Skip directly to content

Nyung Nä Retreat with Venerable Amy Miller

Thursday, July 19, (All day) to Sunday, July 22, (All day) 2018

 

"Nyung Nä does not just purify many eons of negative karma, especially developing compassion, which means bodhicitta, it makes us so much closer to enlightenment, so close to being able to enlighten all sentient beings, which is our ultimate goal in life. It also brings you closer to the Guru-Compassion Buddha.  As you chant more OM MANI PADME HUM mantras and generate more compassion for others, by doing one Nyung Nä, you will be guided by Chenrezig in all lifetimes. By making one prayer to Chenrezig, you are guided in all future lives by the Compassionate Buddha, again and again...

"Therefore, you are unbelievably fortunate to be able to practice Nyung Nä. Your retreat is very important. You can dedicate the merits to the world and all living beings, for peace and happiness, to generate compassion, a good heart, and bodhicitta in all terrorists and violent people, in every person’s mind who has so much hatred...."

-- Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Nyung Nä (or “abiding in the fast”) is a powerful, quick and effective method to purify a great deal of negativities and at the same time collect a vast amount of merit. It is one of the favorite practices of Kadampa Center’s Spiritual Director, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Nyung Nä is a Vajrayana practice from the Kriya ("Action") class of Tantra that anyone of faith can do. It is said that engaging in a Nyung Nä  retreat is equivalent to doing up to three months of other kinds of retreats. The principal purpose of the practice is the attainment of supreme enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings.

 

A single Nyung Nä takes two days and a morning to complete and requires taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts for two days. These Precepts or vows are taken for a 24-hour period during which we avoid: (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) sexual activity, (4) telling lies, (5) taking intoxicants, (6) singing, dancing or playing music, (7) wearing jewelry or ornaments, and (8) using high seats or beds. In addition, on the days when food is taken, only one meal is eaten, which is finished by noon. The following foods are avoided as they interfere with subtle winds in the body and thus, mantra recitation: Onion, garlic, radish, meat and alcohol. It is also highly encouraged to complete all outside activities and business prior to the retreat and to disengage from all technology. On July 21, we will be observe strict fasting so no food or drink is taken at all on this day (Saturday).

During each day of the retreat, one does three sessions of well-structured practice, approximately three hours in length. In each session, there is the practice of the sadhana ("method of accomplishment") of Thousand-Armed Chenrezig. The sadhana involves meditating on bodhicitta (the aspiration to attain enlightenment in order to benefit all beings), visualizing Chenrezig, reciting prayers and mantras, and performing prostrations.  

  

The retreat will be led by Venerable Amy Miller,

who is a frequent visiting teacher at Kadampa Center.

 

Requirements and advice for participants

 Requirements:
    - Have the current version of the Nyung Nä practice (available in our bookstore or from FPMT’s Foundation Store as a hard copy book  or as an ebook/PDF )
    - Attend the orientation session at 7 pm Thursday, July 19
    - Pre-register for the retreat by July 10, 2018 (registration will open soon)

A note about registration and generosity: 

Kadampa Center has for many years operated within the ideal of offering teachings without charging a fee, so that money is not an obstacle for anyone to hear the  precious teachings and participate in the practices. For retreats, the Center sets a non-refundable registration fee of $50. This fee covers only the food and the use of the facility; it does not begin to cover our overall costs involved in providing the opportunity to participate in this amazing practice. Other centers charge as much as $450 to attend a Nyung Nä retreat.

Our expenses include: 
     • Travel to and from the retreat for Venerable Amy
     • Meals for Venerable Amy
     • An offering to the teacher, which Kadampa Center makes on behalf of all the students participating in the retreat. 

While students are also encouraged to make individual offerings to the teacher, Kadampa Center needs your support toward the overall offering to her.
There will be an opportunity to contribute at the end of the retreat, so do plan accordingly. If you wish to make an offering, cash is best. If you want to write a check to offer to the teacher, make the check payable to “Amy Miller.” Checks to support our Center and its activities can be made to “Kadampa Center.” Of course donations to support the retreat can be made in advance!
There is no credit card reader at the facility.

Advice from Venerable Amy

Pre-requisites:
While it is best to have formally taken Refuge in Buddhism to participate in the Nyung Nä practice, those with a sincere interest can join. It is also helpful to have some retreat experience before joining a Nyung Nä, so if you have not done retreat before, please contact, our SPC, Donna, at Kadampa Center to discuss if this is the best option for you.
It is not necessary to have taken an empowerment (2-day wang) of Thousand-Armed Chenrezig (the Buddha of Compassion) to participate although the retreat can be experienced on a deeper level if you have.

Fasting advice:
The second day of the Nyung Nä, (Saturday) is sometimes the most difficult part of the retreat, as the hunger, thirst, tiredness and exertion from doing prostrations can be challenging for some. However, these discomforts can be seen in a different light with a compassionate motivation and an understanding of the purpose of this type of retreat; it is through experiencing hardships that one is able to purify a great deal of negative karma. Furthermore, it is said that by experiencing these discomforts, one can develop a better understanding of the suffering of those less fortunate than us and develop greater compassion for all sentient beings, and greater renunciation of samsara.

If you have medical conditions that do not allow you to fast, you can still participate in the Nyung Nä, but do not take the vows to refrain from eating food. So while you do not complete a traditional Nyung Nä, the practice is still highly beneficial.

The practice of prostrations:
On the subject of prostrations, those participating in a Nyung Nä retreat are encouraged to do full-length prostrations within the sessions, so getting accustomed to doing them prior to the retreat is suggested. Simpler prostrations (either the five-point prostration or merely folding one's hands) are certainly an option for those who are restricted from doing full prostrations due to health concerns. You can find more information on them here: https://shop.fpmt.org/The-Preliminary-Practice-of-Prostrations_p_506.html and there are PDF and ebook versions as well.
Geshe Sangpo is leading prostration practice sessions at Kadampa Center on a regular basis. The next sessions before the Nyung Nä  retreat will be from 7 to 8 pm on Thursday, June 7 and on Thursday, July 5.  

Other helpful advice:
It can be helpful to begin cleaning up your diet as much as possible in the week prior to the Nyung Nä. You will sometimes hear of people not feeling physically well when they do this retreat. This is mostly due to the toxins that are eliminated from their system during this purification practice. The more we can get the toxins out of our system prior to the practice, the easier it will be. Essentially, it can be helpful to cut out an excess of animal products, junk food, sugar, caffeine, etc. Also, familiarizing the body with full-length prostrations prior to the Nyung Nä  is a great help.

Most importantly, start preparing your mind for retreat. One of the most fantastic things about this particular practice is that in just two short days we purify and accumulate so much. If we already start thinking about it, preparing the mind for a focused few days ahead, and rejoicing at this great opportunity, just this amount of intention prior to the retreat will make the result more powerful.

What to bring

We include this list of items that are useful for you to bring to help make your stay more comfortable, however, many of these items are optional. 

  • towel and washcloth
  • mala (Buddhist prayer beads)
  • dorje and bell (no need if you have not taken an empowerment)
  • mandala set (this can help with visualization, but is optional)
  • offerings (cash or check) for the teacher and for Kadampa Center
  • offerings for the altar (You can bring snacks you enjoy to share with others. Please check that they do not contain eggs, radish, onion, garlic or meat.)
  • alarm clock
  • watch for sessions so no need to bring phone to sessions
  • earplugs
  • loose, layered clothing (jeans can be uncomfortable for sitting on a meditation cushion)
  • personal toiletries (something to rub into sore muscles is helpful, or pain relievers)
  • flashlight
  • additional vitamins, "recharge" or Emergen-C electrolyte powders, etc. can be helpful
  • medication**
  • meditation cushion and mat or padding for prostrations or any yoga in the break times
  • shawl or light blanket for morning and evening sessions
  • dharma reading material and/or journal for time between sessions

 **Please let us know in advance if you have any medical conditions

Schedule

      Thursday, July 19              
      3:00 – 5:00 pm                 Arrival, Check-in and Registration
      6:00 – 7:00 pm                 Dinner
      7:00 – 8:30 pm                 Orientation and Introduction to Nyung Nä
             
      Friday, July 20      
      3:45 am                            Wake up
      4:15 – 7:45 am                Eight Mahayana Precepts and Session 1
      8:45 – 11:15 am              Session 2
      11:15 – 12:00 noon         Lunch
      3:00 – 6:00 pm               Session 3
      6:30 – 7:30 pm               Questions and Answers (optional)
             
      Saturday, July 21          (Day of silence and no eating or drinking)
      4:30 am                            Wake up
      5:00 – 8:30 am                Eight Mahayana Precepts and Session 1
      9:30 – 12:00 noon           Session 2
      2:00 – 2:45 pm                Sutra reading (optional)
      3:00 – 6:00 pm                Session 3
             
      Sunday, July 22      
      4:30 am                            Wake up
      5:00 – 8:30 am                Final Session
      9:00 am                            Breakfast
     10:00 – 11:30 am             Cleanup:  All participants will need to fold and put away their beds and assist in cleaning the retreat center.

 

Sorry, registration is closed.

Nyung na is very powerful practice so there is great power in the merit of supporting it financially. Supporting this spiritual practice – whether you are able to attend or not – is an opportunity to collect great merit. If you are sponsoring but not attending, you can offer prayers on that day for those who are strongly purifying.

SUPPORT THE RETREAT