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Building the Manjushri Retreat Center

Creating conditions for retreat for everyone

Manjushri Fellowship – One Buddhist Family

Manjushri Retreat Center, Thailand – Vajrayana Retreat for Everyone

“Our aim is to make the deepest and most precious practice experiences of our lineage available to more practitioners than ever before.”

The retreat center is part of Manjushri Fellowship, a Rimed Buddhist family, and follows and actualises our vision of fostering true Buddhist practice beyond the boundaries of vehicles, schools, or lineages.

For many years... (click to continue reading)

For many years lay students have been yearning and requesting to do retreats and deepen their practice along the most profound curriculum within the constraints of normal lives. Deeply inspired by the Rinpoches’ joy and enthusiasm, Dharma brothers and sisters have been asking again and again, “would it be possible to work our way through the three-year-retreat curriculum in bits and pieces without having to do three years in one go? Even if it takes two or three times that long it would be so wonderful, and we just don’t have the conditions to join the three-year retreat.”

The wish and aspiration to practice in retreat is strong and widespread. Conditions for retreat on the other hand have been a different matter, altogether.

Nepal is a wonderful country and the JCM in Pokhara, KIBS in Kirtipur, and the nunnery up in Mukhtinath with their Dharma energy are incredible places for practice. Between visa issues, half-days without electricity and half-weeks without water, the reality of conditions for those not quite on a renunciation par with Milarepa can be daunting, though.

Still the wish is strong to be able to do retreats in Nepal, or anywhere, really!

And as if those prayers have been heard somewhere, along comes the Manjushri Retreat Center project in Thailand. Close enough to Bangkok to be within easy reach from anywhere in Asia, even in the world, really, yet far enough away from everything to provide the seclusion needed for true retreat, this place will be the ideal practice destination for anyone looking to deepen their practice without having to move, ah, climb mountains.

“It fills me with greatest joy and happiness to finally see the fruition of many years of wishes and aspirations. Every time I teach (or open my email for that matter) I receive requests by lay dharma brothers and sisters who seriously wish to practice more deeply than is possible in daily life but don’t have conditions to join one of the long traditional retreats. Our main places for such retreat so far have been limited and were located in Nepal where outer conditions can be quite difficult. With the development of the Manjushri Retreat Center we will be able to offer the priceless opportunity for retreat to many more students than ever before.

Please join me in thanking all those who have contributed, are contributing, and will be contributing to conditions for this project’s fruition, rejoicing in their aspirations, their generosity, and their merit!

May the Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand be vastly fruitful and beneficial and may all retreatants and sponsors swiftly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings!

Yours in the Dharma, Dupseng Rinpoche.”

“Temples, viharas and retreat-centres for the Buddhadharma are built to benefit participants and visitors enabling them to access the timeless teachings of Lord Buddha. May every participant and visitor find what they are looking for in order to have the means to help and support their families, friends, communities, societies and the world as such.

May the establishment of the Manjushri Retreat Center benefit all sentient beings.

Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.”

“I am very happy indeed about the establishment of a retreat centre in Thailand under the Manjushri Fellowship.

Dharma is the true cause of happiness that is needed even more in today’s world. True dharma is the application of the Buddha’s teaching on a daily basis. One sign of correct dharma application is one could feel the development of true wisdom.

The purpose of the retreat centre is to create opportunities for anyone to learn from qualified masters and to practice at same time.

Dupseng Rinpoche conceptualized the retreat centre and with help from devotees, the project has finally materialized. Dupseng Rinpoche and myself will be responsible for this new retreat centre as we already are for various monasteries and retreat centres in Nepal and other countries as well. It is my fervent wish that this retreat centre in Thailand will benefit practitioners around the world. This is a part of dharma gift to everyone. May it be auspicious and may the purest Buddha Dharma, particularly Karma Kagyu tradition, flourish.

Bhavatu sarva mangalam.

Shangpa Rinpoche.”

“Temples, viharas and retreat-centres for the Buddhadharma are built to benefit participants and visitors enabling them to access the timeless teachings of Lord Buddha. May every participant and visitor find what they are looking for in order to have the means to help and support their families, friends, communities, societies and the world as such.

May the establishment of the Manjushri Retreat Center benefit all sentient beings.

Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.”

“I am very happy indeed about the establishment of a retreat centre in Thailand under the Manjushri Fellowship.

Dharma is the true cause of happiness that is needed even more in today’s world. True dharma is the application of the Buddha’s teaching on a daily basis. One sign of correct dharma application is one could feel the development of true wisdom.

The purpose of the retreat centre is to create opportunities for anyone to learn from qualified masters and to practice at same time.

Dupseng Rinpoche conceptualized the retreat centre and with help from devotees, the project has finally materialized. Dupseng Rinpoche and myself will be responsible for this new retreat centre as we already are for various monasteries and retreat centres in Nepal and other countries as well. It is my fervent wish that this retreat centre in Thailand will benefit practitioners around the world. This is a part of dharma gift to everyone. May it be auspicious and may the purest Buddha Dharma, particularly Karma Kagyu tradition, flourish.

Bhavatu sarva mangalam.

Shangpa Rinpoche.”

“It fills me with greatest joy and happiness to finally see the fruition of many years of wishes and aspirations. Every time I teach (or open my email for that matter) I receive requests by lay dharma brothers and sisters who seriously wish to practice more deeply than is possible in daily life but don’t have conditions to join one of the long traditional retreats. Our main places for such retreat so far have been limited and were located in Nepal where outer conditions can be quite difficult. With the development of the Manjushri Retreat Center we will be able to offer the priceless opportunity for retreat to many more students than ever before.

Please join me in thanking all those who have contributed, are contributing, and will be contributing to conditions for this project’s fruition, rejoicing in their aspirations, their generosity, and their merit!

May the Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand be vastly fruitful and beneficial and may all retreatants and sponsors swiftly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings!

Yours in the Dharma, Dupseng Rinpoche.”

Impressions from The Construction Site

The first building will be the central Stupa

Be part of this wonderful project, share in the merit and wisdom of retreat!

What is retreat and why do we need it?

To be able to focus on practice for a while, to be free from distractions of worldly life, and systematically develop on the path, that is retreat. Eventually, of course, practice becomes all-pervasive and there is nothing we do even in daily life that is not practice of dharma. On the way there, however, there are steps that are easier to take if we can focus on them without distractions, give them our full attention and energy for a while.

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Retreat is important in all Buddhist traditions as a means to to train without distraction, to develop and practice renunciation. And as such Manjushri Retreat Centers are open to all Buddhists for their personal retreats, following the vision of the Manjushri Fellowship.

In Vajrayana, even more than in other Buddhist traditions, a certain amount of retreat is indispensable if we want to fully realize the potential of the fastest and most thorough of paths. The core method of taking the fruit for the path and “getting used to” our own Buddha-nature already being there requires us to overcome extremely strong habits of taking worldly perceptions for “reality.” And every time we interact with society, with socially constructed reality, every time we open a newspaper, browse the Internet, watch TV, or even take a walk in a city, we expose ourselves again and again to those habits. This is real. You need to own this. You have to be afraid of that. And every time we follow one of those impulses even with a single thought, we strengthen our deluded habits.

Retreat allows us to immerse ourselves in the “getting used to” enlightened reality and eventually emerge on the other side where we can be within samsara (and even function there) without being moved by it anymore, without losing our awareness at every turn.

The traditional three-year-three-month retreat in Vajrayana is designed to serve three purposes. Firstly, to allow the retreatant to attain realization and mastery, secondly to train lamas in everything they need to guide and teach others as well as, thirdly, lead all traditional practices, *and* to go through the complete process of transformation and realization. The curriculum serves all three ends, however without the need to be able to lead all traditional practices and ceremonies a subset of the complete curriculum is much preferable as it allows more depth and focus.

Of course the traditional time of three years and three months is not arbitrary, either. According to the teachings that time is one complete cycle of physical and mental renewal. So in a way, after that time in retreat everything that can be said to constitute you has arisen within the retreat. Which means after that time you are born from dharma practice. This effect cannot be achieved piecemeal without spending a lot more time than three years in total in retreat.

However that is about the only limitation when transferring the curriculum from the context of a long-time closed retreat to a more modular and open context.

After many years of wishes, aspirations, and requests, this precious opportunity is now poised to come to a much more accessible location. Near one of the biggest airports in Asia, easily traveled to not only from anywhere in South-East Asia but even from Europe and Australia, Manjushri Center Thailand is going to bring the possibility of retreat to more Dharma brothers and sisters than ever before.

Retreat at Manjushri Center

Students will receive initiations and instructions as they need them as they progress along the path, whether they simply want to complete a ngondro or immerse themselves in one particular practice, or whether they want to really go through the whole development traditionally entailed in the three year retreat.

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A complete set of practices, a curriculum focused towards realisation and development can look something like this:

  • ngondro
  • guru yoga
  • 7-point mind training
  • shamatha
  • vipashyana
  • yidam
  • protector
  • optionally one of the six Naro-yogas
  • mahamudra

The full program of the traditional three-year retreat is of course far broader as it has an additional aim. The graduates (‘lamas’) are expected to be able to lead any practice in traditional ways and contexts as well as guide others no matter what their particular practices. As such it entails 43 different practices. And all these will be available at the retreat center to choose from. (Of course based on practitioners’ prior experience, development, and realisation.)

For most of us the goal won’t be to be able to lead any and all sadhanas, practices, and ceremonies for groups of lamas and lay practitioners and guide students through all six Naro-yogas, etc.. For most of us the aim is to attain realization. For the benefit of all sentient beings, of course, but still, realization. And just like you cannot drill a deep well by starting a hundred shallow holes, it is better to stick with one method (or a curriculum of complimentary methods) to drill all the way through than to spend a little bit of time on each of too many interchangeable methods and never get much of anywhere. Except maybe disheartened.

So, after the preliminaries one each of guru, yidam, and protector is enough to drill the deepest and most productive well of wisdom.

With only a few months here, a few weeks there, and maybe half a year every now and then, a program like that feels much more doable than the whole hog of 43 practices. After all, in the three-year-retreat the supporting energy and the overall process make it possible to get through that much work in the time allowed, but in shorter retreats, when we do it piecemeal, it can take considerably longer to accomplish results in each practice.

In short, the Manjushri Retreat Center will create the best possible conditions for lay dharma brothers and sisters to do as long or short retreat as they can and need to progress on the path.

The details will vary in as many ways as there are practitioners, of course. Just like the Buddha gave us 84,000 teachings because there are so many different needs among sentient beings, the multitude of practices in Vajrayana is an a-la-carte menu of choices rather than a gala dinner with 43 courses that you have to somehow ingest in total.

Building the Center

The land is has been offered, the plans drawn, permissions acquired, the earth moved and ground prepared, and the construction has begun.

The building project will progress in 3 stages, with a minimum configuration in stage 2 allowing to start operations on a limited scale, and thanks to the generosity of the benefactors who have made this possible at all the development is currently funded well beyond stage 2, so that Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand is certain to start operation as planned.

 

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When the plans are completely realized (all 3 stages built) the center will comprise four buildings with a total of forty retreat rooms that can serve either one or two practitioners each. All rooms have an attached bathroom as well as a small kitchenette and are fully equipped for closed retreat.

For communal practices, initiations, teachings, and ceremonies the center will have a large shrine hall in the Tibetan style, complete with statuary, kangyur and tengyur.

To best accommodate the Rinpoches’ work, two separate quarters are planned for them.

Communal kitchen, dining hall, group activities room (e.g., yoga), buildings for reception, caretakers, etc., complete and round out the infrastructure.

The central stupa is already being built (stage 1) and will be completed first as a source of immeasurable merit and a focal point for the Buddha’s blessings.

The second stage will comprise two of the retreatants’ apartment buildings (20 rooms), the shrine hall, kitchen and dining hall, and one of the Rinpoches’ quarters, so that operations can start as soon as stage 2 is complete.

The Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand is scheduled to open for retreatants towards the end of 2017. The detailed schedule for the opening of the different stages as well as the Grand Inauguration Ceremony are still being planned and will partially depend on the fundraising progress.

Follow your aspirations to support or practice!

Raising Funds to Raise Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand

We rejoice in the merit and generosity of the wonderful sponsors who support the building and development of the Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand. The land has been offered for Rinpoche’s work and the same beloved benefactor (who wishes to remain anonymous at this time) has committed a significant part of the building and development budget. Other sponsors have already pledged and offered a significant further part of the required budget. We are deeply grateful and rejoice with them!

A project of... (click to continue reading)

A project of this size, however, offers plenty of opportunity for sponsorship and support beyond these initial gifts.

As it is taught the sponsor and the yogi will reach enlightenment together and the yogi’s merit is shared equally with the sponsor. Considering how many dharma brothers and sisters will be doing retreat and progress towards the ultimate goal at Manjushri Retreat Center, we are very happy to offer this opportunity to support the development as well as operations and maintenance of the center.

Beyond the merit such a sponsorship entails there is another very specific karmic effect. If you would like to be able to do retreat at some point in your development, sponsoring the development of retreat for others is a perfect karmic seed to plant.

We rejoice with each and everyone who supports this project in any way and are deeply grateful to our beloved sponsors (past, present and future) for creating the material conditions for its fruition!

The building, development, and operations of the Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand require significant financial resources. To that end we welcome any and all donations.

If you would like to make a donation right away, please transfer to the following account, making sure to state “Thailand Retreat Center” in the purpose message:

Account name: The Vimalakirti Project Ltd.
Account number: 817-432867-838
SWIFT Code: HSBCHKHHHKH
HSBC Hong Kong

(This is a friendly organization that is helping us process donations while we are still setting up the organizational infrastructure in Thailand.)

Beyond that, conditions for the success and fruition of a project like this also entail a lot of non-monetary support. There are many ways to join the effort of creating the Manjushri Retreat Center Thailand, and each and every one of them is welcome and wonderful. Join the mailing list, like the Facebook page, spread the word online and offline, and leave a rejoicing, supporting, or aspiring comment here or on Facebook. If you have any suggestions how you might support the project in other ways, please contact us.

If you like, you can make an offering right here by clicking the button below. This will bring you to PayPal where you can make your offering using credit cards or a PayPal account.


(Alternatively, for bank information expand the box above.)

And of course, including the project and all future retreatants in your wishes and prayers in your daily practice, giving rise to the motivation and aspiration of bodhicitta, that alone is infinitely valuable and powerful support.

About the Manjushri Fellowship

Manjushri Fellowship – a Rimed Buddhist Family is the international umbrella of Dharma activities of Dupseng Rinpoche and Shangpa Rinpoche.

Under the spiritual auspices of His Holiness Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, Manjuishri Fellowship is following the non-sectarian approach of the great Rimed movement.

A website for the Manjushri Fellowship is currently being developed. Meanwhile, please use the contact form on their temporary homepage to get in touch with any questions or feedback.

 

Raise your voice to help raise Manjushri Retreat Center!

Dupseng Rinpoche

Dupseng Rinpoche has been a retreat master in his three lives. The 3rd and current Dupseng Rinpoche is the retreat master at the 3-year-retreat center Karma Ngedon Palbar Ling in Sarangkot, near Pokhara, Nepal. He is also the abbot at Jangchub Choeling Monastery in Hemja, near Pokhara. Most importantly, though, he is the beloved and venerated teacher of many lay and monastic students and practitioners in five monasteries and dozens of centers in Nepal and around the world. He travels the world teaching and guiding his students many months each year, and gives public teachings at KIBS in Kirtipur, near Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as at KIBI in Delhi, India.

Find out more about Rinpoche and his activities on his website.

Shangpa Rinpoche

Shangpa Rinpoche is the reincarnation of the First Shangpa Rinpoche whose compassionate activities have touched many in Tibet and Nepal. At the age of eleven, he was ordained as a monk by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, who bestowed him the name Karma Shedrub Chokyi Sengge, which means “The Dharma Lion of Knowledge and Practice”. At present, Rinpoche is the Abbot of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre Singapore. He is responsible for a number of monasteries and nunneries in Nepal and India and teaches within the Karma Kagyu lineage of Vajrayana under HH 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje.

Find out more about Rinpoche on his website.

Join the Manjushri Retreat Center Project

 

There are many ways to join or support this project. For instance, go on retreat yourself, of course, as soon as the center is open. Rejoice in the center project and all the activities there. That’s free merit waiting to be picked up right there. And, of course, with a project of this magnitude and magnificence, there’s always the possibility to contribute.

Share and spread the merit

Use the share and like buttons here on the page to let others know of this wonderful project. Like the Manjushri Facebook page.

Don't want to wait? Get in touch with us now!

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Share your rejoicing or aspirations right here for all to see!

7 Comments

  1. Cynthia Breman-Rooke

    Congratulations! Excellent news. So happy 😀 All good wishes.

    Reply
  2. richard zanella

    dear rinpoches. i am very happy that you found a place in thailand for this wonderful retreat center. may many peoples are getting good inprints in there mind and may the buddhadharma make many peoples happy. lets help all together to make this center a place for the good of all sentient beings.
    ricky

    Reply
  3. Andreas

    Thank you all- a wonderful place for all of us! We really appreciate! Best wishes for the projekt!

    Reply
  4. Joachim Heng

    Sending best wishes for this wonderful project, may many beings benefit from this amazing effort. My support and aspirations accompany this beautiful project. Thanks to all, who make this possible. Best wishes and Greetings from Berlin.

    Reply
  5. moby

    ดีใจ

    Reply
  6. Buay

    Rejoicing with the development of the centre ! Sadhu, sadhu sadhu

    Reply
  7. Yabin Yap

    Rejoice for this project and may Asian practitioners who would like to dedicate their life for more serious and deeper practice of Buddhism would take this opportunity.

    Reply

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