The nyung nä merit field. Original thangka painted by Peter Iseli

Saka Dawa is one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar, commemorating Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing into parinirvana. During Saka Dawa, karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. It is a very powerful time to practice. 

The nyung nä retreat is a two-day intensive practice associated with Chenrezig that includes taking the eight Mahayana precepts for twenty-hour hours, with the addition of complete fasting and silence on the second day. The purifying power of nyung nä makes it an excellent practice to engage in over Saka Dawa. 

In Abiding in the Retreat: A Nyung Nä Commentary, a new book by Lama Zopa Rinpoche forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive this year, Rinpoche explains:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in front of Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Chailsa, Nepal, March 2017. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

“Nyung nä is a practice that is very easy to do and yet has unbelievable power. There is extraordinary benefit in doing nyung näs. Everybody should definitely attempt to do nyung nä practice, this powerful method of purification. You shouldn’t regard nyung nä practice as unimportant and be careless about it. You must practice it, and from your heart you must recite OM MANI PADME HUM.

“Doing this practice is an unbelievably powerful way to collect the most extensive merit and to purify the negative karmas collected during beginningless rebirths. Doing that is a most powerful way to develop realizations, especially compassion for sentient beings. Doing Chenrezig meditation-recitation can really purify any negative karma and is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. Don’t miss the opportunity to do this practice. And the harder you find it to do, the better it is, because you will purify more negative karma. As well as bringing powerful purification, however, it helps you to develop so much compassion for sentient beings. Nyung nä practice is also very effective in healing sicknesses, even those that are difficult to cure, where other methods have been tried and haven’t helped. By confessing to the guru, reciting the Chenrezig mantra and doing nyung näs, people have been cured of such sicknesses. Nyung nä is very powerful.”

This year, Saka Dawa is on June 9. FPMT Education Services would like to remind you about some nyung nä materials available to you:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has also recommended other practices for special multiplying days such as Saka Dawa, including reciting the Sutra Remembering the Three Jewels

Mandala magazine will publish “The Benefits of Nyung Nä Practice,” an excerpt from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s new 2017 book Abiding in the Retreat: A Nyung Nä Commentary, in its upcoming issue, out June 21. Get the next issue of Mandala as a Friend of FPMT.

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