August 21 - August 23, 2020
The famous Tibetan physician and Nyingma adept, Yuthok Yonten Gonpo taught a special Bardo yoga within his widely used Yuthok Nyingthig teachings. "Yuthok Nyingthig Bardo Yoga: The Self-Manifested Sambhogakaya of the Self-Arising Three Bodies of the Perfection Stage" is the name of the short text translated by Dr. Nida and his students, which we will use for the retreat, supplemented by texts from the Book of Natural Liberation by Guru Rinpoche, Padma Sambhava.
Dr. Nida will confer the blessing of the Yuthok Nyingthig Bardo Yoga and will give instructions in the corresponding meditation practices. Robert Thurman will work from his translation of the Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Between State (aka. Book of the Dead) to help us find ways to prepare ourselves for the death-liberation-reincarnation transitions in the best possible ways, to support our practice of the precious Yuthok Nyingthig Bardo teaching.
As it turns out, this teaching is presented in the original text, as a continuation from the Tummo inner fire teachings Dr. Nida offered online, in its second section, “Purifying the wind-energies by merging speech and mantra.” Thus, the retreat will include referencing and re-energizing the Tummo base of the Yuthok perfection stage teachings, and then focusing on bardo yoga, as it builds upon sleep and dream yogas, in Yuthok’s unique system.
Yuthok brilliantly taught perfection stage inner fire yoga (one of Naropa's famous six yogas) as connected with transforming the subtle body's neural channel system into buddha-emanation body, moving on to transforming the subtle body's speech neural-wind-energy system into a buddha enjoyment body—"merging speech with mantra"— and still in that vein introducing dream yoga and bardo yoga, before the third dimension of Yutok's unique system, merging subtle body's neurotransmitter drop element as a bridge to transforming the mind into a buddha reality body. In this third retreat, we will focus on the dream and bardo dimensions in the speech transformation level. We may offer a fourth retreat subsequently, to complete our survey of the system, by looking at the neural drop and mind transformation level.
Of course, in these retreats, we are learning the map of the territory, so to speak, and are not pretending we are already adepts who can make full use of these teachings, but rather are learning how they work in principle in order to intensify our aspirations to practice the preliminary yogas and preparatory mental and emotional understandings.*Menla is happy to be able to honor scholarship requests for those in need. Please email email@example.com for further information.
Friday, August 21
Saturday, August 22
Sunday, August 23
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University as well as co-founder and President of Tibet House US and it's Menla Retreat & Spa. A world-wide lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, activist for the plight of the Tibetan people, translator of Buddhis...
“To stay in the same place as His Holiness is a blessing and privilege. It is as if I could feel his love and tranquility vibrating all throughout.”
“Menla is an amazing place to spend time. Delicious healthy food, comfortable bed, beautiful scenery, nature. Of course, some of my favorite teachers were there too… Krishna Das, Sharon Salzberg and climbing to the top Bob Thurman. Thanks to the staff who made it possible to enjoy such an inspiring place on this planet.”
“Menla means Medicine Buddha in Tibetan, but I think the esoteric translation must be ‘magic’. Menla is a place unto itself.”