Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Christmas Retreat with Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche

Bodhisattvacharyavatara - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life is an important Mahayana Buddhist text based on teaching given by the great Buddhist Master Shantideva around 700 A.D. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche compassionately gave transmission and commentary on this classic teaching during the Christmas Retreat, from 28th Dec 2009 to 1st Jan 2010 at the Pathgate Dharma Centre - Newcastle upon Tyne. The Retreat was only open to formal students of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche who had permission to attend. Participants at the retreat include many overseas students from China, Singapore, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France, Israel, New Zealand, Netherlands and Ireland.

Retreatants receiving Mindrup (Dharma medicine) during Guru Yoga practice

For the benefit of those students who were not eligible to attend the retreat, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche gave open teachings on Living Dharma every morning for seven consecutive days, using many real-time, easy-to-understand examples to guide the students in attaining better understanding on the importance of applying respect in what they do, the urgency in correcting wrong view, the need to develop true mindfulness, the value of having a precious human life and the true significance of what it means to take refuge.

The main teaching of the Christmas retreat, Bodhisattvacharyavatara - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life is an important Mahayana text which focuses on the development of bodhicitta (the mind of awakening) through the practice of the six perfections (Skt. Paramitas), and offers one of the most succinct expositions of the Madhyamaka view. Over the 5-day retreat, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche gave extensive commentary on the first three chapters, explaining the Benefits of Bodhicitta, Confession of Transgressions, and Commitment in Adopting the Mind of Awakening.

Students from around the world

Beginning the teaching with the inspiring life story of Shantideva and his devotion to his Root Guru the Great Bodhisattva Manjushri, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche reminded the students that the most crucial factor in attaining Buddhahood has everything to do with one’s true devotion in Guru Yoga Practice. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche went on to explain the difference between the spirit of aspiring for awakening and the spirit of venturing for awakening; the need to accumulate a good store of virtues; and the importance to decontaminate the mind, so that we may recognise our own true nature and in so doing recognise the nature of all things.

Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche will continue the teaching on Bodhisattvacharyavatara at a 4-dayEaster Retreat from 2nd – 5th April 2010. For those who wish to attend open teaching by Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche, his next open teaching in the UK will be a 2-day Losar Dharma teaching on the Dharmapada Sutra. It will take place on 13th & 14th February. Everyone is welcome to join in with the Pathgate students in celebrating the arrival of the Tibetan Lunar New Year. To find out more about this and other upcoming teachings, please visit Teaching Schedule.