Courses 2020

18-24.02.20 Great Mahakala Puja and Losar Festivities

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Tuesday 18th February at 4:30 PM
Ends: Monday 24th 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 Tuesday February 18th at 4.30 pm and ends on Saturday February 22nd with the burning of the tuntor and a traditional oracle soup in the evening.
We begin celebrating Losar on the 23rd 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 Monday, February 24th 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 Metal Mouse year.


11-14.06.2020 Vajrakilaya Retreat

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Thursday 11th June 2020 at 7 PM (dinner starts 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday, 14th June 2020 after lunch

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

Vajrakilaya, a wrathful manifestation of Vajrasattva, eradicates ignorance and emotional afflictions that cause obstacles in our daily life and our dharma practice. The symbol of the compassionate wrathful activity is the phurpa, a ritual dagger which stabs the obstacles, thereby subduing and transforming their destructive potential. Vajrakilaya in essence represents our own pure inner nature, that was never stained by the turmoils of mental afflictions. The activity of Vajrakilaya is especially effective in pacifying social conflicts and disturbances, and mending breaches of the tantric samaya, like the breaches of the bonds between Vajrayana practitioners.


24-26.06.2020 Ngondro Retreat (‘preliminary practices’)

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Friday, 24th June 2020 at 7 PM (dinner starts 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday, 26th June 2020 after lunch

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

Ngondro is a series of practices for deep purification of the practitioner in preparation for the general Vajrayāna practice, for Mahamudra and for Dzogchen practices. It entails the „Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind“ as common preliminaries, followed by the uncommon preliminaries with going for refuge, prostrations and developing bodhicitta, the Vajrasattva hundred-syllable mantra, mandala offering and guruyoga. Through this practice, karmic hindrances of body, speech and mind stemming from negative deeds are purified that would otherwise block the path to enlightenment.


10-12.07.2020 Milarepa Guruyoga Retreat

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Friday 10th July at 7 PM (dinner at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday 12th July after lunch

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

Jetsun Milarepa had committed serious crimes in his youth and killed with black magic a large part of his family, and he was seized by a desperate remorse. He was looking for a teacher who could show him the way to get rid of the entanglement of the never-ending cycle of existence, and found him in his teacher Marpa.
Marpa treated Milarepa with unimaginable severity before giving Milarepa the meditation instructions he desired. By unwavering faith in his teacher and the great energy with which he gave himself in his practice, Milarepa succeeded in acquiring enlightenment in one lifetime. He is famous for his spontaneous poetic songs in which he gave expression to his profound teachings.

Prayer of serious commitment by Jetsun Milarepa

Son of the lineage of Lord Naropa’s path of liberation,
please bless this beggar that he stay in mountain retreats.
Do not be swayed by the demon of worldly distractions
but deepen meditative concentration.
Without getting caught in clinging to Shamatas pond
May the flower of Vipashyana blossom
Unaffected and untroubled by stress and tension,
Let the foliage of simplicity unfold.
Without the slightest discord in my Retreat
Let the fruit reach maturity – experience and realization.
With the demons family powerless to hinder it,
may I gain final certainty to understand my mind.
On the way of skillful means, unclouded by doubt
may the son find his way in the footsteps of his father.
Blessed and compassionate, essence of Akshobhya,
please bless this beggar to remain in mountain retreats.


24-26.07.2020 Shine and Lhaktong Retreat

Course Instructor:
Lama Kunga Dorje

Course schedule:
Begins: Friday 24th July at 7 PM (dinner at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday 26th July after lunch

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

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.


28-30.08.2020 Chod Retreat

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday August 28th at 7 PM (dinner starts at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday August 30th 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.


18-20.09.20 Ritual Workshop for the daily practices in Halscheid

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday September 18th at 7 PM (dinner starts at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday September 20th after lunch

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

Please bring your ritual instruments, if possible, like bell, vajra, damaru.

Since 2003, the Green Tara puja and the Riwosang Offering are performed in the morning and Mahakala puja and Sur-Offering are performed in the afternoon on a daily basis. In this workshop we are going to learn the ritual aspects of these daily pujas in Halscheid. During a Tibetan puja there are all sorts of offerings – water, smell, food, sound – all our senses are included.

The puja is guided by the umdze or chanting master, who usually plays the cymbals. Depending on the puja, they will be accompanied by other instruments – drums, conch, kangling, radong are the most important ritual instruments. Blessings and offerings at the shrine are performed by the chopen, the shrine master.

We will get to know the different instruments and the organization of the ritual objects on the shrine, familiarize ourselves with the offerings that are performed by the chopen and learn to make some basic tormas.


16-18.10.20 Karma Pakshi Retreat

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday October 16th at 7 PM (dinner starts at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday October 18th after lunch

Course Fee:
150 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.’


30.10.-01.11.20 Preparation for the Three-Year-Retreat

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Friday October 30th at 7 PM (dinner starting at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Sunday November 01st after lunch

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

On this weekend there is the opportunity for the participants of the Three Year Retreat to get more acquainted to each other. We are also going to clarify individual wishes and needs regarding the retreat.  The participants will learn about the rules for the retreat, with special emphasize on the conduct of the dharma brothers and sisters amongst each other. We will clarify the principal procedure for the retreat and discuss possible problems that might arise in the course of the retreat.

This weekend is also meant to explicitely clarify and strengthen ones own motivation for participation in the Three Year Retreat.


07.11.20 Lha Bab Duchen – Beginning of the Three-Year Retreat

Details will follow


26.12.20-01.01.21 Amitabha Retreat with Bardo Puja

Course Instructors:
Lama Kunga

Course Schedule:
Begins: Saturday, December 26th, 2020, at 7 PM (dinner starts at 5:30 PM)
Ends: Friday, January 1st, 2021, 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.