Date: 30th August – 2nd September 2019

Retreat Leader: Mike Murray

Requirements: Suitable for everyone

Cost: Generosity Model – Donation only (no suggested amount). 

Start and Finish times: The course will start at 6pm on the 30th and finish at 2pm on the 2nd. People are welcome to arrive the day before and leave the day after if travelling long distances.

Accommodation: Dormitory beds, double and single rooms will be available at Land of Joy. Camping can be an option at certain times of year if you have your own tent but space is very limited. Beds are allocated based on individual or logistical needs.

About the Retreat

Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels along with not taking ultimate refuge in anything else is said to be what makes someone a Buddhist. When we read about Buddhism, Taking Refuge and The Three Jewels are often mentioned in many different contexts but without much explanation. It can sound like a strange and perhaps archaic thing to do but perhaps that’s because we don’t understand what it means. Even those who have taken Refuge often don’t fully grasp its meaning. 

Therefore, we may have lots of questions such as what are The Three Jewels and what does it mean to take refuge in them? What really changes after someone takes refuge? Does it mean we are not really Buddhist until we have gone through the public ceremony of ‘Taking Refuge’ and does taking Refuge mean I can only hang out with Buddhists and only read Buddhist books, watch Buddhist movies etc if I take refuge?

This weekend will answer these questions and more with time for discussion and reflection, leaving you with an understanding of what the Three Jewels are and what taking Refuge in them really means. 

About the Teacher

Mike is an FPMT registered teacher qualified to teach Buddhist Introductory, Foundational and Basic courses, as well as other Buddhist topics of an equivalent level. He prefers an informal style of teaching, using group interactions, discussion and reflection as ways of helping those attending to get an experiential taste of whatever is being studied and comtemplated on the course.

Mike has around 40 years of experience in Buddhist study and practice in the Tibetan Buddhist Geluk tradition inspired by his main teachers Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Ganden Tri Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin, and Geshe Tashi Tsering, Ganden Zong Rinpoche, Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche, Serje Khensur Jampa Tegchok, Geshe Namgyal Wangchen.

Mike has also studied Buddhism in a more western academic context, studying an M.A. at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University and as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He was incredibly fortunate to visit Central Tibet in 1987 on a British Academy grant just after it opened to tourism and has also visited some of the re-founded refugee Geluk monasteries in India.

Mike most recently worked as the Spiritual Programme Coordinator (with brief spell as Director for a year as well) in the FPMT UK’s London Centre, Jamyang Buddhist Centre.