What: Teaching on Nagarjuna’s ‘Letter to a Friend’ When: 15-17 April 2020 Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
Letter to a Friend (Skt. Suhṛllekha; Tib. བཤེས་པའི་སྤྲིང་ཡིག་, shepé tring yik, Wyl. bshes pa’i spring yig) — a shastra by Nagarjuna, which belongs to his Collection of Advice.
Nagarjuna (1st-2nd century A.D.) wrote this celebrated poem as a letter of advice to his friend King Gautamiputra/Satavahana.
This advice gives a concise and comprehensive introduction to the entire path and practice of Buddhism. It guides both householders and the ordained onto the path leading to liberation and enlightenment. The instructions are of special interest to those who wish to take up spiritual activity while continuing to live and work in society; they are meant to convey the whole meaning of the Dharma to the ordinary person in a language and style that are easy to understand.
Despite its short length (123 verses), it covers the whole Mahayana path with unusual clarity and memorable imagery; thus it is widely quoted by Tibet’s great masters and scholars in the many commentaries they have written on the Buddhist path.
“Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend with commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche ”
What: Residential course on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika Where: Dharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India When: 4-14 July 2015 (must attend from the beginning) Language: English (with Hindi translation if requested) Instructors: Roshan Palat and his assistants
Description: A ten-day residential course exploring the rich world of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (one of the most influential of the great classic texts on hatha yoga), through both practice instruction and philosophical explorations.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Skt. haṭhayōgapradīpikā, हठयोगप्रदीपिका; literally ‘Clear Light on Sun-Moon Union’) was written in the 15th century CE by Swami Svātmārāma, a disciple of Swami Gorakhnath, drawing on the great wisdom of earlier yoga texts and synthesizing a definitive work that survived the test of time over centuries. Even today, it is regarded as one of the greatest authoritative sources on Hatha Yoga. In fact, scholars view this text as establishing the very definition of hatha yoga as the term is used today.
This course will cover both practice and theory, including:
Asanas: Instruction and practice in hatha yoga asanas from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Philosophy: Exploration of the profound meaning of the text
Advanced practice elements: Pranayama, mudra, bandha, dharana, and dhyana
What: Introduction and Retreat-Seminar in the tradition of Nondual Kashmir Śaivism When: 15 May 2015 (Introductory seminar) and 16-21 May 2015 (retreat-seminar) Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Dr. Bettina Sharada Bäumer, Varanasi
The Vibration of Consciousness:The Spanda Kārikā with Commentary by Kṣemarāja
A Retreat-Seminar in the tradition of Nondual Kashmir Śaivism
The Spanda Kārikā or “Verses on Vibration” by Vasugupta (9thcentury, Kashmir) is one of the foundational texts of Kashmir Shaivism which teaches the dynamic nature of the Absolute, of the cosmos and of human consciousness. Its Nirnaya Commentary by Ksemarāja, direct disciple of Abhinavagupta (11th century) adds a lucid spiritual interpretation to the concise verses of the text.
Spanda means creative vibration and the inner divine dynamism which pervades everything, and which can be mystically realized in one’s own essential nature. The text teaches an analysis of consciousness and a way to full awakening (suprabuddha).
Two sessions of text teaching daily
4-5 hours of meditation
Walks in nature
Recitation of hymns and ślokas (Sanskrit)
Silence from dinner time till next day lunch included
Note : Silence is essential for the practice of the teaching and for maintaining an atmosphere of retreat.
Requirements for participation:
Basic knowledge of Indian spirituality and philosophy and basic knowledge of Sanskrit is an ideal preparation, though not a necessary condition for participation.
Experience in meditation is a necessary requirement.
Text editions and translations recommended:
Spanda-Kārikās. The Divine Creative Pulsation, ed. and transl. by Jaideva Singh, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1980 ff.
Dyczkowski, Mark S.G. : The Stanzas on Vibration. The Spandakārikā with four Commentaries, Albany: SUNY Series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir, 1992.
Dyczkowski, Mark S.G.: The Doctrine of Vibration, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 2006
Silburn, Lilian: Spandakārikā. Stances sur la vibration de Vasugupta et leurs gloses, (French transl.), Paris: Ed. de. Boccard, 1990.
What: Easter Retreat, “An introductory Buddhist retreat” (View, Meditation, Action) When: 3-5 April 2015 (9am-12noon & 3-5pm) Where: Deer Park Institute, Bir Who: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
An intensive study-practise retreat aimed to introduce new students to Buddhadharma and refresh “old”students!
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a renowned Buddhist teacher, popular worldwide for her warm, clear and down-to-earth presentation of the Dharma and its application in daily life. The inspiring story of her life, including 12 years of secluded retreat in a Himalayan cave, is the subject of a well-known biography, “Cave in the Snow”. Jetsunma is the founder and abbess of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery near Tashijong, H.P (www.tenzinpalmo.com).
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