Guru Yoga - Mandala Offering Retreat - Kadampa Meditation Centre Victoria



One-Day Retreat


DAY:  Sunday, May 19, 2024

TIME:  9:30am-3:30pm

TEACHERS:  Grace Dawson and Alice Loring

WHERE:  970 Blanshard Street, Victoria

NO REGISTRATION:   Please pay at the door by cash, cheque or credit card.

COST:  $15 / 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
10:30am ~ 11:50am:  Session 1
     Lunch Break
1:15 ~  2:15pm: Session 2
2:30 ~ 3:30pm:  Session 3


Grace Dawson

Grace is a member of our Teacher Training Program and regularly guides our noon meditations on Wednesdays.  Grace has given many hours of volunteer service to the Centre and is known for her enthusiasm for Dharma and for welcoming visitors with her warmth and smile.

Kelsang Tsalden, Buddhist Nun in her wheelchair

Alice Loring

Alice is a founding member of our Centre and a student in Foundation Program.  She leads noon meditation on Thursdays and coordinates the Centre’s social media outreach.  Alice brings her creative energy, warmth, and years of meditation experience 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 mandala offerings, which only require arm and hand movements. (Or if that is a difficulty you can do it your imagination.)  You can choose to sit on a chair or meditation cushion.

Q. Do I need to book in advance?

No, feel free to just drop in.  Please arrive a few minutes early and pay at the door.

Q. Do I need any equipment?

If you have a mandala kit, please bring it with you.  If you don’t, we have some we can lend.


Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre