Courses 2018

10-16.02.18 Great Mahakala Puja and Losar Festivities

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Saturday 10th February at 4:30 PM
Ends: Friday 16th February after lunch

Course fee:
240 Euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

Losar is the Tibetan New Year, a time of auspicious beginnings.
Traditionally this holiday is preceded with a four-day celebration of the longer version of the Mahakala puja. Through the purifying and pacifying powers of the chief Dharma Protector of the Kagyu order, we clear away the negativities of the past year and pray for good luck and the removal of any obstacles in the new.

Mahakala is the wrathful form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion; he provides support for the auspicious development of dharma activities, dharma centers and dharma practitioners everywhere. A short version of the Mahakala puja is one of the daily practices in the Halscheid Retreat Center.

The long Mahakala practice phase starts on Saturday Feb. 10th at 4.30 pm and ends on Wednesday Feb. 14th with a traditional oracle soup in the evening.
We begin celebrating Losar on the 15th at 10 AM with a fire offering puja for the happiness and peace of all sentient beings in the world. We close the evening with a meditation on Avalokiteshvara.
We finish the festivities on Friday Feb. 16th with butter tea and saffron rice and then a delicious Losar lunch, enjoying each other’s smiles and best wishes for a happy and joyous 2145.


29.03.-02.04.2018 Guru Rinpoche – Easter Retreat

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Starts: Thursday March 29, 2018 at 7 PM
Ends: Monday April 02, 2018 after lunch

Course fee:
200 Euro [includes all meals and accommodation]

The Guru Rinpoche Practice “Konchog Chidu” (“The Essence of the Three Jewels“), is a Terma text (treasure text) discovered by the great Terton (treasure finder) Rigdzin Jatson Nyingpo. It has extraordinary power to remove any kind of hindrance.

The special blessing of this sadhana is described in the “Prayer which Radiates the Light of Blessing“, a prayer of devotion to Guru Rinpoche:

„… However – in this degenerate time (these teachings) are a jewel that is poised on the head of a poisonous snake. If I, in these unclear and dark times, make a heartfelt promise with strong longing that stirs the depths of the vajra samaya of the deities of the Three Jewels and the Three Roots, then the extraordinary power of the Lamas – the Holders of the Three Kinds of Transmission, the Yidams and the multitude of the Dakinis, and the ocean of Dharma protectors, as well as through the power of the unchangeable, the truth, the nature and independence of phenomena – will allow the richness of the essential teachings to shine brightly, as the sun and moon bring light into the darkness, and bring to an end the darkening of unjustified attacks. May their victory secure this tradition of deep truth!
The excellent tradition, transmitted by Orgyen Rinpoche and the wisdom holders, has power over the three worlds and subdues the three kinds of existence. It is universally victorious and transgresses all appearances of phenomena. May it spread everywhere!“


17-21.05.18 Khorwa Dongtruk (Red Chenrezig) Retreat with Bardo Puja

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga

Course schedule:
Starts: Thursday, May 17, at 7 PM
Ends: Monday, May 21, after lunch

Course fee:
200 Euro [includes all meals and accommodation]

The bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara [Chenrezig] is the supreme embodiment of the caring compassion of all the Buddhas, an impartial compassion that embraces the entire immeasurable multitude of all sentient beings.

The red, standing form of Avalokiteshvara is known as Khorwa Dong Trug: “He who stirs samsara from its depths.” The meditation practice associated with this deity is known to be especially powerful, and includes a bardo section, helping to lead the consciousness of the deceased to the pure land of Buddha Amitabha.

As part of this special ritual, at the end of the retreat a list with the names of all deceased will be burned. If you send us the names of recently departed friends, relatives or pets, we will include them on the Amitabha list.


15-17.06.18 Vajrayogini – Teachings on Inner and Secret Practice

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course Schedule:
Starts: Friday, June 15, 2018, at 7 PM
Ends: Sunday, June 17, 2018, after lunch

Course Fee:
150 € (includes all meals and accomodation)

Vajrayogini is generally considered the central ‘yidam’ or meditational diety in the Kagyu lineage. She appears in the classic dancing pose of the wisdom dakini as the personification of emptiness, her semi-wrathful naked appearance representing the naked realisation of mind’s nature. Though her dancing posture seems playful, she represents a fearsome and passionate compassion that demands our utmost respect. The Vajrayogini practice requires extensive preparation and study.

An interview with Lama Kunga is mandatory in order to join in this practice phase.


29.06.-01.07.18 Ringu Tulku Rinpoche – Teachings on Shine and Lhagthong

Course Instructor:
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Course schedule:
Begins: Friday 29th June at 7 PM
Ends: Sunday 01th July after lunch

Course fee:
230 Euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche was born in Kham in Eastern Tibet in 1952. Due to the Chinese invasion, he was forced already as a small child to leave his home country. He received his education under the tutelage of H.H. the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa and of H.H. Dhilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Later on, he studied at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim as well as at the Sanskrit University in Varanasi, India. He was the first Kagyu lama to receive the Acharya title at the Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies in Varanasi. In the following course, H.H. the 16th Karmapa awarded him the Khenpo title, and he also received the Lopon Chenpo title (corresponding to PhD) from the International Nyingma Society.

For 25 years he then served as a Professor for Tibetan Studies and as a textbook writer in Sikkim. Since 1990, he undertakes extensive travels all over the world, giving teachings and empowerments. H.H. the 17th Karmapa appointed Ringu Tulku Rinpoche as his representative for Europe. His profound knowledge combined with his deep understanding of the Western World make him into one of the most important mediator for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

Shine and Lhagtong

Shamatha, or as it is called in Tibetan Shine, is the most fundamental and indispensible form of meditation in Buddhism.
On the way to recognizing the ‘true nature of mind which is deep, calm, simple and clear’ there have arisen many different contemplative techniques since the time of Shakyamuni Buddha 2500 years ago. But all of them begin with this very basic method for thoroughly quieting the mind and bringing about real tranquility.
The stable foundation provided by Shamatha or tranquility meditation, and the insight into the emptiness of all phenomena gained by Vipashyana, is the basis for all further developments we can achieve in our practices, whether they be Tonglen, Creation and Completion or Mahamudra/Dzogchen.
Indeed it can be said that no progress can be made without these first fundamental techniques of meditation. This is because the practice of Shamatha meditation is the first crucial step in quieting the mind’s tendency to jump from one thought to another, and to reveal the clarity of one’s own mind. Thus, our mind becomes a perfect tool for observing its own nature, enabling us the insight which will finally lead to a profound transformation of our whole being.


07-09.09.18 Karma Pakshi Retreat with Ganachakra

Course Instructors:
Evelin Dosedla and Gerlinde Lunz

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday September 7th at 19.00
Ends: Sunday September 9th after lunch

Course Fee:
130 euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

It is particularly through the profound practice of Guru Yoga that we are able to connect with the power of the Kagyu lineage masters and quickly receive their blessings.

Karma Pakshi [1204-1283] was the second Karmapa, renowned to this day as an embodiment of Vajrayana crazy wisdom and primordial awareness. In celebrating and supplicating him we invoke not only his bright illuminating energy and miraculous powers but through him, the supreme vitality and continuously unfolding presence of Mahamudra itself.

This weekend retreat will present the Guru Yoga practice of Karma Pakshi in its entirety, including instructions and practice of the sadhana and ending with a traditional Ganachakra or ‘great feast.’


28.09.-02.10.18 Tulku Damcho Rinpoche – Teachings and Empowerments

Course Instructor:
Tulku Damcho Rinpoche

Course Schedule:
Starts: Friday, September 28, 2018, at 7 PM
Ends: Tuesday, October 2, 2018, after lunch

Course Fee:
Fee for the whole course:
• Coure fee including meals and accomodation: 350 € (reduced 318 €)
• Course fee with meals, but without accomodation: 310 € (reduced 278 €)
• Course fee alone (without meals and accomodation): 240 € (reduced 208 €)

Fee for single days:
Whole day (Saturday, Sunday or Monday)
• Course fee including 1x accomodation and 3 meals: 90 € (reduced 82 €)
• Course fee including 3 meals, but without accomodation 80 € (reduced 72 €)
• Course fee alone (without meals and accomodation): 64 € (reduced 55 €)

Fee for single empowerment session:
40 € (reduced 36 €)

Program:
Friday, 28.09.2018
7 PM   Khorwa Dongtruk Empowerment

Saturday, 29.09.2018
10 AM   Preparation of Gyalwa Gyamtso Empowerment
2:30 PM   Gyalwa Gyamtso Empowerment
7 PM   Lung for Gyalwa Gyamtso

Sunday, 30.09.2018
10 AM   Preparation of Khorlo Demchok Empowerment
2:30 PM  Khorlo Demchok Empowerment
7 PM  Lung for Khorlo Demchok

Monday, 01.10.2018
10 AM   Teachings on Könchog Chidü
2:30 PM  Könchog Chidü Empowerment
7 PM   Teachings by Acharya Lama Sönam Tsering

Tuesday, 02.10.2018
10 AM   White Tara Empowerment

Tulku Damcho Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of the great master Lama Tsoknyi by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. At that time he had already lived several years as a monk in the Thrangu Tashi Choling monastery in Kathmandu.

His previous incarnation, Lama Tsoknyi, was an outstanding master of the Thrangu Tashi Choling monastery in Tibet in the time preceding the Chinese invasion. Already in his childhood his natural spirituality became evident. With great devotion he practized 2000 Nyungnes, a special practice of the Thousand-armed Chenrezig. Through this intense practice he gained extraordinary experiences and realizations. He founded new retreat places, renovated old temples and served the dharma with manifold activities.

After his death he was reborn in Nubri in Northern Nepal. From early on he wished to receive the monks vows. After the Thrangu Tashi Choling monastery was established in Kathmandu/Nepal, he insisted to become a monk there. Then, after spending several years as a monk there, he was finally recognized and inthroned as Tulku Damcho.

He was outstanding in his studies and his conduct, and completed the shedra with excellence. A traditional 3-year retreat and a one year Kalachakra retreat followed, which ended in 2007. Asked by Thrangu Rinpoche, he now travels to Karma Kagyu centers all over the world to give teachings and empowerments on a yearly basis.

Empowerments

Khorwa Dongtruk (tr. “Churning the Depths of Samsara”) is a manifestation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. His body is red and stands on a white lotus. Khorwa Dongtruk is a terma, or revealed spiritual treasure, of the great Tertön Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870). It is a particularly powerful practice, and includes a bardo section which aids in bringing the consciousness of the deceased into the pure realm of Amitabha. It was the first empowerment granted by the 7 year old Karmapa shortly after his enthronement in 1992.
At Halscheid it has become a tradition to hold a Khorwa Dongtruk Retreat every year at Pentecost.

Gyalwa Gyamtso, (tr. “Ocean of the Victors”) is a manifestation of Red Chenrezig in union with Vajravarahi, and an embodiment of the ‘ocean’ of Gurus, Buddhas, Yidams, Dakinis and Dharma protectors. This practice is one of the most important within the Karma Kagyu tradition and part of the traditional three-year retreat Yidam practices. The Karmapa is considered an embodiment of Gyalwa Gyamtso, and it is said that the 1st Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa, gained great realization with the help of this practice.
The practice of Gyalwa Gyamtso belongs to the Father Tantras of the Highest Yoga Tantra, which focuses on the development of compassion or skillful means. The lineage of this practice is attributed to Rechungpa, one of the main disciples of Milarepa.

Khorlo Demchok (Skrt. “Chakrasamvara” or “Wheel of Supreme Bliss”) is regarded as the most important Yidam or meditational deity of Vajrayana Buddhism. Khorlo Demchok is the primary Yidam of the Father Tantras, originating in the meditation practices of the 84 Mahasiddhis of India and passing to Tibet from the great siddha Naropa to his disciple Marpa and to Milarepa. It has subsequently remained the pinnacle practice of the Karma Kagyu. Khorlo Demchok’s body is blue in color with twelve arms and four faces, each gazing in one of the four cardinal directions, but is often depicted in his more simple one-faced, two-armed form in union with his Wisdom Consort Vajravarahi: their embrace symbolizing the union of wisdom and skillful means.

Konchok Chidu (“The Embodiment of All Precious Jewels”) is a Guru Rinpoche practice – a terma discovered by the great Terton Jatsen Nyingpo (1585-1656) – which encompasses all the Three Roots: the outer peaceful Padmasambhava the Guru, the inner wrathful Padmasambhava as the Yidam, and the secret Padmasambhava in the form of Simhamukha as the Dakini. Konchok Chidu is a very profound and wide cycle of teachings, and one of the most direct ways of accomplishing Padmasambhava’s mind.
At Halscheid we practice the short form of this Terma, which focuses on Guru Öbar, the Peaceful Guru.

White Tara, (Skrt. Cintachakra “Wish-fulfilling Wheel”) is the female Bodhisattva Tara who embodies long life, healing and serenity. With her seven wisdom eyes in head, hands and feet, she sees the suffering of beings in all realms of existence and the three times, and like a loving mother comes to the aid of all who need and call to her. As a focus for tantric deity yoga, the practice of Tara can be traced back to Yeshe Tsogyal and Padmasambhava, and to this day is widespread in all Dharma schools in Tibet. Many of the great masters of Vajrayana Buddhism have chosen her as their personal yidam, including the present Dalai Lama.


05-07.10.18 Chod

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday October 5th at 7 PM
Ends: Sunday October 7th after lunch

Course Fee:
150 euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

The practice of Chöd is taught by all Tibetan Buddhist schools. It is an extremely effective method for cutting the tight net of ego fixation that binds us to the endlessly turning wheel of suffering. The key point of this ‘cutting-through practice’ is bringing deluded mind directly to its inherent pure nature, by recognizing it as equivalent to the enlightened state of the ‘Great Mother Prajnaparamita’.

Through training in the method known as ‘Opening the Door to the Sky’ we experience a state beyond duality and intellectualisation synonymous with Mahamudra. Simultaneously we develop limitless, impartial generosity free from ego-clinging.


07-09.12.18 Ngondro of the Six Yogas of Naropa

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday October 5th at 7 PM
Ends: Sunday October 7th after lunch

Course Fee:
150 euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

The Six Yogas or Six Dharmas of Naropa (Naro Chödruk) originate from the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa (956-1040), who was one of the forefathers of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Six Yogas practices comprise Inner Heat (Tummo), Illusory Body (Gyulü), Clear Light (Ösal), Dream Yoga (Milam), Transference of Consciousness (Phowa) and Intermediate State (Bardo).

This first part of the teachings on the Six Yogas will introduce the next practice phase of the Three-Year Retreat, which starts December 17, 2018 at 7 PM.


14-16.12.18 Vajrayogini Sangha Practice and Firepuja

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday, December 14th, at 7 PM
Ends: Sunday, December 16th, after lunch

Course Fee:
150 euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

Vajrayogini is generally considered the central ‘yidam’ or meditational diety in the Kagyu lineage. She appears in the classic dancing pose of the wisdom dakini as the personification of emptiness, her semi-wrathful naked appearance representing the naked realisation of mind’s nature. Though her dancing posture seems playful, she represents a fearsome and passionate compassion that demands our utmost respect. The Vajrayogini practice requires extensive preparation and study.

To conclude the practice phase of Vajrayogini, we will perform an intense common sangha practice, which ends with a fire puja.


6.12.18-01.01.19 Amitabha Retreat with Bardo Puja

Amitabha Retreat – Sadhana Practice, Ganacakra, Bardo Puja and Riwosang

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Wednesday, December 26th, 2018, at 7 PM
Ends: Tuesday, January 1st, 2019, after lunch

Course Fee:
240 euros [includes all meals and accommodation]

To spend the time at the turn of the year in a meaningful way for us as well as for others, we will meet again this holiday season for our annual Amitabha Retreat.

Amitabha Buddha is the meditation deity associated with the divine realm of Sukhavati (tib: Dewachen). He is called “Buddha of Limitless Light”, because his activity permeates all clouded states of our being and clears away all suffering.

By doing Amithaba practice – reciting mantras, prayers and practising the sadhana – we can support those who have departed this life on their further path, clear away states of suffering in ourselves and others, and help to create an auspicious compassionate foundation for the coming year. Those of us who have lost someone dear can dedicate the positive merit of the retreat to them, as well as to all other sentient beings.

For those who have passed away in the course of the past year, there will be a special ‘bardo puja’ on the 31st of December. On the morning of New Years Day we will celebrate the beginning of the year with an auspicious ‘Ribosang,’ a smoke offering ritual for happiness and world peace.

If you would like to have deceased persons or animals be included in the prayers and the practice, you can send us the names to include in our list.