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Illusion and Great Love
A one month Dzogchen retreat
April 6, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – May 6, 2018 @ 2:00 pm UTC-8
Wangapeka Retreat Centre,
South Island, New Zealand
This year’s one month Dzogchen retreat with Lama Mark will be an in depth exploration of the unity of Great Love and the illusory nature of self and all experience.
Lama Mark will lead us into the retreat with a week of study, reflection and meditation on Bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment or Great Love.
During weeks 2-4, we will continue to build off this foundation in compassion while shifting focus to the practice of Penetrative Insight, or vipassana. Lama Mark will teach and give meditations on the illusory nature of self and all phenomena. These Completion Stage Meditations with Support, are the method for cutting the root of delusion and liberating from all suffering states.
Lama Mark will bestow a number of empowerments and reading transmissions over the course of the retreat, as described in the detailed programme below. During the final week, Lama Mark will bestow the Three Roots empowerment in the Yangzab tradition to support the orderly unfolding of the unity of emptiness and luminosity (infinite expanse of compassion).
We are still finalising costs for this retreat as Lama Mark’s overall 2018 teaching schedule takes shape, but approximate costs are now expected to be:
For Wangapeka members: NZ$2,450
For non-members: NZ$2,650
This fee includes all accommodation, prepared meals, cooks fee, materials as well as a contribution towards Lama Mark’s anticipated travel costs.
These course fees do not include any payment for the teacher / teaching. In accordance with Buddhist tradition, Lama Mark offers the teaching of Dharma out of generosity. There will be opportunity to offer dana / donation for Lama Mark in return, in appreciation of the teachings and to help support the continued flow of Dharma. Please give as generously as you can (within your own means, of course…). As a rough guide, we suggest allowing for about NZ$30 per day, but this should be considered in light of your individual means.
A deposit of $500 is required to secure your place on the course. This is fully refundable if you withdraw before 1 March 2018. Beyond this date it is 50% refundable.
Financial assistance may be available for those who would be unable to attend the retreat without support. Conditions apply. Please contact the retreat organiser if you are interested in submitting an application.
Enquiries & Registration:
For all enquiries, please contact Jonathan:
p: +64 21 1860 476
To officially register for this retreat, please use Wangapeka’s on-line form:
Please consider becoming a Wangapeka member – click here for details:
Detailed Retreat Programme
Lama Mark will teach on relative and transcendent Bodhicitta, drawing from a number of texts; especially giving a transmission and explanation on The Jewel Lamp by Lama Khunu Gyaltsen. This text is available as: Vast as The Heavens and Deep as the Sea, Verses in Praise of Bodhicitta, Khunu Rinpoche, Wisdom. Boston.
Throughout the retreat each class will open with a reading and some commentary of Lama Khunu’s 356 verses on Bodhicitta. Teachings on Bodhicitta will mostly be from Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Patrul Rinpoche’s Words of My Perfect Teacher and a study guide by Lama Mark.
At the end of week one, there will be an empowerment, transmission of and explanation of practice of the Gonpo Yangzab Dzogchen Longevity and Deathlessness practice of Amitayus-Padmasambhava. Through weeks 1 to 3, we will have a daily group practice, with the group method of the Amitayus-Padmasambhava sadhana.
For reflection and contemplation, everyday throughout the retreat, Lama Mark will read out and explain sections of Gampopa’s Precious Garland of the Sublime Path (which contains amazing advice for retreat, daily conduct and Mahamudra pith instructions), thereby giving a complete reading transmission and explanations. The translation used is currently not in print: a copy of the translation will be provided.
Weeks 2 to 4:
In weeks two to four—a penetrative insight retreat—Lama Mark will teach and give meditations on the illusory nature of self and all phenomena: penetrative insight or completion stage meditations with support.
In order to teach an orderly unfolding of instructions for gaining genuine experience of the illusory nature of all phenomena and it’s unity with compassion, he begins classes and meditation instruction on the Buddha’s first and second teachings, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion) and the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta (The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic). Then we proceed to the Hṛdaya Sūtra (The Heart Sutra) and various readings from texts of the Cittamatrins, the Prajñāpāramitā and transmissions from the Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
The main meditations will be on mirror like wisdom (the mirror of the mind practices), impure and pure illusory body meditations, some classic examples of illusion, the Dharma of dreams (dream yoga) from the tradition of Naropa, and the infinite vast compassion for all beings. He will give a number of transmissions to support practitioners. Lama Mark will give out meditation and contemplation themes and personal meditation interviews.
At the end of week three, to support the orderly unfolding of emptiness and luminosity (infinite expanse of compassion), Lama Mark will give the Three Roots Empowerment of the Yangzab tradition, transmission of the practice text and explanations. In addition, for those who have not received it, he will give a transmission of the Yangzab Preliminary Liberating Instructions composed by the 19th century Lama Lho Nuden Dorje.