Author Topic: Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions  (Read 1090 times)

Offline tsemrinpoche

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Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:47:58 am »
FOR A POWERFULLY BLESSED TSONGKHAPA RETREAT

1.   PREPARE

Buddhist Swastika
Kusha Grass (from a brand new broom). The kusha grass must be placed in the centre of the Buddhist Swastika.
Place the stem of the long kusha grass inwards with the tassels facing outwards and place the short kusha grass horizontally.



2. SITTING LOCATION

Locate a spot where you would be most comfortable.
Place the cushion at the position you have chosen and do not move it from its original position for the entire retreat.
Then place the Buddha Swastika with the kusha grass on the spot (under the cushion).
Be Mindful not to step on and cross over the other participants’ cushions.


3. TORMA



Purchase a clear glass bottle and fill it with biscuits (white area of the diagram). Place it on a place and fill the empty space in the plate (brown area of the diagram) with sweets, candies, etc.
At the beginning of every prayer session, add some sweets and candies to the torma, and a few drops to each sensory offering and water offering, visualising that you are renewing the offerings.
The tormas for Tsongkhapa and Setrap should be similar size (large) while the torma for the entourage should be smaller.


4. OTHER OFFERINGS

Offerings such as milk, yoghurt, candles, cakes, fruits, etc. are strongly encouraged.
It is wonderful to have additional offerings of incense and candles concurrently with the retreat session.
Names or photographs of people whom you want to pray for or help can be put in a sealed envelope, on a plate or in a box between the mandala and torma (see below). These people may be your parents or your friends, or someone who is sick. They may also be those who have been kind to you in the past or have previously helped you.


5. ETIQUETTE

After toilet breaks, you are advised to wash your hands and rinse your mouth before resuming your prayers.
Talking during the break is not encouraged.
During mantra recitation, if you have to cough or burp involuntarily, go back on your mala beads -7 beads.
You have to restart all of the mantras if you fall asleep.


6. Do not move the statues until you have finished the retreat.


7. Do not move the torma until you have finished the retreat – everyday, add a little bit of offering to the ‘base’ of the torma, visualising that you are adding it to the torma as a whole.


8. Do not have prayer sessions at 6AM/PM and 12AM/PM. Sessions are usually from 3-6AM, 7-11AM, 2-5PM and 7-11PM (you can do as many or as few sessions as you like, with a minimum of one session per day).


9. If you are doing a group retreat, everyone must do the same sessions and same number of sessions each day.


10. Each retreat for a particular deity requires at least one statue of the deity and/or a picture representation of the deity (e.g. a thangka, poster, postcard). This instruction is for the benefit of those who are unable to afford statues. Additional representations of other deities may also be placed on your altar to be blessed – after all, a blessing is a blessing!


11. OTHER THINGS TO OBSERVE

5 precepts: Do not kill, Do not steal, No sexual misconduct, No lying, No alcohol
Mahayana vegetarian meals: no meat (including seafood), no onion, no garlic, no eggs, no dairy products (cheese, milk etc)
Water offering and prostrations are encouraged during the retreat period – do as many as possible during the retreat
Minimise entertainment, or too much travelling – The purpose of a retreat is to clear obstacles, and hence this purification can cause obstacles to arise, hence unnecessary travelling should be minimized.


12. PRELIMINARIES

It is recommended to recite the multiplying mantra, followed by a good motivation and mantra of blessing the feet daily at the beginning of the day, before starting the retreat.

Multiplying Mantra: It was stated in the Sutras that when you recite this mantra seven times (7x) in the morning, all the virtuous actions performed by you during the day, including recitation of mantras, will be multiplied by a hundred thousand times.

OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG (7x)


Blessing the feet Mantra: When you recite this mantra three times (3x) and then spit on the soles of your feet, it ensures that you do not create the negative karma when you inadvertently step on and kill any living creature, e.g. ants, during the course of the day. It also helps the sentient being to have a good rebirth.

OM KHE TSARA GHANA HUM HRI SOHA (3x)




FOR the COMPLETE SADHANA to be used in the retreat, please see here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tsongkhapa/tsongkhapa-retreat-instructions-and-prayer-text.html

 


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