THREE-YEAR RETREAT CENTER AT BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL
The monks of Thrangu Monastery have a new retreat center which is located just below a famous cave where the Tibetan yogi Milarepa stayed in meditation. The place is known as Saraswatiton and it is located in the hills above the ancient town of Bhaktapur.
For anyone interested in short or long retreats, Rinpoche has provided the perfect place in Baktapur, Nepal. Khacho Ling Retreat House sits below a well-known Milarepa site, Nishang Kataya, the story of which can be found the famous yogi’s biography. Actually, Rinpoche chose this site because the blessings of the lineage are so very close. He also helped to design the retreat rooms which are so well arranged and appointed that the center has become known as the five star retreat. High ceilings give the rooms spaciousness as do the windows and the veranda overlooking a lush green valley. Each room has a bed, traditional alter and meditation box along with many cabinets for storage. Attached to this large room is a kitchen and full bathroom with hot water. Vegetarian meals, which are the same for all retreatants, are delivered to your door three times a day. (It is also possible to cook for yourself while paying for the gas.)
In remembrance of Milarepa, near the retreat center Thrangu Rinpoche has built a many-storied tower that will contain three-dimensional mandalas of five major Kagyu practices: Vajrayogini, Chakrasamvara, Gyalwa Gyamtso, Hevajra, and Mahakala. In addition to their great blessing, these bring an immense benefit to visualization practice.
For the three-year retreats, Rinpoche gives all the empowerments. The retreat master, Druppon Khenpo Laipu, trained in Tibet where he studied the major treatises and tantras while also undertaking and leading three-year retreats. He gives the commentary and guidance on practices as well as the reading transmissions. Lama Dawa Phurbu was the chant master at Namo Buddha and, after completing three-year a retreat, he has become the teacher of ritual practices and liturgies. When these two teachers are in residence, they are available for instruction and consultation, which they have generously given since their arrival in 2004.
Those wishing to enter a traditional three-year retreat should first speak with Rinpoche and obtain his permission. Further, Druppon Khenpo has stated that people studying with him must abide by two main rules: they must not create problems with other retreatants but keep their minds focused on their own practice, and they must keep their sessions the same time as other retreatants.
It is best to begin the three-year retreat at the same time as the lamas in the retreat center next door to Kacho Ling. This way you will receive together with them all the empowerments from Thrangu Rinpoche and also the extensive teachings and instructions from Druppon Khenpo and Lama Dawa. This is truly a precious opportunity as the teachers are wonderful and the facilities perfect. If you would like more information, please contact the retreat house manager: firstname.lastname@example.org. His cell phone is: +977 9741164598.
A brief summary of the practice center at the Thrangu Tashi Choling
as written by Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Vasubhandu also spoke of practice: "By receiving vows and by correctly listening to and reflecting on the teachings, one will perfectly connect with meditation. "In the presence of khenpos and special teachers who have the two qualities of being stable and expert, a person suitable to receive the three stages of the vows takes the layperson's vows and/or novice or full ordination either for this lifetime or until enlightenment. With a firm commitment that is maintained without deterioration, one then needs not only the knowledge that comes through listening and reflecting, but also all of this has to be brought into one's experience. Situ Ch_kyi Jungne said:"knowing the view but not being able to meditate is like a rich person bound by stinginess: the result required for oneself and others does not emerge."
Generally, it is excellent to know what the genuine Dharma is. However, if one does not meditate, the ultimate result will not be obtained. So, practice is very important. Further, rather than practicing alone in a solitary place, it is better to practice in a group. Repa Shiwa_has said: "The basis of virtuous activity is compatible Dharma friends." Through the encouragement of lamas and friends who truly follow the Dharma, faith and diligence grow, laziness and discouragement are turned around. From the time of a beginner, one must practice according to the stages of the path. So that Dharmic habitual tendencies arise and remain stable, one first begins with the common preliminary practices of the Four Reflections, meditating on impermanence, and so forth. The very basis of all paths is Refuge, which is recited along with prostrations. The purpose of Vajrasattva practice is to pacify negative karma from the past, present afflictions, and coarse conceptualizations. The purpose of mandala practice is to gather the accumulation of merit that creates the right circumstances for experience and realization to arise in one's mindstream. Another method to accumulate merit is done by the "practice of cutting through" where one's body is made into an offering. Since whether meditation goes well of not depends on blessings, one practices the general and specific guru yogas. Mind training is to give rise to the special motivation of loving kindness and compassion and to give rise to bodhicitta where it has not arisen and arisen and where it has arisen, to practice so that it does not decline but develop further. One meditates on exchanging oneself for others, on the equality of self and other, and that others are more important than one’s self. Those are the preliminary practices.
The main practices are from the great classes of tantra with the general practice of the generation stage of the yidam deity, and especially, those practices Lord Marpa Lotsawa received from Naropa. In one of his songs. Marpa said: "I received Hevajra, the profound tantra, and Chakrasamvara, the heart's essence." According to this, the generation stage of Chakrasamvara is the heart and the heart's essence. Further, there is the practice of the aspect of the father, who is skillful means, and the aspect of the mother, who is wisdom. Of these, it is the practice of Vajrayogini that mainly emphasizes superior wisdom and primordial wisdom. It comes from the whispered lineage. The generation stage is brought to perfection based on the accomplishment of the outer, inner, and secret practices. The completion stage is practiced based on the profound path of method, including the practices of nadi, prana, and bindu found within the Six Yogas of Naropa. On the path of liberation, after having been introduced directly to the nature of the mind itself, one practices mahamudra.
So that one does not get lost in mere talk, dry understanding, or mere study, nor in a fool's meditation, blind faith or a mistaken path, one then receives empowerments that mature, explanations that liberate, and reading transmissions that support. The necessity of staying in retreat is so that the lineage will not in any way deteriorate and, in particular, that the practice lineage's blessing remains unbroken. In three years, the best retreatants fully accomplish the practice; the average one attains qualities, such as the signs of heat, and the lowest on without error, takes hold of the beginning of the path leading to liberation and omniscience. In this way, retreat is endowed with many special benefits.
This was written by the one with the name Thrangu Tulku. May it be a cause for the flourishing of the teachings on study and practice.
This was written by the one with the name Thrangu Tulku.
May it be a cause for the flourishing of the teachings on study and practice.
The Schedule of Practice
in the Special Six Yogas of Naropa
Three Year Retreat Center
Number of Days
1. Vajrakilaya 7 2. The Four Ordinary Foundations 12 3. Prostration and Refuge combined 45 4. Recitation of 100 Syllable Mantra 30 5. Mandala Offering 30 6. Guru Yoga 45 7. Sadhana of Lord Marpa and ritual 33 8. Sadhana of Lord Milarepa 21 9. Sadhana of Lord Gampopa 21 10. Sadhana of Karma Pakshi 21 11. Four Foundations 4 12. The Outer Practice 7 13. The Inner Practice 7 14. The Secret Practice 7 15. The Very Secret Practice 7 16. Long Life Practice 7 17. The Four Activities 1 18. Fire Offering 1 19. Seven Points of Mind Training 15 20. Shamatha Meditation 15 21. Vipashyana Meditation 15 22. Vajrayogini :- outer, inner , secret, mandala, fire offering 194+ 23. Chakrasamvara:- Outer, inner, secret, fire offering 150+ 24. Six Yogas of Naropa – Four foundations 12 25. Six Yogas – Tumo 60 26. Six Yogas – Illusory Form 25 27. Six Yogas - Dream Yoga 30 28. Six Yogas – Luminosity 21 29. Six Yogas - Bardo 17 30. Six Yogas – Phowa 12 31. Gyalwa Gyamtso – outer, inner, secret,very secret, combined, fire offering 150 32. Amitabha – Outer, Phowa, sadhana ritual, fire offering 32 33. A Feast of Chod pratice, the Precious Garland 10 34. Accomplishing Chod(while remaining seated) 7 35. Fire Offering 1 36. White Tara, the Wish fulfilling Gem 7 37. Sadhana Ritual 7 38. Fire Offering 1
Return to Main Menu