The Way of Shamatha:
Soothing the Body, Calming the Mind, Illuminating Awareness
During this retreat, we will explore in theory and practice a range of methods for developing meditative quiescence, or shamatha. We will begin with the practice of mindfulness of the breathing as taught by the Buddha, which is an especially effective approach to soothing the body and calming the discursive mind. We will then explore an approach to shamatha that is particularly pertinent for Dzogchen practice, called “settling the mind in its natural state,” as taught by the nineteenth-century Dzogchen master Lerab Lingpa in his commentary to the Heart Essence of Vimalamitra.
Finally, we will engage in the practice of “shamatha without signs” as taught by Padmasambhava in his classic terma Natural Liberation. Although this subtle practice is taught explicitly as a means of achieving shamatha, Padmasambhava comments that it may even result in a realization of rigpa, or pristine awareness.
The achievement of shamatha is widely regarded in the Buddhist tradition as an indispensable foundation for the cultivation of contemplative insight (vipashyana), and this retreat is designed to provide students with a sufficient theoretical understanding and a basis in experience to enable them to proceed effectively toward this extraordinary state of mental and physical balance.
DATES AND TIMES
December 9th to 15th 2019 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Balmain Town Hall, 370 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041
Special Launch Price: $495 (available until March 31st)
Early Bird: $595 (available until 30th June)
Full Fee: $695
Members of Vajrayana Institute or The Contemplary will receive 10% off ticket prices. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with member details to receive discount code.
Catering is not provided. Participants may wish to bring their own food, alternatively, there are a number of other cafes and restaurants close by providing easy access to food and drinks.
A number of bursaries will be available to ensure that where possible people with financial difficulties are not prevented from participating in this retreat. Please email email@example.com for consideration.
Cancellation received in writing up to 30 days before the start of the retreat will receive a 50% refund of the registration fee. We regret that no refunds can be made if the cancellation is received within 30 days before the start of the retreat.
ADVICE FOR INTERSTATE PARTICIPANTS
This will be Alan Wallace’s only retreat in Australia in 2019. Interstate and international participants may find affordable and nearby accommodation through Airbnb, or in local hotels and apartments. Arrange your accomodation early as this retreat is close to Christmas which brings an influx of interstate visitors to Sydney at this time.