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Nyungnay Retreat: A purifying fasting retreat

In celebration of Buddha's Enlightenment Day

Friday, April 14 — Saturday, April 15

About the Retreat

Nyungnay is a special fasting and purification practice performed in conjunction with prostrations and prayers to Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. This is a very powerful method for purifying negativity of body, speech, and mind, and for pacifying delusions such as strong attachment and anger. It is also a special way of improving our minds of love, compassion, and receiving the compassionate blessings of Avalokiteshvara. This practice is done annually at Kadampa Buddhist centers throughout the world to celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day.

Buddha’s Enlightenment Day is the occasion when Buddha Shakyamuni showed the manner of accomplishing the ultimate goal of living beings – the attainment of enlightenment – at Bodh Gaya, India in 589 BC. With this auspicious deed he demonstrated how each of us can overcome all internal and external obstacles and hindrances and become an enlightened person.

Usually the Nyungne retreat is done over two days, with the Mahayana precepts session at 6:30am (see below) must be taken at the beginning of each day. 

Please Note: In order to attend any of the Nyungne retreat sessions during the day you will need to attend Precepts in the morning.

On the first day it is customary to abstain from all meals apart from lunch. On the second day we engage in a complete fast, abstaining from all food and drink for 24 hours. On both days, we do three sessions of meditation from a ritual prayer, Drop of Essential Nectar, combining prostrations with chanted meditation. Those who are unable to engage in a complete fast can participate in the sessions on the second day, provided they take the Mahayana precepts on that day.

The Prayer Booklets

During the retreat we will be using the prayer booklets, A Drop of Essential Nectar and A Pure Life, which you can download from Tharpa.com if you wish.

What are precepts?

The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta intention, the compassionate wish to realize our spiritual potential for the benefit of all beings. The essence of this practice is taking eight precepts and keeping them purely for twenty-four hours. When we take precepts, we explicitly promise to abstain for twenty-four hours from eight actions which include: (1) killing; (2) stealing; (3) sexual activity; (4) lying; (5) taking intoxicants; (6) eating after lunch (meaning we only eat lunch); (7) sitting on high or luxurious thrones or seats; (8) wearing ornaments, perfume, singing & dancing.

Because this practice is motivated by bodhichitta it is especially powerful for purifying negativities, accumulating merit—a positive strength of mind—and creating the cause for us to attain the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.

If you have any questions about this retreat, please contact us at info@meditationincolorado.org

Schedule

Friday, April 14

6:30am – 7:30am Precepts (required)
8:00am – 9:30am First Session
10:30am – 12:00pm Second Session
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch*
3:00pm – 4:30pm Third Session
5:00 - 6:00 - Heart Jewel

Sat, April 15

6:30am – 7:30am Precepts (required)
8:30am – 10:00am First Session
10:30am – 12:00pm Second Session
3:00pm – 4:30pm Third Session
5:00 - 7:00 - Offering to the Spiritual Guide

About the Teacher

Kadam Lucy James

Our main teacher at KMC Colorado is Kadam Lucy James. One of the senior teachers of Kadampa Buddhism, Kadam Lucy has taught extensively in England, Florida, and San Francisco, and helped set up many thriving meditation centers since 1981. She is regularly invited to teach courses around the United States and Europe due to her skill in presenting both simple and profound subjects with great clarity. For many years, one of her main jobs was to help with the editing and production of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books, and she has engaged in extensive meditation retreat.

© 2021 KMC Colorado is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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