Lama Sonam Rinpoche asked us to send a message to all of you regarding our upcoming Summer Retreat, June 14 – July 14. This annual summer gathering of our sangha has been going on since 1989. It was started by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche who called it our sangha’s “dharma party”. The Summer Retreat is usually one month long and during that time we do several short retreats. You are invited to come for any length of time, one session, one day, one week or the entire month. Lama Sonam Rinpoche has requested you to try and come to help with preparations and immerse yourself in a rich and deep dharma experience.
We will do the Ngondro practice everyday but the focus of the retreat will be on other aspects of Vajrayana practices. For the first week we will be practicing and accumulating the Troma Ngondro and receiving teachings from Sangye Khandro, a extraordinary western practitioner and translator. The teachings are basic to any Ngondro and can be applied to your practice.
NOTE: This Troma retreat is restricted for those who have had a Troma Empowerment.
The following retreat sessions will be taught by Lama Sonam Rinpoche and various guest Lamas, of which there are usually many.
The second retreat session will be a Black Hayagriva practice. This practice is said to be a profound healing practice for serious illness and for removing obscurations. There will be a two day Shitro practice for purifying broken samaya. Geypa Rinpoche will be giving a Troma empowerment on July 2nd. Finally, the last portion of the retreat will be our annual Drupchen, which is a profound practice in which the Vajra Guru mantra is recited continuously day and night for nine days. There are 6 practice sessions that are divided up in the day and night. The retreat is very powerful and is said to be the equivalent of doing a one year retreat.
Lama Sonam Rinpoche has expressed the desire to see all of you integrating with the Vajrayana Foundation sangha, meeting fellow practitioners and deepening your experience of the dharma. Participating in the retreat will certainly inspire your practice and help you to build friendships and a network of support. You will have the opportunity to meet amazing Lamas and receive profound teachings. You will learn about ritual and depending on your interest, how to make tormas, play instruments, prepare ritual substances, and sacred dances.
The retreat is held at our Pema Osel Ling retreat center in the Santa Cruz mountains. The property has been blessed by many wonderful Lamas, such as H.H. Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Namkai Drime Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, and most recently Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche. You can camp or stay in cabins, eat delicious meals and spend time in a beautiful environment with redwoods, stupas, ponds, birds, and deer.
All are welcome. We operate on a sliding scale, depending on your circumstances. Offerings are encouraged for your own benefit, and no one is ever turned away for lack of money.
If you have children, we do have a children’s retreat during Drupchen. Please let me know if you want more information about that.