The First Dzogchen Meditation Retreat for Sangha (10-16 Jan 2012)

1stsangharetreat-1The first Dzogchen meditation retreat for the Sangha was held in Sanya city, Hainan province, for a period of 7 days from Jan 10 to 16, 2012. There were a total of 74 monks and nuns from various temples across the country who participated in the retreat.

During the seven days of closed door meditation retreat, the participants observed the noble silence throughout the day, from morning 4:30 am to 9:00 pm, meditating for 9 hours daily, and not less than fifteen meditation sessions per day.

During the seven days, Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche led the monks and nuns according to the lineage, practiced step by step meditation, guiding all participants through in-depth meditation. Rinpoche shared from his personal experience, guiding the participants from theory to practice and to differentiate between different meditation states, from basic to intermediate to highest level of meditation. From meditation with form to formless meditation, from confused formless meditation to clear formless meditation; from worldly meditation to out-worldly meditation. Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche explained in detailed the different views and stages of meditation, taught everybody how to break through each of the meditation stages and to avoid samsaric hindrances and duality view until one is able to arise the right view of liberation. Rinpoche guided everyone into a profound state of meditation, gave teachings on the various meditation states and many venerable (monks and nuns) were able to gain different degrees of experience in the understanding their true nature of mind, where everyone’s insights into meditation improved greatly.

1stsangharetreat-2Rinpoche patiently showed the venerables how to walk, sleep, etc to stay constantly in meditation; how to relax the body after sitting meditation, and how to extend the experience of awareness in daily activities; how to reflect before obscurations arise and to liberate from obscurations. Before the sun had risen, he led everybody outdoors to meditate in the cool morning breeze, where fresh air and vast space are the best remedy for sleepiness during meditation and it brings out clear awareness. Participants were amazed by the experience of bliss which they had never felt before. Everybody was full of praise and admiration of Rinpoche’s clear and direct methods of teaching, relaxed and interesting styles of meditation.

During the retreat, Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche specially arranged for the sangha to practice vinaya and precepts – the daily activities of the sangha, explained in detail the law of cause and effect, advised the sangha to respect their identity and to protect their practice and to instil confidence in the Dharma for all beings.

Rinpoche stressed that the sangha must stay united, regardless of tradition and lineages, we are all practicing the teachings of Buddha Sakyamuni and the ultimate objective is to gain liberation and Buddhahood. All traditions and lineages should be non sectarian; we should respect each other, learn from each other, we should not praise oneself and defame others. The continuous spreading of the Buddha Dharma depends on a united and harmonious sangha.

1stsangharetreat-3On 16 January, before the closure of the meditation retreat, the organizer organized sangha offerings, exchange of experiences, lamp offerings and other activities. The solemn ceremony moved many lay devotees who were present to tears. The respect that the devotees had for the sangha inspired the venerable to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma.

The rare and precious human life has been obtained, and the precious Dharma had been taught. We must practice diligently and achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible in order to benefit all sentient beings. And for the future generations, we pray that our precious Guru will not abandon the sentient beings, and will continue to turn the wheel of Dharma, to continue to train and continue to hold such precious retreat programs, so that the Buddha Dharma through right view and practice, continue to spread far and wide.

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