Bodhicitta Practice Retreat

During 2020, the Order participated in a shared led Bodhicitta Practice on Sunday, connecting hundreds of us around the world. In the challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic we discovered the power of this shared meditation: to resource us and link us to the Dharma, to tune in directly to our deep links with one another, and to join together on a heart level to respond to the world’s suffering. This retreat came at an excellent time to explore this practice more fully and find ways to take it deeper.

Below you will find video recordings of all the content from Vessantara’s retreat on the Bodhicitta Practice, led from Adhisthana in September 2020. Helpful links are provided to easily navigate the various elements of the retreat. There are many ways you might engage with the material, for example by following it at your own pace, perhaps while on solitary retreat, with your chapter, or with friends.

Retreat Resources are at the bottom of the page.

We hope you enjoyed this online retreat. If you benefitted from this resource, please consider donating to support Adhisthana, and sharing it with your friends. Thank you very much.

Please note: Those who attended this retreat live also participated in an additional session each day (Session 1) which was an unlead meditation with the Adhisthana community every morning. This session was not recorded, hence the titles of the YouTube videos from each day do not include Session 1. If there are any errors, please email us.

Day 1


Vessantara introduces the retreat, evokes Bhante and his memories of him, and leads through a grounding and just sitting practice. He then talks a little bit about suffering, and evokes the mandala of protection in another guided meditation.

blue sky

Vessantara introduces the blue sky and leads through this as a meditation.

Four Gifts

Flanked by the flowers and candles from the public and private ordination ceremonies that have taken place at Adhisthana over the last few days, Vessantara leads another meditation, after a reading of ‘The Four Gifts‘.

Day 2


Vessantara discusses the brahma viharas, and then explores the view of scientific materialism.

Three Myths

Vessantara introduces the Three Myths and applies them to the Bodichitta Practice. He then leads us in the practice.


A full lead-through of the Bodhicitta Practice.

Day 3


We move on to the third section of the practice, and explore near-enemies of compassion.

the Hearts wish

Vessantara suggests how to work with overwhelm and leads us in a meditation.

the richness of now

A full lead through of the Bodhicitta Practice.

Day 4

what we share

We move on to exploring what all beings have in common, with a led meditation focusing on the breath.

Monarch, shephard, ferryman

Vessantara fleshes out different ways to approach the Bodhicitta practice, followed by questions, and a guided meditation.


A guided session of the Bodhicitta practice.

Day 5

Active and receptive

Vessantara explores the three myths in terms of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, and Sections 5 and 6 of the Tonglen text.

deep power

A Q&A followed by a guided Tonglen meditation.

Practicing together

A full lead through of the Bodhicitta Practice.

Day 6

Awareness and appreciation

A talk on dissolving into the blue sky and empathy.


Concluding the retreat, we look at the culmination of the Bodhisattva vow in Section 8 of the Tonglen text