The Xuanfa Five Vidyas Seminary offered its first thirty-Day Formal retreat starting November 15. This time it was entirely in Chinese with a local translator providing the interface between the Abbot and the participants. The day started with chanting the Morning Service, followed by an Oryoki Breakfast. Most mornings were devoted to Dharma practice including a special Retreat Practice that could be held in the Dharmapala Chapel, weather permitting. There can be no electricity, lights, or heat in this chapel. However the Green Tara Chapel was also available in the main temple. Another Oryoki meal was served at noon. The afternoons were devoted to studying the Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation until the short Evening Service followed by another Oryoki snack. Every evening the students listened to Dharma Discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in accordance with the Seven-Dharma system developed by the Buddha. Every Tuesday morning a Grand Debate was held on the questions developed by the students from these discourses. This format enables students to attend and participate in three to five seminars that are required in the Xuanfa Five Vidyas Seminary curriculum.
If there is sufficient interest, we will hold these retreats again in 2017 during the months of March and August and are considering offering a special intensive program for studying the Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation during a Seven-Day retreat in July. Please contact the temple if you are interested in attending any of these three times.