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Teaching & Retreat Schedule

"The Abbey gives skies full of benefit to sentient beings because they can meet the Buddhadharma and hear teachings. There is nothing more important."

  Lama Zopa Rinpoche


Retreats & Courses at Sravasti Abbey (Español)

_______________  April  _______________

_______________  May  _______________

_______________  June  _______________

_______________  July  _______________

_______________  August  _______________

_______________  September  _______________

_______________  October  _______________

_______________  November  _______________

_______________  December 2014  _______________

  • December 7: Sharing the Dharma Day
  • December 29-January 19, 2015: One-month Manjushri Retreat
  • December 29-March 25, 2015: Winter retreat: Yamantaka & Manjushri

Puja to End the Winter Retreat
April 13

Join the Abbey community to celebrate the end of our winter meditation time and to thank our kind retreat supporters. 

In the morning we'll have our regular Sharing the Dharma Day schedule, beginning at 10 am with meditation, followed by a talk by Ven. Thubten Chodron. At noon we'll share a potluck lunch in Chenrezig Hall, then offer a Lama Chopa puja at2:00

  • Noon Potluck vegetarian lunch (remember, no onions or garlic)
  • 2:00 Lama Chopa Puja in the Meditation Hall (bring a tsog offering of fruit, candies, cookies and the like if you wish)

Registration isn't necessary, but it's helpful if we know you're coming. Write the office or call 509-447-5549. 

Kathina Ceremony to End the Varsa
April 19

The Buddha established the kathina when a group of monks traveled through mud and rain to be with him after their varsa retreat. Their robes were sodden and bedraggled, and the compassionate Buddha created the kathina ceremony so these sincere monastics could receive new robes from the lay community. 

The kathina ceremony is widely celebrated in the Buddhist countries of Southeat Asia. It’s a time when lay followers can make offerings of the four requisites—food, clothing, medicine, and shelter—and joins the the Sangha to celebrate the great merit created from taking part in the varsa retreat. Join us and help establish the kathina as an annual Abbey event.

  • 9 am Gather, Ceremony, Dharma talk with Ven. Chodron
  • 12 noon Potluck Lunch

Write the office or call 509-447-5549 for more info and to let us know you're coming. 

Bringing Dharma Into Daily Life
Retreat with Sravasti Abbey Monastics
April 25 - 27

The Buddha's teachings intrigue or inspire you, and you'd like to put them into practice, but that's not as easy as it sounds. How do you maintain a daily practice? How do you apply these methods for calming the mind and developing compassion in the midst of your busy day-to-day life? Take a weekend break at Sravasti Abbey to explore ways to make your life meaningful by integrating the Dharma into all you do.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download registration form.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Friday and stay through Sunday lunch.

For more information, write  the office or call 509-447-5549

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey

Click here to find out What to Bring

How to See Yourself as You Really Are
Retreat with Ven. Thubten Chodron
Memorial Day Weekend
May 23 - 26

Who do we think we are?

According to Buddha’s teachings, our misconceptions about how we actually exist are the root source of all our suffering. Ven. Thubten Chodron will continue teaching from the book, How to See Yourself as You Really Are, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and translated by Jeffrey Hopkins, to help us dispel our mistaken views and embrace the world from a more realistic—and loving—perspective.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download registration form.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Friday and stay through Monday lunch.

For more information, write  the office or call 509-447-5549

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey.

Click here to find out What to Bring.

Young Adults Explore Buddhism (ages 18-29)
with Ven. Thubten Chodron
June 6-13

Curious about Buddhism or meditation? Looking for a way to express your spiritual values and hopes for a better world?

Sravasti Abbey invites young adults aged 18 to 29 to explore the Buddha’s teachings within our American culture. No meditation experience is necessary; just an open and curious mind/heart.

The course includes meditation instructions and practice, teachings, Dharma discussions, and working outdoors in beautiful gardens, meadows, and woodlands in northeastern Washington. Click here for a detailed program description.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat.Click here to download the registration form.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Friday and stay through lunch on the following Friday.

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey.

Click here to find out What to Bring.

Wisdom and the "Don’t Know" Mind in Buddhism
Guy Newland
June 19 – 22

Philosopher, scholar, and Buddhist practitioner Guy Newland returns to the Abbey to share teachings and reflections on the concept of "not knowing" in Buddhism. Guy writes, “In Zen, they talk about ‘just don't know’ mind, and there may be similar ideas in other Buddhist traditions. Where does this idea come from? Can it lead to perfect awakening? As Tibetan Buddhists, what can we learn from our cousins and siblings in other traditions who persistently use the rhetoric of ‘not knowing’?”

Guy is the author of numerous books, including Introduction to Emptiness, and has translated and/or edited many others. A professor at Central Michigan University, Guy's perspective is always fresh, his scholarship impeccable, and his sense of humor is thoroughly infectious. Please join us for a stimulating, thought-provoking and out-of-the-ordinary exploration of Buddhist ideas.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download registration form.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and stay through the final teachingon Sunday. The course will end at about 6 pm.

For more information, write  the office or call 509-447-5549

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey

Click here to find out What to Bring

The Four Noble Truths
Retreat with Ven. Thubten Chodron
July 17 - 20

The Four Noble Truths is the foundational teaching of all Buddhist schools; it was the first teaching the Buddha gave after his enlightenment. Its message is practical and immediately applicable. Ven. Chodron explains, “Real spiritual practice means understanding ourselves, understanding the situation we are in, and understanding our potential and how we can remedy our difficulties.” This weekend retreat, with teachings and meditations, will help bring us to this deeper understanding. 

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download registration form.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and stay through Sunday lunch.

For more information, write  the office or call 509-447-5549

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey.

Click here to find out What to Bring

Exploring Monastic Life
with Ven. Thubten Chodron & the Abbey community
August 4 – 20

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron teaches from her 37 years of experience as a monastic. In addition to receiving daily teachings, you’ll be living and practicing as a member of the Sravasti Abbey community—engaging in meditation, discussion, and offering service to the community.

This retreat is for qualified lay people exploring the possibility of ordination, and for monks and nuns that have been ordained for five years or less. Applicants must have taken refuge in the Three Jewels at least one year ago and must not be in a long-term relationship. Priority will be given to applicants under 50 years old.

Click here for a detailed program description.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download the registration form (use the long form).

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Monday and stay through  lunch on Wednesday, August 20th.

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey.

Click here to find out What to Bring.

Aryadeva's 400 Stanza on the Middle Way 
with Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe
August 29-September 5

We rejoice to announce the return of Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe to continue teaching on Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way. Joshua Cutler also returns as his English interpreter.

Geshe Thabkhe is known as one of the most eminent scholars of the Madhyamaka tradition and Indian Buddhist studies, and his teachings on Aryadeva's text at the Abbey last summer inspired and challenged us. He was born in 1930 in Tibet and became a monk at 13. After escaping to India, he earned the Geshe Lharampa degree at Drepung Loseling Monastery, and he is an emeritus professor at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in India.

Geshe Thabkhe was a chief adviser on the translation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chen Mo), a project of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in New Jersey with Joshua Cutler as Editor-in-Chief. The two scholars—Geshela and Joshua—present an incisive and engaging explanation of the Dharma.

Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way is one of the fundamental works of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, directly stating—in no uncertain terms—the steps of the path to full awakening. Geshe Thabkhe will begin with Chapter 5, which enumerates the Bodhisattva deeds. You'll find Geshela's teachings on Chapters 1-4 by clicking here

Full-schedule retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Friday and stay through the afternoon teaching (ending at 4 p.m.) the following Friday. Commuters also welcomed. 

For more information, write the office or call 509-447-5549

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey

Click here to find out What to Bring.

Text and commentary for this teaching can be found in Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas, republished as Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way.

You can also prepare by reviewing Ven. Chodron's teachings on the same text. The playlist starts here.

Chenrezig & Parting from the Four Attachments
Annual One-Week Retreat
with Ven. Thubten Chodron
September 19 – 26

Ven. Chodron will lead this retreat on Chenrezig, Buddha of Compassion, emphasizing how to bring the compassion practices your daily life.

She will also continue teaching on the clear and directive text, “Parting from the Four Attachments,” essential practices needed to lay the foundation to develop bodhicitta.

We invite you to come on vacation with Chenrezig.

Retreatants should arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Friday and stay through the following Friday lunch.

A dana offering and registration form are requested to reserve your place for the retreat. Click here to download the registration form (use the long form.)

Click here to read about visiting the Abbey.

Click here to find out What to Bring.


Local & Ongoing Abbey Events

Sharing the Dharma Day at Sravasti Abbey

One Sunday a month, Sravasti Abbey opens our doors for Sharing the Dharma Day, an opportunity for newcomers and old friends to explore the Buddha's teachings and share in community fellowship.

People from all faiths and backgrounds can apply the principles explored on Sharing the Dharma Day to enhance their lives. Bring a vegetarian potluck dish (please no meat, eggs, garlic, onions, leeks or radishes) and come with an open mind. All are welcome!

Click here to listen to previous Sharing the Dharma Day teachings.

Sharing the Dharma Schedule
Topics are drawn from 
Don't Believe Everything You Think by Ven. Thubten Chodron
Date   Topic

January 5

  Shifting from the Self-Centered Thought to Cherishing Other
March 16   Living with Loss
April 13   Transforming Suffering
May 4   Facing Blame
June 8   Working with Criticism
July 13   Betrayal
August 3   Squashing Our Ego
September 7   Ending the Pity Party
October 5   Don't Let Success Go to Your Head
November 2   Working with Anger
December 7   The Misery of Attachment

Sharing the Dharma Day Schedule

Session 1: 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Meditation

11:00 a.m. – Noon – Dharma talk

Session 2: 12:15 p.m. – Vegetarian potluck lunch & informal Dharma discussion/Q&A

Session 3: 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Contemplation and discussion of topic of the month

Session 4: 3:00 p.m. Tour of Buddhist artwork or grounds (weather depending) for newcomers

Dharma in Coeur d'Alene

Join Coeur d' Alene Dharma Friends 5:30 - 7:00 pm every Thursday for meditation and Dharma discussion at Life Center Therapies for Well Being, 1319 Government Way, Cd'A. Teachings with Abbey nuns on Fridays November 2 & 9 at 6:30 pm. Contact CdA Dharma for more information or call (208) 665-5862.

Dharma in Spokane

Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Meditation Group meets on Mondays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the chapel at 4340 W. Fort Wright Drive. Abbey monastics offer teachings periodically throughout the year. The group often continues to meet between these sessions for meditation and book study. Contact the  office or call the Abbey (509) 447-5549.

Offering Service Weekends

Need a break from the city? Join the Abbey community on an Offering Service Visit.

The opportunities are many, and the work is varied. Working in the Abbey's beautiful forest is fun, and your effort protects and preserves the Abbey land. Or you may serve in the kitchen, weed the garden, or any number of activities that help to spread the Dharma and/or benefit sentient beings.

Visitors have the opportunity to live in spiritual community, sharing in practice, Dharma discussions, and service. Your visit can be short or longer. Many people add a few offering service days when they come for a retreat or program.

Please contact the Service Coordinator to find a time that works for your schedule.

On-Line Events

Tele-teachings/Live Video with Venerable Chodron

You can’t contemplate or meditate on the Dharma without first hearing teachings, but if you live in a remote area or far from your teacher, what can you do?

Teachings on Aryadeva's 400 Stanzas

Ven. Chodron teaches on Aryadeva's,400 Stanzas, a classic text of the Madhyamaka school. Aryadeva is noted as the disciple of Nagrajuna, whose teachings describe the most subtle understanding of the nature of reality.

Order the text and commentary from Snow Lion.

Head to http://sravasti.org/live and tune in for the live broadcast on the internet using uStream.TV. Ask questions in real time using the chat box! No registration necessary.

Or - just use your telephone. Dial into a central number (long distance charges apply.) You can dial in alone or set up your speakerphone and invite Dharma friends to join you for teachings and discussion. You must register so we can send you the teleconference’s phone number and access code.

Click here to send an email to register or ask for more information on telephone teachings

Click here to hear audio or read transcripts of past teachings.

Check out archived teachings on Grounds and Paths and 7 Types of Cognition by clicking here

Prostrations from Afar - Ongoing

Join up with other practitioners to do '100,000' prostrations. Read about joining in with others for support and community.

View instruction videos on prostrations from Venerable :

  • Instructions (Quicktime -22 MB) (Windows Media - 16 MB)
  • Demonstration ( Quicktime - 58 MB) (Windows Media - 29.8 MB)
    Be patient it takes around 5 minutes to download each one.
    Internet Explorer users: Look at the lower left hand corner of your browser, there is a download icon.
    The Quicktime versions require the latest Quicktime update. Download it here.

Practitioners from around the world are participating in the prostrations from afar. During previous monthly teleconferences, Ven. Chodron answered participants’ questions. You can listen to the recordings of the teleconferences at Venerable's website.

For more information, email the office.

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