At this age of degeneration, the world is in constant chaos. Human minds restlessly pursue material, power and desire. Preoccupied by excessive utility and busyness, people are lost in their secular life with work pressures, feeling extreme deprivations and spiritual emptiness. Buddha’s teachings are the powerful yet clean waters and the timely rain that wash away all secular disputes and obscurations, and help us obtain the true calmness, peace and happiness. Therefore, all sentient beings need the correct practice and comprehension of Dharma from qualified teachers, who guide us through all the sufferings and obscurations to attain the ultimate Buddhahood and the path to the eternal peace and happiness. In the path to the liberation and achieving Buddhahood, it is necessary to combine theory with practice of Buddha’s teachings. Retreat is the most important means of practicing Dharma.
Fully aware of the importance of retreat, with the ripening of his earnest wishes, Rinpoche founded the Samye O-Sel Ling Retreat Centers in the end of 1999 in the sacred place where Guru Rinpoche accomplished Vajrakilaya. Currently there are two retreat centers – one for the long-term and the other for the short-term retreat.
The long-term retreat center has twenty-four self-contained retreat quarters with a main hall for lectures and ritual ceremonies (such as Tsok Offerings). The retreat center is not only open to the Sangha who have completed the curriculum from the Vihara, but also to qualified outside applicants. Before the retreat, H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche carefully reviews each practitioner’s qualifications and conditions, and decides whether they are suitable for a long-term retreat. During the three-year, three-month, and three-day retreat, the practitioners live in solitude and focus on practicing the precious teachings from Rinpoche.
For practitioners to achieve ultimate success during the retreat, they need to meet two conditions. First, they need to receive teachings from accomplished teachers from a pure and unbroken lineage. Second, they need to practice in accordance with the teachings with a strong and unmistaken faith. Therefore, during the retreat, Rinpoche gives each practitioner individual guidance based on their qualifications and conditions until the end of the retreat.
Since the opening of the long-term retreat center, many batches of disciples have completed the three-year, three-month and three-day retreat. Others are waiting to begin the retreat on auspicious dates after Rinpoche grants the teachings and blessings. The wheel of practicing Dharma through retreat will thus continue to turn in the Samye O-Sel Ling Retreat Center.
Rinpoche’s great compassions embrace all disciples longing for practicing Dharma, no matter whether these disciples are lay or monastic. The short-term retreat center, which houses the main hall and eighteen self-contained retreat quarters, provides overseas lay disciples a place for short durations of retreat. Only through rigorous practice during the retreat can disciples realize the teachings they have received. As Rinpoche once expounded, “Dharma has to be realized through diligent practice. Academic research on Dharma is fruitless and only increases one’s arrogance and cognitive obscurations. It does not help one realize Dharma and free him or her from the sufferings of Samsara.”
c2018 - Samye.org.tw All Rights Reserved.