Spring 2018 8-Week Retreat Application

Start Date: 
April 4th,2018
End Date: 
May 30th, 2018
SKU: 2018 8-week
Price: $0.00

8-Week Retreat Announcement

The Sharp Vajra of Conscious Awareness and Düdjom Lingpa's commentary (edited by Pema Tashi), entitled The Essence of Clear Meaning
Location: Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, Tuscany, Italy
From: April 4th- May 30th, 2018.

Applications are now available for the Spring 8-week retreat titled The Sharp Vajra of Conscious Awareness and Düdjom Lingpa's commentary (edited by Pema Tashi), entitled The Essence of Clear Meaning with B. Alan Wallace. This retreat will be held at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Pomaia (Pisa), Italy from April 4th - May 30th, 2018.

During this eight-week retreat, Alan Wallace will begin by commenting on Sera Khandro's explanation of the preliminary practices for Dzogchen in The Fine Path to Liberation and by granting the empowerment of the Lake-Born Vajra manifestation of Padmasambhava. He will then give detailed oral commentaries on one of the five classic Dzogchen treatises by Düdjom Lingpa, The Sharp Vajra of Conscious Awareness, in addition to Düdjom Lingpa's commentary (edited by Pema Tashi), entitled The Essence of Clear Meaning. Alan will comment on all aspects of these texts except the pith instructions on the direct crossing over (thögal), which is to be taught only to individuals who are able to abide continuously in pristine awareness. This will be the second in a series of 8-week retreats in which commentaries and oral transmissions will be offered for all five of these treatises: The Enlightened View of Samantabhadra (2019), and The Vajra Essence (2020-2023). While completion of the five sets of 100,000 recitations of preliminary practices will not be required to participate in these retreats, applicants should have established a sound basis in understanding and practice of the foundations of Buddhism, including shamatha, the four applications of mindfulness, the four immeasurables, and relative and ultimate bodhicitta. Such understanding and experience can be acquired by listening to, studying, and practicing any one of the following sets of teachings:

The following eight-week retreats:

The Spring 2012 retreat in Phuket on shamatha and the four immeasurables
The Fall 2012 retreat on shamatha, vipashyana, and the four applications of mindfulness
The Fall 2013 retreat on shamatha and the Bodhisattva way of life
The Fall 2015 retreat on the stage of generation, shamatha, vipashyana, and Mahamudra
The Spring 2016 retreat on shamatha, vipashyana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen
The Spring The Spring 2017 8-week retreat- (participated in the audio stream at the time of the retreat last year.)
Wisdom Online Course on the Spring 2018 retreat (two part course currently on, if you missed the audio stream.

Alternatively, applicants may listen to the following recordings of week-long retreats sponsored and available from the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies

Four Applications of Mindfulness
Four Immeasurables
Lucid Dreaming and Dream Yoga
The Seven-Point Mind-Training
Introduction to Dzogchen

While there are no references to the five sets of 100,000 recitations of preliminary practices in any of Düdjom Lingpa's five revealed treatises on Dzogchen, in his treatise The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers and in his lineage-holder Sera Khandro's text The Fine Path to Liberation, clear teachings on the inner and outer preliminary practices are given. Each of these is essential to the authentic practice of Dzogchen, and students applying for this retreat must be willing and able to devote themselves to each of these practices, including the practice of guru yoga, which is of vital importance for receiving the blessings of this lineage.

It is essential to learn the ethical training corresponding to each level of Buddhist practice: shravakayana, bodhisattvayana, and vajrayana. An excellent explanation of these different dimensions of Buddhist ethics can be found in: Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows, by Pema Wangyi Gyalpo (Author), Gyurme Samdrub (Translator), Sangye Khandro (Translator) (https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Conduct-Ascertaining-Three-Vows-ebook/dp/...)"

For this series of oral transmissions and commentaries on Düdjom Lingpa's five revealed treatises on Dzogchen, registration will be required, the audio stream will be accessible only with a password, and tuition and administrative fees will be charged. Full and partial scholarships will be provided for those who cannot afford these fees, and all proceeds beyond the administrative costs of creating these recordings will go to support aspiring practitioners who are devoting themselves fulltime to following this path of the Great Perfection. Glen Svensson, the assistant instructor in these retreats, and senior students participating in the retreat will respond to questions from those listening by podcast, so this will be an interactive 8-week retreat by way of audio stream.

The daily schedule for the retreat consists of two hours each day, Monday-Saturday, of group sessions. These group sessions include guided meditations, teaching, and discussion. In addition, each participant in the retreat will have fortnightly (15-minute) private meetings with Alan to discuss their practice.

Application Process:
To apply for the Spring 2018 8-Week retreat, you may request the application instructions by emailing retreats@sbinstitute.com

If you wish to be considered for priority placement, please complete the online application by November 15th, 2017. After the applications have been received, they will go through a vetting process, and the applicants who qualify for priority placement will be notified no later than the winter solstice (Dec. 21) if they are accepted to the program, put on the waiting list, or are not eligible to attend this particular retreat. Since there is limited space, we regret that we will not be able to accept as many people as we would like. On your application it is important to specify your motivation for participating in this retreat and your short-term and long-term aspirations and commitment to practice based on this retreat.

The cost of the retreat is $4650. This price includes teachings, food, and lodging in a single room for 8 weeks, but not travel expenses.

Participants will be asked to make an initial non-refundable deposit of $1200 within 15 days after selection and you will need to pay the final payment of $3450 for the retreat three months prior to its start.

For photographs of Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, go to http://www.iltk.org/en

To listen to the podcast series recorded during the past 8-Week Shamatha Retreats, go to: http://media.sbinstitute.com