Place: Boulder Valley Ngakpa House, 2539 Columbine Circle, Lafayette, CO 80026
See schedule below.
Cost: Free (unless you want breakfast & lunch. In that case, $6-7 per day.)
Requirements: Yuthok Nyingthig Root or Essential Empowerment
Drubpon (retreat leader): Lama Pema Chophel
This retreat is open to all those who have had either the Yuthok Nyingthig root or essential empowerments. The retreat is free of charge, non-residential, and non-boundaried. That means that people will sleep in their own homes, AirBnBs, hotels/motels, etc. and commute to Boulder Valley Ngakpa House each morning. For those who would like, we will provide simple vegetarian breakfasts and lunchs at a cost of $6-7 per day. Vegans will be accommodated. If one prefers to bring their own breakfasts and lunches, that's also ok. The retreat will be held in the Boulder Valley Ngakpa House shrine-room in Lafayette, CO. We are looking for a minimum of five (5) participants (besides myself) and a maximum of 10. I will be the drubpon, the practice master. I have completed this practice once on my own and once as drubpon for the retreat we held here last May.
When scheduling a Vajrayana retreat, it is important to end the retreat during the waxing moon, preferably on the 10th or 15th lunar days. Because of my personal retreat schedule for 2017, below are the dates I have settled on. (In my experience, no matter what dates I choose, they will not work for everyone who would otherwise like to come. Sorry.) All participants in this retreat must attend all sessions. There will be no partial attendance except for those whose travel schedule requires that they miss the concluding tshog only.
Opening Yuthok Nyingthig tshog ceremony, Thursday, Feb. 2, 6:30-8:30 PM
Friday, Feb. 3-Thursday to Feb. 9, 6 AM-6 PM, three 3-hour accumulation sessions plus one hour of Protectors per day
Saturday, Feb. 4, 8th-day tshog & Monday, Feb. 6, 10th-day tshog, 7-9 PM each
Friday, Feb. 10, 5ish-8ish AM, concluding tshog (exact beginning time dependent on sunrise that day)
Thus we will begin on the 6th lunar day and end on the 15th (Full Moon).
Anyone who has received the Yuthok Nyingthig root or essential empowerment may attend the opening tshog.
Other than on the 8th and 10th lunar days, participants are expected to continue their practice in the evenings on their own and to forego watching TV, using their computers, checking email, reading the newspaper or magazines, and using their phones (true emergencies excepted). Best is if one can continue reciting any of the prayers and mantras or at least read about the common and uncommon ngondro instructions. It's also ok to read about Yuthok Yonten Gonpo and the Yuthok Nyingthig in general. The issue is to continue the retreat in the evenings even though one is at home. (Normally, this retreat should be four 3-hour sessions per day.)
If you would like to attend this group retreat, please email me telling me when, where, and with whom you have received the Yuthok Nyingthig empowerment. Attendance at this retreat will be at my sole discretion.
For those coming from out-of-town, besides AirBnBs or friends' houses, I would recommend looking at motels/hotels in Longmont, CO. They are cheaper than in Boulder, and Longmont is a 15 straight shot down 95th St. to our center. There are shuttle services from Denver International Airport (DIA) to Boulder and Longmont. Unfortunately, there are no motels or hotels in Lafayette per se. (The Circle Motel is a flophouse scheduled for demolition. We do not recommend anyone staying there.)
If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, please don't hesitate to email me. Because I do three plus sessions per day, I'm almost impossible to get ahold of by phone. Sorry.
Dear Yuthok Nyingthig Ngondro Retreatants and those still considering doing this retreat at Boulder Valley Ngakpa House, Feb. 2-10,
There are some things you will need for this retreat. I thought it best to let you know well in advance so you can get any of these you may be lacking.
1. Yoga mat (for prostrations)
2. Electronic finger lap-counter (for prostrations; can purchase on eBay.com or Amazon.com)
3. Mandala offering base (rings and finial not necessary)
4. Mandala offerings (gemstones, gold, silver, saffron-washed rice, five-colored rice, etc. If you have done a previous ngondro and you still have some of the offerings you used for the Mandala Offerings before, you should at least buy some new, fresh offerings to add to these. Of course, biuying all new offerings is even better.)
5. Large bowl to catch these offerings between each mandala offering
7. Half-inch three-ring binder (for handouts of prayers and sadhanas)
8. Bell & dorje (not required but you should bring if you have)
The above, excepting the bell and dorje, are have-to-have. Zen (Buddhist shawl, red or red & white) and Dharma clothes (dran-chu, sham-tab, or chuba) if you have them are nice-to-have and auspicious but not required.
Also, you will probably want to make offerings to the shrine throughout the retreat and, of course, offerings for the four tshogs. Suggested offerings for the shrine include tea-light (candles), pillar candles, glass multi-day candles, flowers (fresh, silk, and/or potted), fruits, incense (stick, powder, or whole, such as guggul, frankincense, etc.), candies, cookies, cakes, etc., gems, jewels, and crystals, and saffron or any of the six supreme medicines of Tibetan medicine. Offerings for tshog should mainly consist of easily dividable "finger-foods," the less plastic packaging and the healthier the food the better. Tshog offerings can include meat, wine, and alcohol.
In terms of preparation, if you've already done a ngondro, you're probably good-to-go. However, you may want to look over Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher, Gampopa's The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and/or Diudjom Rinpoche's The Torch of Certainty. If you have not done a previous ngondro and have not received in-depth ngondro teachings, definitely you will want to read/study one or more of these. The more you know about Taking Refuge, Developing Bodhicitta, doing Vajrasattva, Mandala Offering, Prostration, and Guru Yoga, the more merit you will earn during the retreat and the more negative karma and obscurations you will purify.
If you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
Sincerely, Lama Pema