“Mahā means great mind. Mudrā means all-pervasive. When we are first learning meditation, it is important to know two things. First, the mind is the base of happiness and suffering. Our mind is not reliable as as a source of calmness. It always changes…The most important thing to understand is that when the mind is calm, the mind is happy. When the mind is not calm, the mind is not happy… These differences are very important things for the meditator to know. Not just knowing in the mind (intellectually), but having the experience.
The second thing is the nature of the mind. When you recognize the nature of the mind, it is very peaceful. In that moment of recognition, you are the happiest person. It’s very strange to say that, but that’s how it is… When you recognize nature of mind…that is called seeing or recognizing, or having a short glimpse of Buddha."
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche
Our teacher, the precious Buddha, taught a great variety of different paths and gave many different teachings. One of these was Mahamudra, the Great Seal, the essence and peak of all dharma teachings, the supreme path of practice which leads the practitioner step-by-step to direct recognition of mind’s true nature.
The specific Mahamudra text that Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche will be teaching, the Amrita of the Essential Accomplishment, belongs to the Taklung Kagyu lineage. The teachings of the Kagyu were passed down from the dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara to the mahasiddha Saraha, and then to Maitripa, Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa. One of Gampopa’s main students was Pagmodrupa, and one of Pagmodrupa’s main students was Taklung Tanga Tashi Pal (1142-1210), “the one with supreme devotion”. He was the founder of the precious Taklung Kagyu lineage which has been transmitted without break down until the present day. In Tibet, the main seat of the Taklung Kagyu is Riwoche in Kham where the lineage is upheld and passed on by three main masters: Kyabgön Shabdrung Rinpoche, Kyabgön Jedrung Rinpoche, and Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche.
This precious text, the Amrita of the Essential Accomplishment by the Taklung Kagyu master Gelong Ngawang Tashi Paldrub, condenses all of the Buddha’s teachings into a single gradual path that guides the student step-by-step. Short, precise, and easy to practice, it explains succinctly how to traverse the path from the outset of the four mind-changings up until essential Mahamudra, the peak of all of Buddha’s teachings. The text not only teaches different meditation techniques, but is also adorned with priceless pith instructions and teaches different methods for overcoming various obstacles that can occur in one’s meditation practice. Therefore, it is a teaching that is deeply beneficial both for beginners and also for more advanced practitioners.
Thukdrub Barché Künsel, the concise manual for daily practice is a treasure concealed by Guru Rinpoche. This genuine, secret profound treasure revealed by the great revealer, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa. This is the most concise practice, yet possesses great blessing especially for the practitioners in this age. It is a practice of Guru Rinpoche and his emanations; the wisdom and samaya deities in a one single mandala.
The teaching by Guru Rinpoche himself about this practice:
The practitioner of true simplicity; to practice this essential daily practice.
Should, in solitude, gather all the branches, that make one a fit vessel for meditation.
Then, through one pointed samadhi, engage in the meaning if deity, mantra and wisdom.
Rinpoche suggests that all students prepare for this program by following Rinpoche’s online course on Samye Institute in which he teaches the various stages of shamatha meditation. Ideally, it would be best to start practicing these teachings now in order to develop some practice experience and sincere questions prior to the retreat. You can access the course at https://samyeinstitute.org/course/path-of-meditation-level-one/
For New Retreatants:
Rinpoche will lead participants who are participating in this retreat for the first time through the four mind-changings, the four foundations (or preliminary practices), and then through the detailed stages of shamatha with and without focus taught in the text, including natural state shamatha. Practising these different techniques of meditation enables us to gain mastery over our minds and lays the necessary foundation for the ensuing practice of vipashyana, the pointing-out of the true nature of mind.
For Returning Retreatants:
Having covered the four mind-changings, four foundations, and different types of shamatha meditation during the previous retreats, this year Rinpoche will move on to the second part of the text which teaches vipashyana meditation, and finally Mahamudra itself—essential emptiness dharmadhatu meditation. Rinpoche will also unravel the priceless pith instructions that are taught in this text for overcoming obstacles in one’s meditation practice.
Rinpoche will also bestow the empowerment for Luminous Bindu, a very unique and blessed guru yoga and gathering offering (tsok) practice for the eighty-four mahasiddhas and Vajradhara. The eight-four mahasiddhas are the condensation of all the great male and female masters of India. Therefore, this empowerment and practice contains great blessings. This precious practice is from the Taklung Kagyu lineage and was composed by the great master and visionary, Jedrung Jampal Jungney Rinpoche after having a pure vision of the eighty-four mahasiddhas.
Retreat Fees inclusive of accommodation for 4 days/3 nights; 3 vegetarian meals, 1 tea-break per day; and practice materials.
305 USD (single room)
215 USD (twin-room/double room/triple room)
Returning Retreatant (Please kindly be reminded to bring practice materials from your previous Mahamudra retreat):
290 USD (single room)
200 USD (twin-room/double room/triple room)
Please note that retreat fee is non-refundable. It is transferable.
***Registration and payment will be closing on 14th December 2018***
(Please ensure that you specify that all bank charges are to be borne by payer)
Beneficiary Name : DO THUY DUONG
Bank Name : Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (VietcomBank)
Bank Address : 198 Tran Quang Khai, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Account number : 0071000596712
Swift Code : BFTV VNVX
PAYPAL (additional 5% of processing fee)
Paypal account: email@example.com
PARTICIPANTS INFORMATION KIT
Schedule is subject to change without prior notice. Please check schedule at the entrance from time to time. Please note that once the retreat commences, participants are not allowed to exit from the hotel premises till the end of the retreat as this will be a closed retreat. All meals (breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner) will be provided in-house by the hotel, which is already included in the retreat fees paid.
Recommended Packing List for Participants
Things to Bring
- Original Bank in receipts, Remittance receipts (to help us reconcile our accounts, if you have not submitted)
- Katas (white silk scarfs traditionally used for greeting and offering to Rinpoche)
- Light jacket/shawl, the function room might get cold
- Personal Toiletries
- Tooth brush, toothpaste. Hotel will provide towels.
- Indoor socks and house slippers, if you want to wear something more comfortable
- Simple first aid kits/ personal medication
- Tsok offering (optional). Participants can also invite pre-packed tsok offering prepared by the organisers.
Sen Viet Hotel
Address: 33 Cao Thang, Ward 2, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
From: Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Duration: 30 mins
Fare: Taxi 100.000 VND (Approx. USD 4)