Guru Yoga – Mandala Offering Retreat | Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Centre


One-Day Retreat


DAY:  Sunday September 1

TIME:  9:30am-3:30pm

TEACHER:  Mariem Martinson

COST:  $10 / Free for Members

WHERE:  970 Blanshard Street, Victoria

REGISTRATION:   You may register in advance or pay at the door for the retreat ($10 / Free for Members)



This retreat combines the practices of Guru Yoga, which is the gateway to receiving blessings, and Mandala Offerings, which is the gateway to accumulating merit.

During retreat we temporarily withdraw from our usual routines and activities, and learn how to relax and develop peaceful, positive minds through meditation. 

What is Guru Yoga?

‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word meaning Spiritual Guide.  A Spiritual Guide is any spiritual teacher who sincerely leads us into correct spiritual paths by giving correct instructions and by embodying the teachings in their daily activities.  

Guru Yoga is a special way of relating to our own spiritual teacher where we regard them as an enlightened being.  Guru Yoga is a special and powerful method that enables us to receive the blessings of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and holy beings.  In this retreat we visualize our Guru as Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka.

What if I don’t have a Spiritual Guide?

That’s ok.  By coming to the retreat you will be creating the cause to meet a qualified Spiritual Guide in the future.  Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche says:

“Our mind is like a field, our Spiritual Guides instructions are like seeds sown in that field, and our faith in our Spiritual Guide is like water that germinates these seeds.  If these three come together we will quickly and easily harvest a rich crop of Dharma realizations.”

What are blessings?

A blessing is a transformation of our mind from a negative state to a positive state, from an unhappy state to a happy state, or from a state of weakness to a state of strength through the inspiration of holy beings such as our Spiritual Guide, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas.

What is merit?

Merit is the good fortune created by virtuous actions.  It is the potential power to increase our good qualities and produce happiness.  One of the main purposes of engaging in the practice of making mandala offerings is to create abundant merit that will enable us to effortlessly develop good qualities and fulfill our spiritual aspirations.

What is a mandala offering?

In this context , the mandala is the entire universe visualized as completely pure and offered to all buddhas, bodhisattvas, and holy beings.  When we offer the mandala we imagine we are offering the entire universe in our hands.  Geshe-la says:

“Making mandala offerings is the best method to free us from future poverty and to enable us to obtain future rebirth in a Pure Land.” 

Sit back and relax.

A basic understanding of Buddhist teachings and meditation will be helpful during this retreat.  However the main thing is to keep an open mind. Just relax and enjoy the experience even if you understand very little of the meaning.


9:30 – 10:15am :  Introduction

Tea Break

10:40am – 12:00pm:  Session 2

Lunch Break

1:30-2:35pm:  Session 3

Stretch Break

2:45-3:30pm:  Session 4


  Mariem Martinson 

Mariem is a member of the Teacher Training Program, leads noon meditation on Wednesdays and coordinates the Centre’s chanted meditation prayers.  Mariem recently completed a 3-month retreat at Tharpaland International Retreat Centre in Germany.  She brings many years of meditation experience and spiritual practice to her classes.

Q. Do I need to be a Buddhist to attend?
No. Anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits that come from having a peaceful mind.
Q. Do I need to have any experience?
No. Everyone is welcome, including beginners. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life.
Q. How should I dress?
No special clothing is required, come as you are.
Q. Is there any physical exercise involved?
No. The classes focus on meditation and teachings alone. You can choose to sit on a chair or meditation cushion.
Q. Do I need to book in advance?
No, but if you plan to attend the three prior classes PLUS the retreat, you will receive a discount if you book in advance.

Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre