August 2017 – Yeshe Tsogyal Retreat

An encounter with universal feminine energy


His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche

  

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is in full form, and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche is happy to be among us; Lama Tenzin is confirmed in his duties, the translation team is congratulated, the training of instructors is on track, and there are again newcomers from a variety of countries … This summer has only brought good news.

A powerful and gentle retreat

In this Tibetan year of universal feminine energy, it is quite natural that this retreat is on the topic of Yeshe Tsogyal, as she is part of the DNA of our Ripa lineage. During one of his previous incarnations, Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was directly and intimately linked to this great spiritual figure of the 8th century. As both disciple and consort of Guru Rinpoche, Yeshe Tsogyal played a fundamental role in the spread of his spiritual teachings and transmissions. If you were unable to be present for the retreat, immerse yourself in the reading of “The Life of Yeshe Tsogyal, Sovereign of Tibet,” written by Arya Salé in the 8th century. You will be carried away by this spiritual epic, this historical fresco, so inspired and full of poetry and marvels. We at the center experienced exactly this during the Drupchö of Yeshé Tsogyel. More good news: Lama Tenzin was officially confirmed in his European spiritual role by His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche. Lama Tenzin was even awarded a degree “as in the West.” This event touched us all and even moved many of us to tears. As for Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, he is the great “present-absent” of this summer. Present because many among us feel his presence, from the depths of his retreat he does not abandon us! And absent because, obviously, we miss him. It is with always renewed pleasure that we enjoy the spectacle of the Tibetan dances and the festivities punctuating the half-time of these two weeks passed in the intimacy of the universal feminine energy of Yeshe Tsogyal.

We wait for Rinpoche … Flower petals strewn on his path … On the first day of retreat Rinpoche arrives with a big smile … Lama Tenzin confirmed in his duties, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche give their blessing … Our temple is full … Offering of Katas … Mandala offering by the Tibetan community … Last day, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche leave the temple … The dances end, the troupe meets around Rinpoche … And on the other side is a forest of “paparazzi.”

 

Women’s energy at the heart of the RIPA lineage

The Ripa International Center is also bathed in this feminine energy. The “chupin” team, for example, is all women and international. We meet our Russian, Spanish, Swiss and French friends. Each year the team strengthens, improves and grows, it attends the rituals with a deep commitment, seriousness, great devotion, great elegance and a visible joy. As far as musical instruments are concerned, women are still very much involved and have been involved for a long time. A feminine presence still is responsible for the preparation and arrangement of flowers, gardens and all that belongs to “green nature.” Nadya has long been the coordinator and the ephemeral team that is formed at each retreat is also predominantly female. There is also the fundamental feminine presence as the head of our center, Begonia, who is its director, along with Antje, who is her “right arm.” In the course of last Spring’s teachings, Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche reminded us that the work accomplished since their arrival is really “incredible.” Finally, when again we think of feminine energy, the connection with children is established quite naturally. And here again, our center confirms its feminine dimension in connection with Yeshe Tsogyal. In the temple, outdoors, on playgrounds or in greenery, the younger generation is everywhere. One comes to be blessed, one pauses in the temple moved by the teachings, one plays, one learns to ride a bicycle, one runs, one sings, and it is here of course that one enjoys the best ice cream of the world …

The “chupin women” in action … The team of this summer around the mandala … After the work, a time to relax and enjoy … Female presence with instruments … Nadya our Dakini of flowers and gardens … Begonia and Antje, our two superb dakinis permanently “on point” … And children visibly happy because they know they are at home.

 

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche spends a long time with the translation team (*)

In the center, the work never stops. After the retreat, the relay is passed on to the translation team under the authority of Lama Tenzin. Their work is a real adventurefull of heavy responsibility. The challenge: to translate the original Tibetan texts into the five languages currently used in our international community: German, English, Spanish, French and Russian all in an identical presentation and pagination. Also, the very long time that His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche comes to spend with the translators reveals how much he recognizes their work. His thanks are addressed to all with a special attention to Mike, the true pillar of the team. As a student of Dudjom Rinpoche, he knows Tibetan, is a Buddhist scholar, he is a translator, he speaks French very well … And he does not hide his happiness to participate in this adventure with people whom he appreciates. Here is how Lama Tenzin summarizes the memorable morning: “Rinpoche told us how pleased he is with the work we have done so far … And he has told us that we must continue it because we do not translate only for our own interest or that of our sangha, but for the benefit of all beings. ” Lama Tenzin goes on: “Very soon, the team will take on the translation of the biography of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche … We know no more than two percent of his qualities. His biography is so wonderful that we must not only share it among ourselves in our sangha but also with people all over the world … If they read this book one day, if they hear his name, it will be a connection … This is my deepest wish and hope. “ As with all the other translations already done, a long, demanding, complex and subtle task awaits the team. Mike gives an overview: “We are doing harmonization, unification. The ideas expressed must be the same in all languages, and every translated text must be clear and readable, with respect for the Tibetan language and the language to which it is translated. This obviously implies a profound knowledge of Tibetan and here we are lucky to have a jewel, it is Lama Tenzin. He is our guarantor and he knows English well enough to bring us back in the right direction when we go astray on the meaning of a term, an expression. His interventions help us to find the most accurate and close translation of Tibetan … Finally, he is a true scholar. He knows everything!”

(*) A much more complete presentation of the words of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and the unique work of the translation team will be posted soon on the site of the Ripa International Center. You will be notified once it is online.

His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche blesses every member of the team … He expresses his satisfaction to Mike … His Eminence then reminds us of the importance of these translations … The original texts in Tibetan … Are transferred to computer, a work tool impossible to circumvent… The team settles around Rinpoche … And listens to his words … The visit ends with a “family” photo … To which Begoña joins as our director of the Ripa International Center.

 

The pioneers of Ripa Awareness Meditation

Announced by Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche since a long time, the Ripa instructor training began this year with a first session in his presence and under his authority. This summer, the participants – all of whom are appointed by our teachers – meet for the second session, led by Geneviève, who is responsible and the organizer of “Ripa Awareness Meditation.” Instructors, participants and translators from Germany, Spain, France, Russia and Switzerland, are thus again assembledfor a very full week. Spread in small groups of three, one learns for example to guide Shiné, each one being in turn guide, participant and observer. The theory is also studied from texts recommended by Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, including commentaries from great Masters such as His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness the Karmapa. In order to maintain the link between all, to continue this common work and to maintain the good harmony that has been established, the creation of a computer platform for exchanges and communication is envisaged. Regular meetings online would then be possible, as well as consulting root texts, transcripts, exchanging information, etc … Suffice it to say that this formidable adventure is in its beginnings, everything is being built, everything is being created under the inspiration and through the spiritual bond with Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and the Ripa lineage. This first stage already allows its participants to lead meditation, within our associations, but also with outside groups, including companies, because the vocation of the “Ripa Awareness Meditation” is to be open to all, without exception, Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

The explanations of Geneviève are followed with the greatest attention … Extra concentration for Jovana who listens after the Spanish translation of Antonio … The atmosphere is very joyful … Helen is applauded, and then it is Peter’s turn… A general good humor surrounds Geneviève because everything progresses very well, which is confirmed by the participants: “this experience allows us to be very close to one another … A great confidence has settled among us … I have just felt a very deep experience and I sense that this is our responsibility now … It is also because we come from very different backgrounds that this session was so rich with humanity. “

 

The new ones (*)

“I thank our eminent teachers for coming so far for us … I am so happy to have met such teachers, we feel so much compassion from His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche … I find exactly what I was looking for in the teachings of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche … One feels how true they are, that they are authentic Buddhist masters … Here I feel good and at peace.” The newcomers who are just discovering Buddhism are under the shock of their first meeting with the masters of the Ripa lineage. And then there are those who already have had experiences with another lineage, and also there are Ripa students who come for the first time. Originally from Colombia, South Korea, Spain, France, Holland, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, and so on, a good twenty new students have arrived in the past year: “It is superb here … The landscape, space, everything is open, one feels free … A real place of peace … To get there is like leaving civilization and immersing oneself in another world.” The welcome? “We are welcomed, the soft and peaceful atmosphere is perhaps related to the large number of women … When we arrive we are immediately in a family, a real international family and even if we do not speak the same language, there is this friendly recognition through an exchange of glances … I knew no one, yet the warmth of the welcome reassured me … I arrived in an unknown world without having instructions, I was worried, but the fraternal and warm atmosphere gave me confidence … As novices we are not at all intimidated because we are helped spontaneously in a very friendly and open atmosphere … I feel so good here, there is something that makes me feel that I need to come back.” And participation in everyday work like dishes and household? “Putting ourselves at the service of the community places us all at the same level and it also helps to meet others … All this daily work done in common is a very rich experience that leads us to respect the work of others, to respect the center.”

(*) Thanks to Martine, Katharina, Daniel, Sophie, Ignasi, Eliane, Michele, Tae-Ho, Monica, Fred, Ania, Montse, Oscar, Viktoria, Baatar, Tania, Mickael and all those who have shared so spontaneously and sincerely their impressions.

Participation in the daily tsok … The preparations for the big tsok at the end of retreat, for more than two hundred people…. A momentary break next to the “old ones”…. Chores are done in good humor and with a smile …

 

Photo Album

Karma Shedrup and Carlo accompany the offerings of katas … Antonio awaits the arrival of Rinpoche for the teachings … The goats are very fond of tsok … The superb pumpkins of our kitchen garden … Ventilation of the dance costumes after the show … No, no , it is not a picnic but the smoke offering to Gesar installed on the lawn the day after the end of the retreat … The altar is also in nature … The practice is guided by Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche accompanied byLama Tenzin, and Philippe is Umzé … Kiki, Soso …

A gift from Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche

Carlo has just installed the symbol of our Ripa lineage that Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche offered us. Placed on the balcony of the main building, one can see it from everywhere.

 

Blog April 2017

April 14th -16th  2017- At the Ripa International Center

Final meeting before summer 2018…

Before leaving for a one-year retreat in a sacred place lost in the Himalayas, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche wanted to meet us one last time … Three intense days filled with emotion. The following account can only be a weak reflection of what we have experienced.

 

The meaning of the “Guru” in Tibetan Buddhism

How is it possible to sum up this immense teaching of Rinpoche without risking having misheard, or misunderstood, and without betraying his thoughts regarding that which is most subtle, profound, rich, and inspired? … Impossible. It is addressed to each one of us individually, and to all of us as a group. His words touch us deeply in our hearts, reaching the depths of our intimate concerns and sometimes even of our resistance. So Guru? Master ? Spiritual friend? Teacher ? These aspects that he evokes and develops reach us where we are. Each one receives at his level, according to his path and the opening of his heart.
Rinpoche reminds us of the foundations of Buddhism, the interdependence of phenomena, the truths of relative reality and the absolute, of dissatisfaction, suffering, compassion … During these three days he opens for us endless ways to engage in inner work . He leaves by entrusting us with an enormous “notebook of holiday duties” to fill during his absence. To be filled by practice that we may advance on the path. Do not worry, he does not let us go, does not forsake us, does not forget us. He gives us a monthly appointment at a distance: practicing Guru Rinpoche according to the dates of the Tibetan calendar (*), which he will also do from the depths of his retreat. A way not to lose our connection until next year and to return periodically to the essentials. Just a quote to finish. During these three days, Rinpoche reminded us several times that: “The first Guru is life itself.”
(*) Calendar here

The teachings of Rinpoche are followed in the early evening by a question and answer session with Lama Tenzin. It is in English that he gives us a reminder of the words of Rinpoche … before answering our questions …A moment of recollection.

Practices, meditation … and streaming

Every morning from 6:30 am, some of us find ourselves in our Gompa, which is so inspiring and warm. Others will meditate. Guided by Geneviève, this meditation session is now called Ripa Awareness of Meditation. Broadcasted live via streaming worldwide, sesions are watched around the world. Europeans who have not been able to travel have connected from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg and even Switzerland. From Russia, Belarus and Ukraine we listen. There are viewers in Great Britain, Arizona and New York for the United States, Argentina for the South American continent, and Asia with India, Nepal and even Bhutan.

Students from all over Europe gathered for morning practice … Ripa Awareness Meditation with Geneviève … Laurent – the origin of the streaming initiative – ensures with Antje the technical preparation of the live transmission.

 

Spring is changeable as expected, this weekend of Easter is sunny and warm, then rainy and cold, then again sunny … With the first rays of sun and blue sky, we take advantage to settle outside … each with his plate, his glass, his dessert, then his coffee … Amrit from Switzerland, Ralf from Germany meet at a table with Patrick, our talented expert chef, and Jan of the Czech Republic who assists him … the return of Spring which is already announced by the apple trees of the center in full bloom and the fields of daffodils, and other budding flowers that can be seen on the mountains in the surroundings. On rainy days, a well-protected Flupke of Belgium sounds the hour of the teachings. Rain and fine weather often give us beautiful rainbows  above our Ripa center.

 

Blog#2016 Summer Retreat

July 23 – August 13, 2016

Grand summer retreat for the year of the birth of Guru Rinpoche

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What a very special occasion, being the fire monkey year, to celebrate Guru Rinpoche in his birth year. As this only occurs every twelve years this was an excellent opportunity to experience three beautiful weeks in our center of meditation, Drupchö Yeshé Tsogyal practice and Guru Rinpoche Tsok Bum. It all ended on a beautiful day of festivities and Tibetan dances.

July 23-30

Seeking your basic goodness

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“It is a great pleasure for me to guide you during this week of meditation … In the Buddhist tradition meditation is the basic practice, it substantiates what we study intellectually, it also brings forth an openness in the sense that it is free of any ritual. Also, I think it’s important that we understand to what we are committed, to really understand profoundly this experience that represents most of the lessons of Buddhism and that allows the discovery of oneself.” Thus Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche welcomed us for this week of meditation and teaching. He added: “And it seems that meditation is a way to find a state of happiness. It calms the mind, it brings a certain peace, goodness and love towards ourselves and also a kind of warmth in our heart. When we experience this warmth, it opens a space within. The most immediate effect is that we do not feel alone. It’s like a kind of happiness … And the desire of everyone seems to be finding a state of happiness. “ And we dove into this journey guided by Rinpoche during which he in turn brought us to get in touch with ourselves firstly through breathing then through exploring our feelings, our heart, our past. Exploring our basic goodness, learn to love ourselves … A real adventure, beautiful and long.

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Introduction to Buddhist philosophy and Yogom®

Every day, we also participated in two activities that were very successful and that, in the future, will be held periodically in our center. Geneviève (*) presented Buddhist philosophy and extended the guided meditation training. A longtime student of Rinpoche, she explains: “For me, Buddhism and mindfulness – full awareness – are not separated. One of the main teachings of the Buddha is training in mindfulness. A comprehensive teaching of the great sutra is that of establishing mindfulness. Present in all schools of Buddhism, it is the heart of all practices. This mind training not only involves a dimension of wisdom, it also involves the heart. “ For his part, François (*) led us gently and subtlety through the yogom exercises. This yoga / meditation practice guides us gently, subtlety and profoundly through an exploration of body in connection with mind. It prepared us for the guided meditations by Rinpoche. A few years ago, Rinpoche had a vision of yogom and asked François to create it in order to help students to be within their bodies when practicing. François was given the task to teach and spread Yogom® after having worked in connection with Rinpoche for two and a half years on developing this practice. You will not find anywhere else this exceptional practice, which is a “house specialty” inspired by Rinpoche.

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(*) Geneviève Hamelet- teacher of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), certified by the CFM (Center for Mindfulness), trainer of instructors and a graduate of Tarab Institute, a graduate of Mindfulness Training Institute UK and President of ADM (association the development of mindfulness).

(*) François Bertolero – in depth training in kundalini yoga with Yogi Bajan. Graduated Professor of the French Federation of Yoga founded by Gerard Arnaud with five hundred hours of training (diploma recognized by the American Federation authorizing Alliance to teach Hatha, Vinyasa yoga and meditation in all English speaking countries.

The Childrens Corner

When parents practice, children benefit … During the lessons, Rita welcomed these children for a creative journey that immersed them in drawing, creating a mandala, planting a small garden for the Buddha with a statue of him in plasticine and on weekends a treasure hunt that led to a nice walk and discovery of Ried and its surroundings. At the end of the retreat they came, smiling, happy and fulfilled, to greet Rinpoche, who was visibly touched and moved.

Around the retreat

Preparing three weeks of retreat is more than hard work. Flowers and bouquets arranged from Nadya and her team were as always, grandiose compositions, intimate and endearing as they adorned our gompa, the lunchroom, etc. The outdoor makeshift carpentry workshop allowed Flupke and Carlo to build practice tables, which were then painted by Irene, Ursula, Carlo, Bill and Dominique and installed in the temple. At the reception desks were Françoise, Gabriela and Dominik; the whole team helped to get ready to receive the arrivals. The chef, Patrick, whose cuisine is always appreciated, was ready on some days to feed more than two hundred and seventy people … Not unexpected! At last the sound: which is very important, because it not only guarantees the quality of the recordings – and thus the production of the CD – but it also allows those needed participants to hear the precious teachings simultaneously translated into their language be it German, Spanish, French or Russian. And regarding the sound, Laurent is a true master!

July 30 – August 5

Yeshe Tsogyal Drupchö

The second week was in complete silence. Although we noticed it being broken from time to time, we none-the less recognized how “it benefits us.” On the first day we received an initiation transmitted by Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche. On the last day Jigme Rinpoche invited us to partake in the practice of the Marme Monlam prayer with a light offering for the benefit of all beings. His words were inspiring: “We all know that we live in uncertain times surrounded by growing uncertainties, sufferings and difficulties that arise in the world … While we’re all here with all of our sangha and in the presence of the Vajra Master, it is very important to remember those who have passed away as well as those who are still alive and keep them in our thoughts and in our heart … it is important to dedicate all our prayers and our aspirations to all beings who are like our mothers, so that they will be free from fear, confusion and suffering, so that they will be released from the experiences of the intermediate states, so that they will obtain a good rebirth that will lead perhaps to enlightenment. Our dedications should also be for those who are on the path, so that they exceed all sorts of obstacles – physical illnesses, mental doubts, insufficient positive karma … May the light of Dharma illuminate our heart, may our masters continue to teach throughout the world … may the Buddha’s teachings – the real source of hope, support and happiness- dispel the misery of the world and that peace be established in the world … may we as a sangha, as a community of practitioners remain together … Let us commit ourselves in this light offering prayer, imagine that this lamp is as vast as the universe, the oil it contains is as vast as the ocean, its flame is as high as Mount Meru, it illuminates the entire universe and leaves no room for darkness, whatever their form … Let this light never extinguish but always shine in our heart, it is our guide toward the light of enlightenment and that of all sentient beings in the world.

August 6-13

Tsok Bum: celebrationg Guru Rinpoche’s birth

During the last week of our retreat, we first received an initiation of Guru Rinpoche transmitted by H. E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche after he had invited us to receive it with these words: “Faith, devotion, confidence and openness of mind towards enlightenment for the benefit of all beings are very important when we receive an initiation, a transmission or when we practice. The merits and virtue accumulated will be even greater. It is this attitude that I ask of you in receiving this initiation of Guru Rinpoche. “ Then we participated in the Tsok Bum. Lama Tenzin explained to us: “We are in the year of the monkey, it is now the month of the monkey and in a few days it will also be the day of the monkey, which is the anniversary of the birth of Guru Rinpoche, an auspicious day that occurs only every twelve years. That day, most monasteries celebrate the birth of Guru Rinpoche. That is why our Master wishes us to engage in this practice …..A Tsok Bum, is one hundred thousand accumulations of Tsok and of reciting the seven line prayer of Guru Rinpoche done by a group of participants. ” And finally: “His Eminence revealed several practices of Guru Rinpoche from which we will accumulate. They say it is the best way to quickly receive the blessings of Body, Speech and Mind and for our stream of consciousness to be blessed by Guru Rinpoche. ” After the week of collective accumulations, Jigme Rinpoche concluded saying: “The tsok bum is not just reciting the text, there are also the substances which must reach a hundred thousand … In Sanskrit Tsok means assembly, collection of something … this in the sense of the continual wheel of the accumulation of merit and of the purification of all obstacles to obtain bliss and emptiness. This is to accumulate merit, material merit and wisdom of merit. The tsok represents the potential merit, source of all blessings and accomplishments. “ On the morning of the 13th, our last practice started at 6 am ending with a last great tsok, the distribution of a superb Guru Rinpoche birthday cake cut by Begonia and the dance to the seven line prayer of Guru Rinpoche, which is a traditional dance of Orissa, presented beautifully by Chloé.

The last day of the summer retreat

Grand festivities and Tibetan dances

All conditions including perfect weather were met for this festival to be a success.
A young troupe of Swiss-Tibetan dancers in their superb new costumes made in Nepal were well prepared and appreciated. After a powerful Dorje Drollo dance by Lhuntrul Rinpoche, was the famous black hat dance. Then some of us, having rehearsed often, presented nicely a dakini dance. We witnessed several dances from the opera Lingdrö, the great epic of Gesar of Ling. Our three Masters were present and happy, too.
Watch the slideshow and you’ll get an idea of that day’s celebrations, the atmosphere … and the beauty of our Centre.

RIPA Winterretreat 2015/16 with Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche


December 27th, 2015 – January 3rd, 2016 – Retreat at the RIPA International Center

Total Immersion!

Centered on meditation, the winter retreat is so intense, powerful and deep, that it is a real shock for all, new and old. Again, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche managed to surprise us and open up new horizons.

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Breathe, feel your body, meditate, breathe again …

This is the second retreat that we follow in complete silence and once again we can confirm its benefits. In this favorable atmosphere, Rinpoche will make us plunge into that which we had never known until now. Every day for hours, we meditate, guided, scanned – step by step – by Rinpoche. First step, verify the sitting position, which takes time because it is not only to check the position of our knees, our back, our head. We must feel, recognize, realize. Just as in the following step when we engage in the exploration of outer and inner body … our skin, muscles, bones, organs. It is up to us to choose how we approach the exploration, from toe-to-head, or from head-to-toe … And it is stupefying. Next we come to the breath. Again we do not attempt only to feel it but – if one could say so – “to become the breath,” in order to be fully in the famous “mindfulness.” Then we turn to the meditation on loving kindness and Rinpoche explains: “This is what allows us to go deep into our heart, reaching deep peace … This is what opens the door of wisdom that resides deep in our heart.” The final step will lead us to reflect upon our emotions. And even there a new adventure opens from which we can safely say that we are far from finished!

Our long sessions of meditation … Preceded by explanations from Rinpoche … and followed by short breaks during which we relax a little … The silence is total, therefore information is communicated in writing on a blackboard …

A retreat open to all, including a good number of new students

This time, we are nearly a hundred of which there are about twenty newcomers from various European countries: Spain, France, Switzerland and even … Argentina. For us longtime students, it is a joy to discover all these curious faces, open, and visibly “fallen into the soup.” Specifically and for the first time in a winter retreat, the program offers several simultaneous activities in the morning and evening. At 6:30 am: Ngöndro for Ripa students, or Yogom for newcomers with François, and for those who have completed ‘The Preliminaries’ – the Tsa Lung group – Gesar Lhasang practice. In the evening at 6:oo pm, there is practice with Lama Tenzin for Ripa students, or discovering Buddhism with Genevieve for newcomers, and individual practice for those who have a daily accumulation practice to do. The day ended with a session of ‘question and answer,’ between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm with Lama Tenzin, the questions being submitted in writing in order to respect the silence. At the end of retreat, when we officially are able to speak again, the new express their satisfaction and the shock of discovery. It suffices to look at their delighted expressions, eyes bright and smiling, which confirm it. They also speak of the good atmosphere they felt upon their arrival, the friendliness of the welcome and the attention extended towards them. So it seems that we, the elders, have made some good progress in opening up to others. Courage, we are on the way … We just have to continue!