RETREATS and CLASSES at the VAJRASANA TEMPLE and RETREAT CENTER
The abbot, Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche, invites students of the Buddha (and others who are interested in the Buddha’s teachings) to attend retreats at her residence while the temple is being remodeled and brought up to code. The abbot and several of the senior students will also conduct retreats at various other locations while the temple is undergoing construction. Someone will usually be at the site to welcome pilgrims who wish to pay their respect to the Holy Vajra Poles and the Bodhighara and beseech blessings, although one should always call first to be sure. Zheng Liao Shi can help coordinate trips for Chinese-speaking pilgrims.
NEWS!! The Holy Vajrasana Temple and Retreat Center now offers two types of group retreats and very limited opportunities to take private retreats.
The group retreats feature either a two to three-day seminar sponsored by the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University as part of its seminary program or a longer seven-day meditation retreat. Both types include group walking and sitting meditation sessions, chanting, formal Oryoki meals, and listening to actual recordings and/or preliminary translations of dharma discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and follow His guidance as provided in Learning From Buddha, The Great Dharma of Zen, and various dharma discourses. The private retreats are for the serious meditator who wishes complete isolation from worldly distractions and interference. However, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III does not participate in any affairs or activities of the temple such as the retreat itself, meditation instruction, and so on.
A schedule of both types of retreats being offered is listed below.
Most classes held at the temple and elsewhere include either the reading of preliminary translations of discourses or listening to discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with a simultaneous translation by Suonan Ciren Rinpoche. These translations have not been reviewed or approved by His Holiness and most certainly contain translation errors. However, they are not yet available in English at any other location and do contain wonderful Buddha-dharma that will help us gain liberation. Please contact Helen Pan for the Rosemead classes; Gesang Suolang for Salt Lake City classes; Pannavati, Heartwood Refuge and Conference Center, for North Carolina classes; Helen Nguyen Thu Hien for classes offered in Vietnam, Kunlanat (WOW) Makboon for classes offered in Thailand, and Zhaxi Zhuoma for Sanger retreats and classes. Click for more general background on our retreats.
As space is limited, a deposit is usually required now to hold a room at the temple. Donations are needed to help cover the cost of a dorm room, shared bath, and meals at Sanger plus specific charges for meditation halls and other facility rentals and other expenses at facilities located elsewhere. There is never any charge for the teachings, but donations to support the temple are always welcome. Click for registration form, rates, and the answers to frequently asked questions about long-term and other private retreats.
Some retreats may allow for attendance at only part of the retreat and some will have open classes so that others may listen to simultaneous oral translations or readings of preliminary translations of discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Retreats usually start with an orientation session and evening meal at 5:00 pm and introduction to the teachings of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III at 7:00 pm the first night followed by a daily schedule that consists of morning and evening chanting, walking and siting meditation sessions, classes and discussions on discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, and temple work assignments. Some of the classes may also serve as seminars on particular topics sponsored by the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University (XFVU) and include more extensive discussion periods and even group debates. Wake up bells are rung early (usually 5:30 am) and lights are out at 10 pm. The main meal is lunch (served before noon following monastic protocols), with breakfast served after morning chanting and dharma practice and an optional evening snack before class. Meals will all be strictly vegetarian with vegan options. The meals, chanting, and meditation periods will be conducted like a monastic regime, giving lay practitioners a taste of monastic life. Except for the classes, discussion periods, and private interviews with Zhaxi Zhuoma, the retreats are conducted in silence. No electronic devices or phones are allowed during the retreat, although iPads and mobile devises may be permitted during the XFVU Seminars. With so many audio-visual stimuli competing for our attention every moment of our lives, we rarely have the time to just reflect on our inner lives. No matter what our spiritual practice or beliefs, the retreat offers peace and serenity, a luxury that is hard to find in our modern world. Click for more.
CLASSES (held at The Holy Vajrasana Temple near Sanger, California, unless noted):
General Information on Xuanfa Seminary Seminars:
The Xuanfa Seminary, part of the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University, offers 1 credit seminars on Dharma Discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III that focus on certain important concepts and principles. You will need to attend all classes, participate in a debate, and follow up with homework to receive credit for these seminars, but you do not need to enroll in the seminar to attend and listen to preliminary translations of dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III either with simultaneous translation into English by Suonan Ciren or a reading by Zhaxi Zhuoma of a preliminary translation and followed by a discussion period led by Zhaxi Zhuoma. You can register when you arrive at or after the seminar. More information is offered at the XFVU website and in the introduction to the seminars. Click for a description of the “Seven Dharma System” and news articles on some of these seminars.
November 17-18–XFVU Seminar I-017 Initiation and Empowerment-I: ROSEMEAD, CALIFORNIA
Intensive retreat practice and study of dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III including the following:
Meditation and chanting starts at 9:00 am with the following dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III at 9:30 am, “True Vajra Masters and True Inner-Tantric Initiations” (3CDs covering two discourses given in China, but only released in USA in 2015) (60, 59, & 35 minutes), “Where Does Empowerment Come from?” (37 minutes), “Dharmas Transmitted Verbally, by Ear, and through Consciousness and the Corresponding Initiations” (18 minutes), with simultaneous translation by Suonan Ciren Rinpoche. The agenda is the same for both Friday and Saturday. If there is sufficient interest, a debate may be held on Sunday. You will need to attend classes both days AND participate in debate and follow up with homework to receive credit for this seminar that is sponsored through the Xuanfa Five Vidyas Seminary. Amitabha Temple of Compassion and Wisdom, Suite 106, 7940 Garvey Avenue, Rosemead, CA. Click for fore information on this seminar.
December 7-8, 2017–XFVU Seminar I-012 Learning From Buddha: BANGKOK, THAILAND
December 10, 2017–Kuan Yin Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly: BANGKOK, THAILAND
Contact Kunlanat (WOW) Makboon for details.
December 12-13, 2017–XFVU Seminar I-004 for Beginners: Differences Between Esoteric and Exoteric Buddhism: BANGKOK, THAILAND
Zhaxi Zhuoma RInpoche will read a preliminary English translation of the following Dharma Discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III: “Differences between Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism and Conferring Empowerment–Parts I & II” and “Relationship Between Formal Practices and Preliminary Practices.” Contact Kunlanat (WOW) Makboon for details.
December 17, 2017–Kuan Yin Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly: DaNANG, VIETNAM
Contact Helen Nguyen Thu Hien for details.
December 18, 2017–Learning From Buddha Class: DaNANG, VIETNAM
Contact Helen Nguyen Thu Hien for details.
December 29, 2017 to January 5, 2018–XFVU Seminar I-018 Initiation and Empowerment-II and Meditation Retreat: SANGER, CALIFORNIA
Intensive retreat practice and study of dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III including the following class:
XFVU Seminar I-018 Initiation & Empowerment-II including the following dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III: “Inner Tantric Initiations, Ethics, and Bodhichitta” (21 minutes) #115; “Pills of Buddhism and Their Empowerment” (19 minutes) #169; “Stipulation of Dharma That Cannot Be Violated in Teaching Mantra, Mudra, and Initiation” (17 minutes) #174; “An Introduction to Holy Inner-Tantric Initiations of State Practice” (29 minutes) #177; “Taking Refuge, Empowerment, and Initiation Are Sacred and Cannot Be Insulted” (24 minutes) #220; ”Effects of Empowerment. Disciples Share Their Experiences of Being Empowered” (68 minutes) #C04; with simultaneous translation by Suonan Ciren Rinpoche. The retreat starts on Friday at 7:00 pm and ends at noon on the following Friday. Click for more information.
January 12-15 XFVU Seminar I-021 True Practice of Buddhism (MLK)
January 19 H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Day
January 19-20 XFVU Seminar I-018 Initiation & Empowerment II: Rosemead
February 16 Chinese New Year
February 23-24 XFVU Beginners Seminar I-001 Listening to Discourses: Rosemead
February 16-22 *Seven-Day Meditation Retreat (President’s Day)
February 16-April 27, 2018–Spring Trimester, Xuanfa Five Vidyas University.
April 20-23 XFVU Seminar I-014 Dharma Protectors-Tantra
April 27-28 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-056 The Truth Sutra-I: Rosemead
May 18-19 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-057 The Truth Sutra-II: Rosemead
May 25-28 XFVU Beginners Seminar I-003 Sickness & Death (Memorial Day)
June 22-23 XFVU Seminar I-015 Rules of Esoteric Dharma: Rosemead
June 29-July 6 *Seven-Day Meditation Retreat (Fourth of July)
July 20-21 XFVU Beginners Seminar I-005 Supernormal Powers: Rosemead
July 27-August 2 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-050 Trip to the East-I (Chinese)
August 3-9 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-051 Trip to the East-II (Chinese)
August 10-16 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-052 Trip to the East-III (Chinese)
August 17-23 *Seven-Day Meditation Retreat
August 23 Ksitigarbha Dharma Assembly: Beseeching Blessings & Transmigrating the Deceased
August 24-25 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-053 Trip to the East-IV: Rosemead
August 31-Sept. 3 XFVU Advanced Seminar I-054 Trip to the East-V (Labor Day)
September 21-22 XFVU Seminar I-038 Lineage: Rosemead
October 5-12 *Seven-Day Meditation Retreat (Indigenous People’s Day)
October 13 Kuan Yin Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly
October 19-20 XFVU Seminar I-024 Buddhist Concepts & Principles III: Rosemead
October 29 Free Living Beings Day
November 8 Holy Vajra Pole Day
November 9-12 XFVU Seminar I-060 SAUMOL (Veteran’s Day)
November 23-24 XFVU Seminar I-059 Silver Box Lessons: Rosemead
December 7-14 *Seven-Day Meditation Retreat (Rohatsu)
December 14 Rohatsu Bodhi Day (Laba)
December 21-22 XFVU Seminar I-041 Becoming Accomplished Rosemead
The seminars and retreats are sponsored by the Xuanfa Five Vidyas Seminary and may be taken for credit, if desired. Go to XFVU website for more information.