For seven days Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Losang Jampa skillfully guided us through the complexities of each of the classes of tantra. He highlighted the differences and similarities between the different classes. Students who are new to tantra as well as those who have been practicing for a while all benefited from Rinpoche’s insights and left the retreat feeling as though they had a much stronger foundation for their practice.
One of the highlights of the retreat was taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts with Rinpoche at 4:45 in the morning. For several people, this was the first time they’d taken precepts, so that made it particularly special for all of us. Rinpoche patiently explained the meaning and benefits of precepts and chanted the Tibetan extra slowly so we could all repeat the words after him. We also did the Confession to the 35 Buddhas. Saturday evening we did a rousing 4 Mandala Offering to Chittamani Tara.
Tenzin Bhuchung did an excellent job of translating for Rinpoche, and his close relationship with Rinpoche was heart warming . Gusho Ngawang la worked quietly in the background helping arrange the altar, caring for Rinpoche, and fine-tuning the sound system. Venerable Desal from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives, graced us with her kind and steady presence as did Venerable Chime. Venerable Chime led a group in chanting White Tara’s mantra for Rinpoche. Lorne Ladner led not just one but two meditation and discussion classes a day and everyone really enjoyed them. Terry Ladner led several of the morning meditation sessions, and I finished up the rest.
We tried a new caterer this year, and she served the best vegetarian food! Everyone pitched in and helped with the dish washing and other tasks.
Each of us overcame many obstacles in order to attend the retreat. We all felt very grateful and humbled in Rinpoche’s presence. The text for the class, The Condensed Meaning of the Path of the Vajrayana, is very long, so Rinpoche did not finish his commentary. Center Director Lorne Ladner asked Rinpoche if he would return next year to continue the teaching, and he agreed!
Please share your thoughts about the retreat.