truth.

How do we do this? First, we experience peacefulness with ourselves in the practice of shamatha. Then we experience the intelligence and inquisitiveness of vispashyana, and that gives rise to maitri, tendersness. That, in turn, gives rise to the radiation of tenderness, which we call compassion. And because of that it is possible to experience shunyata, which basically means experience without reference point: no reference point to oneself, no reference point to one’s projections, and no reference point to experience itself. However, we could never travel that path without tenderness; without generating kindness to ourselves and to others, we would not trust the groundlessness of shunyata. So the thread of tenderheartedness continues throughout our entire journey in the mahayana. And when we come upon the actual experience of the quintessence, the truth of the Buddhist teaching, that kindness seems to be the cause.”

“Prajnaparamita” pp 38, The Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin, 1988 Seminary.

This practice intensive comes at the beginning of the Mahayana period of practice and study in the Three Yana training.  During this intensive practitioners will be introduced to the practice of Tonglen and the notion of the Bodhisattva Vow.  The Bodhisattva intention is to give up our involvement with practice as some type of "self-improvement project" and to realize that we are practicing with the intention to benefit all sentient beings.  The development of unbiased compassion and tenderness becomes the method and universal panacea for dissolving fundamental aggression.  This in turn leads to the realization of shunyata -- the ongoing experience and trust in nonreference point as the fundamental ground.  Participants will receive group and private face to face meditation instruction.  The main teacher of this retreat will be Tashi Armstrong.

Schedule:

Wake up 5:30 a.m.

6-8 a.m Morning meditation with a half hour of tonglen practice

8-8:30 Oryoki Breakfast

9-12 morning bodhisattva vows, sitting meditation and tonglen practice

12-12:30 Oryoki Lunch

12:30- 2 rest period

2-3:30 work period

4-6 Sitting meditation and tonglen practice

6-7 Dinner and rest

7-9 Sitting meditation and tonglen practice

10 pm Lights out.

 

The cost of the retreat is $350.00 which includes room and board.

Event Date 08-06-2018
Event End Date 08-12-2018
Individual Price $350.00
$350.00 10

Dzogchen Summer Seminary Vajrayana Practice Intensive

"Devotion and Coemergent Wisdom"

September 3-9, 2018

“The power of the Vajrayana teaching is that in order to have accomplishment, one has to take a leap, meaning that one has to step out of the conventional world altogether. One cannot hold on to any conventional dharmas, including experiences of bliss or emptiness or nonthought. One actually has to take that step and leave the conventional world altogether. And that kind of Vajra-like action makes this particular yana totally different from any other. In the past in this lineage and in others, there have been great siddhas, such as Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, and all the rest, including the Vidyadhara, who actually stepped out completely and manifested complete enlightenment for all beings. And there was not a care at all in their mind for conventional dharmas. The conventional mind is constantly planning to attend the funeral of ego. What kind of flowers will I have? Who will be there? When they read the testimonial, will I like it? Should I prepare a testimonial ahead of time that someone can read? In this case we step out of the conventional preoccupation of ego with it’s own eternity, it’s own continuation.

So in this sense, one has to be prepared in the moment to make such a leap. If we think we have time to understand or recognize awareness, we are mistaken. That in itself is stepping out of the conventional mind of the conventional world altogether. Then we are talking about real Vajra-like practice, Vajra-like being, when poison actually becomes medicine; when neurosis, or insanity, is sanity, is the path. In that case, not accepting or rejecting becomes a continuous display of sacred activity. We have seen in this world those who have tried to demonstrate magic or power. And we, in our stupid, silly way say, “Wow! Did you see that?” Somebody walked on coals. Somebody invented the transistor. Somebody died. Somebody was born. “Wow!” [Pause; laughter.] When we talk about poison as medicine, it is the siddha, the accomplished yogi, who uses all of the apparent evil and all of the phenomena which seem to cause suffering as a means to express complete compassion and also a s a means to demonstrate how to trample on ego completely.”

Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin: 1988 Vajradhatu Seminary

pp.57

This practice intensive marks the beginning of the Vajrayana section of the Dzogchen Summer Seminary.  Participants need to have completed the previous two yana's before entering this part of seminary training or have permission of the instructor.

The main practice during the Vajrayana practice period continues to be shamatha/vipashyana and the schedule will be similar to previous practice periods.  The emphasis will be on understanding the 14 root downfalls and the importance of samaya the samaya bond.

Cost:  350 includes room and board.

Event Date 09-03-2018
Event End Date 09-09-2018
Individual Price $350.00
$350.00 10

The Heart of the Matter

Shamatha-Vipashyana Weekthun

September 17 to September 23, 2018

"Lord Gotsangpa said, 'To condense everything into one point, I will simply practice this unimpaired present ordinary mind until reaching the state of buddhahood.' besides following this statement of his, don't harbor ambitions about anything else whatsoever.

The supreme being and lord of the Dharma Choje Rinpoche said:

'Some accepte that when the steadiness of the meditation state 

has become continuous with

The unboroken luminosity of the post-meditation,

Is itself the realization of the buddha-mind.'

This is exactly what I too have understood:

That the nakedness of ordinary mind is the dharmakaya

In which both meditation and post-meditation, along with habitual tendencies,

Are forever vanquished, like iron filed totally away.

He continued:

While striving for qualities, you get stuck in the viscious disease of ambition.

While trying to acquire a fruition, it is destroyed by the frost of expectations.

While wising for signs of progress, you get caught in the trap of Mara.

It is just as he has taught."

Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, "The Heart of the Matter: The Unchanging Convergence of Vital Points That Shows Exactly How To Apply the View and Meditation of the Definitive Meaning."

"The Heart of the Matter" retreats return to the practice which reveals the "Definitive Meaning" -- i.e. the practice of seated meditation as taught by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin.  During these retreats students engage in four sessions of Shamatha-Vipashyana practice utilizing the forms of group practice followed by the Soto Zen lineage of Suzuki Roshi but accompanied by instruction on the practice of "mixing mind with space" -- the union of shamatha-vipashyana.  

These retreats are silent.  Face to face meditation interviews and group instructions and readings are held periodically throughout the week.

Daily Schedule

5:30 Wake Up

6-8 Morning Practice (Session 1)

8-8:30 Oryoki Breakfast

9:30- 12:30 Meditation Practice (Session 2)

12:30- 1:15 Oryoki Lunch

2-3:30 Work Practice

4-6 Meditation Practice (Session 3)

6-7 Oryoki Dinner

7-9 Meditation Practice (Session 4)

10:00 Lights Out

$395.00 includes room and board

Event Date 09-17-2018
Event End Date 09-24-2018
Individual Price $395.00
$395.00 10

Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand: The Mahamudra Teachings of the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin

November 10-19, 2017

“By working for the benefit of others we overcome hope and fear and make our meditation practice continuous.  In any transition there is a gap where the absence of the previous reference point has not yet become the next one.  In that space, there is no time.  That is the Buddha’s time.”

Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin

This will be an intensive meditation retreat which will focus on the profound teachings of the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin.  We will be making use of newly released recordings of the Vajra Regent giving talks on his text "Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand."  Through study, contemplation and meditation we will deepen our understanding of these profound teachings and mix our minds with the Vajra Regent and our Kagyu Lineage.

Cost: $495.00 includes room and board

Event Date 11-12-2018
Event End Date 11-18-2018
Individual Price $395.00
$395.00 19

January Dathun:

Mixing Mind and Space

January 4,  to February 3, 2019

“In the Kagyu tradition a little special technique of breathing practice which is employed is the experiencing of “chung ne dro sum.”  “Chung” is where the thoughts arise; “ne” is dwell and “dro” is where they went; and those three are accompanied by “ying rig se wa.”  Ying means space; “rig” means conscious mind; “se wa” means mixing.  So mixing the mind consciousness.  Sometimes it’s called also “lung sem se wa”—the mind and breathing mixing together.   Whatever it is, the idea is that sense of space.  And one doesn’t have to deliberately try to mix the mind and the breathing with solemn effort particularly.  But like you feel the well-being of your body, in the same way you could feel you are breathing, a general sense of breathing.”

Trungpa Rinpoche

“The View Is the recognition of space as the true nature of mind.  According to the Kagyu gurus, mind is like space.  Space is unobstructed, all pervasive, empty and not produced by causes.  Space accommodates everything—life and death, confusion and liberation.  In that way it is the ground of everything.  At the same time, space is ungraspable by thought and cannot be experienced as a thing.  It is spotless because it has no allegiance and to describe it is impossible.  The best you can say is that space simply is, and in that sense it is primordially pure.

     “We should view our mind in the same way: mind is the ground of everything.”

Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin

Dathun is the foundational retreat of the Vajradhatu sangha of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  It is a month long immersion in the practice of Shine Lhakthong or mindfulness/awareness which forms the core for our mahamudra and Dzogchen path.  In particular, it paves the way for entrance into the annutara yoga tantra.  Without some kind of accomplishment of shine/lhakthong it is impossible to engage ngondro and the sadhana of Vajrayogini – which oare the core practices of Kagyu tantra.

Dathun consists of 8 to 10 hours of group shine/lhakthong practice with oryoki meals.  Group and private meditation instruction is offered regularly.  Dzogchen Meditation Center is closed to the public during this retreat. 

$800.00

Includes room and board 

Event Date 01-04-2019
Event End Date 02-03-2019
Individual Price $800.00
$800.00 15