Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Click on the YouTube link below for a slide show of 30 years at Gampo Abbey. Enjoy!
Posted by Gampo Abbey at 8:11 PM
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Dispatches from Gampo Abbey
From Shastri in Residence Alice Haspray
From Shastri in Residence Alice Haspray
(Photos by Les St Marie)
On January 7, between wind and snow storms and occasional sun, Ani Pema arrived at Gampo Abbey and was greeted by all of the nuns, monks, and residents. The flags were flying, conches were blown, and all lined the walkway in the clear, cold air to greet her. She arrived from Halifax, driven by Gampo Abbey's new Director Richard Haspray and accompanied by fellow traveller Meg Wheatley. Meg has now begun her annual two month solitary retreat in Naropa Cottage.
We then followed Ani Pema into the Abbey's main shrine room for a circle greeting. Each person--old and new--introduced themselves and the work they are doing at the Abbey. Ani Pema then began talking about the coming Yarne and the practice of silence. She said that silence is both a gateway to infinite vastness and openness and also a clear mirror of the workings of our minds. We glimpse the absolute through silence; and, at the same time, when we refrain from speech, on the relative level, we experience all of the emotions and patterns of our habitual mind clearly. Absolute and relative. Infinite and finite. Intangible and tangible. We experience all of these through silence.
Fourteen Yarne guests will arrive on January 11, and we will all practice together until the Year of the Wood Horse begins on March 2. The Sakyong has given us permission to practice Shambhala Meditation during Yarne, so I will introduce that practice during our first silent week (which occurs during the second week of Yarne). The practice of feeling, being, and touching will infuse the atmosphere of Yarne with tenderness and kindness. Ki Ki So So
Posted by Gampo Abbey at 3:02 PM
Monday, August 19, 2013
Gampo Abbey was very pleased to host “Empowering our Lives with Meaning: A Monastic Youth Dathün” from July 13 to August 10, 2013. We had nine participants, ranging in age from 17 to 32 and coming from homes including California, Cape Breton, and the Netherlands.
Seven took temporary monastic ordination for the month, an opportunity more rare in the West than in parts of Asia but a heart aspiration of the Abbey’s founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
|... and after|
The program took place in Söpa Chöling, the Abbey’s long-term retreat facility. The main activity of the dathün was sitting meditation with contemplative meals, movement, and liturgy used as supports.
The dathün was directed by Ani Lodrö Palmo whose talks focused on how the view and forms of monastic life can inform and inspire household practice, such as having a plan for life and a plan for each day involving mindfulness and contentment, joyful discipline, fearlessness, and wisdom as taught in the four dignities of Shambhala. She was assisted by Getsul Loden Nyima who taught the monastic forms themselves with an emphasis on their underlying themes, which apply to our entire dharma path, and who gave guided meditation on bodhicitta. The dathün was warmly and spaciously coordinated by Dawa Lhatso.
The month-long format allowed time to explore these themes as they apply to various aspects of life and practice. The participants and staff alike were grateful for the opportunity to practice intensively for a month and to have this taste of monastic life.
Participants returned home with a strong set of tools for enriching, strengthening, and further establishing their practices. They also took with them a heightened sense of the preciousness of a human life and the ability to help transform the world through a conscious use of intention and interdependent action grounded in meditation practice and inspired by basic goodness, an underlying theme throughout the month.
This was a deeply joyful and inspiring experience for all. We wish our participants the very best and hope to see them again along their paths!
For more information about monastic youth dathüns at Gampo Abbey, please visit our website.
|This rainbow auspiciously appeared behind Sopa Chöling on the departure day|
Posted by Gampo Abbey at 3:06 PM
Friday, November 30, 2012
If you are a practitioner in your early 30s or younger, we invite you to participate in our Monastic Youth Dathün next summer, from July 13 to August 10, 2013. Below you will find information about the retreat. (Note that the application deadline is March 30, 2013.)
In ancient India, at the age of 29, Prince Siddhartha left his life of transient material occupations in search of liberation from the endless cycle of unease and dissatisfaction which no amount of distraction or entertainment could ease. The young prince was searching for deep inner meaning, understanding, freedom, and for a way to help the world around him.
Though times have changed since then, many of us in today's speedy and increasingly troubled world still feel this calling and some will pursue it by becoming monastics.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Gampo Abbey, felt that it would be beneficial to do so temporarily. For younger practitioners it could become a powerful rite of passage. Temporary monasticism can be a way of exploring the possibility of life as a monastic or can be a way of discovering how helpful principles borrowed from the monastic tradition can support spiritual life as a householder.
The theme of this year's dathün will be "Empowering Our Lives with Meaning" and will focus on how dharma practice strengthens our sense of purpose in life and our effectiveness in transforming our minds and society. As a means of doing this the dathün will include extensive periods of sitting practice, interviews with meditation instructors, contemplative activities, as well as talks and discussions about enlightened society.
This will take place while immersed in the monastic lifestyle of simplicity, contentment, and deep purpose, which includes forms such as daily silence, oryoki, precepts, and communal living in Söpa Chöling, the Fortress of Patience, the Abbey’s long-term retreat facility.
Over the years we have seen the Monastic Youth Dathün playing a poignant role in the paths of participants. As Lodrö Rinzler (author of The Buddha Walks into a Bar) said of his experience of Monastic Youth Dathün:
"Even though I was raised within Shambhala, it was only during the monastic youth dathün that I realized that this meditation path was my own. I fully credit my time at Gampo Abbey as the foundation for my entire spiritual journey. It made me the man and practitioner I am today."Shortly after their arrival, participants will be given temporary monastic ordination which will last for the duration of the program. This includes shaving one's head, wearing monastic robes, and holding the five basic precepts of conduct for monastics: refraining from taking life, stealing, sexual activity, false speech, and intoxicants.
The dathün is open to practitioners in their early 30s and younger. As a prerequisite for taking temporary ordination and attending the program one must have formally taken refuge or have definite plans to do so. The cost of the program is $1500, which includes housing and meals. We also have some scholarship funding available.
Join us for deep practice and a profound experience of joyful living!
For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our website to download an application form.
Posted by Gampo Abbey at 4:49 PM