༅༅། འཛམ་གླིང་སྡུག་ལ་སྦྱར་བའི་རྒྱ་ནད་ཀྱི་ལོ་དེར། །
རྐྱེན་ངན་གྲོགས་ཤར་རང་ཁྱིམ་དྲོད་མོ་ཡི་ནང་དུ། །
རྩིས་འཕྲུལ་ནང་ནས་རིགས་མཐུན་ཆོས་གྲོགས་རྣམས་ལྷན་དུ། །
དམ་ཆོས་ཐོས་བསམ་སྒོམ་པའི་གོ་སྐབས་དེ་རྙེད་སོང་། །
ལས་སྨོན་གཅིག་ཏུ་མཐུན་པའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཡི་སྤུན་གྲོགས། །
ཡུལ་དུས་གནས་ཀྱིས་བསྐལ་ཡང་གྲུ་བཞི་ཡི་ཤེལ་སྒོར། །
མ་འདྲེས་གཅིག་ཏུ་འཛོམས་པའི་ཉིན་གསུམ་གྱི་ཐུང་མཚམས། །


We concluded our Three-Day Virtual January Retreat which took place online on Zoom. This was our first online retreat; at first, we were unsure how it would turn out. As we progressed throughout the 3 days, I found that it really felt like a retreat.


The first day of the retreat, we had a guest Teacher, the Tibetan Nyingma Lama the Venerable Lama Leshe Zangpo, and on the second day, the Zen Master the Venerable Thich Minh Tinh (Thay Kozen) from Portland, OR, joined as a guest Teacher.


Every morning we held an Amitabha Puja for Rebirth in Amitabha Purelands, and every afternoon I gave a teaching on “A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path” by Gampopa Sönam Rinchen. We concluded the retreat with prayers for world peace and for the welfare of the United States of America.


The possibility to hold a retreat during these unprecedented times is so amazing. I believe that this year, the retreat was one of the most successful and most beneficial retreats that we’ve had because of technology. We were able to reach more people and more people were able to attend from different parts of the world. To think, without these capabilities, we would not have had the fortune to hold a retreat during the pandemic. Moreover, people seemed to feel the same way; they told me that they very much enjoyed the retreat and were very happy to participate from the comfort of their own homes.


Here are a few photographs that my friend and professional photographer Ginger Chih has taken. She has a very special connection with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom she has taken many photos of. Ginger came to the last day of the retreat and took some pictures; she also listened to the teaching and took Bodhisattva vows. I feel very lucky that she brought her talents to the MDC, thank you Ginger!


Beginning 2021 with a retreat is an excellent way to start the new year, and I just want to say this year remember to take care of your mind in order to have a truly happy new year!

Written by Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, originally posted to the Manjushri Dharma Center Facebook page on January 19, 2021.