INTERMEDIATE: Most suitable for practicing Buddhists and non-Buddhists already familiar with foundational Buddhist concepts; registration required
WHEN: June 30th - July 9th, 2017; please check Calendar to confirm
June 30th, 2017, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
July 1st - 9th, 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: The Guhyasamaja Center, Professional Center of Fairfax Building, 10875 Main Street, Unit 108, Fairfax, VA
This will be a remarkable and rare opportunity for those deeply interested in Buddhist philosophy and practice to study extremely important texts with a great, living master of this tradition ...
Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche has agreed to teach for 10 days at The Guhyasamaja Center this summer on Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara (Entering the Middle Way). Rinpoche has agreed to go through the text slowly, basing his teachings on Lama Tsongkhapa's profound commentary, Illumination of Thought.
Chandrakirti was one of the great Buddhist yogi-philosophers of the famed Nalanda Monastic University of India. Tibetan teachers in general, and Lama Tsongkhapa in particular, consider this text of Chandrakirti's to present the view of middle way philosophy — of emptiness — in an utterly definitive and clear way. Monks of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions study this text as part of their monastic curricula, and monks of the Gelugpa tradition including Khensur Rinpoche himself spend years studying and meditating on this very text as part of their Geshe studies program. This will be Rinpoche's first time giving an in-depth commentary on this text in the West. We expect the commentary to continue in 2018.
The Guhyasamaja Center does not own any residential property. The teachings will take place within the center, but participants will have to reside outside of the center. Local members have offered space for a small number of visitors. For others, we are listing nearby motels/rental options below.
Parking is limited as we share the building with various other businesses who are busy on weekdays. So, please park in the free, open street parking on Hallman Street or Poplar Street just by the center. See our Contact page for more information.
Lunch breaks will provide time to get lunch on your own or with fellow students. There are many restaurants within walking distance of the center (and many more that are a short drive away).
Please note that this class is on subject matter suitable to intermediate and advanced students of Buddhism. It is, for example, suitable for students who have gone through the Discovering Buddhism program at our center or who have engaged in Basic Program classes like those currently being taught on Lama Tsongkhapa's Middle Length Lamrim at the center. Students who are new to Buddhism and have not engaged in some previous study of Buddhist philosophy will likely find the material challenging.
Also, we advise making a strong effort to attend the full retreat as doing so will naturally make understanding this philosophical material much easier than attending only a portion of the retreat. As space is limited, preference will be given for registrants attending the full retreat.
The center's director, Lorne Ladner, Ph.D., will lead a single "Preparatory Session" in the month leading up to the retreat, giving a general overview of core ideas from Buddhist philosophy and from the stages one progresses through as one progresses on the path (e.g. the 5 stages and 10 grounds) to provide some orientation for local students who are wishing to attend but can use further orientation to these topics which inform and are elucidated in Chandrakirti's text.
There are no set fees for attending these 10 days of teachings. We ask that attendees offer to the center whatever amount they can afford. Donations will be used to cover: offering to Khensur Rinpoche; offering to the translator (Geshe Tashi); travel costs; copies; advertising; coffee/tea/snacks; and the overall costs of keeping the center running (mortgage, condo fees, taxes, electricity, etc.).
Attendees have sometimes asked for suggested donation amounts, and so we've typically listed $30 per day for members and $40 per day for non-members, but these are just general guidelines. Feel free to donate less or more according to your circumstances. Donation details are listed below.
Our main request is that you donate with a motivation of bodhichitta, aspiring for the Dharma to last long, and with an awareness of the emptiness of the giver, the gift and the recipient — a topic that will be explored in some detail over the course of these teachings!
Space at the center is limited, and we do not know how many students will be wishing to attend this teaching, so places will be given in the order in which folks have registered. Preference will be given to those who are attending the full retreat, with spaces for partial attendees only being given if there is remaining space after all full time folks have been counted.
By registering, you will also be placed on a mailing list for just this event to receive further information as the event approaches. That information will include details about textual materials that we will make available once we have received further guidance on that point from Rinpoche and Geshe Tashi. It will also include suggested further readings and more details on logistics.
HOUSING OPTIONS FOR OUT-OF-TOWN PARTICIPANTS
The center will do what it can to reach out to local members who may have space to offer to out of town participants. However, we cannot guarantee housing as the center doesn't own residential property.
One relatively inexpensive housing option is airbnb.com which seems to offer rooms at rate of around $45 per night.
Here's a list of hotels typically under $90 a night within 9 miles of the center:
• Comfort Inn University Center $85; 11180 Main St, Fairfax, VA, 22030, (855) 239-9246
• Best Western Fairfax $89; 3535 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030
• Lee Highway Inn $80; 9865 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA, 22030, (866) 209-9122
• Rodeway Inn $67; 9700 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, VA, 22031, (866) 209-9122
• Extended Stay America - Fairfax $85; 12104 Monument Dr, Fairfax, VA, 22033, (800) 658-6760
• Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel $59; 430 Maple Ave. West, Vienna, VA, 22180, (866) 209-9122
• Extended Stay America - Centreville $85; 5920 Fort Dr, Centreville, VA, 20121, (800) 658-6760
• Extended Stay America - Chantilly $72; 14420 Chantilly Crossing Ln, Chantilly, VA, 20151, (800) 658-6760
• Days Inn Manassas $55; 7611 Centreville Road, Manassas, VA, 20111, (855) 238-1590
Information regarding what you can expect when visiting the center, Dharma etiquette, the center's sacred artwork, and more can be found on our Resources page.
For directions, accessibility information, parking instructions, and other details you may find helpful for your visit, please visit our Contact page.
Suggested donations for both members and non-members are listed above, but please — give what you're comfortable with!
You have the option of dropping cash or check into the donation box onsite (don't forget to grab a tax receipt!). You can also make a one-time donation online using the button below (please enter a note so we know what your donation is for). You can also mail a check to our mailing address; our mailing address can be found at the bottom of this page or on our Contact page.
ENTER ONE-TIME DONATION AMOUNT
Don't forget to rejoice in your good deeds and dedicate the positive potential generated to the completion of something spiritually meaningful to you!
If you'd like to contribute but are unable to make a financial donation, please don't worry — no one will ever be turned away for financial reasons! And there are many other ways you can help support the teachings.
For more information about all our funds and special projects in need of financial support, the center's donation policy, tax deductible information, membership details, volunteer opportunities and other ways you can support the center, please visit our Practicing Generosity page.