Level 1 Retreat Schedule

Level 1 Schedule

Local variations to this schedule may occur.

Everyone attending the retreat is expected to attend all sessions.

Anyone who misses a session will not be able to return to complete the course, unless they have made a prior arrangement with the teacher.

Day 1

6:00 to 9:00pm:

Evening session

  • Introduction–An overview of meditation practices
  • Basic principles of intensive concentration meditation
  • Review of the 7-point posture

 

Day 2

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • Introduction to concentration using the 3-point breath
  • Ordinary vs. extraordinary forms of practice

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Factors that potentiate the practice
  • Common problems and methods to deal with them
  • Distracting thought, drowsiness & flightiness

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session

  • Application of methods to deal with thought and drowsiness/flightiness
  • Vigilance practice

 

Day 3

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • Deepening concentration: Intensifying & Easing up
  • Skill in concentration

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Concentration using the 7-point object
  • The problem of partial staying

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session

  • Concentration using the mind-perspective
  • Concentration with support–an overview of the state

 

Day 4

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • The development of physical pliancy
  • Concentration without support
  • Skill in intensifying & easing up
  • Stabilizing the flow of mind-moments; stream access

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Automatic concentration, one-pointedness, and equanimity
  • Assessing progress–The Nine States of Staying using the elephant path model
  • Meditation on movement & stillness
  • Stabilizing concentration from the mind-perspective

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session

  • Overview of the ordinary insight meditations
  • Meditation on emptiness of self representation

 

Day 5

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • Emptiness of self meditation continued
  • Emptiness of phenomena meditation–the ‘Mind Only’ perspective
  • Developing skill in emptiness meditations

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Emptiness & compassion combined meditations
  • Developing mental pliancy & its role in insight meditations
  • Meditations on emptiness of temporality
  • Nagarjuna’s Eight Extremes meditation
  • Mahamudra meditation on the Unelaborated Mind and the Always There Mind
  • Stabilizing the Simultaneous Mind, from the mind-perspective

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session

  • Extraordinary or essence insight meditations–an overview
  • Stabilizing the Simultaneous Mind as always there
  • Simultaneous Mind meditation on coarse-level thought–water & waves meditation

 

Day 6

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • Water & waves (continued)
  • Simultaneous Mind meditation on coarse-level sense perception–dreamer &
    dreams meditation
  • One Taste meditation–non-duality of the Simultaneous Mind
  • Advanced One Taste meditation–Sealing whatever occurs as empty upon arising

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Sealing all occurrences as empty upon arising
  • Automatic emptiness practice during and after the meditation session
  • Overview of Non-Meditation Instructions
  • Gampopa’s Four Means to Set Up Awakened Wisdom
  • Maitripa’s negation instructions
  • The extraordinary version of compassion meditation

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session – No formal class

  • Evening practice: automatic emptiness each moment, off the pillow (no formal class, participants practice on their own with given instructions)

 

Day 7

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • The problem of artificial vs. spontaneous activity of mind
  • How making something happen or preventing something from happening obscures awakened wisdom
  • The problem of conceptualization
  • Review of the practice as a means to set up awakened wisdom
  • Skillfully identifying & removing the obstacles to awakened wisdom
  • Protecting instructions–real mindfulness without artificial activity, with awareness-itself as both the vantage point of and the object of meditation

2:00 to 4:30pm:

Afternoon session

  • Continuation of protecting instructions
  • Individualized assessment of habits of mind that obscure awakened wisdom
  • Setting up meditation; shifting the locus to the ground of awareness; practice from the vantage point of awakened wisdom

6:00 to 8:00pm:

Evening session – No formal class

  • Practice that never ceases; continuous awareness of whatever arises moment-by-moment, sealed as empty upon arising Made calm/set-free as empty upon arising

Day 8

10:00 to 12:30am:

Morning session

  • Application of the practice to everyday living–the issue of spontaneous presence
  • How to deepen the gains
  • Path-walking instruction
  • Precious opportunity meditation
  • Closure