Retreat from Afar
"Winter has become my favorite time of year, and it's because of Retreat from Afar. My practice is most stable during those three months. I tangibly feel the support of everyone doing the retreat at the Abbey and around the world. "
Every winter the residents of Sravasti Abbey do three months of retreat. While a few guests can join us in person, hundreds can join by doing the Retreat from Afar, participating along with the meditators at the Abbey.
Shakyamuni Buddha Meditation with
optional Refuge Visualization
Lamrim Meditation from “The Easy Path to Travel to Omniscience”
January 15-February 12
January 15-March 31
By doing a daily practice during the same dates as the retreat, you develop your Dharma practice while feeling the support of the Abbey residents who are doing the same.
You also give your support to those of us doing the retreat at the Abbey, encouraging our practice.
The Abbey has offered the Retreat from Afar for several years, and people love doing it. It supports "distance meditators" to maintain a regular daily practice, deepen their understanding of the Dharma, and gain many insights into their lives.
Sign up by sending an email to our coordinator, and read the preparation material below.
Retreat Preparation and Study Materials
You can participate in one of three ways:
- Commit to at least one practice session of the the Shakyamuni Buddha meditation, including reflection on a graduated path topic from "The Easy Path to Omnscience," each day.
- More experienced meditators who have taken refuge and some of the lay precepts may want to add the ngondro refuge visualization and mantra recitation—accumulating a total of 111,111 recitations of the refuge formula—every day.
- You could also choose to do the refuge visualization and mantra—reciting at least one mala of Namo Gurubhya, Namo Buddhaya, Namo Dharmaya, Namo Sanghya each day—without trying to do the whole ngondro commitment.
- Study and practice the detailed Meditation on the Buddha, which you can listen to and download here.
- Study the specific visualization and meditations for the refuge ngondro here.
- Download the text for “The Easy Path to Travel to Omniscience” here, and incorporate these into your daily practice.
- Watch the video teachings on “The Easy Path to Travel to Omniscience." The playlist is here.
- Please read some Lamrim books and think about and meditate on their contents. A Lamrim outline used in previous retreats is in the Lamrim section of www.thubtenchodron.org.
- In addition, you can get Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path, in which Ven. Chodron leads all the lamrim meditations. These will help you greatly during retreat.
To join in, please email our coordinator. Send a photo of yourself and we will place it in the Meditation Hall at the Abbey during the retreat, symbolizing your participation.