DRAWING CLOSE TO THE GURU
Counting retreat of Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka
January 3rd – 23rd
During the Spring Festival Gen-la Dekyong passed onto us Geshe-la’s request that all Centres hold a Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka retreat, and just before passing into the Clear Light in September Geshe-la told us that the best way to remain forever close to him is to engage in the Guru yoga of Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka. For these reasons in January 2023 Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Centre will hold a three week counting retreat of Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka.
There are two ways to participate in this retreat, as a close retreat or as part of the great preliminary guide of Guru Yoga. Both ways are very powerful methods for deepening our connection with our Spiritual Guide and fulfil Geshe-la’s request that his disciples do this Guru Yoga practice.
If you wish to do a close retreat we need to count 100 000 Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantras in the context of the sadhana Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land according to Highest Yoga Tantra. All these mantras need to be recited on the same meditation seat, and we must do at least one session every day. After completing the 100 000 recitations we need to do 10 000 Vajradaka burning offerings. Doing four sessions a day most people will comfortably complete both the mantras and burning offerings within the three week period. However, if you are quite slow in counting mantras or cannot do four sessions a day, you can do the burning offerings later on. It is not a complicated ritual and easy to do by yourself at any time.
If you wish to do this retreat as part of the great preliminary guide there is no need to count all the mantras on the same meditation seat, and there is no need to do a counting session every day. You could, for example, come to any sessions you want in the Centre, and do other sessions at home. You could count 10 000 mantras on this retreat, and then continue counting more a month later. You can count the mantras wherever and whenever you want, but it is still necessary to do so within the context of the Hundreds of Deities sadhana.
This retreat is not really suitable for complete beginners. While a deep intellectual understanding of Buddhism is not necessary to do this retreat, faith and a strong wish to become close to your Spiritual Guide are – for without these spending many hours reciting a mantra would have no meaning. Anyone interested in participating in the retreat please speak to the resident teacher before the New Year. You can email me on rt@meditatein halifax.org.
The retreat will be held in our new retreat room in the attic of Ganden Buddhist Centre. The retreat starts on Tuesday 3rd January at 7:00 in the evening. It would be very good if everyone who wishes to participate in the retreat in any way come to this introductory session. You will need to bring your meditation cushion if you use one, a mala (rosary) to count the mantras, a notepad or some other way of recording the number of malas counted.
On all the remaining days the sessions will be at 7:30am, 10:30am, 3:15pm and 7:00pm every day. All sessions are 75 minutes long. You can attend any sessions you like, and also do any extra sessions on your own. Please arrive at least five minutes before the session begins – please don’t arrive late as this is distracting for the other retreatants. If you need to leave before the end of a session, you can do so quietly.
Apart from the introductory session the retreat will be not be guided. As the Centre will be functioning as normal with all regular the classes and prayers, I will not be able to attend all the sessions myself, but if you need to speak to me about your retreat at any time I will be happy to try to help.
Where: Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Centre, Attic retreat room
When: Tuesday 3rd January 7:00 – 9:00pm
Wednesday 4th January – Monday 23rd January
7:30 – 8:45am
10:30 – 11:45
3:15 – 4:30pm
7:00 – 8:15pm