As winter begins, the monks and nuns of Gampo Abbey are preparing to enter the annual 49-day Yarne Retreat. We are very happy that Ani Pema Chodron, the Gampo Acharya, arrived this week. She will be teaching on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (using Acharya Gaylon Ferguson's book "Natural Wakefulness" as a source text) during this year's Yarne program.
Yarne is the traditional "rainy season" retreat held by monastics each year since the time of the Buddha. It is a time for going deeper into practice and community. During Yarne, more strict boundaries of retreat are maintained, and daily practices include meditation, talks, and Oryoki meals in the shrine room.
Twelve guests from across North America (and one from New Zealand) will be joining the community for the duration of the retreat. Zen teachers Ryumon and Anraku will also offer teachings, and Gelong Lodro Sangpo will teach a week on Mahamudra.
As a holiday gift to the sangha, we would like to offer an audio file of a talk given by Ani Pema to the Gampo Abbey community last year, shortly after Ani Pema was designated Gampo Acharya; in it she describes a new vision for monastic life at Gampo Abbey. This talk will be of interest to anyone who enjoys Ani Pema's teachings or feels a connection to the Abbey.
The talk is posted here as a streaming file; to listen, use the controls embedded below. Also, if you have not done so already, please sign up for our email list, in the column at right -- so you can receive future talks from Ani Pema and other teachers, along with news from Gampo Abbey.