Every year, to celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day, we engage in the practice of 1,000-armed Avalokiteshvara, called Drop of Essential Nectar. It is a wonderful meditation on love and compassion, and a deeply effective prayer for world peace. This practice is very beneficial for purifying negative karma and for pacifying delusions. Each day of the retreat begins at 6:30am when we take the Mahayana Precepts. During these precepts, we promise not to engage in negative actions of body, speech and mind for the whole day. We limit our intake of food and drink, with the intention of purifying our negative karma. Each of us does this according to our own capacity. Then we engage in three rounds of prayers, prostrations, and mantra recitations. The purification is most powerful if we participate in all three sessions each day.
You are welcome to join in for just part of the retreat; however, to participate in any of the retreat sessions, you must take the precepts at 6:30am that day. For those of you who are new to this special purification practice, here is some additional information: If you are participating in the traditional way in the 2-day Nyungny retreat, then on the first day you eat only one meal at midday – no breakfast, no dinner, no snacks. You can drink liquids all day, however. There are certain foods we avoid during this retreat, and a list of those foods will be available at the Center. If you participate in the second day, traditionally this is a full fast day – no food or drink at all. But, you can participate according to your abilities (i.e. if there is a medical reason you cannot abstain completely from food or from liquids, then on the second day, you can follow the same format as on the first day – only eating one meal at midday, fluids only the rest of the time).
Precepts – 6:30am each day (Precepts must be taken to participate in this retreat)
Session 1 – 7:30am – 9am (Saturday and Sunday)
Session 2 – 11:30am – 1pm (Sunday 2-3:30pm)
Session 3 – 3pm – 4:30pm (Sunday 4-5:30pm)
- There will also be a short Introduction on Friday night April 13 from 7 – 8pm, but you do not need to attend Friday night to participate in the retreat.
Cost for Retreat: FREE