Adhisthana Retreats

Event Title: When I Give, I Give Myself - Dana Paramita in Meditation (Online Retreat for Order Members)

Led by Vessantara - Hosted by Adhisthana

An Online Retreat for Order Members

Recently, over 130 Order members came together to participate in a very successful online retreat on the Bodhicitta Practice. During it we created together, and then deepened into, what felt like a ‘field of bodhicitta practice’. This retreat aims to take us further into that field of love and wisdom. (If you weren’t on that retreat you’re most welcome to join us this time!)

The retreat’s title is a line by Walt Whitman that Sangharakshita used to quote with approval, relating it to practising the Dharma. It sums up the attitude of the bodhisattva, expressed in the culminating verse of the Sevenfold Puja: Transference of Merits and Self-Surrender.

In these 6 days our main emphasis will again be on meditation. This time we’ll move from the fundamental development of bodhicitta to explore Dana Paramita. We will focus on meditations and ritual practices that encourage and train us to open our hearts, give ourselves more to life, and find greater freedom.

The retreat will be loosely based on the material in Sangharakshita’s lecture The Significance of Offerings and Self-Sacrifice from his Creative Symbols of the Tantric Path. As well as continuing to explore tonglen (giving and receiving practice), we’ll also look at the principles behind meditations and rituals that focus on generosity and giving ourselves. These include making offerings on different levels, the Mandala Offering, and the Chod practice.

Vessantara won’t give a full introduction to these practices but will focus on the understandings and principles that underlie them all. (However, there will be instruction available if you’d like to learn a set of traditional mudras for making outer offerings, and/or to use a traditional mandala offering set.)

Although the retreat focuses on inner practice, the meditation teaching should help address issues that can affect our outer giving, such as guilt, neglecting oneself, and other ‘near enemies’ of skilful generosity. Clarifying these areas will allow us to be generous in ways that are frictionless and appropriate for us, and help us to be of maximum benefit to others.

The programme will include teaching, guided meditations and rituals, small group discussions and opportunities to ask questions. It will again be based at Adhisthana and run on a dana basis.

There will be 4 sessions a day:

Session 1: Unguided meditation, join the morning double meditation with the Adhisthana Community
Session 2: Teaching session with Vessantara
Session 3: Discussion in small groups (0.5 hours) & Guided meditation with Vessantara (1 hour)
Session 4: Teaching session with Vessantara

1) 7.00am UK/ 8.00am CET/ 12.30pm India/ 6.00pm Sydney/ 8.00pm Auckland/ 11.00pm San Francisco/ 1.00am Mexico City/ 2.00am New York (1.5 hours)
2) 10.00am UK/ 11.00am CET/ 3.30pm India/ 9.00pm Sydney/ 11.00pm Auckland/ 2.00am San Francisco / 4.00am Mexico City / 5.00am New York (2 hours)
3) 4.00pm UK/ 5.00pm CET/ 9.30pm India/ 3.00am Sydney/ 5.00 am Auckland/ 8.00am San Francisco/ 10.00am Mexico City/ 11.00am New York (1.5 hours)
4) 8pm UK/ 9pm CET/ 1.30am India/ 7am Sydney/ 9am Auckland/ 12pm San Francisco/ 2pm Mexico City/ 3pm New York (1 hour)

The retreat will begin with session 2 on the first day, and finish after session 4 on the last day.

Dharmananda & Viryasiddhi will run an additional session for your time zones in place of session 3.

The 4 sessions be at the corresponding times (and split over two days):
1) 6.00pm Sydney / 8.00pm Auckland (Live)
2) 9.00pm Sydney / 11.00pm Auckland (Live or watch recording the next morning)
** SLEEP **
4) 7am Sydney / 9am Auckland (Live)
N.B. The retreat will finish on the 4th October for this timezone.
** Catch up any missed recordings from Sessions 2 and 3 **
3) 3.30pm Sydney / 5.30pm Auckland (Live Oceania Break out groups)

Uploading Sessions: To support those who cannot attend all sessions, we will have sessions 2, 3 and 4 available as video recordings within half an hour of the end of the session.

Partial Attendance:Although it’s best if you commit yourself to the retreat, Vessantara is happy for you to attend only the sessions your situation allows.

This retreat is for members of the Triratna Buddhist Order

Start Date: 7th Nov 2020
End Date: 12th Nov 2020
Deposit: £50

This Event is by Donation (Dana). Booking includes a non-refundable deposit. Payment above this is on a dana basis, and during the retreat there will be an appeal for dana. If the deposit prevents you from booking, please get in contact via

Bursary Fund - If you can’t afford to come on retreat you might be interested in applying for our Bursary Fund.

Click to be taken to practical information for coming on retreat at Adhisthana