Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Australian Retreat at Myall Lakes 2008

The main retreat of the annual Australian Rigpa retreat at Myall Lakes has just finished. Four hundred people from all over Australia, as well as from the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, attended the ten-day retreat (17th-27th January) with Sogyal Rinpoche.

In the beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Wallis on the east coast of Australia, Rinpoche continued the extraordinary teachings he began in Kirchheim in December 2007 on four methods to overcome difficulties in our daily lives.

With these profound but highly practical teachings, Rinpoche showed how we can use shamatha meditation, the compassion practices of loving kindness and tonglen, contemplation on shunyata and realisation of the true nature of our minds to transform difficulties of all kinds, whether due to outer circumstances or our inner emotions.

In the context of his teachings on these four methods, Rinpoche also taught extensively on bodhichitta, setting out a clear and simple, but complete daily practice.

Sixty-five children also participated in the retreat through Rigpa's programme for children and parents, Rigpe Yeshe. The children, ranging in age from 3 to 18, attended daily dharma and meditation sessions, where they focussed on loving-kindness and stillness. The older children watched some of Rinpoche's earlier teachings, including on meditation and loving-kindness, while some of the teenagers came to Rinpoche's teachings every day. Rinpoche also taught all the children directly.

The retreat now continues for a further two weeks (27 January-10 February) for students following the Home Retreat, an intensive programme of study and practice that allows people at home to participate in the Three Year Retreat currently being held at Rigpa's main retreat centre, Lerab Ling, in France.

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