Retreats on
Modern Buddhism

Enter, Progress Along & Complete the Path to Enlightenment

Retreats on Modern Buddhism

Retreats on
Modern Buddhism

Enter, Progress Along & Complete the Path to Enlightenment

The Four Great Preliminary Guides

Retreats on Modern Buddhism

Silent Retreats on Vajrayana Mahamudra

Developing Renunciation

Meditations on the Initial and Intermediate Scopes
January 5-11

Developing Renunciation has two stages:

  1. Overcoming attachment to this life
  2. Overcoming attachment to future lives

As Je Tsongkhapa says in The Three Principal Aspects of the Path:

Without pure renunciation there is no way to pacify
Attachment to the pleasures of samsara;
And since living beings are tightly bound by desire for samsara,
Begin by seeking renunciation

Freedom and endowment are difficult to find, and there is no time to waste.
By acquainting your mind with this, overcome attachment to this life;
And by repeatedly contemplating actions and effects and the sufferings of samsara,
Overcome attachment to future lives.

When, through contemplating in this way, the desire for the pleasures of samsara
Does not arise, even for a moment,
But a mind longing for liberation arises throughout the day and the night,
At that time, renunciation is generated.

During this retreat, we will explore step by step meditations of the initial and intermediate scope in a meditative manner. In this way, we develop deep experience of renunciation, the root of the path. To register

Compassion & Wisdom

Meditations on the Great Scope and Training the Mind (Lojong)
January 12-18

However, if this renunciation is not maintained
By completely pure bodhichitta,
It will not be a cause of the perfect happiness of unsurpassed enlightenment;
Therefore, the wise generate a supreme bodhichitta.

Swept along by the currents of the four powerful rivers,
Tightly bound by the chains of karma, so hard to release,
Ensnared within the iron net of self-grasping,
Completely enveloped by the pitch-black darkness of ignorance,

Taking rebirth after rebirth in boundless samsara,
And unceasingly tormented by the three sufferings
Through contemplating the state of your mothers in conditions such as these,
Generate a supreme mind of bodhichitta.

Special features of this retreat include:

  • deepening bodhichitta through taking and giving
  • how to nurture bodhichitta through the practice of the five forces
  • how to make bodhichitta practical through the commitments and precepts of training the mind
  • learn the guideposts for successful meditation

In this retreat, we will weave together the meditations of the great scope with instructions on training the mind, Lojong. Meditations on the great scope will enable us to develop the supreme good heart of bodhichitta and focus single-pointedly on the true nature of phenomena. By combining these meditations with the mind training instructions, Lojong, we will learn to use every situation in our daily life to develop conventional and ultimate bodhichitta. To register

Four Great
Preliminary Guides

Retreats on Modern Buddhism

The Four Great Preliminary Guides

Silent Retreats on Vajrayana Mahamudra

The four great preliminary guides are invaluable tools for successful spiritual practice. They are sometimes called ‘gateways’ because by stepping through them we can enter into deep and powerful states of meditation, and gain authentic realizations. In each week of retreat, we will spend time focusing on distinct yet essential preliminary practices that will prepare the foundation for Mahamudra realizations.

The Gateway to Buddhadharma
Jan 19 – 25

Within the tranquility of retreat, we will focus on finding true refuge. By drawing closer to the Three Jewels through devotional prayer and meditation we will be protected from the painful paths of samsara, and discover everlasting happiness and peace. We create an unshakable foundation in our mind to gain deep realizations of Sutra and Tantra – the priceless gifts of Buddha for our modern day life.

To register

The gateway to purifying limitless negative karma.
Jan 26 – Feb 1

Explore the deeply meaningful and healing experience of purification in retreat conditions. Meditation on Buddha Vajrasattva cleanses our unhappiness, delusion, and negative karma accumulated over years and lifetimes. These negativities remain in our mind giving rise to suffering and obstructing our spiritual progress. However, even a small amount of purification makes a big difference in our life. We will feel light and happy all the time, and find that pure states of mind such as love, compassion, and wisdom arise naturally and easily within us. Eventually, we will become completely pure.

To register

The Gateway to a vast collection of merit. 
Feb 2 – 8

The practice of the mandala offering is a scientific method to attain the Pure Land of a Buddha, and a powerful method to enrich our mind with an abundance of merit. This is true inner wealth and as our merit increases  we will find our happiness grows and all our pure wishes – both worldly and spiritual – are easily fulfilled. Since our experience of meditation is sustained by our collection of merit this practice is an indispensable tool that helps us to realize Mahamudra swiftly and easily. To register

The Gateway to receiving blessings
Feb 9 – 15

Guru Yoga is the root of all spiritual realizations because it is the gateway to receiving powerful blessings deep into our heart. This nurtures the seeds of meditation and spiritual practice that we have planted within our mind, and transforms them into actual realizations. Without blessings our understanding remains merely intellectual. As modern day people it is particularly important for us to receive our Gurus blessings continuously because they transform our mind from attachment to renunciation, from self cherishing to bodhichitta, and from ignorance to wisdom. To register

Four Great
Preliminary Guides

The Four Great Preliminary Guides

The four great preliminary guides are invaluable tools for successful spiritual practice. They are sometimes called ‘gateways’ because by stepping through them we can enter into deep and powerful states of meditation, and gain authentic realizations. In each week of retreat, we will spend time focusing on distinct yet essential preliminary practices that will prepare the foundation for Mahamudra realizations.

The Gateway to Buddhadharma
Jan 19 – 25

Within the tranquility of retreat, we will focus on finding true refuge. By drawing closer to the Three Jewels through devotional prayer and meditation we will be protected from the painful paths of samsara, and discover everlasting happiness and peace. We create an unshakable foundation in our mind to gain deep realizations of Sutra and Tantra – the priceless gifts of Buddha for our modern day life.

To register

The gateway to purifying limitless negative karma.
Jan 26 – Feb 1

Explore the deeply meaningful and healing experience of purification in retreat conditions. Meditation on Buddha Vajrasattva cleanses our unhappiness, delusion, and negative karma accumulated over years and lifetimes. These negativities remain in our mind giving rise to suffering and obstructing our spiritual progress. However, even a small amount of purification makes a big difference in our life. We will feel light and happy all the time, and find that pure states of mind such as love, compassion, and wisdom arise naturally and easily within us. Eventually, we will become completely pure.

To register

The Gateway to a vast collection of merit. 
Feb 2 – 8

The practice of the mandala offering is a scientific method to attain the Pure Land of a Buddha, and a powerful method to enrich our mind with an abundance of merit. This is true inner wealth and as our merit increases  we will find our happiness grows and all our pure wishes – both worldly and spiritual – are easily fulfilled. Since our experience of meditation is sustained by our collection of merit this practice is an indispensable tool that helps us to realize Mahamudra swiftly and easily. To register

The Gateway to receiving blessings
Feb 9 – 15

Guru Yoga is the root of all spiritual realizations because it is the gateway to receiving powerful blessings deep into our heart. This nurtures the seeds of meditation and spiritual practice that we have planted within our mind, and transforms them into actual realizations. Without blessings our understanding remains merely intellectual. As modern day people it is particularly important for us to receive our Gurus blessings continuously because they transform our mind from attachment to renunciation, from self cherishing to bodhichitta, and from ignorance to wisdom. To register

Eliminating the Distractions of my Mind Completely,
Observing and Holding a Single Object of Meditation with Mindfulness,
and Preventing the Obstacles of Mental Sinking & Mental Excitement from Arising,
In this way I will control my mind with clear and joyful meditation


Request to the Lord of All Lineages

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Silent Retreats on
Vajrayana Mahamudra

Retreats on Modern Buddhism

Silent Retreats on Vajrayana Mahamudra

The Four Great Preliminary Guides

Having established a foundation of the Preliminary Guides within our mind, we will delve into 4 weeks of silent retreat, striving towards the realizations of the Mahamudra. Each week will build upon the last, helping practitioners to reveal the nature of their own mind: the union of our own great bliss and emptiness. Learn about the benefits of silent retreat.

Developing tranquil abiding on the nature of the mind. Feb 16 – 22

Meditation on our root mind is particularly powerful in overcoming distracting thoughts – the main obstacle to concentration – and in ripening the realization of clear light. During this retreat, practical instruction on training in meditative stabilization will be combined with a lucid explanation of the nature of our mind for a truly powerful and concentrated journey of meditation. To register

Cultivating superior seeing by meditation on emptiness. Feb 23 – Mar 1

This retreat will focus on developing the wisdom of superior seeing observing emptiness. Combining the instructions in How to Understand the Mind with The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra, we will go on an experiential journey of understanding, learning to develop correct beliefs about emptiness and then transform them into valid cognizers and direct realizations through contemplation and meditation. This one meditation is the universal panacea that heals all suffering because it destroys our self grasping. To register

Experiencing a pure world through self-generation as Heruka. Mar 2 – 8

This retreat will use Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’s latest sadhana: New Essence of Vajrayana, a method used to deepen our experience of Heruka practice. In these degenerate times, the blessings of this practice are very powerful and particularly helpful in overcoming strong delusion. In this retreat:

  • learn special techniques to dissolve our old self, problems and unhappiness into emptiness and arise as a pure being, Buddha Heruka–the Buddha of Compassion.
  • bless our channels, winds and drops, by inviting all the Buddhas into our body—causing us to effortlessly gain completion stage realizations.
  • develop universal compassion and spontaneous great bliss
  • train in tranquil abiding upon the body mandala of Heruka

This retreat will focus on developing tranquil abiding through generating ourselves as Heruka and meditating on his body mandala. Training in these meditations we will gradually come under his care and be guided to the Pure Land of Keajra.

Using the sadhana, we will gain familiarity with these special meditations and learn how to develop tranquil abiding on the Body Mandala of Heruka.

*This retreat requires Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment or Je Tsongkhapa empowerment with the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra transmission. To register

Learning to meditate on bliss & emptiness within our heart chakra. Mar 9 – 15

Following the precious instructions that are given within The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra, we will learn to open the door of our central channel by penetrating our heart chakra with bodhichitta. Then our mind will enter into our indestructible drop and dissolve into the indestructible wind and mind at our heart. This will lead us to the profound experience of Great Bliss – which is the secret to gaining the happiness of enlightenment swiftly and easily in our modern day world.

*This retreat requires Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment or Je Tsongkhapa empowerment with the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra transmission. To register

Silent Retreats on
Vajrayana Mahamudra

Silent Retreats on Vajrayana Mahamudra

Having established a foundation of the Preliminary Guides within our mind, we will delve into 4 weeks of silent retreat, striving towards the realizations of the Mahamudra. Each week will build upon the last, helping practitioners to reveal the nature of their own mind: the union of our own great bliss and emptiness. Learn about the benefits of silent retreat.

Developing tranquil abiding on the nature of the mind. Feb 16 – 22

Meditation on our root mind is particularly powerful in overcoming distracting thoughts – the main obstacle to concentration – and in ripening the realization of clear light. During this retreat, practical instruction on training in meditative stabilization will be combined with a lucid explanation of the nature of our mind for a truly powerful and concentrated journey of meditation. To register

Cultivating superior seeing by meditation on emptiness. Feb 23 – Mar 1

This retreat will focus on developing the wisdom of superior seeing observing emptiness. Combining the instructions in How to Understand the Mind with The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra, we will go on an experiential journey of understanding, learning to develop correct beliefs about emptiness and then transform them into valid cognizers and direct realizations through contemplation and meditation. This one meditation is the universal panacea that heals all suffering because it destroys our self grasping. To register

Experiencing a pure world through self-generation as Heruka. Mar 2 – 8

This retreat will use Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche’s latest sadhana: New Essence of Vajrayana, a method used to deepen our experience of Heruka practice. In these degenerate times, the blessings of this practice are very powerful and particularly helpful in overcoming strong delusion. In this retreat:

  • learn special techniques to dissolve our old self, problems and unhappiness into emptiness and arise as a pure being, Buddha Heruka–the Buddha of Compassion.
  • bless our channels, winds and drops, by inviting all the Buddhas into our body—causing us to effortlessly gain completion stage realizations.
  • develop universal compassion and spontaneous great bliss
  • train in tranquil abiding upon the body mandala of Heruka

This retreat will focus on developing tranquil abiding through generating ourselves as Heruka and meditating on his body mandala. Training in these meditations we will gradually come under his care and be guided to the Pure Land of Keajra.

Using the sadhana, we will gain familiarity with these special meditations and learn how to develop tranquil abiding on the Body Mandala of Heruka.

*This retreat requires Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment or Je Tsongkhapa empowerment with the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra transmission. To register

Learning to meditate on bliss & emptiness within our heart chakra. Mar 9 – 15

Following the precious instructions that are given within The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra, we will learn to open the door of our central channel by penetrating our heart chakra with bodhichitta. Then our mind will enter into our indestructible drop and dissolve into the indestructible wind and mind at our heart. This will lead us to the profound experience of Great Bliss – which is the secret to gaining the happiness of enlightenment swiftly and easily in our modern day world.

*This retreat requires Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment or Je Tsongkhapa empowerment with the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra transmission. To register

 

Personalize Your Retreat

Three Ways of Joining in Retreat


1 Come for the Weekend

If you are interested in gaining a taste of retreat, coming to the start of a retreat and staying for a day or two is a great option. Leave your smartphone at home, decide to take a break from your daily activities and allow your mind to abide in the peace of meditation. In order to maintain the integrity of the week’s retreat, dropping into a retreat after the weekend is discouraged.


“The range of retreat options provided was really nice. There were so many choices: the week, topic and whether or not you wanted silence.”Retreat Attendee

2 Come for a Week

Each week of retreat presents a new topic that perfectly addresses the needs of anyone wishing to deepen their experience of Kadam Dharma in modern times. Choose one of the retreat topics that inspire you and take your meditation practice to the next level.


“I thought the two weeks I attended this year went extraordinarily well—as have all the retreats I have attended at KMC New York. This Center hosts the best retreat conditions I have found in our Tradition which is why I come back every year. Thank you for all the thought and effort you put into supporting the spiritual progress of modern Kadampas!”Retreat Attendee

3 Immerse Yourself

Immersion into retreat is blissful and peaceful. Through attending multiple weeks or the entire 10-week season, a transformation of mind will develop deep within you. Your heart will mix with the beauty of Kadam Dharma and your life will change forever.


“For me the silence was a natural way of calming my mind. It created this inner space of peace, happiness and contentment – just by being in silence. Over the retreat season, I found I began experiencing my meditation objects on a completely new level. I’m bringing home an inner wealth that I never imagined I would have after just a few weeks of retreat.

It’s so encouraging for any practitioner to have these Oral Instructions of Mahamudra because they carry with them powerful lineage blessings. Even though I received these teachings at the Summer Festival in 2016, at that time I didn’t fully understand what I had received. I realized that here during retreat! Having the time, space and teachings allowed me to gain a taste of the meditations explained in this book. It is really a special time for us Kadampa practitioners.”Retreat Attendee

 

Retreat Structure

Daily 
Sessions

Retreat sessions are 75-90 minutes. Sessions allow retreaters to cultivate the three wisdoms of listening, contemplating and meditating. Most sessions are guided by Gen Samten.

Weekly 
Schedule

Throughout the Winter Retreat season, a new retreat theme is introduced each week. Each retreat begins with an introduction at 8pm on Friday and consist of four to five sessions each day. On Thursday, the retreat concludes with a teaching before lunch.

10 Weeks 
of Retreat

Each week a new retreat theme is introduced. Although each retreat is standalone, the retreats as a whole follow the entire path of Kadampa Buddhism as presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra. With each retreat building off the one prior, those who attend all 10 weeks will receive over 100 teachings from Gen Samten and gain a profound meditative experience of the Ganden Oral Lineage Instructions.

Between
Sessions

Between sessions, retreaters are encouraged to enjoy a warm drink and relax in the cafe, walk the beautiful and peaceful grounds and trails, study and memorize the text and engage in voluntary work.


KMC New York is located in the Upper Delaware River Valley, one of the most natural and diverse areas in the Northeast US. In the winter, our 82 acres of land provides a spaciousness and tranquility that allows your mind to stay inward and focused on retreat. The grounds include nature paths and quiet spots to sit and enjoy the serene beauty of the environment.
On retreat, study is an essential part of deepening your understanding of the teachings and provides the framework upon which you can internalize the meaning of Dharma. During our silent retreats and in the mornings of the partially silent retreats there is ample time to engage in quiet and focussed study.
All of KMC New York’s courses and retreats are completely run by volunteers. All retreat attendees will be asked to volunteer in at least one area each day as part of their retreat commitments. Volunteering is a very important way of creating merit, or positive energy, to help us have a successful retreat and participant volunteering ensures a smooth retreat for everyone.
Taking time to rest is an essential part of enjoying retreat. Take time in the breaks to relax in your accommodation or simply enjoy the peace and quiet within the Temple itself.
Our World Peace Cafe is an integrative part of life at the Temple. During the breaks, it provides a comfortable and relaxing environment to contemplate the teachings and share meaningful conversations. With locally roasted coffee and homemade treats, the cafe is well-loved by retreat goers.