Lam Rim Retreat 2019

Nalanda Monastery is happy to be able to organize again a big Lam Rim retreat during the Summer of 2019. Three smaller Lam Rim retreat cycles form one big retreat! You can join just for one, two or all three cycles in one go.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

"Study and practice give the real taste of the Buddhadharma. In this way you become the real inner scientist".

The retreat will consist of 3 cycles*

During the first cycle (led by Ven. Losel) the emphasis is more on teachings, which is excellent for beginners and those wanting to know more details of the path to enlightenment. In the second cycle (led by Ven. Tharchin) teaching, discussion and meditation aspects will all get attention, while in the third cycle (led by Ven. Gyaltsen) practices and meditation will get more emphasis (but for this cycle it is necessary that one is familiar with the Lam Rim teachings).

In this way we integrate both aspects, study and practice, which form the key to making the mind familiar with the path to enlightenment.

First Cycle (with Geshe Losel)
start: Friday 5 July; 18h dinner, 1st session: 20h
end: Monday 15 July at lunch time (if you continue you have one afternoon free)

Second Cycle (with Ven Tharchin)
start: Monday 15 July; 18h dinner, 1st session 20h
end: Wednesday 24 July at dinner time

Third Cycle (with Ven Gyaltsen)
start: Wednesday 24 July; 18h dinner, 1st session: 20h
end: Friday August 2, after dinner

You will find more details on all three cycles of the retreat below this page.

* It is also 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. In this summer retreat all these aspects, learning, reflection and meditation, will get attention.

You can read more about the benefits of Lam Rim in daily life in this article of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

The teachers

Geshe Tenzin Losel (Graham Woodhouse)

teacher-1.jpgGeshe Tenzin Losel (Graham Woodhouse) joined the Nalanda monastic community in 2017. He studied Buddhist philosophy at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, India for 17 years and was awarded his geshe degree by Drepung Loseling Monastic College in 2007. For the last year he has been in retreat in Nalanda Monastery’s retreat cabin in the Pyrenees.

Ven. Tharchin

ven-tarchin.jpgVenerable Sonam Tharchin was ordained in 1999 and joined Nalanda monastery the same year. Three years into his ordination he went to Dharamsala to the LRZTP translator program set up by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and graduated from the program after 2 years. Back at Nalanda he served as translator ever since. In this way he studied and completed the Basic Program 2008-2012 including the three months Lam Rim retreat. Since 2013 he is studying by translating the Master Program at Nalanda. He also participated in leading a Lam Rim retreat at Nalanda 2016 in a shared effort of Nalanda monks.

Ven. Losang Gyaltsen

ven-gyaltsen.jpgVen. Gyaltsen grew up in Paris and gave up his job as a bookkeeper in 2007 when he moved to Nalanda to study and practice Buddhism full-time. He became ordained in 2010. He studied and completed the Basic Program from 2008 until 2012 at Nalanda, ending with a 3 months Lam Rim retreat. Since 2013, he functioned as Director of Nalanda Monastery and started to study the Master Program up to now. Since 2012 he guided yearly Lam Rim retreats in Kalachakra retreat center near Paris.

General information

The retreat will start on Friday the 5th of July in the evening and end on Friday the 2nd of August in the evening. The day you start the retreat you will have to 'check in' at Nalanda Monastery. We will welcome you in the community building from the morning. You will be shown your accomodation and assigned a karma yoga task.

You don't have to do the entire retreat. It will be also possible to participate in just one or two cycles. However, it will not be possible to drop into the middle of an ongoing cycle. Although we can leave whenever we want, we do a cycle or part of a cycle from the beginning.

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

During the retreat we will take the eight Mahayana precepts and do the purification practice of prostrations to the 35 Buddhas of Confession.

Teachers of all 3 cycles will guide the retreat in English and it will be translated into French.

The first cycle by Geshe Losel

start: Friday 5 July; 18h dinner, 1st session: 20h
end: Monday 15 July at lunch time (if you continue you have one afternoon free) 

The basic text for this cycle will be Je Tsongkhapa’s short verse composition, Song of the Stages of the Path, also known as the Condensed Meaning of the Stages of the Path, using Geshe Losel’s own chantable translation. Other prayers and practices will be selected from Nalanda Monastery’s daily observances to create a balance of teaching, discussion and meditation and joyful inspiration. Prayers will include the 100 deities of Gaden prayer to Tsongkhapa and simple deity practice, Vajrasattva and Chenrezig.

There will be four sessions per day of approximately 2 hours each, beginning at 6h30 and ending at 21h00.

The second cycle by Ven. Tharchin

start: Monday 15 July; 18h dinner, 1st session 20h
end: Wednesday 24 July at dinner time

This cycle will follow-up on the previous cycle led by Geshe Tenzin Losel. Thus, while participants do not have to have done the previous retreat, they would benefit greatly from previous knowledge of the Lam Rim. While it is a guided retreat the participants will also have to draw from their own understanding of the Lam Rim in their meditation effort. Some understanding about refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha would also be advisable.

The schedule will be 4 sessions a day of approximately 2 hours each, from 6h30 to 21h00. In order to prepare the mind for the actual meditation we will use the short practice of Ganden Lha Gyema and then continue with the guided meditation.

Daily schedule:
1st session: 6h30 to 8h30
2nd session: 10h00 to 12h00
Teaching/Discussion: 15h00 to 15h45
3rd session: 16h00 to ca. 17h15/30
4th session: 19h00 to 21h00 (including Vajrasattva and dedication)

The third cycle by Ven. Losang Gyaltsen

start: Wednesday 24 July; 18h dinner, 1st session: 20h
end: Friday August 2, after dinner

Ven. Gyaltsen will follow a text called 'Essential Nectar', which is a Lam Rim text. This cycle will be more oriented toward practice and meditation with less emphasis on teachings. There will be silence from the evening after the last session until end of the lunch, the day after.

Daily schedule:
6h30 - 8h30 Morning mantras, Precepts, Ganden Lha Gyema and Lam Rim meditation
10h00 - 12h00 35 Buddhas prostrations, Ganden Lha Gyema and Lam Rim meditation
Lunch Break
15h00 - 15h45 teaching/ discussion
16h00 - 17h15 Ganden Lha Gyema, Lam Rim meditation
19h00 - 21h00 Ganden Lha Gyema, Vajrasatva practice, Lam Rim meditation

Prices & Accomodation

We will welcome you to the best of our ability. We hope that as many people as possible can benefit from this meaningful retreat. The prices on the right are for the members of “Friends of Nalanda” (individuals who contribute at least 120€ per year to Nalanda). If you are not a member, please consider joining. The Friends of Nalanda are an essential support for the monastery.

Price list for the full retreat (5 Jul - 2 Aug 2019)

whole retreat

First cycle only (5 Jul - 15 Jul 2019)


Second cycle only (15 Jul - 24 Jul 2019)

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Third cycle only (24 Jul - 2 Aug 2019)

third cycle.png

Note: Residents of Nalanda should choose the options "None / Food-fees only."


People doing 2 cycles get 10% discount on the second cycle

People doing all 3 cycles, get 10% discount on the second and third cycles

What's included

Meals and hot drinks are included in these prices. Bedsheets and blankets will be provided for those who stay in single or double rooms. Bed sheets will be provided for those who stay in the Dormitory Tent. The Dormitory Tent can host up to 14 retreatants. Those who stay in individual tents are responsible for bringing their own tent and bedding (mats, sleeping bags, etc.).

Karma Yoga

A daily Karma Yoga task is part of the retreat requirements. It will help the retreat to run smoothly and gives you the opportunity to connect with your fellow retreatants. In general the task will be a light job that takes about 20 - 30 minutes daily and will be performed in between sessions.

Registration for the retreat

Registration takes place by filling out the questionnaire. Please note that we have limited single rooms and places, we honor preferences in order of registration.

We ask all participants to make the full payment in advance in the month of June.

The priority will be given to those who are doing the full retreat, next F.O.N. and next to those who are doing one whole cycle. However, since only a limited number of single and double rooms (especially for the ladies) is available, these preferences will be honored for organization reasons in order of registration irrespective of whether you are F.O.N. member or doing the whole cycle. Do not hesitate to contact us if needed.

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If there is a complete cancellation more than one month in advance of the booked period, we will refund the complete fee. The same applies for partial cancellations done more than one month in advance of the booked period, where we will refund the respective amount of days that the person had to cancel. 

For full and partial cancellations between one month and one week in advance, we will charge a cancellation fee of 20% of the initially booked period. 

Cancellations done equal to or less than one week in advance of the retreat, will not be refunded. In special cases like severe sickness of the participant or death of a close friend or relative exceptions can be made. If this applies to you, please contact us to discuss your case.

Please keep in mind that by registering and then canceling, you might be taking the opportunity of doing the retreat from someone else.

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