Lama Zopa Rinpoche offering to pretas and doing Dzambala practice at the lake near Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, where Rinpoche is staying during the retreat, Bendigo, Australia, April 2018. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche continues to give moving and in-depth teachings at the retreat being held at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia. It is now the fifth week of the six-week long Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat. Rinpoche has started the Heruka initiation.

Often teaching two sessions a day, Rinpoche’s has focused extensively on correctly following the guru in thought and action. During the first three weeks, Rinpoche devoted time during many sessions to explaining the meaning of “Lama” from “LAMA TÖN PA CHOM DÄN … ,” the “Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha,” which retreat participants recite everyday. During a teaching in the fourth week, Rinpoche explained the rest of the verse.

Rinpoche has also been teaching on emptiness and how to meditate on it.


Tsog offering during the retreat, Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Bendigo, Australia, April 2018. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

Retreatants start at 5:30 or 6 a.m., taking precepts every other day, then doing morning prayers, prostrations by reciting the names of the 35 Buddhas, and then Lama Chöpa practice led by Ven. Thubten Dechen. In addition to the teaching sessions, there are daily discussion groups.

When Rinpoche isn’t teaching, different Geshes and senior teachers lead, such as Geshe Thubten Rapten, resident geshe at the nearby Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, Geshe Tenzin Zopa, Ven. Thubten Gyatso, Ven. Tony Beaumont, and many others. To close the day, retreatants do protector prayers, Vajrasattva practice, and dedication prayers, wrapping up at 10:30 or 11 p.m.

There are seventy-five Sangha doing the retreat, as well as four Geshes. One participant said that this retreat had been the highlight of her life.

Retreat participants have “great energy and are seriously doing the retreat,” according to Ven. Holly Ansett, who has been making sure the teachings are recorded on video and streamed live online. “Rinpoche is teaching an incredible amount,” Ven. Holly said. “And the teachings themselves have been beautiful and exquisite. They really move the mind.”

Watch Rinpoche teach on “LAMA TÖN PA CHOM DÄN DE …”:

You can watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach during the Bodhicaryavatara and Rinjung Gyatsa Retreat at The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia, March 30-May 12, 2018.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.