- This event has passed.
Bokar Mahamudra Seminar
September 20, 5:30 pm - September 26, 6:30 pm
Teacher: Lama Eric Triebelhorn
NOTE: This retreat will not be held at Ser Chö Ösel Ling due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases and contagiousness of the Delta variant. It will be held on Zoom livestreaming.
Kagyu Changchub Chuling is pleased to announce that, per the wish of Khenpo Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Lama Eric has again agreed to offer Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche’s Mahamudra Seminar covering the preliminary and main practices of the mahamudra tradition.
Bokar Rinpoche initiated the program in 1992 to provide a concise yet complete approach to the stages of mahamudra practice, in a manner suited to the lives of modern lay practitioners. Over the past several decades, hundreds of aspirants have found the support and structure of this course a powerful support for launching them into a consistent daily practice. We heartily welcome and encourage the KCC community to participate in this skillful program.
The Practice Program
A key component of the program is the practice commitment which acts as a critical support for making dharma a stable feature in one’s life. At a minimum, participants are asked to practice shamatha (resting meditation) for 30 minutes daily and to do 100,000 repetitions of Chenrezi’s mantra over the year. Though 100,000 may sound like a large number, the mantras can be done outside of formal meditation, and most do not find it difficult to complete them.
Traditionally, the preliminary practices (often referred to by their Tibetan name, ngondro) are done as a prerequisite to engaging in vajrayana practices, including shamatha and vipashyana of the mahamudra tradition. These meditations remove obstacles and create positive conditions that allow practitioners to engage more deeply in the practices that follow.
The preliminary practices include refuge and prostrations, the 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, mandala offering, and guru yoga. Each of these four practices are performed during one quarter of the practice year—refuge and prostrations for the first three months, Vajrasattva for the second three months, etc. One can commit to doing 5,000 or 10,000 of each per quarter. A commitment of 10,000 per quarter is likely to take about 30-45 minutes per day.For those who continue to the second year, instructions on vipashyana are given, and in the third year—if one has met certain practice requirements—the practice of the union of shamatha and vipashyana, or mahamudra, is introduced. One continues accumulating the preliminary practices as part of the second and third year commitments.
Further, for those who are interested, after practicing the third year teachings for three years, one can choose to begin the yidam aspect of the seminar. One would then receive the empowerment and instruction for the yidam and take that as one’s main practice. The yidam teachings also progress through outer, inner, secret, and most secret levels every two years.
Who Should Attend
Practitioners at all levels are welcome to join the seminar. One must attend the whole seminar and be willing to take on the accompanying practice commitments for one year. Participants should have already received the vow of refuge—the formal act of becoming Buddhist—or be ready to take it. The refuge vow will be offered at the seminar.
The teachings will include an overview of the mahamudra tradition. Participants will be introduced to the various aspects of the preliminary practices, and there will be guided meditations in the main practices of shamatha, vipashyana, and mahamudra, according to how many years of the program one has completed.
The day will begin with calm abiding meditation and end with the Chenrezi practice. There will be detailed instruction for all of the practices to be done in the course of the year and plenty of time for questions and discussion. The daily schedule will be fairly full but will also allow for ample stretch breaks and time for rest and reflection. There is a nearly equal balance of meditation and teachings during the seminar.
There are many resources available on our website under the Retreats & Events tab. Just click on “Mahamudra Program.”
Cost – Zoom
- $540 — Your extra contribution helps make these events available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend.
- $480 — Suggested Donation. Your donations make these events possible.
- $360 — Reduced level
- $240 — Reduced level
- $150 — Reduced level
- $90 — Reduced level
- $ 60 — Reduced level
- $ 0 — Make a donation as you can. No one will be turned away because of lack of funds.
Retreat begins 5:30pm Monday, September 20 and ends with the last session of the day on Sunday, September 26, at 6:30 pm.