The retreats in Dharma City are periods of intense group practice in the form of receiving teachings, studying and meditating. Under the guidance and with the blessings of Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche, and often with the invaluable support of Khenpo Thubten Lodru Nyima Rinpoche, these retreats give participants the opportunity to live a significant spiritual experience among fellow-practioners all dedicated to the same goal, the realisation of their Buddha nature and eventually the attainment of the great happiness of self-liberation for themselves and all sentient beings.
These retreats may last from one weekend up to three weeks; each day, periods of teaching alternate with moments dedicated to silent study or to rest, and a group practice is generally accomplished early in the morning.
In Dharma City different kinds of group retreats are proposed:
In the context of the Zangdok Palri Institute, general study courses are open to everybody, as was the Uttaratantra retreat in 2009; the Shedra courses welcome students wishing to commit themselves to Dharma training within the frame of the Six-year Dzogchen Practitioners' Course.
Retreats in Dharma City can also be a drupchen, an extraordinary teaching and practicing period like the Powa retreat in 2009, or even Altruistic retreats, during which participants receive Dharma teachings and are given the opportunity to accomplish Dharma activity by contributing to the development of the retreat centre.
Between the various summer courses, students are most welcome to stay at Dharma City for a private retreat, a very special opportunity for studying and practicing in this serene setting imbued with Patrul Rinpoche's kindness and compassion.
A student's impressions about the 2008 Winter Retreat in Dharma City