Out Station Study Retreat Programme – Bir : Oct 2017

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.

  • 27th October to 2nd November

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

Alphonso Sapling

Alphonso Sapling



  1. Rigzen Dolker 1 year ago November 23, 2017

    First of all i would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to flowering Dharma for giving us such a great opportunity .I was very fortunate enough to come to retreat and learned so much from that .
    It was most astonishing and memorable experience with you all and enjoyed a lot .During my time there I have learned so much about life and try to follow what actually Gyesha la said .
    Lastly again thanks to all the member of flowering Dharma for this great opportunity and I hope to follow this line of work in the future.

    • Alphonso Sapling
      Alphonso Sapling 1 year ago November 23, 2017

      Julley/Tashi delek,
      Rigzin Dolker Lay,

      Thank you so much for such for taking out time to write to write such a wonderful feedback. We really appreciate it and hope that this journey of ours will continue for a long time.
      Stay connected.


  2. Ghan Shyam Thapa 1 year ago November 23, 2017

    This was my first Retreat or teaching of any such kind.
    I would like to thank the Flowering Dharma team for providing me such an opportunity to attend this amazing retreat.
    I must say it was really a wonderful feeling to learn so many things and fortunate enough to get blessed.
    Hoping to work ahead with the Flowering Dharma team.
    Thank you!

  3. Sonam Dorjay 1 year ago November 24, 2017

    I would request all the students that they should attend this kind of retreat as much as possible as learning about new stuff is important , so is to receive the teachings of wise. Deer park provides great environment for learning and people you meet may be there for a week but what you learn from them is fruitful for whole your life. The most memorable moments for me will be the discussion that we used to have after dinner. I would appreciate the efforts of Flowering Dharma to make it possible for us. I hope they will keep the great work with such determination and sincerity so that others will also benefit from it.
    Thank you Flowering Dharma and Geshe la for wonderful teaching.

  4. Rinchen Changchup 1 year ago November 24, 2017


    Firsf of all, this article is so good – summing up the whole retreat activities briefly. It gave me a full flashback of this retreat so nicely! 🙂

    So, this was my second retreat. Luckily, i able to attend this retreat too, with full enthusiasm! As expected, it gave me more positivity in living my daily mundane life. Also in practicing bodhicitta, it gave me more faith and more understanding of the dependent origination at deeper level. Like, this time, i really liked the concept of positive, negative and neutral people in our life. Geshe la so nicely explained how they play so important roles in our life and we need all kinds of people anyhow. That was very new to me and i loved it!

    This time, i was focussing more on the meditation part which i couldn’t do much last time. Also, the wisdom part, of course, we all need to improvise it as much as we can. Among the all teachings of Geshe la in those 7 days, the most mind-striking one was the teaching of ‘reducing the intake of non-veg’ through real understanding of dependent origination. And now, i encourage everyone to take at least some intial steps towards it, as recommended by Geshe la himself! I’m being veggie since few months and i really feel that it really helps me in practicing bodhicitta more than earlier with the understanding of why we need to. Secondly, this time, i guess i got a glimpse of emptiness of self, which gave me goosebumps once during one meditation class. And i know it’s a good sign of initial stages during meditation. Hope i’ll progress more and more..

    Now, i think every sapling has a potential to turn the wheel of dharma at their respective places at their own level. I’m trying my best to spread the words of budhha and the teaching of Geshe la among my friends or colleagues or family or relatives.

    I would really like to thank FD, the beautiful Deer Park Institute and the Tibet House for these eye-opening, life-changing retreats. They’re being so generous to us every year, allowing us to participate in these precious, amazing retreats on full scholarships. Also, i must say, all the staffs at Deer Park, the organizing memebers of FD and all the saplings are great beings with warm-heartedness towards each and every others. Wishing us all a great luck in future to conduct more and more wholesome acts & events and benefit all sentient beings on this earth. And i think… And i know, YES we can change this whole world with inner-change (inner peace) into a beautiful, blissful peaceful world, where each and every 7 billion human beings would know the dependent origination well and would be careful with their karmic actions. Hope for a better world!

    Lastly, i hope we’d be meeting virtually or personally, at least once a month, as we discussed earlier and do some discussion with the same topics. 😀

    “The perils are plentiful, but the prizes are palpable.”

    Thanking you all,
    Rinchen Changchup
    (a part of Alphonso Sapling)

  5. SD Sempa 1 year ago November 26, 2017

    Thank you Flowering Dharma for making the precious teachings of Venerable Geshe La available for all of us around the world.🙏

  6. Tsering Chosdon 1 year ago November 28, 2017


    This was my 3rd Retreat with our beloved, brilliant and a compassionate teacher Geshe Dorje Damdul la. I have no words to express my deep gratitude and thank to flowering dharma because of whom we all were able to meet and had a wonderful moment every time … The time which i spent on learning Dharma would be the time which will definitely one day help myself and others as well.. This is the only solution for which I was looking for since my childhood.. Before thanking our compassionate teacher I would like to thank Flowering Dharma because they are the one who came up and took a very profound steps to flourish the Nalanda Tradition .. my special thanks to Kaga Tashi lay who very lovingly and skilfully make us to get involved in Dharmma… Lucky me and all the people who are in touch with this Supreme centre ( flowering dharma) . I might have died without knowing the immaculate teaching of Lord Buddha but luckily I met with my lucky charm kaga Tashi lay and get to know about the Dharma.. Thank you soo much because of you people only I started loving myself and others as well .. just because of flowering dharma I am alive today otherwise prior to that I was just living without any purpose .. flowering dharma gave me the real treasure , the most precious jewellery that I can ever think of . Thank you so very much ..

    It’s my suggestion to all the people who were very new to the concept of Dharma, please never think of skipping it by not understanding at the beginning. Please keep hope in your heart and keep going learning Dharmma because today I am the witness to get experience a glimpse of Dharma which transformed me into a depressed person into a happy person . I remember 1st time when I was introduced to Dharma I cried a lot and loose my hope but it is our skilled and a compassionate teacher who didn’t let that happen . So please never loose hope and keep in touch with Dharma .

    Flowering Dharma a source of happiness for millions of beings . Thank you soo much for giving me a gem, a jewellery, and more that .. in all my lifetime if anyhow I can serve Flowering Dharma would be the biggest and supreme work I do .

    Lots of Thanks and Respect to Flowering Dharma.


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