Diamond Way Buddhism Retreat

Anyone who wishes to continuously benefit sentient beings needs to develop a mature personality. In the independent and advanced West, this desirable state is developed on basis of Buddha's teachings on the Diamond Way level with its close bond of activity and meditation. For almost 30 years, short phases of dissolving with Lamas and Buddhas as well as working with mantras have been beneficial tools for countless friends, both for their present and their future lives. Since many people want to devote more effort to their further development, we introduce the existing retreat centres throughout the world.

In order to make the best possible use of the precious time we have, staying in a location with an existing enlightening field will be very beneficial. Although the state of true existence is the same everywhere, the joyous energy field is emphasized in a place where the seeds have been specifically placed. This helps develop a mental surplus with all the abilities linked to that, and a thorough exploration and cleansing of the consciousness' long term memory will be more effective in such places.

The environment itself has a positive influence so that the practitioner will be less distracted from his/her task at hand. And if the local ‘temple workers’ are friendly and turn out to be capable teachers, the best conditions for the development of body, speech and mind come together.

Milarepa once said: Leaving your home is part of the exercise. Well, for us these steps don't have to be painful! We have known the friends who live at the above mentioned locations for a very long time. They feel that it is important to create a suitable environment for practicing, and this is why they have put together an extensive collection of Dharma-related videos, books, and talks on tapes. One prerequisite for utilizing the full mental potential of such retreats remains the protection of Buddhist refuge and the decision to use the Diamond Way path of the Karma Kagyu lineage.

Differences between a Retreat and daily Meditation

Buddhist meditation shows the mind to the practitioner. It reduces the influence of habits, of external expectations, as well as internalized, solidified patterns. Polishing the 'jewel' - meaning the mind - the practitioner becomes more useful to others.

A retreat of a few days or weeks tremendously amplifies such results by creating more distance to everyday life. The lack of distraction by daily necessities leads to a deeper and more fluid experience of calmness of mind and insight.

Due to the view in Diamond Way Buddhism shorter retreats and daily life blend together excellently and have beneficial effects on each other. During a retreat as a couple, day and night are filled with joy and you gain extra strength for life.

Different Types of Retreats

Each practitioner decides for him- or herself on the duration and content of the retreat. For beginners open retreats with four daily sittings may be advisable: One short sitting before breakfast, two longer sessions before and after noon, and another shorter one in the evening, possibly together with the practitioners of the local centre. Of course it is possible to restrict the number of sessions, but it is advisable to create a daily schedule and stick to it. The remaining time of an open retreat is used to help out in the centre and to engage in an exchange with the people who live there. This type of retreat can be performed at any centre and is well suited for couples.

In closed retreats the practitioner does not talk to others, or he speaks only with certain advisors selected prior to the beginning of the retreat. The practitioner also eats by him- or herself. This type of retreat is recommended for people who are used to meditation and who have a few years experience with Diamond Way meditation.

Meditating alone, or in special cases together with people who are very close, will create space to remove disturbing impressions from the consciousness' long term memory. Since one does not have to be concerned with others while meditating alone, all impressions can naturally arise and evolve in wisdom. The goals for a retreat should be chosen modestly, goals that are set too high may spoil the fun of it.

Some centres offer group retreats. In such a case, some meditations are performed together as a group, and others are practiced alone. Many places offer additional time for questions and answers and/or evening lectures by local teachers, all of which are immensely beneficial. Practicing together as a group and the individual's Buddhist insights that arise during such group retreats create strong connections amongst the participants, and the resulting friendships enable us to benefit others to the fullest of our potential.