We just finished studying the Discovering Buddhism module “Wisdom of Emptiness”. Although 30+ students attended the first class, only a handful of intrepid students made it to the last class. Interestingly, the majority of students who stuck with it were relatively new to Buddhism. They studied very hard – came to class prepared, asked good questions, read the required readings and the module’s transcripts. I truly rejoice in all their efforts! Participation in this retreat fulfills part of the requirements for receiving the Discovering Buddhism completion certificate for this module.
As a way of helping the Center’s friends and members enrich their meditation practices, we would like to invite all of the Center’s friends to join us for a full-day retreat on emptiness and compassion. The Center does not host full-day retreats very often, so we’re hoping that students from all levels of experience will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. While talking and reading about emptiness is the first step, meditation is vital to developing insight into such a subtle subject. The primary focus of the retreat is on the Heart Sutra. We will also meditate on compassion as described in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s book, “How to See Yourself as You Really Are”.
We hope that this very short retreat will help students prepare for Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Losang Jampa’s teachings for the Center beginning in April. Khensur Rinpoche will be giving a 3-day teaching on Lama Tsonghkhapa’s famous short text on emptiness “Praise to Dependent Arising” Memorial Day weekend in Reston, VA. (details on the Center website for details). His Holiness gave a commentary on this text in San Francisco in 2007.
The retreat (led by Ani Tendrol) will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston VA 20190. For more information about the retreat, please visit the Center website.
May the purification and merit that we accumulate through this retreat clear away all obstacles that Dharma practitioners may encounter in their spiritual endeavors.