Dear Friends and Members,
One of the fascinating aspects of the pandemic for me has been to witness how we all deal with vulnerability, personally and collectively. There are so many reasons to notice that we cannot control everything — from others’ views about masks to so many details of our pandemic lives. Sometimes when we are not comfortable with vulnerability we shut down or withdraw. We could get mad and lash out, or we might even get hooked by one of our addictions as a way to avoid dealing with the stress. But, there are also more functional possibilities. There are more sane possibilities. It is possible to show up wakefully, and breathe through our vulnerability, to show up to our life one breath at a time. Sometimes that is a big enough goal. One breath at a time.
During my recent pod-cast mini-series for LionsRoar.com, I also spoke with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo about her illness in the cave when she was on retreat. She meditated alone in a cave for twelve years. It is such an act of austerity to go live in a cave in the snow, by oneself, to be so self-reliant and isolated. I was curious about how health had factored into this and how she was weathering the pandemic. I had wanted to ask her about this topic for some time so this conversation was a precious opportunity.
To me, Jetsunma is a symbol of practice, and that is how I am making it through this past year, by holding fast to practice. I am inviting all of our friends and community to join me in practice in a couple of weeks. I will teach Dzogchen, and we will study dharma and engage in some restorative yoga. This is an additional event to our yearly Dzogchen Retreat, because I want to make further space for the calm and healing that is so needed right now. Here is a link to learn more about that:
There is something about meditating in a cave so many thousands of miles away from distractions that is much more supportive for practice. However, a householder’s practice can also be serious practice. It can also be deep and focused. It has its own gifts. This is the beauty of the tradition of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis that we follow. For this upcoming retreat on February 5-7th we are not going into a cave for 12 years, but we are going into some deep meditation, as householders, within our own homes, yet, while maintaining a focused space for practice. To support this, we are collectively going to go on a social media fast for the weekend. The goal will be to minimize all the things that pull our attention in so many directions so that we can quiet the mind. Our attention has been in a sense, colonized by corporate interests, by social media addiction and by all sorts of media — not to mention the cacophony of struggles that we live in. For the weekend we are going to put a pause on that, and decolonize our bodies and minds removing ourselves from the traffic jam of information. For those of you who need to stay plugged in for whatever reason, we will have an optional hour of mindfulness for a social media session. For those of you who would like to join in on the social media fast, there will be support for staying off all weekend, or minimizing it to an hour per day. Of course, this is optional; take the retreat in whatever way best serves you.
Praying for your health and healing, or at the very least, for wisdom in the face of whatever comes,
The Deep Retreat with Pema Khandro
Online Restorative Meditation Retreat
10am-6pm San Francisco / 1pm-9pm New York / 6pm-2am London
Sliding Scale Tuition: $270-$395
*Financial Aid and Scholarships Available
After a year of obstacles and stress, we invite you to join us for a weekend of restoration, serenity and serene contemplation of the ultimate purpose of life.
Pema Khandro teaches on The Mirror Illuminating the Heart, Dzogchen Nyingthig teachings on the vast view. These beautiful teachings consider the fundamental nature of mind and reality.
Group Meditation Classes
Pema Khandro teaches from the 27 Practices for training for Dzogchen meditation from the sems nyid ngal gso, Longchenpa’s instructions on Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind.
Heart Sutra Chanting
Remember the profound teachings that unravels it all at the root. Afternoon Heart Sutra chanting will be led in English by Dr. Satya.
Spiritual community is an important aspect of Buddhist practice, and it is even more important during the times of pandemic when in-person gatherings are limited. Join your fellow community members in dharma conversations during afternoon tea breaks (bring your own tea!). These are guided, small group conversations led by the teaching assistants.
Unwind, let go of stress and give your body support. This simple, slow, bliss yoga class is designed to give rest and release to your body and mind. Each afternoon session will begin with an optional yoga class for you to do at home led by Buddhist Studies Institute Faculty.
Unplug. Disconnect. Take space for inner silence and chanting meditation. Share silence together. Enjoy deep dharma study. This retreat includes guidance and support for taking a break from social media and news to create space for reflection and to de-clutter the mind. There is an optional one-hour social media period suggested each day for those who want to reduce but need to stay plugged in.
ONLINE OPEN TEACHINGS
*All times are listed in Pacific Time UTC-8 (Timezone Converter)
Now – Feb 12th Tibetan New Year (Losar)
New Years Meditation Marathon
Free, Short, Daily.
Thursdays – Resuming on Jan 7th, 8am
A Course in Valid Cognition with Geshe Sonam
Winter Pramana Study
Feb 5-7, 10am-6pm
The Deep Retreat with Pema Khandro
Dzogchen Meditation Retreat
Feb 12, 6pm-8pm
Tibetan New Year – Losar Celebration for Members
Annual Member Celebration
Starts Feb 12, 12pm
A short free daily practice online and community time with certified meditation teachers
Feb 24-26, 1-3pm
Purifying the Mind: Vajrasattva Meditation & Purification of Karma
3rd and 4th Wednesdays – Ngakpa Training with Pema Khandro
Every Monday until Feb 12 (Tibetan New Year) – Meditation Mondays
Group Meditation with Janak Kimmel & Guest Teachers
DAKINI MOUNTAIN NEWS
Seeking Land Manager for Dakini Mountain
Seeking a land manager for twenty hours a week in exchange for someone who wants to do off grid living with your own self-sustaining mobile home/RV system on Dakini Mountain property and free Buddhist Studies Institute courses. No RV hookups are here but it is the one of the most beautiful places on earth. Applicants must have farm experience, landscaping skills, construction, building knowledge, handyman skills etc, as well as capacity to be self-motivated, self-starting, work with others, take direction well and problem solve. Past experience as well as three employment references are required. Please send your resume, a photo, along with the name and contact for three employment references to Info@DakiniMountain.org.
Do you have Business and/or Real Estate Expertise?
Seeking conversation partners in reshaping the future of Dakini Mountain – seeking to converse with people with experience in real estate and running businesses as we re-vision how Dakini Mountain will take shape during the pandemic and beyond. Contact Info@DakiniMountain.org.