Thursday, 7 January 2010

24th Annual German Retreat at Kirchheim, The End of an Era?

Rigpa's annual German retreat, held at Kirchheim, possibly for the last time, has just ended. The 10-day retreat (27 December-6 January) was led by Sogyal Rinpoche.

About 750 people attended the retreat and, as usual, they came from all over Europe and the world.

Rinpoche taught on Dzogchen.

Also, his most recent teachings, including from the December retreat in Lake Tahoe, California, were shown so that everyone is up to date with his current teaching cycle. In addition, there were periods for study and reflection and group meditation practice sessions. The wonderful team of Rigpa Instructors, supported by an equally wonderful team behind the scenes, led all of these sessions.

Rinpoche also gave a special teaching to the children, many of whom followed the children's retreat organised by Rigpa's programme for families, Rigpe Yeshe.

On New Year's Day, in a most powerful way to start the new year, Rinpoche taught on, and gave a tendrel nyesel empowerment, which was video-streamed live to Lerab Ling and more than 50 Rigpa centres around the world. The Australian sangha stayed up till 2am for it, and students gathered in Uppsala, Sweden, Montreal, Dzogchen Beara and across Ireland, all over Europe, as well as in Taiwan and the US. All in all, 300 people received the empowerment via the video-streaming.

The German winter retreat has been held at Kirchheim, at the SeePark Hotel, for the past 24 years, but at the end of the retreat Rinpoche said that it is possible that the retreat will be held somewhere else in Germany next time. So, the whole assembly joined him in thanking the manager of the Hotel and all her staff for their extraordinary care in looking after Rigpa for all these years.

A new venue for the retreat has not been chosen yet.

After the retreat, Rinpoche taught for two days in the Paris centre. Next stop for him is Australia and the annual Myall Lakes retreat, which starts this week (16 January). Go to Rigpa Australia's website for information about the Myall Lakes retreat and all of Rinpoche's teaching events in Australia.

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