GURU YOGA – MANADALA OFFERING
DAY: Saturday September 25
TEACHER: Mariem Martinson
WHERE: 970 Blanshard Street, Victoria
NO REGISTRATION: Please pay at the door by cash, cheque or credit card.
COST: $20 / Free for Members
ABOUT THE RETREAT
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.”
Check out the Mandala Offering Practise Workshop on the weekend before this Retreat to learn or hone your mandala offering skills.
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
1:15 – 2:20pm: Session 2
2:30 – 3:30pm: Session 3
THE RETREAT LEADER
Mariem Martinson is a member of our Teacher Training Program and coordinates the Centre’s chanted meditation prayers. She brings many years of meditation experience and practice to her classes.
Q. Do I need to be a Buddhist to attend?
Q. Do I need to have any experience?
Q. How should I dress?
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.