Yarne Retreat 2020
The annual summer retreat was held this year from August 3rd to September 17th. Established during the rainy season at the time of the Buddha, the retreat is an opportunity for monastics to stay in one place to study, engage in meditation, and train in virtuous activity of body, speech and mind. Staying in one place also helps to avoid harming the small creatures which emerge during the rainy season.
The daily schedule varies between shedra, non-shedra, and grade school age monks and nuns but they all rise early and finish the day by 10:00 PM. (9:00 PM for the younger children.) The lunch break is an hour and a half and while the younger children do have a dinner meal the older monastics observe the vow of not eating after noon.
At Tara Abbey, Ani Lhamo taught the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Khenpo Chonyi gave meditation instruction and Ani Lhakpa Dolma taught Tibetan Grammar. Within the yarne schedule, shedra nuns continue with their daily classes and debates while school nuns have classes with Ani Menkhu and Ani Nangsal, along with their online lessons.
At Thrangu Tashi Yangtse (Namo Buddha) there were a total of 93 monks in retreat including SMDBS students; at Thrangu Tashi Choling (Boudha) there were 85; and at VVI there are 131. The day begins for everyone with prayers and recitation of the Yarne text and continues with Dharma teachings, grammar and handwriting classes, meditation, prayer sessions, self study and memorization. The morning class is a study of Nagarjuna’s, Letter to a Friend and the evening class presents Gampopa’s, Jewel Ornament of Liberation.