Our Spiritual Programme 2014/15
Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Philosophy Courses
All courses and dates are subject to change, please check for updates and additions
Root Institute provides an excellent environment for people of any nationality and any religion to explore their minds and develop their positive qualities through study and meditation on the teachings of the Buddha.
Each winter (October to March) we offer a series of courses and retreats on Tibetan Buddhist meditation and philosophy in English. These courses cover a wide range of Buddhist topics and are designed to complement each other. Taught by qualified and experienced Western teachers and visiting Tibetan Lamas, all of our courses and retreats emphasise practical application of the Buddha’s teachings in order to increase compassion, wisdom, peace and happiness in one’s daily life. Most of these courses qualify as part of the FPMT Discovering Buddhism Programme. Courses taught in Hindi for our Indian students are offered year-round.
In addition to our courses and retreats, the following are available all year (even during the low season April - September):
- Meditate in our two beautiful meditation halls and gardens. Morning meditations 6.45-7.30am.
- Join one of our regular pujas (group practices) including: Guru Puja, Tara Puja, Medicine Buddha Puja, light offerings, offering robes to the Mahabodhi Buddha statue, sutra recitations, and more. More...
- Visit our excellent library and bookshop of Dharma books and videos, including extensive information on the Buddhist holy sites, the preliminary practices (ngondro), and the best practices to do at the Mahabodhi Stupa. Browse quality Dharma items in our gift shop: thankgas, semi-precious malas, mandala sets, altar cloths and much more. More...
- Accommodation and personal retreat facilities including clean, comfortable rooms and retreat houses in a lovely garden setting with delicious vegetarian meals available for individuals and private groups. More...
- Root Institute's Shakyamuni Buddha Community Health Programme provides free health care to some of India's most impoverished people in our on-site clinic and 8 bed hospital, alongside our mobile team in villages and through our integrated health and development programme. You are welcome to observe our work in the on-site clinic and the village health programme. Volunteer nurses and physiotherapists are always welcome (preferably for a minimum stay of 3 - 6 months). More...
We ask our guests to observe the following discipline in order to create an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation.
All guests are asked to abide by the following Buddhist precepts:
- Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects
- Respect others’ property: do not steal or take anything not freely given
- Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others
- Be celibate: no sexual activity
- Be alert and mindful: avoid intoxicants such as cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs
- Be considerate of others’ silence: no singing or playing music
- Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully (please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing)
Additionally, during courses students are asked to:
- Not leave Root Institute property for the duration of a course. Therefore, all your business in town (travel arrangements, e-mails, phone calls, etc.) must be completed before the first session begins.
- Maintain silence when specified on courses/retreats, except during daily discussion groups, question/answer sessions, and other prescribed "talking times" as outlined during the course introduction.
- Since many of the ideas presented during a course may be new or different from one's own beliefs, we ask everyone to keep an open mind and be prepared to analyse and contemplate not only the teachings, but also one's own views.
- Everyone’s participation is important. Therefore, all students are expected to attend all sessions of courses/retreats and come to sessions on time.
Meals and Accommodation
Root Institute serves delicious Indian and Western vegetarian meals three times per day. These include wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, sugar and salt; although we will do our best to accommodate special health-related dietary needs, we are not able to guarantee this in all cases.
During courses, men and women must have separate accommodation and couples or family members are strongly encouraged to stay in separate rooms to aide in creating a conducive course/retreat environment..
Please be aware that we will note the room preference listed on your registration form, but we cannot confirm any specific room bookings until you arrive for the course. We will at least offer you a dormitory bed and will do our best to fulfil any other requests when you arrive.