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Preliminary Guide Retreats

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Guru Yoga Mandala Offerings Retreat

Kadampa Meditation Center 4840 West 29th Avenue, Denver, CO, United States

Guru yoga and mandala offerings retreat combines two of the four great preliminary guides that we need to practice if we want to gain Mahamudra realizations – the quick path […]

Refuge Preliminary Guide Retreat—Self Guided Meditation Retreat

Kadampa Meditation Center 4840 West 29th Avenue, Denver, CO, United States

During this retreat, we spend time developing the powerful mind of refuge, our actual protection from pain and problems. Through the practice of refuge, relying on the Three Jewels of […]

What are the Preliminary Guide Retreats?

The following explanation, given by Geshe Kelsang in 1993, applies to the preliminary guide (or "preliminary practices") retreats, which are held in four separate weeks throughout each year at the Center. They are usually a week in length, three or four sessions a day, a mixture of guided and unguided, allowing practitioners to gain deeper experience of an essential Buddhist practice. They are an integral part of the Teacher Training Program (TTP), but are also open to everyone else. You may attend any number of sessions. Please look at the Year-at-a-Glance Calendar, Monthly Calendar, or open our Newsletters to know the dates and times.

Buddha taught many different meditations. The realizations attained through these meditations are the path to liberation. Liberation from suffering therefore depends upon making progress in meditation, and progress in meditation depends upon engaging sincerely in preliminary practices. Buddha taught four principal preliminary practices. These are normally called the ‘four great guides’ because they are the methods by which we are guided into the actual path to liberation. Meditation itself is like the main body, and the four great guides are like four limbs; just as without limbs our body cannot move and function, so without preliminary practices meditation alone cannot work.

Refuge and bodhichitta retreat

During this retreat, we spend time developing the powerful mind of refuge, our actual protection from pain and problems. Through the practice of refuge, relying on the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, we gradually build stable, peaceful, and joyful minds that give us the confidence and strength to make authentic spiritual progress.

We also have the opportunity to meditate on the supreme good heart, bodhichitta.

This retreat is done in conjunction with Essence of Good Fortune or Offering to the Spiritual Guide. Each session consists of time to study, meditate, and do some prayers. Study materials are provided for the unguided sessions, and advice is always on hand.

Guru Yoga and Mandala Offerings Retreat

Guru yoga and mandala offerings retreat combines two of the four great preliminary guides that we need to practice if we want to gain Mahamudra realizations – the quick path to enlightenment. We all wish for spiritual realizations, but these depend upon creating certain inner conditions such as purifying negativity, accumulating merit, and receiving blessings. 

Making mandala offerings is the gateway to accumulating the collection of merit and attaining an enlightened Pure Land. Guru yoga is the gateway to receiving powerful blessings from all the Buddhas of the ten directions through our Spiritual Guide.

This retreat is done in conjunction with Offering to the Spiritual Guide or or The Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land According to Highest Yoga Tantra. Each session consists of time to study, meditate, and do some prayers. Study materials are provided for the unguided sessions, and advice is always on hand.

 

Vajrasattva Retreat

Through the power of recitation and visualization, and through receiving Vajrasattva’s blessings, we will gradually purify our mind and our actions. In this way we can improve our qualities as a human being, and eventually become a special holy being. ~ Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, teachings on Vajrasattva, 1993

This retreat is a powerful method for purifying our negative karma. By deepening our reliance on Buddha Vajrasattva in this retreat, we will cleanse our mind of delusions, negativities, and obstacles that both cause us suffering and hold us back from reaching our full inner potential.

This retreat is done in conjunction with Offering to the Spiritual Guide or The Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land According to Highest Yoga Tantra. Each session consists of time to study, meditate, and do some prayers. Study materials are provided for the unguided sessions, and advice is always on hand.

 

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