It’s wonderful to see that many people have the good fortune to remain for the retreat. Gen-la Thubten even said it was the best part of the festival! Why is this? It is our opportunity to really take the teachings to heart while being guided in profound meditations.

In each session we are engaging in the Yoga of Great Mother Prajnaparamita, becoming more and more familiar with the preliminary practices and the main practice of self-generation. As Gen Devi said in the first session, by repeating the practice again and again in retreat, there is great hope this practice will not end with the festival. We will be able to continue our Dharma practice when we return home, unifying this wisdom with our daily activities.

Outside we continue to bathe in the warm light of the sun and inside we continue to bathe in the sun of Buddha’s blessings. In the first two meditations, Gen Devi guided us in the meditations on Guru Yoga practice – believing our Spiritual Guide is an emanation of Buddha Shakyamuni. She said this meditation is so easy and so powerful – it transforms our mind in an instant! Through this we deeply enjoy these preliminary practices.

As the day progresses, with each passing meditation session, you can feel everyone’s minds becoming more settled and concentrated. Even while outside in the beautiful weather, a a quiet stillness is growing – a special experience of mental peace arises through mixing our minds with Dharma. We discover this inner light of wisdom truly is the best enjoyment.

The final two meditations of the day emphasized the Tantric practice of self-generation. First, Gen Devi guided us in the blissful meditation of profound Guru Yoga – dissolving Guru Buddha Shakyamuni into our heart. Through this we imagine our body transforms into yellow light and then dissolves into the emptiness of all phenomena. We meditated on this special experience for awhile before arising in the holy form of Great Mother Prajnaparamita in the Pure Land of Akanishta. While maintaining this experience of ourself as a completely pure being, Gen Devi gave us gentle reminders to think, although I have this appearance it is not other than the emptiness of all phenomena. So beautiful.

As the 29th of each month is Protector Day, in the later evening we engaged in a special Wishfulfilling Jewel puja. With Gen-la Dekyong presiding and hundreds of people gathered in the Temple, we made beautiful offerings and heartfelt requests to our Wisdom Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden. Afterwards, every where you looked you saw smiling faces, peaceful minds and good hearts. What a meaningful day we have had!

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