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One month Lam Rim retreat in two cycles

The first cycle will be guided by Rene Feusi

The second cycle will be guided by seniors monks of Nalanda

We are delighted to announce that venerable Rene Feusi will come back to Nalanda monastery for another summer to guide a lam-rim retreat!

“During this contemplative retreat, we will develop mindfulness of our everyday thoughts and emotions and use Shantideva's wisdom to heal the unhealthy mental states. We will also train in a loving and compassionate outlook on life which will help us to give it a higher purpose. And finally we will explore what lies beyond appearances and intuit the beauty of our fundamental nature.”

Rene Feusi

Last July ven. Rene led a calm abiding retreat at Nalanda that attracted more than seventy people from all around the globe. The retreat was a wonderful occasion in which ven. Rene guided the participants with a lot of skill, humour, knowledge, and affection. The atmosphere was inspiring, peaceful, and gentle.

This year ven. Rene has agreed to guide a lam-rim retreat based on the book “The Beautiful Way of Life”, his own meditation manual on Shantideva's spiritual masterpiece “A Bodhisattva's Way of Life”.
The emphasis of the meditations will be on refuge, bodhichitta, calm abiding, and emptiness.

The retreat will consist of two cycles

Ven. Rene will guide from 13 July until 23 July.

Nalanda monks will guide from 24 July until 9 August.

It will be possible to participate in a single cycle.

About Lam Rim

“The most important thing is the continuity of developing your mind in the lam-rim, the stages of the path to enlightenment. It doesn't matter if you are in Africa, in Tibet, on the moon, in Iraq, etc., whether you are rich or poor, whatever, continue to develop your mind in the lam-rim. This is the most important thing.”

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

In Tibetan, 'lam-rim' stands for the stages of the path to enlightenment. The lam-rim texts present unmistakably all the stages of the path to enlightenment in a gradual and complete manner, and in a way that is easily put into practice. This is why the lam-rim meditation is so special and powerful.

About the texts

The saint Shantideva composed “A Bodhisattva's Way of Life” in the 8th century, in the ancient monastic university of Nalanda (northern India). It is said that Shantideva had a reputation of being withdrawn and very lazy, and that some of his fellow monks, in an attempt to humiliate him in public, urged him to deliver a lecture in front of the entire assembly of monks. Little did they know that Shantideva secretly was a great scholar and saint. He taught the entire “A Bodhisattva's Way of Life” in one session, including the renown and difficult ninth chapter on wisdom.

Today, “A Bodhisattva's Way of Life” is one of the most influential texts within Tibetan Buddhism and a sparkling jewel in the canon of world literature. Although written in verses and poetic language the meaning is not concealed, but the instructions and lines of reasoning are straightforward and practical. Usually it is only the ninth chapter, which explains profound philosophy, that causes readers perplexity.

“The Beautiful Way of Life” is ven. Rene Feusi's version of “A Bodhisattva's Way of Life”. It condenses the text, puts the verses in modern and plain language and makes the meaning even more clear, while reflecting the beauty and meaning of the original verses.

Biography

Rene Feusi trained as a florist for the purpose of taking over the family business of flower shops in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1979, while on a spiritual quest in India and Nepal, he met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who were to become his main teachers, at the month long November course at Kopan Monastery in the Kathmandu Valley. At the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he took ordination as a novice in 1985, and a year later he took full ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After two years of study and retreats in India and Nepal, he joined Nalanda monastery and studied under Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tegchok. After completing his studies and the traditional nine preliminary practices, he entered a two-and-a-half-year solitary retreat at Oseling Retreat Center in Spain. Since then, he has spent half of his time teaching and leading retreats in Dharma centers around Europe and the United States, and half of his time doing solitary retreats. He was the resident teacher at Vajrapani institute in the Santa Cruz mountains from 2001 to 2007. Now he does solitary retreat in Tonasket, Washington.

General information

The retreat will start on Thursday the 13th of July at 17:00 and end on Wednesday the 9th of August at noon. The retreat consists out of two cycles of teachings, of which the second cycle has two parts.

During the retreat, we will take the eight Mahayana precepts and do the purification practice of prostrations to the 35 Buddhas of Confession, on a daily basis. Half of each day will be spent in silence, so that participants can develop more awareness of their thoughts and emotions.

One can subscribe for either the full retreat, a separate cycle or a part of a cycle, but not for single days.

The entire retreat will be predominantly in silence. Talking is only allowed for a few hours per day.

Translations

The teachings will be in English and will be translated into French and Spanish.   

The first cycle

The first cycle is from the 13th of July 17:00 until the 23rd of July at noon and will be lead by Venerable Rene Feusi, based on his book "The Beautiful Way Of Life". This book will be provided by Nalanda Monastery at no extra costs.

The second cycle

The second cycle will be lead by two senior monks of Nalanda Monastery. The first part of the second cycle will start on the 23rd of July at 17:00 until the 1st of August at noon. The second part of the second cycle will start on the 1st of August at 17:00 and finish on the 9th of August at noon. It will follow a more traditional sequence of meditations, going through the meditations of the three scopes, based on Lama Tsongkhapa's “Lam Rim Chen Mo”. The meditation topics include 'contemplating the qualities of a spiritual teacher', 'the preciousness of human life', 'death and impermanence', 'karma', and so on. Last August three senior Nalanda monks guided a month-long lam rim retreat that was also very much appreciated.

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