The Holy Vajrasana Temples and Retreat Centers exist to provide opportunities for living beings to learn and practice the correct Buddha-Dharma that can truly liberate them from the sufferings of samsara or worldly existence (See “Quick Path“). Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths that recognized 1) the unsatisfactoriness or suffering of existence; 2) the source of this suffering or unhappiness; 3) that there is a state of being beyond suffering known as Nirvana; and 4) the path to achieve that enlightened state. This path, known as the Eightfold Path, can be summarized as the teachings on morality, concentration, and wisdom. We practice these teachings by cultivating our character and by cultivating our minds. The Buddha expounded these teachings in thousands of methods in order to help living beings who have different requirements and capabilities to become enlightened. The various sects or schools of Buddhism developed to focus on different aspects of these teachings and to meet the karmic conditions of different people. Many of these teachings still exist in this world, but many have been lost or corrupted so that they no longer result in liberation (See “128 Evil and Erroneous Views“). The teacher of Shakyamuni Buddha, Dorje Chang Buddha, has incarnated into this world again to reinstate what Shakyamuni Buddha taught and to introduce Buddha-dharmas that the world was not ready for in Shakyamuni Buddha’s time. The retreats at the Holy Vajrasana Temple and Retreat Center in Sanger, California, and those sponsored by the temple in other parts of the world are designed to provide not only the empowerments that these teachings can offer, but a space where you can put the teachings into practice.
There will be a variety of retreats offered from three to four-days each and scheduled over national holidays, to seven-day retreats, to even longer retreats of many months or years. Although there is an emphasis on learning and practicing both cultivation and meditation, the core of the teachings require adherence to the three pure precepts: Doing good, avoiding evil, and helping others. From keeping these precepts and developing the ability to concentrate, one realizes the wisdom of a Buddha and eventually becomes enlightened and thus free from all suffering. One does not need to consider oneself a Buddhist to attend retreats at our Sanger temple. Students attending the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University take retreats here as part of their curriculum. This retreat center offers many options for many different kinds of people. However, the most important part of our retreats is learning, studying, and practicing the dharma as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha and expounded in the dharma discourses and books by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.
The abbot of the Holy Vajrasana Temple and Retreat center also offers retreats modeled after those held at the temple in other locations, including Thailand, Hong Kong, and New York.
As these photos show, cultivation of character and cultivation of the mind (meditation) are the essence of what we do, whether it is sitting, eating, gardening, painting, cleaning, cooking, or whatever. We are training our actions, speech, and minds to be buddhas.