Guru Yoga Mandala Retreat

Guru Yoga Mandala Retreat

May 27 & 28

About the Retreat

This retreat combines the practices of Guru Yoga, which is the gateway to receiving blessings, and Mandala Offerings, which is the gateway to accumulating merit.

During retreat we temporarily withdraw from our usual routines and activities, and learn how to relax and develop peaceful, positive minds through meditation.

 

What is Guru Yoga?

‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word meaning Spiritual Guide.  A Spiritual Guide is any spiritual teacher who sincerely leads us into correct spiritual paths by giving correct instructions and by embodying the teachings in their daily activities.  

Guru Yoga is a special way of relating to our own spiritual teacher where we regard them as an enlightened being.  Guru Yoga is a special and powerful method that enables us to receive the blessings of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and holy beings.  In this retreat we visualize our Guru as Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka.

What if I don’t have a Spiritual Guide?

That’s ok.  By coming to the retreat you will be creating the cause to meet a qualified Spiritual Guide in the future.  Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche says:

“Our mind is like a field, our Spiritual Guides instructions are like seeds sown in that field, and our faith in our Spiritual Guide is like water that germinates these seeds.  If these three come together we will quickly and easily harvest a rich crop of Dharma realizations.”

What are blessings?

A blessing is a transformation of our mind from a negative state to a positive state, from an unhappy state to a happy state, or from a state of weakness to a state of strength through the inspiration of holy beings such as our Spiritual Guide, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas.

What is merit?

Merit is the good fortune created by virtuous actions.  It is the potential power to increase our good qualities and produce happiness.  One of the main purposes of engaging in the practice of making mandala offerings is to create abundant merit that will enable us to effortlessly develop good qualities and fulfill our spiritual aspirations.

What is a mandala offering?

In this context , the mandala is the entire universe visualized as completely pure and offered to all buddhas, bodhisattvas, and holy beings.  When we offer the mandala we imagine we are offering the entire universe in our hands.  Geshe-la says:

“Making mandala offerings is the best method to free us from future poverty and to enable us to obtain future rebirth in a Pure Land.” 

Check out the Mandala Offering Practise Workshop on the weekend before this Retreat to learn or hone your mandala offering skills.

Sit back and relax.

A basic understanding of Buddhist teachings and meditation will be helpful during this retreat.  However the main thing is to keep an open mind. Just relax and enjoy the experience even if you understand very little of the meaning.

Retreat Schedule

Friday May 27

Introduction:  7:00pm – 8:30pm

Saturday May 28

Session 1: 9:00am – 10:15am

Session 2: 10:45am – 12:00pm

Session 3:  2:00pm – 3:15pm

Session 4:  3:45pm – 5:00pm

Fees

Full retreat: $30 ($20 for Supporting Members)
Friday introduction: $12 (free for Supporting Members)
Individual Saturday session: $8 at the door ($6 for Supporting Members)*

* Saturday sessions aren’t offered online.