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Retreat on calm abiding and bodhichitta
From the 22nd to the 31st of July

This retreat will focus principally on developing calm-abiding,
and based on this inner peace reflect on how the mind and the self exist
and develop a stable altruistic mind.” 

Ven. René Feusi

We are happy to announce that ven. René Feusi will return to Nalanda this summer and lead another retreat on calm abiding and bodhichitta!

Ven. René has guided two retreats the past summers, one on calm abiding and one on Shantideva's Engaging in the Bodhisattvas Way of Life. The retreats have attracted dozens of people from all over the world and created a very cozy and inspiring atmosphere of meditative practice, peace of mind, effort and kindness.

Nalanda welcomes everybody who wants to do ten days of meditative practice in a beautiful monastic environment.

General information about the retreat

The retreat starts in the evening of the 22nd of July and ends at midday the 31st of July. We will receive you in the welcoming and registration desk during the first day of the retreat, or the day before if you arrive earlier.

Ven. René will speak in English. Translations into French and Spanish will be available.

Most sessions we will focus on calm-abiding for 45 minutes using the breath or the mind, followed by 15 minutes of inquiry into how things exist. One session will be a meditative overview of the path to enlightenment (lamrim). One or two sessions will be on sustained love and compassion (tong-len and bodhicitta)

During the retreat we will take the Eight Mahayana Precepts (link to information about what they are) every day, except for the first and the last days. Most of the retreat will be in silence. Except in special circumstances, like in the case of sickness, we ask you to attend all sessions and commit to the rules and practices of the retreat.

During the retreat you will most likely be assigned a karma yoga work, which means that for about 20 minutes every day there will some task, like cleaning, washing dishes, etc, that you're expected to do.

About calm abiding and bodhichitta

Calm abiding is a mind that is able to stay focused single-pointedly on any virtuous object of meditation. It is a mind of extraordinary concentration that makes both the body and the mind very blissful and serviceable, so that the person who has it can engage in virtuous activities effortlessly and with joy for as long as she or he wishes. Developing calm abiding is not a goal in itself in the Buddhist spiritual path, but it is nevertheless an indispensible tool for anyone who aspires to liberation and complete enlightenment. The characteristics of the mind of calm abiding and the process of attaining it is described in a very detailed manner in the classical and modern Buddhist texts.

Bodhichitta is the altruistic mind that aspires to attain complete enlightenment, or omniscience, in order to be of greatest possible benefit of all sentient beings. It is a very profound mind that is based on understanding the unsatisfactoriness of conditioned existence, and that aspires to achieve true and lasting happiness of others and oneself. Bodhichitta is the only entrydoor to the Mahayana vehicle and the person who possesses it is called a bodhisattva or ”a child of the buddhas”. Its incredible benefits are described and praised poetically in the first chapter of Shantideva's Engaging in the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.

Both calm abiding and bodhichitta are very advanced states of mind on the spiritual path and in order to develop them completely a person needs to train for a long time, for decades or even lifetimes, in the stages of the path to enlightenment. Although we cannot develop these states of mind in a ten day's retreat we might very well get a joyful taste of the minds of concentration and love and compassion.

Accomodation

We will welcome you to the best of our ability. We wish that as many people as possible can benefit from this special opportunity. The prices below include three meals a day (all vegan or vegetarian), drinks, fruits and so on:

When
13th of June
15th - 17th of June
18th - 19th of June
20th of June
22nd - 24th of June
29th of June
What
Arrival at Blagnac airport
Ocean of Reasoning
Yamantaka initiation
Ocean of Reasoning
Ocean of Reasoning
Ocean of Reasoning
Schedule
At 10.55 am
7 - 9 pm
From 3 pm
7 - 9 pm
7 - 9 pm
6 - 8 pm
(1) You have to bring your own camping equipment
(2) FON : Friends of Nalanda members

 

The prices on the right are for the members of “Friends of Nalanda” (F.O.N.) If you are not a member, please consider joining! (LINK) The Friends of Nalanda are an essential support for the monastery. 

People who are not staying at Nalanda can also participate in the retreat. However, they must register and also commit to attend all the sessions. The price for them will be 200 € (F.O.N 180 €). This would include the three meals, drinks, and would also help to cover general costs of the retreat.

 

If you register and pay and the choose to cancel your registration we have the following reimbursement policy: If you cancel your registration more than one month before the retreat starts you will be completely refunded. If you cancel your registration between one month and one week before we have a cancellation fee of 20% of what you've paid. If you cancel within one week of the retreat you will not be refunded at all, except in special cases, for example if a close family member has died or you have been hospitalized. If this applies to you please contact spc@nalanda-monastery.eu.

Be aware that by registrating and then cancelling you might take the opportunity of someone else doing the retreat, and you are causing the monastery unnessary expenses for the preparation.

Schedule

This is roughly the daily schedule for the retreat. Be aware that slight changes might occur.

When
13th of June
15th - 17th of June
18th - 19th of June
20th of June
22nd - 24th of June
29th of June
What
Arrival at Blagnac airport
Ocean of Reasoning
Yamantaka initiation
Ocean of Reasoning
Ocean of Reasoning
Ocean of Reasoning
Schedule
At 10.55 am
7 - 9 pm
From 3 pm
7 - 9 pm
7 - 9 pm
6 - 8 pm

Short biography of the Ven. René

René 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 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 Centro de Retiro in Spain. Since then he has spent half his time teaching and leading retreats in Dharma centers around Europe and the United States, and half 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 the Tonasket, Washington.

Registration

Please note that the policy on priority for accommodation allocation will be as follows:

First:Friends of Nalanda members
Second:based on the time of the subscription.

If you want to register for this retreat please fill the form.

Getting to Nalanda

The nearest big city to Nalanda Monastery is Toulouse, which is about 45 minutes away with car or one hour with train. Toulouse has an international airport, Blagnac, with connections to many big cities in Europe, like London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and so on.

It will be possible to picked up by car from Toulouse airport. You will be able to let us know if you want a ride via the registration form.

You can also take the bus or tram to Toulouse city center and then take the train from the main station, Matabiau, to Lavaur. We can pick you up from Lavaur train station or you can walk to the monastery, which takes about 40 minutes.

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