Prague Retreats:

Tasting the Essence of Tantra

Prague Dates:

 

Each module will consist of one Thursday and a weekend. Attending all 3 days would be best, but if not then it is possible to attend just the Thursday or the weekend. 

 

2018

Module 5: June 21, 23-24.

Module 6: November 28, 30-1st Dec

2019

Module 7: June 20, 22-23

Module 8: December 5, 6-7

For information contact Josef:

j.sila@maitrea.cz

or go to

www.maitrea.cz

A Programme of 8 retreats 

Held at Maitrea

Tynska ulicka 6, Praha 1 

 

With Rob Preece (Thubten Kunkyen)

 

A rare opportunity to train in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhist Tantra with an experienced Western teacher. 

 

Tantra or Vajrayana is one of. the most extraordinary aspects of Buddhism that emerged in India and became shaped and developed in its transmission through Nepal and into Tibet. To gain a genuine experience of this path requires skilful guidance to enable the particular psychological nature of our Western mind to be touched by this profound Eastern tradition. Tantra is a creative process and just as it evolved when it became Tibetan experience so too it must evolve as it meets Western mind in order that it genuinely becomes our experience. 

 

Rob Preece is an experienced teacher of this tradition to Westerners having been a practitioner for more than 40 years. It was the wish of his teacher Lama Thubten Yeshe to bring together tantric practice and psychological understanding. Through his years of practice and teaching Rob has come to recognize what particularly suits our Western psychological nature as the basis for deepening experience. 

 

In this series of retreats Rob will teach meditation that is designed to gradually awaken the experience of how tantra works. He will also give initiation into some of the primary deity practices of tantra. Each retreat builds upon the experience of the retreat before to gradually deepen that process, it would be extremely beneficial therefore to try and attend them all. If this is not possible they can each be attended separately. As the retreats progress participants will be supported to establish an on going daily meditation practice to integrate this extraordinary way of practice into daily life.

 

Rob’s style of teaching is oriented to opening a dialogue around the material that is being explored. This is to maintain a spirit of exploration and creativity in the way tantra is integrated into Western experience rather than holding to rigid prescriptions of practice. Tantra cannot be integrated without a sound relationship to the body and emotions and so throughout there will be the inclusion of the practice of Kum Nye a process of movement that balances and frees the energy in the body. 

 

 

The course will consist of the following Modules:

 

Module 1: Becoming a stable vessel: Our relationship to the body is one of the most important aspects of tantric practice as it is the basis of all transformation. In this module we will begin to work with the awareness of sensation, feeling and emotion within the body. This creates a stable ground for practice and a resource to help stabilize our relationship to our emotional life in the body. During this retreat participants will have the opportunity to take Refuge and will be introduced to the practice of Shakyamuni Buddha.

 

Module 2: Awakening right intention: Our motivation for the practice of Tantra is important and in this retreat will explore the cultivation of Bodhicitta the intention to awaken for the welfare of others. We will also begin to develop ways of healing of some of our core psychological wounding through developing compassionate presence. We will develop the practices of Tong Len as a method for healing both self and others. This retreat will offer the opportunity to take the Bodhisattva vow and Rob will introduce the deity Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion.

 

Module 3: Discovering the nature of mind: This retreat will introduce the practice of Mahamudra which is fundamental to mediation within Tantric practice. Rob will bring together the insight of emptiness from Madyamika philosophy with meditation on the nature of mind found in Mahamudra.  We will explore the stages for developing the practice of tranquil abiding and insight meditation. We will also look at the significance within Tantra of the understanding of Buddha nature, Dharmakaya, the innate nature of mind. During this retreat Rob will introduce the deity Manjushri the Buddha of wisdom.

 

Module 4: The nature of Deity Practice: This retreat we will look more deeply at the psychology of the deity in Tantra and the method of practice known as the sadhana. We will then explore the relationship to the deity cultivated through prayers, offering rituals, prostrations and the practice of mantra and mudra (sacred movement). Guidance will be given in how to create sacred space and the use of ritual implements, the vajra and bell. We will also explore the meaning and significance of the guru in Tantra and its potential for confusion in the West. During this retreat Rob will introduce the practice of Green Tara.

 

Module 5: Awakening the energy body: In this retreat we will shift attention to developing awareness of the energy body, introducing the processes of healing and purification and the significance of working with exercises such as Kum Nye. We will explore the nature of the subtle body, its channels and chakras, drops and energy-winds their function and significance in Tantric practice. We will look at the relationship between our emotional life and the energy body and the kind problems that can arise and how they can be healed. We will explore the roll of an alchemical vessel in the process of transformation and healing. During this retreat Rob will give introduce the practice of Vajrasattva one of the most important practices for healing.

 

Module 6: Working with the shadow: During this retreat we will begin to look at the transformation and purification of the shadow. We will go deeper into ways of working with the energy of our emotions and psychological patterns looking at their purification and transformation through symbolic ritual. We will explore the relationship between peaceful and wrathful deities, introducing the principle of transformation used in higher tantra practice.  This retreat we will introduce the deity Vajrapani.

 

Module 7: The Masculine and Feminine: In this module we will begin to look at the outer inner and secret relationships between the masculine and feminine expressed in the nature of tantric daka/dakini and Jung’s  anima/animus. We will begin to explore the significance of our search for union on a psychological and energetic level. We will look at the meaning behind the divisions of mother and father tantra and their psychological implications  This process will be supported by deepening the practice of Heruka Vajrasattva looking towards the practices of Higher tantra.

Module 8: The Mandala and Visions of wholeness: In this final retreat we will begin to draw together elements of practice that have gone before into a more cohesive whole.  We will explore the nature of the mandala as an important expression of the vision of wholeness and as a symbol of the homeostatic nature of the psyche. We will look at the 5 Buddha families and 5 elements and their contribution to our personal psychological experience of health and wholeness. During this week will also begin to look at the way forward in terms of individual practice.

Who is it for?

This course is for those who already have some relationship to Buddhism and who have potentially attended prevoius courses given by Rob. New people are welcome, but it would be helpful for me to have a clear idea of your experience and background particularly in relation to the Tibetan tradition, as well as your meditation experience. We will also need to know of any mental health issues that you have had as well as any particular physical disabilities that might be relevant to this process. 

 

While it is preferable for the sake of continuity for participants to attend the entire program it will be possible for a few people to attend some of these retreats individually.

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reading:

The Wisdom of Imperfection, The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra, The Courage to Feel, Preparing for Tantra, by Rob; Introduction to Tantra, by Lama Yeshe; The Three Principle Aspects of the Path, by Geshe Sonam Rinchen; An Ocean of Ultimate Meaning, by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche; Awakening the Heart, by John Welwood.

 

For further information please contact robpreece@mudra.co.uk

© 2015 Rob Preece