Gampo Abbey was very pleased to host “Empowering our Lives with Meaning: A Monastic Youth Dathün” from July 13 to August 10, 2013. We had nine participants, ranging in age from 17 to 32 and coming from homes including California, Cape Breton, and the Netherlands.
Seven took temporary monastic ordination for the month, an opportunity more rare in the West than in parts of Asia but a heart aspiration of the Abbey’s founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
|... and after|
The program took place in Söpa Chöling, the Abbey’s long-term retreat facility. The main activity of the dathün was sitting meditation with contemplative meals, movement, and liturgy used as supports.
The dathün was directed by Ani Lodrö Palmo whose talks focused on how the view and forms of monastic life can inform and inspire household practice, such as having a plan for life and a plan for each day involving mindfulness and contentment, joyful discipline, fearlessness, and wisdom as taught in the four dignities of Shambhala. She was assisted by Getsul Loden Nyima who taught the monastic forms themselves with an emphasis on their underlying themes, which apply to our entire dharma path, and who gave guided meditation on bodhicitta. The dathün was warmly and spaciously coordinated by Dawa Lhatso.
The month-long format allowed time to explore these themes as they apply to various aspects of life and practice. The participants and staff alike were grateful for the opportunity to practice intensively for a month and to have this taste of monastic life.
Participants returned home with a strong set of tools for enriching, strengthening, and further establishing their practices. They also took with them a heightened sense of the preciousness of a human life and the ability to help transform the world through a conscious use of intention and interdependent action grounded in meditation practice and inspired by basic goodness, an underlying theme throughout the month.
This was a deeply joyful and inspiring experience for all. We wish our participants the very best and hope to see them again along their paths!
For more information about monastic youth dathüns at Gampo Abbey, please visit our website.
|This rainbow auspiciously appeared behind Sopa Chöling on the departure day|