Nyungne Retreat 2014
Led by His Eminence the 12th Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche
July 21 - 24, 2014 (Monday to Thursday)
1000-armed Chenrezig Empowerment will be given in the beginning of the retreat.
Place: Ratnashri Retreat Place, Ingarö
This retreat is open to all, buddhists from any tradition as well as non-buddhists. It is because during the retreat, the first thing we do is to take refuge to the Three Jewels and cultivate Bodhicitta and at that point, we are actually receiving refuge vow; so buddhists and non-buddhists both can attend the retreat.
All retreatants must remain vegetarian and keep the eight precepts* throughout the retreat. In the early part of the retreat, one have to make a choice between taking only the Nyene vow (eating, drinking and talking are allowed during the retreat) or taking both the Nyene and Nyungne vow (fasting and keeping silence has to be maintained during the retreat). One should make such a choice according to your physical condition.
While it is good to do prostrations, it is not required to join the retreat. If one cannot physically do any prostration, it is perfectly fine instead to meditate while reciting the mantra without doing prostrations. It is also fine to just sit in and observe or meditate quietly.
*The eight precepts are not killing, not stealing, abstaining from sexual activity, abstaining from wrong speech (lying, deceiving, splitting others etc.), abstaining from intoxicants, no luxury (high bed or high throne), no ornaments (jewelry or perfume) nor entertainment (singing or dancing), no evening meals.
Exception will be granted to those who because of medical reason must eat in the afternoon or evening during the retreat. Please inform us when you register.
All teachings will be translated from Tibetan to English by Ani Susanne.
General Description TOP
A Nyungne Retreat is especially designed to purify negative karma that obscures our true nature of mind and by creating the positive conditions that facilitate realization and to accumulate merits and wisdom in a short but intensive retreat setting. The practice involves taking the eight precepts, accumulating merits and wisdom through body, speech and mind via prostrations, generating the Bodhisattva attitude, the practice of the six perfections (generosity, morality, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, and wisdom), fasting, keeping silence and reciting the sadhana of the 1000-armed Chenrezig. In this way, Nyungne Retreat is comprehensive method in combining all three Yanas, or Vehicles, of Buddhism. The eight precepts reflect the rigorous discipline of the Common Vehicle, Hinayana; the generation of the Enlightened Attitude reflects the Greater Vehicle, Mahayana; and the actual practice of 1000-Armed Chenrezig reflects the Vehicle of Secret Mantra, Vajrayana. Thus the vows taken in the Nyungne Retreat (the Sojong vows) are supremely extraordinary.
This practice reminds us of the suffering in the lower realms. It arouses us the desire to liberate them, and not to fall there ourselves. Moreover, it is said in the text called the Collection of the Intentions of All Tantras that if practitioners of the Mahayana do a nyungne even once, they will purify all the wrongdoing accumulated throughout forty thousand eons, closes the gates to one's rebirth in the lower realms and achieve rebirth as either a human or deva. The Nyungne practice is the quickest way to purify negative karma. For example, pain endured during the practice purifies karma that could lead to birth in the hell realms, Hunger and thirst endured purifies karma that could lead to birth in the hungry ghost realms. Exertion to overcome dullness and sleepiness purifies karma that could lead to rebirth in the animal realm. This is how, with trust, birth in the lower realms is blocked. If done eight times consecutively, the state of a stream enterer is attained and rebirth in Dewachen is guaranteed. If performed twenty-five times, the state equal to a once-returner is attained and all wrongdoing of the previous eighty thousand eons is purified. Performed fifty times the state equivalent to a non-returner is achieved and all wrongdoing for the prior eight hundred million eons is purified. If the nyungne is performed 108 consecutive times, arhatship is attained and all the wrongdoing and obscurations of the past one billion eons is purified and birth in Dewachen in the direct presence of Buddha Amitabha is assured.
For those who are completely dedicated this practice one-pointedly for the benefit of others, this practice alone could be one's only tool or method necessary towards the attainment of enlightenment. So it is a very profound and beneficial practice. With one-pointed bodhicitta mind doing the practice for the benefit, liberation and enlighenment of the entire sentient beings, this practice will result in great purification and accumulation of merits.
Thousand-Armed Chenrezig represents the fullest realization of the ability to generate compassion -- with a thousand eyes to see suffering in all its forms, a thousand mouths to generate compassionate speech and recite the mantra, and a thousand limbs to offer assistance to limitless suffering sentient beings. By doing intensively the sadhana practice of 1000-armed Chenrezig during two days with visualization, prayers, offering, prostrations and recitation of mantra, practitioners acquire a vast amount of merit which is then dedicated toward the enlightenment of all beings.
Originator of Nyungne practice, Gelongma Palmo was a Kashmiri princess of King Dharma Pal and sister of the great King Indra Bodhi in India.When she was young, she deeply saw the sufferings in samsara. She renounced and became fully ordained as bhikshuni. Through her diligent monastic studies, she was a well-known scholar and a great practitioner. She attained the common siddhis and when she was about to attain the uncommon siddhis, because of her former negative karma that started to ripen on her, she got the Leprosy disease. She lost her hands, and her limbs started to fall off. She was subsequently thrown out of her house and was forced to live in a small straw hut all by herself.
Then she had a vision of the great Dharma King, Indrobodhi who told her to meditate and practise Avalokiteshvara. She started reciting Avalokiteshvara’s mantra. Then one day she saw Manjushri in her vision. He told her to go to Lakala where there was a temple with the statue of Avalokiteshvara. When she approached the temple in Lakala, because of her disease, the door guard refused to let her in. Sitting outside behind the temple in front of the image of Avalokiteshvara, she started practising Nyene (drinking, breakfast and lunch allowed) for one day and Nyungne (whole day fasting, not even a drop of water) the next day in this way uninterruptedly with great devotion, faith and determination. She often fell unconscious while meditating, but when she became conscious again, she would start practising again. She was in tremendous pain but she cured herself completely through her devotion. She even made vow of not moving the seat until she gained realization.
After practising for one year, her practice reached fruition. First, she had a vision of Tara telling her that she would accomplish all Buddhas’ activities. Then she had a vision of a particular form of Avalokiteshvara prophesying that she would be able to help beings just like Avalokiteshvara does. Finally she had the realization of the 1000-armed and 1000-eyed Avalokiteshvara who appeared before her. Gelongma Palmo’s body turned into a golden color like golden light and she achieved the qualities of a 10th level Bodhisattva. Her sickness from leprosy was completely healed. She then composed the Praise to Avalokiteshvara and benefited numerous sentient beings. It is said that to successfully complete even one Nyungne Retreat closes the gates to one's rebirth in the lower realms. This teaching flourished first in India and then spread to Nepal and then to Tibet. We have this unbroken lineage of Gelongma Palmo Nyungne practice.
[Excerpt from H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche’s Mani-teaching 2010 in Stockholm] http://www.ratnashri.se/Mani_initiation.htm)
Recommended Readings TOP
Ratnashri Retreat Place, Ingarö. More practical information will be provided to those who have registered for the retreat.
The following gives you some rough idea about the schedule of the retreat. However, the actual schedule will be determined and adjusted by His Eminence Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche.
The retreat consists of eight sessions of practising the sadhana of the 1000-armed Chenrezig - three on the first day, four on the second day, and one on the last morning. Each session is about 2 hours long and is consists of meditation, mantra recitation, mandala and tantric offerings, and three sets of prostrations. Sojong vows will be taken early each morning (except on the conclusion day).
Monday, July 21
5:30 pm - After arrival, vegetarian dinner will be served.
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - 1000-arm Chenrezig Empowerment
Tuesday, July 22
Sojong vows are given early in the morning and must be taken in order to do the Nyungne retreat.
There will be vegetarian breakfast and lunch. After lunch, only fluids are allowed. Three sessions of sadhana practice will be done. Like other vajrayana sadhanas, the nyungne sadhana involves visualization of the deity, accompanied by prayers, offerings, confession, and prostrations, and extensive recitation of the mantra. Participants are encouraged to memorize the mantra before hand.
6.00 am – 8.30 am Session 1
9.00 am – 11.30 am Session 2
2.00 pm – 3.00 pm Question & Answer
3.30 pm – 6.00 pm Session 3
Wednesday, July 23
On the second day, new Sojong vows will be taken before sunrise. Participants will fast completely from food and water (except for those who only take the Nyne vows) and will also maintain strict silence (except for those who only take the Nyne vows), except for the recitation of the sadhana. There will be four sessions of practice.
6.00 am – 8.30 am Session 4
9.00 am – 11.30 am Session 5
1.30 pm – 4.00 pm Session 6
4.30 pm – 7.00 pm Session 7
Thursday, July 24
5.00 am – 7.30 am Session 8
8.30 am – 9.00 am Breakfast
9.00 am - 12:00 noon Clean up and lunch
12:00 noon Fairwell
The retreat concludes early in the morning of the third day with a short practice session. The vows, fasting and silence are concluded at the end of this session.
Fee, Registration and Practical Details: TOP
Fees for lodging and veg. meals for the whole retreat are included in the price list below.
Sleeping hall: 1500 kr.
Tent Hall: 1000 kr. Big tent is provided. No own tent is allowed.
Donation directly to Rinpoche as a symbol of gratitude at the end of the retreat is highly recommended.
In any case, please bring your own sleeping bag, sheet, pillow, pillow case and meditation cushion.
Please bring your own Nyungne text if you have one; otherwise, you can either borrow it or purchase it for 150 kr.
Since the hall is uncarpeted, please bring some padding to place on the floor to protect your knees during prostrations. Also you may want to bring two small towels (or the like) to protect your hands.
Choose comfortable clothing.
The Nyungne practice is open to all and you are also welcome to just sit in and observe or meditate quietly.
While it is good to do prostrations along with the chanting of mantra, however, doing prostrations is not required. It is important that prostrations should be done according to your own physical ability. The prostrations are strenuous but it is possible to perform them at a slow speed. If you have any doubts about your health and your ability to physically handle this retreat, please consult your doctor. Ratnashri Meditation center will not be responsible for you and your health. If one cannot physically do any prostration, it is perfectly fine instead to meditate while reciting the mantra without doing prostrations.
Exception will be granted to those who because of medical reason must eat in the afternoon or evening during the retreat.
As the physical space is limited, please apply early. To register, please send an e-mail with name, e-mail address, and phone number to email@example.com
Payment has to be made before July 14 to the retreat to center's account pg- 128 78 06-2.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are interested in sponsoring another participant or if you want to be a volunteer.
Please write all inquiries to email@example.com
His Eminence Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche's biography TOP
After the Lord Buddha's teaching flourished in Tibet, the New Secret Mantra Doctrine developed. This Doctrine was based on the Lord Buddha's Teaching. The great translator, Marpa, developed the Kagyu lineage during this "New Secret Mantra Doctrine" period. The Kagyu lineage then flourished in Tibet. From this very lineage there have been many highly accomplished masters and yogis, such as the Great Yogi, Milarepa; Dagpo Rinpoche; and Phagmo Drubpa.
The main disciple of Phagmo Drubpa was Lord Jigten Sumgon (1143 to 1217). He is the founder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.
At the age of 37, Lord Jigten Sumgon established Drikung Thil Monastery, the head monastery of the entire Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Lord Jigten Sumgon had countless followers. Previously, a Dharma King of Tibet (blood lineage) had come from western Tibet (Ngari) to the Drikung region and had settled there. One of the descendants of this king took his novice ordination vows from Lord Jigten Sumgon. His name was Nangso Lhopon.
At that time, and up until this day, there were two sections in the Drikung Thil Monastic Community. One is known as Ling Tod, and the other as Ling Med, which literally means "upper continent" and "lower continent", respectively. Nangso Lhopon became the spiritual master of Ling Med. He guided the monks spiritually, as well as provided for their daily needs. During the lifetime of Nangso Lhopon, both Drikung Thil Monastic Communities had abbots, spiritual masters, and a disciplinarian.
The residential palace of Nangso Lhopon, "Nubpa Lhadrang", was located west of the main shrine hall of the Drikung Thil Monastery. He thus became known as Nubpa Rinpoche, which means "precious one of the west" in Tibetan. From Nangso Lhopan, or Nubpa Rinpoche, there has been a continuous line of reincarnations right up until this present age, which is known as the "Degeneration Era".
One of the reincarnations of Nangso Lhopon, Jamyang Rinchen, was born at the time of the 16th Drikung Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen (1475 to 1527). This Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen, was recognized as the reincarnation of Lord Jigten Sumgon.
Jamyang Rinchen became the main disciple of Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen. As in his former life, Jamyang Rinchen again took care of and guided the monks at Drikung Ling Med. The important accomplishment of constructing Achi Prayer Hall (known today as Achi Khang) was one of his many virtuous deeds and activities.
Jamyang Rinchen's brother, Gonpo Gyaltsen, was the military commander of the Drikung region, while Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen remained the spiritual leader.
At that time in Tibet there were a multitude of regions, and with each region having its own king, battles were common. As military commander, Gonpo Gyaltsen had been involved in much warfare. He was responsible for defeating the opponents of the Dharma in the surrounding regions. He saved Drikung Thil Monastery and its contents of sacred Buddhist scriptures from destruction. During battle Gonpo Gyaltsen appeared to some in the form of the four-armed Mahakala, black faced and terrifying. He is therefore seen as a real manifestation of the four-armed Mahakala.
Gonpo Gyaltsen performed many great Dharma activities as well. He built the four-armed Mahakala statue at Nubpa Lhadrang, and during the consecration of this statue he offered his battle sword and placed it at the level of Mahakala's heart. Thereafter the Mahakala statue became very powerful and effective for those who worshiped there. In the past and to this day, there are many emanations of Mahakala in the form of black crows, snow lions, etc.
Nowadays we can see the natural body shape of these emanations on the rocks around the Mahakala Shrine Hall. A very special aspect of this four- armed Mahakala statue is that no particle of dust has ever settled on it; it remains perpetually shiny and clean -- a perfect representation of Divine Wisdom. Whomever sleeps even one night at the Nubpa Lhadrang is said to be blessed with what amounts to the Complete Accomplishment Practice of the four-armed Mahakala.
The two brothers have been reincarnates from that time until this "Degeneration Era". The present Nubpa Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Gonpo Gyaltsen, the emanation of four-armed Mahakala. He is also the reincarnation of the 11th Nubpa, Konchok Tenzin Mepham Gopo.
Our present Rinpoche, the 12th Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche, was recognized (while still in his mother's womb) by the 34th Drikung Throne Holder, His Holiness Shewe Lodro (1874-1945). Rinpoche was enthroned when he was only five years old and started formal studies at the age of six. He learned Tibetan scripture and ritual practices from Pasang until the age of 14. At 15, he joined the Sun-ray Garden Institute (Nyichang Shedra, located near Drikung Thil Monastery) for higher Buddhist philosophical and Tantric studies.
Nubpa Rinpoche has received all of the Drikung Protector initiations and transmissions from H.E. Lho Drongtul Rinpoche. He has received all of the Fifty Collections of Initiation, the Treasure of Kagyu Instructions, the Treasure Discoverer Yangzab teaching (by Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok), and the Yamantaka from Regent H.E. Tritsab Rinpoche, as well as the Nyingma Collection of Initiations from the previous H.E. Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.
By 1959, Rinpoche had mastered the Chinese language. By 1966, due to the political changes in Tibet, he had learned the ways of the farmer. Returning to Lhasa in 1974, he found work as a stone mason, but in 1979, Rinpoche resumed his academic career as the editor of the magazine, the "Tibetan Buddhist Association". In 1989, under the arrangement of the 10th Pachen Lama, Rinpoche joined the Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies and there received his academic degree.
Rinpoche always says that his time spent learning about Buddhist teachings was very precious, as were the oral transmissions he received from Pachung Vajradhara, Khenchen Jigmey Phuntsok, and Gyendun Gyatso, among others.
In 1992, he arrived in India to serve His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Trinley Lhundub, his root Guru, who was then working to preserve the Drikung Lineage. While there, Rinpoche became the supervisor for the re-publications of the 24th Drikung Throne Holder's, His Holiness Kunkhen Ringzen Chodrak's (1595 to 1659), fifteen volume compendium of transcribed oral instructions from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition [Kabum]. Rinpoche was also appointed as the headmaster for the Drikung Kagyu Institute, JangChubLing. Rinpoche has received many authentic teachings and oral transmissions from those living and parinirvana masters.
Since that time, Rinpoche has conducted solitary retreats whenever possible in Lapchi, the holiest place of Yogi Jetsun Milarepa. These retreats involve an arduous, week-long journey by foot. Rinpoche made one extended retreat for more than three years and has since made four additional journeys there. He completed a 4-year solitary retreat in Lapchi.
Due to Rinpoche's altruistic mind of enlightenment, over thirty practitioners have gathered on "conduct" retreats under his guidance in that holy place. As a result of the late H.E. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche's and H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche's loving kindness and compassion, the building of the Rinchen Ling Monastery in Nayapati, Nepal has also been inaugurated for the sake of all Dharma practitioners.
Rinpoche is well-versed and thoroughly realized on the teachings in Sutra text, Abhidharma and Mahamudra. His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has mentioned that H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche is the heart son the the late Mahasiddha, His Eminence Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche. The most Venerable Drubwang Rinpoche himself has also mentioned that His Eminence Nubpa Rinpoche is an authentic practitioner of the Buddha Dharma whom we can trust and seek advice on our Dharma practice. Those who are most fortunate to have met and received teachings from Rinpoche would have experienced the trust, tranquility and geniune compassion that Rinpoche emitted from his activities and conduct.
H.E. Garchen Rinpoche recently communicated the following about Nubpa Rinpoche:
“He is one of the most special gurus in the Drikung Kagyu lineage and became the main successor of Drubwang Rinpoche after his passing. I met Nubpa Rinpoche for the first time in 1980 after I was released from prison. He then went to Jangchub Ling and served as a great scholar, and after that he completed many years of retreat in Lapchi where he mastered meditation practice. He is thus an accomplished master and also a great scholar of Buddhist scriptures. In terms of practice, he is the successor of Drubwang Rinpoche.
“We have tried to invite him to our center for many years, but only this year has it become possible for him to grant us a visit. It is thus extremely important that all Dharma friends come from all over to meet and learn from him and be able to practice with him.”
Like Drubwang Rinpoche, Nubpa Rinpoche is an extraordinary Chenrezig practitioner, and it is Nubpa Rinpoche who wrote the seven-line prayer for Garchen Rinpoche that is included in Rinpoche’s Guru Yoga sadhana, “Light Amassment of Blessings.”