The first Dzogchen retreat in complete silence was a pure delight!

The few days of spiritual immersion, absent of the mundane, opened the doors to a great adventure and gave us a succession of small and large joys: the most joyful being the news that His Eminence is in good health.

The adventure began with a colourful surprise of considerable size for some students: complete silence 24/7. Very quickly we found that the experience was conclusive: this silence calmed us, making us lighter, airier as it were. It was in this beautiful atmosphere that Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche told us that His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is well and that this coming summer we will have the opportunity to directly receive transmissions of his Termas that he discovered as a Tertön in this lifetime. This will be a unique event, already recognised as exceptional, with the participation of teachers from other Lineages. More good news was that Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche was also with us, and many of us verified that our connection with him is rooted and ever growing. His teachings in Europe next Spring are already long-awaited.

The few days working with our teachers were interspersed with a succession of moments of happiness and joy. On the evening of 31 December, for example, candles were offered carrying our wishes for peace in the world. The first two candles were lit by our Masters and became the ‘source’ of light connecting all offerings into a single large light. On January 1, a huge auspicious rainbow appeared in the sky. There were days when the Center was wrapped in morning mist. It was magical and the large bodhi leaf -our symbol- was covered in frost and took on an unreal appearance while reflecting the sun’s rays.

At the end of the retreat the Center emptied out quickly. A handful of diehards chose to stay to clear out, clean up and rearrange the gym, meeting rooms, large dining-room etc. The atmosphere was lovely, relaxed, family-like, even intimate and motivated us despite the huge work to do. But we were rewarded a hundredfold by a pleasant surprise and a rain of blessings when Rinpoche joined us for the Medicine Buddha puja. Next time if your heart says yes‘, don’t hesitate to stay and help clean up the Center with us. The presence of our Masters carries us throughout and this too is a pure delight!

Michèle for RIPA International Center.

Translation: Frances and Michèle S. for English