A week long outstation study retreat was held at the Deer Park Institute on Bodhicitta led by Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director Tibet House, Cultural Center of HH the Dalai Lama.
Flowering Dharma Center had an opportunity (like last year) to take 29 students including four core members of Flowering Dharma to attend this intense retreat. Students from various colleges of Jammu University, Punjab University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University were selected on the basis of a online registration process. This retreat is attended byaround 130 people from all around the world and all walks of life every year. Hence is a great place for the students to interact, learn and also build confidence.
The retreat for the students was jointly sponsored by Deer Park Institute and Tibet House. The students were provided free accomodation by the Deer Park and the Tibet House took care of the 50% of the expense on the meals.
- BODHICITTA RETREAT
- 27th October to 2nd November
- DEER PARK INSTITUTE
- BIR, HIMACHAL PRADESH
The week long study retreat program was intense with a strict schedule. The morning session started at 5:45 AM and continued till 8:00 AM. After breakfast the sessions carried on till lunch at 1:00 PM with a half an hour break for tea and group discussion. The post lunch session started at 3:00 PM and the day concluded with a group discussion and tea break.
For the group discussion the participants were divided into groups of 10-15 people which were moderated by the more experienced participants who have attended such retreats before. In the GD sessions doubts from the classes and questions from participants were taken.
In the retreat the topic “Bodhicitta” was taught and discussed. Geshe La discussed the concept of “Emptiness of Objective Existence”. He also stressed on the importance of knowledge of wisdom and method (Compassion) to attain Buddhahood or to lead a happy life. Geshe La also taught Bodhicitta meditaion in one of the sessions. He explained the benefits of meditation in daily life.
On the special request of the Flowering Dharma, Geshe La agreed to have an audience with the students for half an hour after the conclusion of last day classes. The students shared their experinece of coming for the retreat with Geshe La and in turn Geshe La also gave some head points for the students and the Flowering Dharma Members on importance of learning and preserving the ancient Indian Nalanda Philosophical tradition.
After the conclusion of the retreat on 2nd November, the students travelled to McLeod Ganj (Dharamshala) to attend a teaching by HH Dalai Lama on “Three Principal Aspects of the Path” on 3rd November. On the same day the students also visited the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and Central Tibetan Administration office.
On 4th November, the students had an opportunity to have an audience with H.E Ling Rinpoche. Rinpoche La suggested the students to practice the lessons from retreat in daily life and also expressed his appreciation towards Flowering Dharma for working hard and carrying forward the wishes of HH the Dalai Lama in engaging the youth in the direction of learning and preserving the Nalanda Philosophical Tradition.
The students then parted ways for their respective stations the day after and although the retreat is over the students stay in touch and share the teachings and discussions via various electronic means.
Bodhicitta Retreat – Audiobook
More photos : Drive