Preliminary Practice Retreats

The purpose of doing preliminary practices is for you to purify obstacles to achieving realizations of the path to enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings—defilements, negative karmas and downfalls—and collect extensive merit – Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Many of us have been advised by our teachers to complete a certain number of preliminary practices or are aiming to complete the traditional 100,000 of each preliminary. This can seem like a very tall order and difficult to complete, especially if we don’t have a conducive space to do them in.

Our private retreat rooms, retreat huts, Dorje Khadro hut and tsa tsa house are ideal spaces to complete any of the preliminary practices. Please read on for information about a number of the practices and take a look at our private retreat rooms and private retreat hut pages to learn more about the accommodation provided and make a booking if you decide to join us.

Refuge is one of the four major preliminary practices in all four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. If you decide to do your Refuge Preliminary Practice retreat at Land of Joy, don’t hesitate to book your retreat via our Personal Retreat page. As our Personal retreat options are limited, please book well in advance to ensure you can enjoy the best conditions.

You are very welcome to use our library for additional reading, however, please keep in mind the content is limited so be sure to bring any specific texts and commentaries your practice requires.

You are very welcome to do your Mandala Offering Preliminary Retreat at Land of Joy whilst staying in one of our retreat huts or single rooms. Please book well in advance and let us know you intend to do this particular retreat so we can ensure you have enough space to do so.

Please bring your own mandala set and precious stones to offer during the retreat. For a small donation we are very happy to provide rice if that is what you wish to use as your based for visualisation. You are very welcome to use our library for additional reading, however, please keep in mind the content is limited so be sure to bring any specific texts and commentaries the practice requires.

If you plan to come to Land of Joy to do your Preliminary Practice of Prostrations please book well in advance and let us know this is your intention so we can book you into a retreat hut or single room where there will be enough space for you to do full-length prostrations. If you are staying in a room with a carpet we will also provide a prostration board. You are very welcome to use our library for additional reading, however, please keep in mind the content is limited so be sure to bring any specific texts and commentaries the practice requires.

Common to all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, the practice of Vajrasattva is used to purify negative karma, illness, and obstacles to spiritual development, taking around three months to complete the required 100.000 recitations of the mantra. We are very happy to support you during that time, however, we are a small team with many jobs to do, so we require you to have a qualified teacher or appropriate long-term practitioner who is able to support you from afar if you have any questions and/or encounter difficulties. You are very welcome to use our library for additional reading, however, please keep in mind the content is limited so be sure to bring any specific texts and commentaries the practice requires.

Making burning offerings to Dorje Khadro is one of the preliminary practices in the Gelug tradition. We have a small house containing everything needed for the practice including a burning stove, wood, seeds and incense . Therefore, there is no need to bring these with you, however, we will request you to support us by covering the cost of the wood, incense and seeds. Please contact our Spiritual Programme Coordinator (SPC) via spc@landofjoy.co.uk before your retreat starts so we can arrange anything that needs to be purchased before your arrival.

If you wish to complete a Preliminary Practice of Water Bowl Offerings retreat at Land of Joy we are happy to help you set up a suitable space by providing a table & table cloth, small bowls and jugs to fill them with. We also highly recommend purchasing “The Preliminary Practice of Altar Set-Up & Water Bowl Offerings” booklet as a support and resource for your retreat.

Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga

Land of Joy is a great place to do the Guru Yoga Preliminary Practice in accordance with the particular version of guru yoga that you already practice. If you would like to complete the Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga practice as a preliminary retreat you can find plenty of material and commentaries on Lamas Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Tsa-tsas are a form of Buddhist art that has flourished for centuries in the Himalayas, most notably Tibet. Like many Tibetan sacred objects, they are iconographic forms of various buddhas. In Tibet, Tsa-Tsas are made with clay from the earth. These days, more modern and durable materials are used such as plaster or hydrostone.

You are welcome to make a few Tsa Tsas at Land of Joy, however, we do not have anywhere to store those you make onsite. Therefore, you will need to take them with you, ensuring you have arranged somewhere they can be stored appropriately before arriving at Land of Joy. As the place where you can make your Tsa Tsas is a small wooden house without heating or running water, it will only be available for use from late spring or through the summer. For more information please contact spc@landofjoy.co.uk.