Several things – first, I plan to continue my most recent thread on Bringing Resources onto the Spiritual Path soon (I am presently working and seeing clients these days, staying pleasantly busy). I also plan to write about my most recent trip to Va Beach to attend my root lama, Drupon Thinley Ningpo, who taught on clear light and dream yoga – two incredibly advanced teachings which I am not yet ready to attempt (but maybe the blessing from knowing about them helps?). Very potent and juicy though!
For those of you who read my blog and do not subscribe to TMC’s email announcements, here is a little on the upcoming Winter Retreat: more can be found at their website of http://drikungtmc.org
This year, the Tibetan Meditation Center’s winter retreat will be a little gentler and more manageable than the two previous years. It will involve Khenpo Tsultrim teaching on a fantastic text by Patrul Rinpoche (one of the greatest masters of the 19th century), Khenpo Chophel will lead practitioners in chanting the Mani Mantra for several hours a day and then Drupon Thinley Ningpo will bestow the 1000 Arm (1000 Eye) Chenrezig Empowerment on Saturday January 1st. Then we will do an around the clock Mani Mantra chanting session (overnight) after that through Sunday.
Honestly I am a little disappointed that the winter retreat’s format changed. I was looking forward to pushing deeper at another ManiDrupchen – which for those of you who do not know, “Drupchen” means Great Accomplishment. In the past, it was a very intense retreat. I attended it for the past two years. And in Tibetan Buddhism, where some yogis are known to go for 3, 7, 9 years and more in solitary retreat, to say something is an intensive or an extra intense retreat means A LOT! Long story short, in a Drupchen, practitioners set a strong intention, receive a potent empowerment or blessing from a qualified lama (Tibetan monk and/or teacher) and then chant the main practice mantra around the clock for anywhere from 6 to 21 days. Sleep is taken in shifts so there are always people chanting in the shrine room. It is a very powerful group practice, whose intention is generally a large number of accumulations of the mantra (sometimes 1 million, 10 million or more). Please bear in mind this is an abridged definition of what a Drupchen entails – I am not an expert, having only attended two so far.
Overall though, for the sanity of the main retreat organizers, I am glad it is a gentler model. I think mainly one or two people held the majority of responsibility during the previous TMC ManiDrupchens, which is way too much to ask especially when it is A) a public retreat and B) a retreat where people are coming and going. If it were either sealed and / or a private drupchen (like other centers offer), I think it would be more conducive for everyone involved.
So come if you’d like. It won’t quite be the zoo which I describe in previous posts (see the ManiDrupchen section of the Dharma category at right). In fact, you might enjoy it 🙂 I hope to see you there.