Mahayoga Sadhana Retreat FAQs

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Can I attend the online Mahayoga Sadhana Retreat part time? 
Yes and no. Each day is a complete practice divided into four sessions. You may attend for one or a few individual full days, but please do not plan on joining for assorted sessions here and there. 

How can I find out more about these practices? 
On August 25, Joey Waxman will lead a webinar to give basic information and answer some questions. Register receive the link to connect to this instructional session. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the members' site for those who can’t join live. 

I am a new member of MSB. Will I benefit from these practices?
At this stage, focusing on Sessions is your main study and practice priority, but if you have time, you may well want to consider attending at least part of this retreat. Unless you have done similar practices with other Vajrayana teachers, it will probably be difficult for you to have a conceptual understanding of what we are doing. However, if you arouse the motivation of bodhicitta and practice with openness and sincerity, you will receive the blessings of joining Rinpoche and the sangha in this way. There have been many examples of people who have benefited from these practices without knowing much about what they were doing. 

I don’t have all the liturgies for these practices. How can I get them?
On the Mahayoga Sadhana Retreat page on the MSB members' site, there are downloadable PDFs for all the practices. Please do not share these with anyone. Note: The Chime Pakme Nyingtik liturgy will be slightly different from last year’s. We are asking people to make a donation for the liturgies here. The amount is up to you. 

Will the practices be in English or Tibetan?
Almost all of the practice will be in Tibetan with melodies that are easy to learn. For most of the practices, the liturgies will have Tibetan script, phoneticized Tibetan, and English translations. Very few people in MSB know Tibetan, so don’t worry about pronunciation; we all just do our best with the phonetics. 

Can I do these practices without having received the empowerments?
Yes, but please make a strong intention to receive the empowerments at your next opportunity. 

Will Rinpoche give teachings during the program? 
At similar programs in the past, Rinpoche usually has given spontaneous teachings throughout the retreat. We won’t know ahead of time if that will be the case this time. 

It will be difficult for me to join the practice at the time it is happening. Can I do the practice later with the recording?
No, there will be no recordings.

What do I need in order to do these practices? You will need to have a shrine and make daily offerings. Each day, you will make an abundant tsok plate and offer a nice liquid such as wine or juice. (There are no prohibited substances for these practices.) You will need three additional small plates, which can be kept to the side until it’s time to use them. The first is the shrine plate for the first portion of the tsok. At the appropriate time in the practice, you will take some offerings from the main tsok plate and put them on the shrine plate. The second plate is for the offerings you will take for yourself during the enjoyment section of the practice. The third plate is for the remainder offering.  (For more detailed instructions about the view and practice of making offerings, read Chapter 8 of the Sangha Manual: Offerings as a Way to Accumulate Merit.)

How can we view this program as a "retreat"? Rinpoche asks that we minimize our interactions with the outside world on all levels. 

What will it be like to do these group practices through Zoom?
In many ways, it will be similar to doing the online tsok practices. (If you’d like to attend any of the twice-monthly online tsok practices, please visit this page from the MSB members’ site.)
One difference is that the participants will not be visible on Zoom. The only images will come from the shrine room at Pema Osel. 

What is the daily schedule?
The schedule is subject to change, but we anticipate that it will be something like the following (all times are Eastern daylight):

9:00 - 11:00 First session

11:00 - 11:30 Break

11:30 - 12:30 Second session

12:30 - 2:30 Lunch break

2:30 - 4:15 Third session

4:15 - 4:45 Break

4:45 - 6:30 Fourth session

*** This schedule is subject to change. If a change is made, we will likely email all participants and announce the change at the end of the sessions, if possible.

*The schedule for Thursday, the final day, is determined the day before and will be announced. 

What practices will be doing on what days?

Friday 9/4 - Chime Pakme Nyingtik

Saturday 9/5 - Chime Pakme Nyingtik

Sunday 9/6 - Chime Pakme Nyingtik

Monday 9/7 - Rangjung Peme Nyingtik / Riwo Sangcho

Tuesday 9/8 -  Rangjung Peme Nyingtik / Riwo Sangcho

Wednesday 9/9 - Rangjung Peme Nyingtik / Riwo Sangcho

Thursday 9/10 - Rangjung Peme Nyingtik siddhis 

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