By keeping the 8 vows which are:
l. No killing
2. No stealing
3. No sex
4. No telling lies
5. No drinking alcohol
6. No singing or dancing, makeup or ornaments
7. No evening meals
8. No sitting in high seats
for a period of 24 hours, along with The Chenrezig Practise
and reciting The Mani Mantra, by doing these things brings a real
benefit to the practioner and to the place where he or she practices.
By keeping the 8 vows thoroughly for 24 hours purifies
the bad karma that will cause an individual to fall into The Hell
Realm and by fasting one purifies the bad karma to be reborn in The
Hungry Ghost Realm. By keeping silent one purifies the bad karma to
be reborn in The Animal Realm.
All suffering and misfortune comes front negative powers, so The
Nyung Nay practice is to increase the positive powers so that it can
bring happiness and harmony. It is one of the most effective
practices to purify our defilements, and to purify environmental
By doing group practice one creates a very efficient method for
extending our lives, and stopping disease, drought, and also war. The
Nyung Nay practice was founded by Bhikshuni Phalmo who was a serious
leprosy patient. By doing this practice for a period of twelve years
along with The Chenrezig practice, she became a great Siddhi. By
reciting The Mani Mantra it purifies the six seeds of the six realms
and it pacifies the suffering of all beings and brings peace to the
world, so in this degenerate time it is the best practice for the
cause of World Peace. Finally, it brings enlightenment, Bhikshuni
Phalmo attained The Celestial Body, she sees Chenrezig anytime.
'We start before sunrise on the first day, with the first puja (we do
three pujas the first two days, one puja on the last day). If you
don't know already, a puja is a collection of prayers etc that are
compiled into a text, or sadhana. Usually the first day lama will do a
lot of it in English and give additional instruction and teachings
especially if there is anyone who hasn't done the practice before.
Every time I do this retreat, I learn something new. The first time
you do it, just go along for the ride and don't expect yourself to
keep up. Pretty much every thing you need to know about Tibetan
Buddhist meditation and rituals is in this retreat, so it's highly
informative but can also be overwhelming in the beginning. You will
get a chance to chant, do prostrations, do various mudras, recite
mantras and visualize 1000-armed Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara). You'll
get even more out of this retreat once you have the long dharani
memorized and the visualization down.
You can drink clear fluids all that first day. We have a vegetarian
meal before noon there are particular ingredients that are not allowed
and after that we are pau with food until the end of the retreat.
After the last puja of the day usually over around 7pm, once you fall
asleep, say goodbye to fluids and talking as well.
To get the most out of the retreat, if is recommended that on your
breaks you continue to meditate, read dharma texts, work on memorizing
mantras etc. You can do other activities as long as they don't lead
you to break one of the vows, but you won't be maximizing your gains
if they aren't dharma related. Napping is okay as well. I have a
really hard time sleeping the last night, so I try to get some sleep
in during the day.If you accidentally speak or dance or some such
thing, go up to the shrine and purify yourself again with the saffron
water. No one expects you to be perfect. Intentional transgressions of
vows, on the other hand, can't be good.
The last day we get up very early so that the puja will be over around
sunrise. At the end of it we drink hot lemon water when the lama okays
it. Then we do dedication prayers and other prayers and eat, usually a
meal of rice soup. If you haven't had the 1000-armed Chenrezig
empowerment, lama will usually do that ceremony after we eat. Then you
get your "I survived Nyungne" t-shirt (just kidding).'