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.
Each day of the retreat begins at 6:30am when we take the Mahayana Precepts, promising 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 capacity. Then, we engage in three rounds of prayers, prostrations and mantra recitations. The purification is most powerful if we participate in all the sessions. 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 NEW TO THIS PRACTICE
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 Nyungne 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.
FREE OF CHARGE
Schedule for both Friday April 14 and Saturday April 15:
6:30am Precepts – *Precepts must be taken each day of retreat
7:30-9:00am – Session 1
11:30am-1:00pm – Session 2
3:00-4:30pm – Session 3