The Avalokiteshvara Sadhana: Unfolding Wisdom + Compassion Together

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.

Below you will find video recordings of all the content from the retreat. Note that those who attended this retreat also participated in an additional meditation with the Adhisthana Community each day. If there are any errors, please email us.

If you find this resource helpful, please consider donating to allow us to continue producing quality Dharma content.

UK session times: 06:45-08:30, 10:15-12:30, 15:45-17:30, 19:45-21:00

Day 1

welcome & DEDICATION

The online retreat team introduce themselves before passing to Vessantara who dedicates the retreat with a ceremony and meditation.

Day 2


Vessantara gives an introduction to the practice as transmitted to Sangharakshita as well as evoking the context in which he received it.


Vessantara offers an overview of the sadhana text, leads a meditation then answers questions to close.


In this session Vessantara leads through opening a mandala followed by a meditation with mantra and verses to Avalokiteshvara to conclude

Resource | Click here

Verses of Entreaty – from a puja to Avalokiteshvara by Vessantara

Day 3

the blue sky and wisdom

An exploration of the difference between direct experience and concepts, focussing on the characteristics of emptiness.


Opening with a short exposition on the blue sky, this session then moves into a meditative period, followed by some more input about the symbolic appearances that arise out of emptiness.

Meditation and puja

This evening’s session includes a lightly led meditation followed by a sevenfold Puja

Day 4

exploring the image

Unpacking the symbolism and meaning in the image of Avalokiteshvara described in the Sadhana.

ACTINg as if

How do we become the figure of Avalokiteshvara, relax into this being of compassion and wisdom?

mahakarunika puja

The day closes with meditation and puja, drawing inspiration from the sadhana text.

Day 5


Exploring the wisdom aspect, looking into the nature of Avalokiteshvara, Vessantara leads a session on the ungraspable nature of ‘things’.

IMAge and void

In this playful meditative session, we look at possible Dharma doorways to liberation, and Vessantara answers some questions.

sadhana practice

The day concludes with a led meditation practice of the Avalokiteshvara sadhana.

Day 6

Symbols and principles

Continuing to explore the principles of Sadhana, Vessantara shares different methods and ways into particularly the wisdom element of the practice.

Dharmas All

The mind is the root of all phenomena. Exploring this further, Vessantara leads us deeper into the sadhana.

Unfortunately the audio for this session is out of sync for the first 23 minutes.

Puja to Avalokiteshvara

In this session we meditate and pay our devotion to Avalokiteshvara in a puja written by Vessantara.

Day 7

the nature of mind

Further exploration of the sadhana text, firstly through teaching on the nature of mind and awareness, then meditation.

om mani padme hum

Continuing deeper into the text, where the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is visualised. Vessantara explains this section, with some discussion and meditation to close.

Sadhana Practice

The day concludes with a led meditation practice of the Avalokiteshvara sadhana.

Day 8

mantra and finishing the practice

Vessantara discusses mantra chanting and continues to guide through the sadhana text, plus approaches to finishing the practice.

Dissolution of aVALOKITESHVARA

In this session Vessantara continues the exploration of the Avalokiteshvara sadhana, including dissolving the practice, with questions from the room and a short sit to finish

Sadhana puja

Today we conclude with an embodying puja to Avalokiteshvara

Day 9

final verses

Unpacking the final verses of the text, including practicing with body, speech and mind and discussing the lineage entreaty.

unled meditation

Meditation – OM MANI PADME HUM

In the final session of the retreat we round up with a meditation and dedication of efforts. The meditation is based around the 6 syllables of the mantra going into each of the 6 realms with each one.

Online Q&A session

Online q&A

Vessantara answers various questions from online retreatants.

en_GBEnglish (UK)