Dear Sangha,

Today I would like to present Benchen Phuntsok Ling's retreat plan for the coming year.
 
mila2In the very beginning, on November 8, 1998, when Tenga Rinpoche decided to establish Benchen Phuntsok Ling, he wrote to his students:  The intention or goal of buying a center is that everyone who has time can do retreat there for a few weeks or months, and that it will be a permanent place for summer courses in the summer. In the further future, courses on general Buddhist teachings and personal practice are planned, which will include the gradual path of the four preliminary practices, the practice of the creation and completion stages of the yidam (Kyerim/Dzogrim), the six yogas of Naropa, and the path of Mahamudra.
By practicing Dharma there, it will be a place of extraordinary benefit to oneself and others.

These were his words, which he shared with all his students in a letter before he left for Nepal.
And at the beginning of the 2020 Summer Course, in the advice that H.E. Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche gave us via WhatsApp, he said very clearly that we were very fortunate to have been in the Dharma for many years and to have received many precious teachings and initiations from high teachers. We had read so many Dharma books - but without practice we cannot attain liberation and so now was really the time to practice, do retreat and gain experience as much as possible.

Thus, both of our Rinpoches have given the advice and instruction that we should do retreat as much as possible.


Unfortunately, the Sangha House could not be finished as a retreat place until now, so we could not offer a longer retreat. But fortunately it is now gradually getting ready so that we can start offering longer retreats next year.
In general, learning, reflecting, and meditating are essential for a Buddhist practitioner. Of these three, meditation is the most important.
An example from history is Buddha Shakyamuni, who practiced in solitude for six years and then attained Buddhahood.
FlowerIn the past, the realization of all Indian yogis, yoginis and mahasiddhas came from practicing in retreat. The same is true in Tibet, where all yogis, yoginis and mahasiddhas also attained enlightenment through meditation in retreat.
Especially in our Kagyupa lineage, which is called the practice lineage, it is extremely important to practice in retreat.
Without retreat, it is very difficult for us to have experiences. Therefore, once a year, if possible, we should practice in retreat for a month or at least a week. This is really necessary.
For us, it is best to do retreat in a group.

In the Ten Wheels Sutra of Kshitigarbha it says: I have given you all the methods and profound teachings. You are now in a position to reflect on them and must practice. If someone does not meditate but only listens to the teachings, he is like a sick person who has been given good medicine but has not taken it. He will not get well, but will continue to suffer.
The Karma Classification Sutra says, "Those who sit in retreat and practice samadhi attain benefits many times greater than those who practice generosity by filling all three realms of living beings with offerings. Therefore, it is much more powerful to practice emptiness for one session in retreat than to spend one's whole life offering material gifts.
In the Ten Wheels Sutra of Kshitigarbha it says: Listening to the Dharma for an entire age, reading the Dharma, copying the Dharma, teaching the Dharma, reciting the Dharma, is of great benefit-but one day of serious practice in retreat is more powerful for accumulating merit.

These are the reasons why it is so important for us to practice in retreat.
  • The following retreats are offered:
  • 14 days of White Tara practice. The short text of Tenga Rinpoche will be used. We will focus mainly on the creation and completion phases. Prerequisite: Tara empowerment.
  • 14 days of Bardo Training. Prerequisite: Bardo empowerment.
  • A 16-day Nyungne. That is, 8 Nyungne in a row. Prerequisite: Chenrezig empowerment.
  • 14 days "Four Objects of Mindfulness". Anyone can participate, including people who have not taken refuge.
  • 14 days of individual retreat. During the sessions everyone does their own practice, everything else is done in the group as in the other retreats.

Daily schedule:
05:00 AM
First session
07:00 AM
Yoga
08:00 AM
Breakfast
10:00 AM
Second session
01:00 PM Lunch
03:00 PM
Third session
04:30 PM
Yoga
07:00 PM
Dinner
08:00 PM 
Forth session
 
Before starting the retreat, it is necessary to arrange one's daily life well and make arrangements so that one does not have to deal with anything during the retreat. Likewise, one should think about all the private things that one will need during this time. When the retreat starts, this must have been taken care of so that you are free from it and the retreat is not disturbed.

I will be leading the retreat and will be present so that you can contact me with questions and I can support you.
No television, internet, cell phone or radio are allowed during the retreat. No drugs, no alcohol, no meat. You also cannot go shopping or have coffee in a restaurant.
Of course, it may be necessary in case of emergency, but otherwise it is not allowed to drive away.
Whoever has time and interest to do so is very welcome.

Many Tashi Deleg,
Lama Ngawang Tsultrim

----

Additional Information:

Retreats will be held regularly each year on specific dates.

For 2022 the following dates are planned:

Saturday,  05.02.  Saturday,  19.02.  Four Objects of Mindfulness (*)  cancelled
Saturday,  12.03.  Saturday,  26.03.  Individual Practice see new date
Saturday, 07.05.  Saturday,  21.05.  White Tara Practice  
Saturday,  28.05.  - Saturday,  11.06.  Individual Practice new date
Saturday,  20.08.  Saturday,  03.09.  Bardo Training  
Friday,  30.09.  Monday,  17.10.  Eight Nyungne (**)  
 

We are very sorry, but due to the pandemic situation the first two retreats cannot take place as planned.

(*) For the retreat "Four Objects of Mindfulness" you can shorten the duration to one week.
(**) Single Nyungnes can be done.
The other retreats last 2 weeks each.
A retreat will only take place if at least 4 participants register.

All weekend courses that have otherwise taken place, such as the Losar Mönlam or the Mahakala Puja at Christmas shall continue to take place, the retreats will be offered in addition.

Details about costs, accommodation and meals will be announced later in another newsletter.

The current corona rules and regulations for Belgium must be strictly followed.

If you are seriously interested, please contact us by mail to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This should happen 3 months before the retreat will start.

We hope that we have aroused your interest with these manifold, precious and very special offers, and we hope and look forward to numerous feedbacks.

With best wishes for the new year and warm regards,
Your team from BPL