Information about Nyungne:

Dear friends:

Nyungne is a practice of the eleven-faced, 1000-armed form of Buddha Loving Eyes – Chenrezig. Loving Eyes is the embodiment of all love and compassion of all Buddhas of the past, present and future in the form of bodhisattva. By his very nature he is a great bodhisattva who benefits all beings continually. For this reason Loving Eyes is regarded as the source of all blessings.

The lineage history begins in VIII century with Gelongma Palmo, formerly known as princess Lakshminkara, the daughter of King Indrabuthi of Uddiyana, and continues up to Gyalsay Tomgay (author of Thirty-Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas) who transmitted the Nyungne so widely that it became part of all major Tibetan lineages, and continues to this day.

The literal meaning of Nyungne is “abiding in the fast”. Fasting is indeed an important part of Nyungne but, as you will see, it is only one feature of this rich and complex practice. This is a very strong purification practice, where we on one side get rid of a lot of old stuff from our store consciousness and on the other side we build up a great  mass of good impressions and merit, which is very useful on our way to enlightenment. Here we generate supreme altruistic motivation of boddhicitta as the internal basis for our practice.

Nyungne is a retreat, in which we focus on meditation. During the practice all the participants stay in the power field we create. Since this is Kriya Tantra practice, ritual aspect is emphasized which includes high degree of cleanliness, both personal and of the place. We also follow certain rules like not smoking cigarettes, not drinking alcohol and eating vegetarian which also includes not eating, drinking and speaking on the second day of the retreat. If it is necessary, some exceptions can be made for participants, for example in case of health reasons.

About the transmission:

My name is Vesna Chavich and I’m Lama Ole’s disciple since 1994.
Some years ago, Renate Scholz, who is doing Nyungnes in Diamondway centers around the world for many years, asked me to help her with many practice requests. After Lama Ole gave his blessing, in 2006 I went to Montchardon, France, where I’ve got the transmission by doing so called “White Nyungne” – 8 Nyungne’s in a row.
I do Nyungne retreats with friends since 2008.

 

Program

Evening before actual retreat:

Introductory lecture – talk about Loving Eyes, benefits of Nyungne practice together with basic instructions and explanation about promises. For those who do the Nyungne for the first time, presence at the introductory lecture is obligatory. It is also open for those who will not attend the retreat. Before the explanations we will prepare the altar and the thormas for the retreat.

1st day:

6.oo – 9.oo      promises, meditation
9.oo – 1o.oo    rice soup or oat porridge
1o.oo – 13.3o  meditation and questions/answers concerning the meditation practice
13.3o – 16.oo  lunch, break
16.oo – 18.oo  meditation
18.oo – 19.oo  break
19.oo – 2o.oo  finishing the last session, Mahakala,
2o.oo —          explanations, questions/answers 

2nd day:

6.3o – 8.oo      promises, meditation
8.oo – 9.oo      break
9.oo – 12.oo    meditation
12.oo – 15.oo  cleaning the place, break
15.oo – 17.oo  meditation
17.oo – 18.oo  break
18.oo –  2o.3o finishing the last session, Mahakala, dharma movie.

Second day is the special Nyungne – day, when we don’t eat, drink and speak, just focussing on the meditation. In breaks we can rest, read books, write something, give massages or go for a walk. It’s good idea to watch some dharma movie after the last session.

NOTE: Even though promises expire next morning, we don’t drink until we break the fast with the rice soup.

3rd day (beginning of 2nd Nyungne):

6.oo – 7.oo      promises, meditation
7.oo – 7.3o      rice soup or oat porridge
7.3o – 9.oo      meditation
9.oo – 1o.oo    break
1o.oo – 13.3o  meditation, Q&A
13.3o – 16.oo  lunch, break
16.oo – 18.oo  meditation
18.oo – 19.oo  break
19.oo – 2o.oo  finishing the last session, Mahakala,
2o.oo —          questions/answers

NOTE: Those who do one Nyungne, rinse their mouth with the purifying nectar in the morning but they enter gompa only after the rest of us take promises, and stay until the end of first session (9.ooh). 

 4th day:

6.3o – 8.oo      promises, meditation
8.oo – 9.oo      break
9.oo – 12.oo    meditation
12.oo – 15.oo  cleaning the place, break
15.oo – 17.oo  meditation
17.oo – 18.oo  break
18.oo –  2o.3o finishing the last session, Mahakala, dharma movie

5th day:

6.oo – 7.oo      meditation (no promises)
7.oo – 7.3o      rice soup or oat porridge
7.3o – 9.oo      meditation – finishing practice

The very last session we can also start very early, so that people can leave for work, if necessary. Session takes approximately 3 hours. During the session we’ll have a rice soup or oat porridge as first meal after fasting.
At the end of the retreat we should have a good, rich breakfast, non vegetarian.
(It is not necessary, but comfortable to have some time for relaxation, if you can arrange this with your work.)


General questions / answers:

 Can new people come to the retreat?

Yes, if they have Refuge. However, they should know that we practice 9 hours each day, that participant’s presence at every session is required and that it is not possible to leave in the middle of practice, before the promises we take every morning expire. Having this in mind it’s easy to understand recommendation from Lama Ole that this practice is mostly for practitioners who at least have been doing Ngondro for a while. However, if they like to meditate and really like Chenrezig – they’re welcome!

Is it possible to join on 2nd Nyngne?

Yes, for those who have done Nyungne before. Explanation about practice and promises attached to it is necessary for newcomers and, if they come only for 2nd Nyungne, I can not give it in time  because of promise to keep silent on 2nd day and morning of the 3rd day. Exceptions are possible but it must be checked beforehand with the organizers and me.

 What if someone doesn’t have  time for the whole retreat?

If someone really has no time for the whole retreat (meaning at least one whole Nyungne which is two and a half days), it is possible to make a half Nyungne. It means to stay full 1st day and until the end of first session on the 2nd day. However, this should be only in special cases and only for those who have done Nyungne before.

For the meals:

All meals are strictly vegetarian (without eggs, garlic, onions and/or strong spices).
In accordance with the Sojong promises (taken in the morning session), on the first and third day of retreat, one can only eat the food served on the table and therefore not to help oneself in the kitchen or in the reserve. After lunch no solid food can be eaten until we break the fast on the morning after strict day. The big breakfast (after we finish retreat) is non vegetarian and nice and rich.

The place:

All participants sleep in the retreat place. Generally we don’t use gompa for that purpose but, as you know, everything is art of what’s possible.
Since we do some prostrations during the retreat, it’s useful to have enough fresh clothes. As I already mentioned, this is Kriya tantra practice so the ritual aspect is emphasized. It means that both retreat place and us should be very clean and tidy – we should treat it as if Karmapa or Chenrezig himself resides there.

Warm greetings and  happy to see you soon!
Vesna

 

Accommodation

Please bring your sleeping bags, sleeping mats and some indoor footwear.

We kindly ask the parents to not come with children during the weekend. You’re however warmly invited to visit us anytime between the meditation courses.

 

 

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