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Chenresig Retreat - Winter 2007
by Venerable Thubten Chodron©
Sravasti Abbey, Washington, USA
One-Month Retreat: 13 Dec 2006 - 14 Jan 2007
Three-Month Retreat: 13 Dec 2006 - 15 Mar 2007


Chenresig is the manifestation of the compassion of all the Buddhas. During the one-month and the three-month retreat, participants practice daily the Chenresig sadhana, which includes refuge, bodhicitta, the seven limb prayer, meditation on emptiness, visualization, mantra, Lamrim meditation, and dedication. Venerable Chodron's teachings are available below in audio (mp3) format and as transcripts.

Ven. Chodron also begins teaching the text 'Essence of Refined Gold' by the Third Dalai Lama which is a commentary on Lama Tzong Khapa's lamrim text, 'Songs of Experience'. Click here to download the text in Word format.

Week 1

28 December 2006
Cultivating Motivation for The Retreat

Venerable Chodron talks about setting motivation for doing retreat. She talks about the purpose and benefits of doing retreat. She also talks about working with the mind during retreat.
Audio [25 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 2

5 January 2007
Q+A Session

- Sometimes I feel resistance to meditating on emptiness and I want things to be inherently existent.
- Having expectations that are not met causes a lot of suffering.
- It seems impossible to feel unbiased towards everybody.
- How can we feel close to those we don't know personally?
Audio [59 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron begins teaching the text by the Third Dalai Lama which is a commentary on Lama Tzong Khapa's lamrim text, Songs of Experience.
Audio [45 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 3

11 January 2007
Q+A Session

- Comments on death meditation.
- What helps to develop a feeling of attraction to Chenresig?
- How do you develop clarity of the object of meditation?
- How do you focus on the visualization and the mantra at the same time?
- How do you hold the object of meditation?
- Being who you are to help others.
- How does dedication and prayer work?
(End of recording lost)
Audio [55 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file (Note: this Word file was updated on 10 February 2007 to include previously missing section)

Week 4

18 January 2007
Q+A Session

- Visualizing and chanting the mantra at the same time.
- Understanding the purpose of the visualization.
- Meditating on death and impermanence.
- Can you explain mindfulness of feelings?
- Thinking about our attachment to others.
Audio [67 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [29 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 5

25 January 2007
Q+A Session

- The purpose of thought training.
- Is it possible to be free from cyclic existence?
- Don't be afraid of periods of uncertainty.
- Making the Buddhas our friends.
- News from prisoners doing the retreat from afar.
Audio [53 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [50 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 6

1 February 2007
Q+A Session

- Sometimes the meditation is interesting while other times boring.
- Using the mala.
- Factors that stimulate the arising of afflictions.
- Mental discursiveness and conceptualization.
- The meaning of clarity and awareness.
- The mind at the time of death.
- Using words to describe internal mental states.
Audio [61 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [39 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 7

8 February 2007
Q+A Session

- When you talk about Buddha nature what is the "basic goodness"?
- Different ways of showing compassion?
- How does sense experience trigger mental factors and conceptualization?
- Restricting sense stimulation in developing concentration.
- Suppression of feelings.
Audio [50 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [52 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 8

15 February 2007
Q+A Session

- Viewing reality through filters or viewpoints.
- Reputation.
- Conceptions and functioning.
- Perceptions and past conditioning.
- Conception of the "I".
Audio [70 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [48 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 9

22 February 2007
Meditation on Emptiness: Four Point Analysis
Audio [17 minutes]: Download mp3 file

Q+A Session
- When I hear teachings I feel inspired but soon after the feeling is gone.
- The concept of the eternal independent self.
- Looking for the I.
- How does the conventional I function in the world?
- Dealing with the opinions of others.
- Can you explain the subtle mind?
- The time of death and the intermediate state.
- How does the "mere I" continue after death?
- Compassion in daily life.
Audio [51 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [43 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 10

1 March 2007
Meditation on Emptiness: Dependent Arising
Audio [6 minutes]: Download mp3 file

Q+A Session
- Why can't the collection of the parts be the object?
- Can the contemplation of feelings lead to selflessness?
- Thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
- Attachment to what others think of us.
- What is the difference between being self-centered and directing the
conventionally existent self in a positive direction?
- Meditating on compassion and emptiness.
- The sutras and canons.
Audio [64 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [36 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 11

8 March 2007
Q+A Session
- What a Bodhisattva's mind is like.
- Death and Impermanence.
- The internal state at the time of death.
- What role does intellect and study play in Dharma practice?
- Letters from inmates doing the retreat.
Audio [52 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Teaching on the Essence of Refined Gold by the Third Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso
Venerable Chodron continues teaching the text.
Audio [45 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Q+A Session
- Deluded views.
- How to benefit from teachings.
- Mundane activities and Dharma practice.
Audio [19 minutes] : Download mp3 file

Week 12

13 March 2007
Q+A Session
- Suggestions for the transition from retreat
- Reflections on the retreat
(partial recording)
Audio [15 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcript: Download Word file

 


 

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