The Vajra Essence – Part IV
March 31 – May 27, 2023
Co-sponsored by the Center for Contemplative Research
An in-person and virtual retreat from Crestone, CO.
We welcome you to register for the virtual retreat The Vajra Essence – Part IV
Please be sure to read all of the information regarding the retreat before registering.
During this 8-week retreat, Lama Alan will grant an oral transmission and commentary to Düdjom Lingpa’s revealed treatise, The Vajra Essence, picking up where we left off last May.
In the final 8-week retreat of this series on Düdjom Lingpa’s revelations of the Great Perfection, we come to the culmination of the Lake-Born Vajra’s teachings in The Vajra Essence on cutting through to the original purity of pristine awareness (tekchö).
This series of pointing-out instructions draws critical distinctions between the mind and pristine awareness, between conditioned consciousness and primordial consciousness, and other fundamental distinctions within the Dzogchen view. These instructions are followed by detailed teachings on the final stage of Dzogchen practice known as the direct crossing-over to spontaneously actualization (tögal), which comes to its fruition in the achievement of various manifestations of the rainbow body. As with the earlier teachings on Düdjom Lingpa’s revelations of the Great Perfection, commentary on this practice will not be offered during this retreat as a public teaching, but only later on to those who have achieved shamatha and vipashyana and on that basis are able to authentically rest in pristine awareness.
Following this section of The Vajra Essence, oral commentary will be offered on the Lake-Born Vajra’s concluding teachings on the six transitional phases (bardo), including dream yoga.
The most important prerequisite for participating in this retreat is that all applicants must have already listened to the oral transmission and commentary on the opening phases of The Vajra Essence by Lama Alan given during the first retreat in this series, offered during April – May, 2020 via either the SBI audio-stream or the Wisdom online retreat. The 2021 and 2022 8-week retreats are not required for the 2023 retreat.
About the Retreat
The teachings and guided meditations offered during these 8-week retreats are sufficient for achieving shamatha, realizing emptiness, and identifying pristine awareness, and thereby entering the path of the Great Perfection.
The instructions presented in these retreats on The Vajra Essence are for the sake of progressing along that path to its culmination in the achievement of the rainbow body and perfect enlightenment. At the end of this revelation, the Lake-Born Vajra declares that the unsurpassed quality of the profound path of the Vajra Essence is that it enables those who practice it to identify pristine awareness, dispel their flaws by means of meditation, and finally, by practicing while remaining inactive, become siddhas and experience the state of omniscient enlightenment. But he cautions that this sublime revelation will not remain for long, for there will be no teachers who know how to explain it, and few people who have the karma, prayers, and fortune to receive it.
During this retreat, co-teacher Glen Svensson will lead two sessions each week and provide background material, a review of the prior day’s material and guided meditations pertaining to the topics discussed in the text. His review sessions will be on Thursdays and Sundays. Listening to these teachings is strongly recommended for everyone participating in this retreat. Glen will also answer emailed questions by retreatants, as he has done in the past 8-week retreats.
We at the Santa Barbara Institute and Wisdom Publications are offering, and recording, these teachings so that for generations to come there will indeed be teachers who know how to explain them, and individuals who have the good fortune to experience their full benefits.
- One-hour morning sessions of guided meditations & Q&A three times each week.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
You will be able to email questions to Lama Alan that pertain to the teachings or meditations that he has offered.
- A 90-minute guided meditation + lecture, six days/week. Lama Alan will continue his transmission and commentary of The Vajra Essence in these sessions.
Monday – Saturday
- Sessions with Lama Alan will NOT be live streamed.
- This will really be a meditative retreat, not an intensive 8 weeks of teachings.
- As in prior Vajra Essence retreats Glen Svensson will co-teach with Lama Alan. Glen will lead two one-hour Zoom sessions each week, Thursday and Sunday 19:00 AEST.
Glen’s sessions will also be recorded to view at a convenient time. Glen will provide summaries, background and guided review meditations pertaining to the topics discussed in the text and also answer emailed questions.
You will have access to the SBI media site for the retreat where you will be able to listen to all of the teachings, on a podcast app, via download or streaming, as many times as you like for as long as you like. As in past retreats, additional resources will be available on the media site.
By registering for the retreat, you acknowledge that you will have listened to the 2020 8-week retreat in its entirety before beginning this retreat.
Additional Retreat Information
We are continuing with our tiered pricing system so that fewer people will need to make a formal scholarship request.
Full-scholarships are available for monastics and those in full-time retreat.
Partial scholarships are also available, before applying please check the registration page for our Scholarship Discount price.
All students in the retreat will be provided with retreat notes from Lama Alan and Glen via email and they will also be posted on the media site.
Retreat Facebook Group
Senior students of Lama Alan will moderate a 2023 8-week retreat Facebook Group for our virtual sangha. Many have found this a rewarding way to participate with the sangha both during and after the retreat. You can ask questions, start a discussion or find a buddy to have support during your retreat.
An email to join the group will be sent to you after you have registered for the retreat. Please allow 48 hours for the email.
if you are doing a solitary retreat and would like additional support, if you have technical issues with the audio-stream, or any other issues during the retreat.
After registering you will receive a password to access the retreat on the SBI media site.
Please do not share the recording with those who are not registered for the retreat.
We look forward to coming together to receive these precious teachings and guided meditations that are sufficient for achieving shamatha, realizing emptiness, and identifying pristine awareness, and thereby entering the path of the Great Perfection.