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05 February 2024

A Magical month at IKRC Grand Canyon

The International Kadampa Retreat Center Grand Canyon is part way through its 2024 Mountain Retreat. Over 80 retreaters participated in the first three weeks led by KMC-NYC Resident Teacher Kadam Morten Clausen. Kadam Morten guided three weeks of retreat on the first two of the five stages of Mahamudra explained by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book 'The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra'. Retreaters spent two weeks meditating on tranquil abiding, followed by a week of meditations on the holy object emptiness, all within the context of our Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land sadhana.

week 1

Sunday snowstorm, surreal sunsets, and the Sangha Jewels in attendance were the highlights of Week 1 of our retreat. Our first official snowfall of the year always makes for quiet and calm retreat conditions. Several retreat participants pitched in to help the IKRC Grand Canyon’s snow patrol team shovel and clear walkways.

The teachings and meditations on tranquil abiding, taking the nature of our mind as an object contributed to further stillness of the retreat.

week 2

During Week 2 of the Mountain Retreat, we meditated on the sentence from Venerable Geshe-la's book How to Transform Your Life

"Our mind is not an independent entity, but an ever-changing continuum that depends upon many factors, such as its previous moments, its objects and the inner energy winds upon which our minds are mounted."

Kadam Morten gave several teachings on this one sentence and then led retreaters to move from meditating on the clarity of the mind to meditating on emptiness.

week 3

Finally, in Week 3, Kadam Morten left us to meditate on this precious instruction from The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra:

"As Buddha said in the Sutras, all phenomena that we normally see or perceive are like an illusion. This means that although they appear they do not exist, just like an illusion. They are just mistaken appearance. We should develop and hold this profound knowledge day and night, never allowing ourself to forget it."

weeks 4-6

Then on January 26, Gen-la Jampa began Weeks 4-6 of the Mountain Retreat with an introduction to the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka Close Retreat. The fortunate people at the IKRC have the opportunity to draw close to this special enlightened being with verbal recitation collecting 100,000 Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantras. With our mind empowered by our Guru's blessings there is great hope that we can gain the realisations of Mahamudra.

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Book launch “How to understand the mind” in Swedish

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