The Avalokiteshvara sadhana that Sangharakshita received from Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is one of the most profound and transformative practices that we have in the Order, as it contains all the great themes of Buddhism.
From early Buddhism come the contemplation of the three marks of conditioned existence and the four immeasurables (Brahma Viharas). From Mahayana, flow the great streams of limitless compassion and contemplation of the empty nature of things that, brought together, ignite the fire of bodhicitta. This is the union of Mahakarunika (the greatly compassionate one) and Mahamudra (direct experience of the nature of mind) which are referred to in the title of the sadhana. These experiences take place within the magic theatre of Vajrayana, using the methods of self-visualisation, mantra recitation, and taking the goal as the path.
During these 10 days, through presentations and guided meditations, Vessantara will unpack some of the treasures the sadhana contains. The evenings will be spent practising it together, so that increasingly we come to share the experiences of love, compassion, pure vision and deepening understanding to which the sadhana invites us. To help the process along, the retreat will be mainly in silence, with the opportunity for meditation reviews.
This retreat is suitable both for those who already have the sadhana and for those who are new to it.
We are offering both residential and online components for this retreat, to enable the Dharma to be shared more widely within the order. We want to ensure that both elements of the retreat offer a high-quality retreat experience, and are working hard to make sure this is the case. There will be a dedicated team for the online retreat, and we will keep the tech presence in the shrine room to a minimium.