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We are grateful and pleased to announce that Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche will once again offer the seminar for international students covering the complete stages of the path of Mahamudra according to the Karma Kagyu Lineage. By offering this seminar, he continues the legacy of Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, holder of the Shangpa Kagyu Lineage and Dharma heir of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. Bokar Rinpoche initiated this seminar in 1992 to make the full depth of Buddhist practice accessible to modern lay practitioners of Buddhism, drawing from experience gained through 17 years of intensive meditation retreat and a lifetime of study. This will be a special year, in that it marks the 25th anniversary of this program for westerners. Rinpoche encourages everyone to come.
THE MAHAMUDRA SEMINAR PROGRAM
The annual seminars offer a precious opportunity to spend a week meditating with Khenpo Rinpoche and receiving teachings in the gracious company of long term practitioners from all over the world. Other esteemed teachers frequently offer teachings and empowerments as well. This year for the first time the young Bokar Rinpoche will be in attendance. The teachings presented in the seminars are accompanied by a multi-year graduated program of meditation practice which leads from the foundations of meditation and contemplation through Mahamudra practice. For those who have completed six years of the program and wish to continue with Vajrayana meditation practice, instructions for the stages of yidam practice are offered every other year. The next seminar is planned for late fall, 2019 and will most likely be a Yidam Seminar; the next Mahamudra Seminar would then be held in 2020.
This year the retreat will be at Bodhgaya, India. Some lodging options are presented below, and participants should indicate their lodging preference when registering. If participants have not previously traveled in India or similar countries, we recommend that they refer to a travel guide book and network with people who have been there, if at all possible.
WHO SHOULD COME
While all practitioners are welcome to join in the seminar, Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche would like to encourage especially those people who wish to make a direct connection with the lineage. Those participating should be practicing Buddhists or ready to commit to the Buddhist path and be willing to carry out the program of meditation practice for one year. To receive full benefit of the program, it is important to attend the whole seminar and consistently engage in the accompanying practice commitments. Practitioners ranging from beginners in the Dharma to those who have completed extended retreats have found the Mahamudra seminar very valuable. The seminar content is most accessible to the individuals who have at least some familiarity or affinity with the Vajrayana path. While a complete overview of the essential elements of the path is included in the seminar, those without previous background may find the seminar content challenging to integrate in a short period of time.
THE MEDITATION COMMITMENT
The practice commitments emphasize the progression of Calm Abiding (Zhinay), Insight (Lhaktong), and Mahamudra meditations and the cultivation of bodhicitta. The commitment also includes recitation of the Chenrezig mantra and, optional in the first year, focus on one element of the foundation practices of the Vajrayana (Ngondro) each quarter of the year.
Payment of the nonrefundable registration fee of $180 reserves your place in the seminar. This fee covers logistical expenses and some offerings to the Rinpoches.
Please provide your Arrival and Departure dates when you register; you may be estimating these dates but must update the registrar if your dates change to ensure accurate hotel reservations if you choose either of the options below. (Please note that the 35th Kagyu Monlam will be celebrated in Bodhgaya Dec 27, 2017 - Jan 2, 2018.)
Below are the housing options you may select when you register (you may also make your own arrangements):
- Option 1, Mahayana Hotel. Double occupancy room will be 2700 rupees/night (approx. $42/night, or $21 per person/per night if shared). This is one of the more comfortable lodging options in Bodhgaya, though there are cheaper places to stay.
- Option 2, Bodhgaya Guest House. A 10-minute walk from the seminar: 600-700 rupees/room/night (approx. $10, single or double occupancy).
- The meal plan offered at the Mahayana Hotel is 750-800 rupees ($12)/day. This is good food and is recommended to participants.
There may be other lodging options but we are not aware of them at this time. Lodging is not charged or paid until the Seminar, but participants are encouraged to register early in order to help ensure that your lodging choice will be reserved for you, particularly if interested in staying at the Mahayana Hotel.
Please share this link with interested sangha, world-wide:
Kagyu Changchub Chuling (KCC) is a Dharma Center in Portland, Oregon. KCC was founded in 1976 by the Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, one of the eminent meditation masters of modern Tibet and a holder of the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu lineages. The mission of KCC is to make the teachings of these lineages accessible for all practitioners, whether they are just beginning to investigate Buddhism or are long-time students.