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North American Mahamudra Seminar at SCOL
September 15 - September 23
Teacher: Lama Eric Triebelhorn
Kagyu Changchub Chuling is pleased to announce that, per the wish of Khenchen Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Lama Eric will again be offering Bokar Rinpoche’s Mahamudra Seminar at SCOL and via Zoom. 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 means for launching them into and deepening their daily practice. We heartily welcome and encourage anyone interested to participate in this seminar.
Please note: In November this year, the Mahamudra Seminar will also be offered at Mirik Monastery in India, followed by an optional short pilgrimage led by Lama Eric. Please click here for more information.
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 recitations 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. These include refuge and prostrations, the 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, mandala offering, and guru yoga. Each of these four practices are 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. These are optional for first year participants.
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 program. 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 entering the Buddhist path—or be ready to take it. The refuge vow will be offered at the seminar.
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 over 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.
Financial Assistance is available for this retreat.
Please email <email@example.com> if you would like to request up to 50% assistance on the double cabin rate.
Click here to read our Financial Assistance Policy.
5:30 – 7:00pm dinner
7:00 – 7:45pm – orientation and evening session (First Zoom Session)
Saturday, 16th-Friday, 22nd
10:30-11:00 Tea break
4:00-4:30 Tea break
6:30 – 7:30am (Final Zoom Session)
Depart by 10:00am
The Founder, Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche
Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche (1940-2004) was a renowned master of the Karma Kagyu lineage and the principal lineage holder of Shangpa Kagyu, which he inherited from his root guru, Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. Drawing from a lifetime of study, intensive meditation, and many years of experience as a retreat master, Bokar Rinpoche first offered this program in 1992.
Khenchen Lodrö Donyö Rinpoche, Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche’s main student and the abbot of Bokar Monastery, continues to offer this seminar roughly every other year in India. Known for many years as Khenpo Rinpoche, Rinpoche has recently received the title of Khenchen, meaning “Great Khenpo,” in recognition of Rinpoche’s lifetime of practice and study. Khenpo is a title that denotes deep learning in Buddhism, similar to our designation of Phd. In November 2023, Khenchen Rinpoche will be offering this seminar at Mirik Monastery. Please click here for more information.
History and More Details of the Seminar: https://kcc.org/home/retreats-events/mahamudra-program/