Je Tsongkhapa Retreat and guidelines for retreatants – a talk by David Lai

15 October 2013 - 11:31pm Comments Off

David is one of the senior students of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and has actually engaged in Lama Tsongkhapa’s retreat few years ago


On Sunday 13th October David Lai, a long time student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and one of Kechara’s most notable writers gave a talk on engaging in Lama Tsongkhapa’s retreat.

The talk was prompted by one of Rinpoche’s Facebook posts, in which Rinpoche asked people from all over the world to engage in Lama Tsongkhapa’s retreat. Those who complete the retreat and meet the requirements will receive a Lama Tsongkhapa thangka, sewn in brocade according to traditional methods here in Kechara. What are the requirements?

Those who would like to engage in the retreat should accumulate 50,000 recitations of the Mig Tse Ma mantra and conduct the retreat in the traditional and correct manner to gain the most benefits from the practice. Another requirement is to post daily updates of your progress on Rinpoche’s chat page on his blog and on your personal Facebook and Twitter pages. This will serve as your retreat diary as well as an inspiration to others who are also engaged in the retreat.

It was with this in mind that Rinpoche asked David to give a talk on Lama Tsongkhapa’s retreat at Kechara House. Such was the enthusiasm for this talk that our usual Sunday Dharma classes for adults concluded early for participants to proceed to the main prayer hall, where David introduced the retreat to an eager audience of over 80 people. Not only were our Dharma class participants present, but we also had visitors from abroad including Singapore, Indonesia and Luxemburg.

David began the event by explaining what a retreat actually is and its benefits, literally isolating your body, speech and mind from everyday life and concentrating on purifying your negative karma and accumulating merits in order to transform your mind. He then explained why Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice is actually the combined practice of four Buddhas in one (Manjushri, Chenrezig, Vajrapani & Maitreya) therefore making the practice extremely powerful.

David also explained that the practice includes many tantric elements, which are usually only allowed to be performed by the initiated, however we are able to practice these without initiation, something that is a unique feature of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga. Lastly David explained the altar set-up and retreat procedures and rules, which can also be found in Rinpoche’s blog post entitled “Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions”.

For more information on the actual practice of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga, a must have is His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s Book entitled “Tsongkhapa – a simple guide to a powerful practice”. As well as a short biography of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life and achievements, it is a complete commentary to the practice, edited from many teachings given by Rinpoche over the years. This book is also available in Chinese. You can also watch a video commentary of Tsongkhapa’s daily practice by Rinpoche here.

David himself has engaged in Lama Tsongkhapa’s retreat before and received the retreat instructions directly from Rinpoche, hence he is qualified to share this information with us. As a writer for Kechara, David has published four books with Kechara to date; his first entitled “There’s No Way But Up” was written at Rinpoche’s request. The book is an autobiography, a no-holds-barred account of his spiritual journey from childhood through adulthood and eventually to his experiences with His Eminence. David’s down to earth and interactive style came across in his talk as well, he made sure people were well-informed. You can watch the video of his talk below or click here.

For those of you interested in joining the retreat email David to register your participation: frozbyte23@yahoo.com.

David giving his talk on Je Tsongkhapa Retreat at Kechara House

Altar set up for retreat

Altar set up with offerings

Many attended the talk to know more

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