Prepared by: Mindrolling International News Staff
Published: 12 September 2012
The 10th Annual Retreat with HE Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche was held at Lotus Garden from August 23 – September 9th. Nearly 160 practitioners from around the world gathered on the land to receive the pristine, precious teachings, empowerments and innumerable blessings from Rinpoche.
Rinpoche opened the retreat by teaching on Patrul Rinpoche’s The Sun of Brilliant Clarity, a commentary on Shantideva’s classical text, Bodhisattvacharyavatara. With these concise teachings, Rinpoche laid a foundation for the Vajrayana week’s presentation on the Ati Zabdon Ngöndro, during which she skillfully wove instructions on the preliminaries together with teachings on the creation and completion stages of sadhana practice.
During the Dzogchen portion of the retreat, Rinpoche bestowed the much-anticipated empowerment and teachings of Rigdzin Thugthig (The Heart Essence of the Vidyadhara), the vast and profound terma cycle discovered in 1663 by the glorious tertön, Chögyal Terdag Lingpa. Rinpoche also transmitted instructions for the outer, inner, and secret practices of the Rigdzin Thugthig, assigning these as this year’s key practices and preparing others for retreat.
Jetsün Dechen Paldrön la also instructed the sangha on the practice of the sadhana, and the nuns of Samten Tse patiently guided practitioners through liturgical aspects such as ritual instruments, mudras, and shrine set-up. The lopöns worked tirelessly, providing support for retreatants and reviews of the terma teachings.
Jetsünla worked intensively for many months, translating the liturgy from Tibetan into English. Its completion marked a historically momentous accomplishment. As the first introduction into the West of Terdag Lingpa’s 350 year old terma text, this translation is a cause for great joy.
During the retreat, Rinpoche and Jetsünla provided sangha members with a delightful opportunity to celebrate together, sponsoring a formal soirée or Garden Party at a large pavilion near Lotus Garden. An evening of dining and dancing unfolded amidst twinkling lights and a magnificent valley sunset.
Practitioners headed home from the Annual Retreat with the wishes, blessings and encouragement of Rinpoche. They were greatly inspired, carrying with them the command of their precious teacher and looking ahead to a year of deepened practice and study.
More photos from the Annual Retreat may be viewed on Rinpoche’s Facebook page.