The residents of Sravasti Abbey will soon begin their annual retreat—this year on the Tara practice with meditations on the Gradual Path to Enlightenment. While some of you will join us at the Abbey for this, others are not able to attend in person.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to do the Retreat from Afar and make a connection with the retreat by participating along with us.
By doing a daily practice during the same dates as the retreat, you will develop your Dharma practice while feeling the support of the Abbey residents who are doing the same. You will 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 in previous years, and people have loved doing it. They maintained a regular daily practice, deepened their understanding of the Dharma, and gained many insights into their lives. Last year, around 120 people joined the Retreat from Afar. We enjoyed seeing their photos each time we entered the meditation hall to do sessions.
This year there is a three-month retreat, December 14, 2009 to March 10, 2010. To participate you commit to at least one session of the Tara practice with 108 recitations (or more) of the mantra every day. This would probably be a session of about 30 minutes. An additional 10 minutes of Lamrim meditation would be very beneficial.
Tara represents the enlightened activity of all the Buddhas and is especially efficacious for eliminating obstacles and bringing success. Doing the Tara practice is an excellent way to develop compassion and forgiveness towards yourself and others.
The practice also helps us to purify a great amount of destructive karmic seeds on our mind stream and to create a huge amount of merit which enriches our mind and is the cause of happiness. By contemplating the empty yet dependent arising nature of the Tara, your wisdom understanding the complementary quality of dependent arising and emptiness will increase.
If you would like to participate in the Retreat from Afar, please email Kevin(firstname.lastname@example.org
) , our office manager, and let us know. Send us a photo of yourself to place in the meditation hall at the Abbey during the retreat, symbolizing your participation.
The Tara sadhana (the text with the visualization, prayers, and mantra) and an image of the Tara can be downloaded. If you have not received the Tara initiation, please do the practice where you visualize Tara in front of you.http://thubtenchodron.org/Retreat/Tara_ ... _front.pdf
If you have received the Tara initiation, you can do the self-generation practice.http://thubtenchodron.org/Retreat/Tara_ ... t_self.pdf
You can get all the information on Retreat Essentials(http://www.sravastiabbey.org/winterretr ... tials.html
), including Venerable Chodron's instructions(http://www.sravastiabbey.org/retreatprep.html
) and reading list to prepare for the retreat.There are also audio recordings of Venerable Chodron leading the practice
) and saying the mantra.
We hope you will be able to join us in this special retreat.
Ven. Chodron and the Residents of Sravasti Abbeyhttp://www.sravastiabbey.org/winterretreatafar.html