In honor of Jetsun Taranatha’s Parinirvana, Khentrul Rinpoche will begin to give a commentary on one of Taranatha’s most precious texts, the Zhentong Nyingpo (The Essence of Zhentong). The commentary will then continue over the next several weekends and be accessible publicly in the learning center to those who sign up for free access.
Jetsun Taranatha is one of the most important Joanng lineage masters. He is revered not just by the Jonang but by my many lineages as he studied them in depth along with the Indian tantric systems. He was particularly well known for understanding the view of each system in an undistorted way from the philosophical perspective of that system. Most people, as they learn aspects of different philosophies, mix an underlying bias or view into their understanding of the system in which they either believe the most or are the most familiar. He did not do this and could argue from the perspective of the view he was holding. The Zhentong Nyingpo is a very special text that explains the Zhentong (emptiness of other) view of the great middle way in relationship to other spiritual systems. This is an opportunity to examine and learn how the Zhentong view is similar and different from that of other views. Of course, for those who understand and believe the Buddhist perspective, this text shows the arguments of how the philosophical system of Zhentong is superior in relation to Rangtong (emptiness of self) and also other spiritual systems. This establishes Zhentong as the completion Dharma. You don’t necessarily have to believe in the superiority of Zhentong to listen to and benefit from understanding this text. You can look at the text as a learning opportunity to understand the strengths, weaknesses, differences, and essence of various systems. This creates a philosophical mental map of how spiritual systems are in relation to each other. This is a huge subject that Jetsun Taranatha has taken and compared in such a small text. Hence this text is considered to be the essence (nyingpo). Commentaries are often hard for translators to translate in real-time if their root text has not been translated to their language. Therefore this event is scheduled to be in Engish, with translations only available at the discretion of the translation groups.
Join our global community in the recitation of Green Tara and Marichi mantra to remove all obstacles for Khentrul Rinpoche and the Global community. Jetsun Tara is the swiftest to respond to prayers for help.
We have schedule this event in advance of Khentrul Rinpoche’s birthday.
This practice will take place on the full moon and a lunar eclipse in March. During the time of the Lunar eclipse in your location, the merit of the offering is multiplied by 700,000 times. Please join us in our accumulation until then but especially anytime in our special 24 hour community organized practice. Members of our different communities in different countries will lead the mantras at different hours. All the mantras that are submitted to Green Tara and to Marichi will be dedicated on April 18th. May this lead to the flourishing of Dzokden and Rinpoche’s activities.
Schedule by Timezone
Central Europe and South Africa – MONDAY March 25, 2024 / 12:00 AM – 12:00 AM (TUESDAY March 26, 2024) Melbourne, Australia – MONDAY March 25, 2024 / 10:00 AM – 09:59 AM (TUESDAY March 26, 2024) Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mongolia, Singapore and Taiwan – MONDAY March 25, 2024 / 7:00 AM – 7:00 AM (TUESDAY March 26, 2024) São Paulo, Brazil – SUNDAY March 24, 2024 / 8:00 PM – 8:00 PM (MONDAY March 25, 2024) East Coast USA, Toronto – SUNDAY March 24, 2024 / 6:00 PM – 6:00 PM (MONDAY March 25, 2024) West Coast USA –SUNDAY March 24, 2024 / 3:00 PM – 3:00 PM (MONDAY March 25, 2024)
This event is available ONLINE only + Pre-recorded course in English.
Two times are available for the Oral Transmission to accommodate more timezones. The Commentary has been pre-recorded by Khentrul Rinpoche *Restricted teaching, please see info below*
Important note: If you are already enrolled in the Secret Dakini Commentary in the Dzokden Learning Center, you will gain automatic access to oral transmissions. The information has been added to your course.
Khentrul Rinpoche will bestow the oral transmission to the Secret Dakini Nogndro. This incredibly poetic practice text presents all the path until Enlightenment concisely. It focuses on the ultimate meaning of the different preliminary practices. Some sections that are extensive in the other Kalachakra Sadhanas are presented here very concisely, whereas others appear in a more comprehensive, non-traditional way.
The “Secret Dakini Treasure” is especially recommended for those practicing wensum (Three Isolations) and the First Vajra Yoga. For this reason, Rinpoche wishes that practitioners planning to attend the longer wensum or 1st Yoga retreat attend this transmission beforehand.
Schedule by Timezone Two online sessions will be offered to accommodate more timezones. You may join either of the 2 online sessions available.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mongolia, Singapore and Taiwan SUNDAY March 10, 2024 8:00 AM – USA Optimized Timezone Oral Transmission Secret Dakini Ngondro
4:00 PM – Asia / Vienna (Central Europe) Timezone Oral Transmission of Secret Dakini
Who can attend? 1) All who have received the Four Higher Empowerments with Rinpoche or, if not: 2) Any stable Dharma practitioner who has done the Ngöndro extensively in any tradition and has the aspiration to receive Higher Empowerment.
“Most followers of the Tibetan tantric Buddhist teachings are merely wearing an outer costume of tantra.” (Khentrul Rinpoché)
We are delighted to announce that Rinpoché accepted our request to present his exciting new tantra book, “The Tantric Path of Desire” in Europe. He will give related teachings, a blessing ceremony of the 6 Buddha Families, and address crucial questions of both new and veteran practitioners.
What is tantric practice really about? How to use our day-to-day ‘negative’ emotions as positive potential? How do the different levels of Buddhist paths relate to each other? How to use sexuality as part of the spiritual path according to the Buddha’s tantric teachings? Why does one need an authentic Guru to learn Tantra genuinely?
Preconceptions and misunderstandings about tantra have spread everywhere. Both in Western countries, as well as Asian countries where these teachings originated. Lost amidst extreme views and with a lack of proper clarification, it is difficult for practitioners to reach the essence of the tantric teachings. Rinpoché will teach about how the different levels of Buddhist teachings and their respective conduct of ethics support each other without contradiction. He will explain the varying degrees of tantric practice and what one should do to truly focus on tantra.
For Rinpoché, there is no doubt that different types of persons, including lay devotees, monastics, and non-religious ones, have the potential to learn the essence of tantric practice. This is because the tantric approach is closely aligned with our existing nature.
“In the tantric path, nothing that is naturally present in our mind needs to be eliminated. Instead, we learn means for putting these mental phenomena to work for us. When all these phenomena are subjugated by the brilliance of pure and true reality, they become our friends.” (Khentrul Rinpoché)
In the view of tantra, the pure aspects of our afflictive emotions are connected to specific Buddha Families. To strengthen this awareness and for the continued support of participants’ practice after the event, Rinpoché will bestow a Blessing Ceremony of the Six Buddha Families.
For the Q&A session, we thoroughly encourage you to gather all your questions that will clarify your understanding of tantra. Do not miss this precious opportunity.
Schedule by Timezone This is a weekend of teachings with Khentrul Rinpoché, although he may decide to direct senior students to teach one of the sessions or lead group discussions in support of the participants’ learning process.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mongolia, Singapore and Taiwan SATURDAY July 27, 2024 2:00 AM – 3:30 AM – Session 1: Free Public Teaching: Tantric Path of Desire — An Introduction 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Session 2 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Session 3
10:00 PM – 11:30 PM – Session 4
SUNDAY July 28, 2024 2:00 AM – 3:30 AM – Session 5 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Session 6 (includes Blessing Ceremony of the 6 Buddha Families) – THIS CEREMONY MUST BE ATTENDED LIVE 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Session 7
How to Prepare? There are no prerequisites for these teachings. They are open to all, regardless of your background. Reading Rinpoché´s book, “The Tantric Path of Desire,” is suggested but not mandatory for participation. (It is currently available in English and can be purchased here).
Offer Dana for Khentrul Rinpoche If you additionally wish to show your generosity to Rinpoché’s precious teachings and to his immense efforts, you can do it in-person at the end of the retreat or, if you are attending online you can offer Dana for Rinpoche here. This is completely voluntary.
This page is for the 1st Vajra Yoga of Kalachakra: Empowerment, Teachings & Retreat (week 1 only). If you would like to participate in the following retreat weeks 2, 3, and 4, you need to register here as well.
After repeated requests from individuals and groups over the last years, Rinpoché has finally accepted the request to teach the 6 Vajra Yogas of Kalachakra for the first time in Europe. This will be a milestone in the history of Kalachakra practice in the West. Rinpoché will come once a year to teach each Vajra Yoga over the next years. Moreover, Rinpoché has made an effort to clarify the conditions for participation in a way that gets back to the essence and allows practitioners with family and work commitments to fulfill the requirements. This is a precious and incredibly rare opportunity and we are delighted to be able to offer it at Kalapa.
For this year 2024 Rinpoché will bestow the 1st Vajra Yoga. To ensure the success of students on their paths, Rinpoche will only bestow it to pre-approved students who genuinely wish to deepen their practice. To bring more clarity to the preparation process, we have prepared an additional explanation. Regardless of whether you are a new or veteran practitioner, Rinpoché requests that everyone takes the time to read it.Download here: 2024 – Conditions for Higher Empowerments for the Wensum and 1st Vajra Yoga.
For new participants, after reading these conditions, and if you have already received the 4 Higher Empowerments of Kalachakra with Rinpoché, we welcome you to present yourself as a candidate by sending your application here. Only upon approval will you be able to proceed with registration. Veteran practitioners who have already taken part in the 1st Vajra Yoga Retreat in Tibet in 2019 can confirm their commitments in the form below when registering.
About the Event and Schedule
“Upon completion of the two outer, the five inner, and the two unique preliminary practices of the Kalachakra Path, we are ready to enter the indestructible and profound path of the Six Vajra Yogas. These advanced yogic techniques are like a wish-fulfilling jewel with the capacity to grant us everything our hearts desire in the blink of an eye. For a diligent practitioner whose mind is sufficiently pure, enlightenment can be achieved within only a few short human years. Even mastery of a single vajra yoga is enough to ensure one is never again reborn into the suffering cycle of death and rebirth.” (Khentrul Rinpoche, “Unveiling Your Sacred Truth 3”)
The event encompasses 1) two days of preparations with Preliminary Practices, Pujas, Kalachakra-Tsok, and a walk in the nature with Rinpoche, 2) The Four Higher Empowerments of Kalachakra (Rinpoché will bestow them again for the sake of your spiritual progress), 3) Teaching-Transmission of the 1st Vajra Yoga Practice, 4) a printed booklet about the 1st Vajra Yoga in English, 5) If needed, a personal audiences with Rinpoche (upon request), 6) one week of Retreat with practice sessions guided by senior students, as well as 7)food and accommodations at the Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center.
SCHEDULE (10 nights)
2nd August afternoon – arrivals and welcome meeting with introductions (check-in 2 PM – 4 PM)
3rd August – Kalachakra Preliminary Practices, Guru Puja Ritual and Kalachakra-Tsok, Walk in the nature around Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center with Rinpoche
4th August – new moon – Puja and Four Higher Empowerments for the 1st Yoga participants
5th – 12th August – Teaching-Transmission of the 1st Vajra Yoga, 1st Vajra Yoga Retreat (week 1); personal audiences with Rinpoche
12th August – concluding Tsok and check-out after lunch (if you wish, you can stay longer for weeks 2, 3 and 4 by registering here)
How to Prepare and Materials
How to prepare for this retreat: We strongly encourage you to prepare yourself as much as you can with all the 9 Kalachakra Preliminary Practices. In addition to the longer sadhanas “Divine Ladder” and “Enlightening the Heart”, you will need to know the sadhana “Secret Dakini Treasure”. We encourage you to study all the sadhanas as much as you can, including the transliterations and chantings, because there will be some sessions of chanting in Tibetan without a recording during the retreat. We strongly recommend that you also register here for the Summer Wensum retreat so that you can be better prepared for the 1st Yoga Retreat.
During the retreat, Guru Puja and Kalachakra Tsok gatherings will also be held on special occasions. We strongly encourage you to additionally register for their two associated courses at our learning center to prepare yourself in advance so that you know the rituals very well beforehand. If you wish (not mandatory), bring your own vajra, bell, damaru, or other ritual instruments to use during the puja and tsok gatherings.
Materials: You can borrow printed texts of Guru Puja and Tsok from the temple to use during the event. Please bring your printed practice book “The Profound Path of Vajra Yoga” and your “Four Higher Empowerments” Booklet. You can also bring Rinpoche’s commentary “The Hidden Treasure” and “Unveiling Your Sacred Truth 3” as a reference for your practice (everything on paper, as tablets, phones, or computers are not allowed after the strict retreat begins.) Other reading materials not directly related to the 1st Vajra Yoga are not allowed during the retreat period. You need to bring your blindfold and your meditation belt. If you have already participated before, bring also your 1st Vajra Yoga Booklet.
Retreat Information and Guidelines
After the Empowerments on August 4th, the strict retreat will begin. The retreat will be closed and in silence. During this period, participants are not allowed to receive visitors or use computers, tablet devices, mobile phones, and so forth. We can store personal phones and other electronic devices in our office. If someone needs to contact you in case of emergency, they can email [email protected] or call +43 676 395 8898. Both e-mailbox and phone will be checked at least once each day. Rinpoche advises participants to follow the retreat guidelines respectfully, not only for the success of their own practice, but also to avoid disturbing others.
The daily schedule consists of four practice sessions and additional activities such as occasional pujas, teachings, interviews, and so forth. Participation in two daily group sessions is mandatory unless health conditions completely prevent you from taking part. The remaining two sessions can be practiced in your own room if you prefer. Practice sessions will be conducted in English and Tibetan. If you absolutely prefer, you can bring copies of the texts in your own language as well and read them silently while the group recites in English.
The fee for the retreat includes three vegetarian meals and shared accommodations at the beautiful Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center. Please inform us ([email protected]) in advance if you have allergies, food intolerances, or other important health or mental conditions that we need to consider. We cannot offer space for individual rooms for participants of this event. However, you can alternatively bring your own tent and sleep outside near the Kalachakra Stupa (see registration options below). Please note: Parking in the area of Kalapa is very limited. If you are staying with us for the whole retreat, we encourage you to drop off then find a space to park at a distance (in the city, if possible) to help other travellers reach the site.
If you absolutely need an individual room, many options for accommodations are available near the retreat center’s area, in the Garanas region, and in the town Bad Schwanberg. In this case, please search for and book the necessary reservations yourself.
This is a strict retreat, and participants should avoid engaging in too much physical activity and interacting with others unnecessarily. We need one volunteer to cook breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner for the participants, and a cook helper. The volunteers will be able to enjoy all the areas in the retreat center except for the Kalachakra Temple itself where the participants will practice. Unlike the participants, the external volunteers can access electronic devices, the internet, and so forth. This is an extraordinary opportunity to generate merit and create the causes to be able to engage in this practice yourself in the future. Rinpoche strongly encourages us to support our dharma brothers and sisters by volunteering.
If you are considering this opportunity, please write as soon as possible to [email protected], so that we can arrange a video call to plan your participation. You can also volunteer for only a portion of the event rather than for the whole retreat; you can offer as much as possible according to your capability. That being said, we prefer the participation of someone who can commit to the whole period. During your stay, we can provide free access to an online course or recorded retreat at our digital learning center if you would like to support your practice and study while you are volunteering. You can also choose a dharma book of your choice in our Kalapa Shop that Kalapa will give you as a gift.
How to get to Kalapa?
Kalachakra Kalapa Center, Garanas 41, Bad Schwanberg, zip code 8541, Austria, Südweststeiermark.
The nearest airport is in Graz, Austria. To travel to Kalapa by train, start at the main train station in Graz. From there, take the S6 or S61 S-Bahn towards Wies-Eibiswald for about an hour to the Bad Schwanberg station. (Timetable information)
To travel from the Bad Schwanberg train station to the retreat center, a relatively inexpensive taxi service supported by the government is available that will take you directly to the Retreat Center, which is referred to as “Buddhistisches Zentrum” by this taxi service. For more information, please visit the following website: Regio Mobil. The taxi must be ordered at least one hour in advance, but visitors are recommended to do so much earlier or on the day before you intend to arrive. On weekdays, this taxi service operates between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. On weekends it does not operate during the evening. As the journey is quite long (about 20 minutes), the service should be scheduled at least half an hour before the closing hours provided above. For trips on Sundays or public holidays please schedule the taxi service by 5 p.m. on the day before you intend to arrive.
To order: +43 (0)50 16 17 18
Cost: €6.00 total regardless of how many people are taking the taxi.
Alternatively you can book a normal taxi service or similar.
From the Graz-West motorway junction (A2/A9), get on the A2 towards Klagenfurt/Italy and take the Lieboch exit. Then, continue on Federal Road 76 towards Eibiswald. After about 30 km, you will reach Schwanberg. At the end of the main square in Schwanberg, turn left towards Garanas. After the bridge, turn right towards Garanas and follow the signs to “Kalachakra Kalapa Center” uphill for about 8 km to reach the center.