Buddha’s Enlightenment Day Celebration 2020:
Nyungne Fasting & Purification Retreat

Saturday, April 11th, 2020
7:00am – 3:00pm

Participate from home via live streaming video to your computer, smartphone or tablet. This event is free and open to all, however please carefully read the information below to ensure you are comfortable with the requirements for participation.

About this Event

On this special day we will celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day. This marks the occasion when Buddha Shakyamuni showed the manner of accomplishing the ultimate goal of living beings – the attainment of enlightenment – at Bodh Gaya, India in 589 BC. With this auspicious deed he demonstrated how each of us can overcome all internal and external obstacles and hindrances and become an enlightened person. To celebrate this special day, we will engage in a one day Nyungne Purification Retreat.

Nyungne is a special fasting and purification practice performed in conjunction with prostrations and prayers to Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. This is a very powerful method for purifying negativity of body, speech, and mind, and for pacifying strong delusions such as desirous attachment and hatred. It is also a special way of receiving blessings and for improving our minds of love, compassion, and bodhichitta. This practice is done annually at Kadampa Buddhist centers throughout the world to celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day.

Requirements for Participating in this Retreat

To participate in this retreat you must agree to do the following:

  1. Take and observe precepts for one day. Precepts are special vows of moral discipline that you promise to observe diligently for 24 hours. A ceremony for taking precepts will be conducted at 7:00am. You must participate in this ceremony in order to attend any part of the retreat. Please continue reading below for more detailed information about the precepts.
  2. Engage in fasting for one day. This involves abstaining from all meals during a 24 hour period, except for lunch on Saturday. You should also avoid eating certain foods during the lunch, including alcohol, meat, eggs, onion, garlic and spices.

Please note that this retreat mainly involves chanting prayers and making physical prostrations. A brief explanation of how to engage in the practice will be given via live streaming video during the 7am session, however after that no further instruction or guidance will be given.

You may wish to have a yoga or exercise mat available for making prostrations.

24-Hour Retreat Schedule

7:00am – 8:00am – Precepts
Brief explanation & guided ceremony for taking precepts
with Gen Kelsang Tashi

8:00am – 9:15am – Session 1
“Drop of Essential Nectar” Chanted Prayers & Prostrations

11:00am – 12:15pm – Session 2
“Drop of Essential Nectar” Chanted Prayers & Prostrations

12:15pm – 1:45pm – Break
During this break you may eat a vegetarian “precepts-friendly” lunch

1:45pm – 3:00pm – Session 3
“Drop of Essential Nectar” Chanted Prayers & Prostrations

Please note, from 3pm Saturday until 7am Sunday, participants must continue fasting and observing the precepts.

About the Precepts

The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta intention, the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. The essence of this practice is taking eight precepts and keeping them purely for twenty-four hours. When we take precepts, we explicitly promise to abstain for twenty-four hours from eight actions which include: (1) killing; (2) stealing; (3) sexual activity; (4) lying; (5) taking intoxicants; (6) eating after lunch (meaning we only eat lunch); (7) sitting on high or luxurious thrones or seats; (8) wearing ornaments, perfume, singing & dancing.

Because this practice is motivated by bodhichitta it is especially powerful for purifying negativities, accumulating merit, and creating the cause for us to attain the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.

If you have any questions about this retreat, please contact us at info@meditationinmiami.org.

Prayer Booklets

We will be using the following prayer booklets during the retreat, which you may wish to purchase from Tharpa Publications in advance.

A Pure Life
The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts

Drop of Essential Nectar
A special fasting and purification practice in conjunction with Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara

How to Participate

You must register in advance to participate. After registering you will receive an email with a link to join the live stream. You can view the live stream on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

We will be using the Zoom Cloud Meetings application. Please download the application in advance.