Date: 1st-23rd July 2022

Retreat Leader: Ven Lozang Yönten

Requirements: Everyone is welcome

Cost: Generosity ModelDonation only (via the donation form at the bottom of the page; no suggested amount).

Format: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Land of Joy is currently unable to offer group retreats. As long as this continues all groups retreats scheduled will be offered online.

Start and Finish times: a detailed schedule will be shared beginning of 2022

About the Retreat

Arya Tara (Tib. Drol-ma) the “liberator” swiftly delivers the blessings of the buddhas and bodhisattvas to those who make their mind’s receptive through deep practice, particularly in a retreat setting. She can do this since she is the manifestation of the purified state of action-wind of all the buddhas. We can experience this transformation because we already have Buddha-potential.

During tumultuous times, this practice becomes especially vital for clearing inner and outer obstacles and bringing protection. Through deep retreat practice, we come closer to Cittamani Tara and strengthen our altruistic motivation and ability to more directly benefit ourselves and others.

The retreat of Cittamani Tara is a unique and profound practice of highest yoga tantra highly revered and practiced by Tibetan Buddhists everywhere including our living examples of Tara energy, like His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche as well as other great masters such as Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and the late Chöden Rinpoche and Lama Thubten Yeshe.

This retreat will be led by Bhikshuni Lozang Yönten, a senior nun known for her open and friendly style. There will be room in the schedule for sadhana instruction, discussion and Q & A with Ven. Yönten for those interested, or space for private contemplation and rest for those wanting to minimize interactions and stimuli. Whether retreaters choose to do the retreat in silence or with verbal interaction, warmth and flexibility are the culture we want to cultivate during our time together.

Retreater Requirements

  • The retreat will be structured in the formal Highest Yoga Tantra Enabling Action Retreat format (including the numerical accumulation of mantras and purifying fire puja) so all retreaters will need to have certain prerequisites to participate, this is to enable everyone to maximize their retreat and to not create obstacles for themselves and others:

  • In addition to having taken the initiation you must have maintained your daily Tantric commitment of Six Session Guru Yoga since your last Highest Yoga Tantra Empowerment of any deity. Or, if you are qualified to do and have done self-empowerment of a deity that you have completed an enabling action retreat of, immediately prior to the retreat, this is ok too. For questions related to broken samaya, please see your own Lama for advice before signing up for the retreat.

  • You must attend all four sadhana sessions each day for the duration of the retreat, even if you finish your mantra count early. This is to maintain a supportive group retreat atmosphere.

  • The Sadhana classes, Q & As and discussion group sessions are optional.

  • You must stay within your physical retreat boundary for the duration of the retreat. If you are staying offsite, during the boundary setting session, you will can expand it to include your accommodation and the path you’ll travel each day. Except for emergencies of course.

  • You must have stable mental and physical health.

If you are currently stable but have a history of physical or mental illness, this does not necessarily preclude you from the retreat but TELL US in advance as well as your specific plan for if something happens.

Many types of positive and negative karmas ripen in retreat and so we expect the best but plan for the worst. This information will be kept 100% confidential by Venerable Yönten and the Land of Joy staff but 100% needs to be shared.

Personal Supplies

  • Electronics are permitted but (!!!) only for retreat specific purposes, such as tablets to read Cittamani Tara commentaries off of and morning alarms, however you will need to keep them on airplane mode for the duration of the retreat.

  • You may not send texts or emails, make calls or use social media of any kind during the retreat – what a relief!

  • Bring two Malas; One is your retreat specific mala and it should have its own small bag and be left in the Gompa throughout the whole retreat; The other is for doing your other practices.

  • Dorje and Bell are needed but the Damaru is optional.

  • Bring your inner offering (or bring a small jar with alcohol so that we can add an inner offering pill into it).

About the Teacher

Bhikshuni Lozang Yönten is an American-born Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition who was ordained in 2003. A practicing Buddhist since 1994, Ven. Yönten moved to Chenrezig Institute in Australia and studied intensively under Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering from 2002 – 2009, completing their Buddhist Studies Program. She then continued to study, retreat and offer service at Dharma Centers in India and Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand, becoming an In-Depth Registered Teacher within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 2012.

Ven. Yönten was the Resident Teacher of Kunsang Yeshe Retreat Centre in the Blue Mountains of Australia from 2012 – 2015 before becoming teacher-in-residence six months of the year at Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity in New Zealand until 2018.

Currently, Ven. Yönten divides her time as a touring teacher and retreat leader, as well as annually offering the Buddhadharma from a secular perspective in Israel as a member of the Buddhist faculty for a seven-year post graduate program called Human Spirit which is a Buddhist Psychoanalytic Training Program.

A Way to Say Thank You

As we don’t receive any subsidies from other organisations we rely solely on the kind generosity of others. If you would like to make a donation to help us cover our considerable monthly costs (including via an online bank transfer or postal cheque), please choose the amount you would like to offer using the form below (or enter a custom amount), click ‘Donate’, then choose a payment method and provide all the details we require to process your donation. Your generosity will help us continue to offer beneficial services to yourself and others.

You may also like to make a regular contribution to the centre by becoming a Branch of Joy. This kind of support gifts us a steady and ongoing income, which in turn provides the confidence and means for us to continue to flourish for many years to come.

Thank you and may you be happy.

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