The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra

Winter Retreat 2023
with Gen Samten & Gen Rigpa

The Winter Retreats at KMC New York consists of ten stand-alone retreats based on The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. Please scroll down to find out more about this text and each week of retreat.

The Oral Instructions

The Retreat is based on The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, and presented by Gen Samten and Gen Rigpa in a way that provides the structure for deep experience of their meaning.

This precious text guides the reader through the profound and world-transforming practice of Mahamudra – the very essence of Buddha’s teachings of Sutra and Tantra.

Revealed within is the uncommon practice of Tantric Mahamudra of the Ganden Oral Lineage, which the author received directly from his Spiritual Guide, Vajradhara Trijang Rinpoche. It explains clearly and concisely the entire spiritual path from the initial preliminary practices to the final completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra that enable us to attain full enlightenment in this life.

Throughout the Winter Retreats, you will also have the special opportunity to use The Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land According to Highest Yoga Tantra.

Note: To fully benefit from these retreats, an understanding of basic Buddhist beliefs and practices is helpful. Suggested reading: How to Transform Your Life and part 1 of Modern Buddhism.  Both texts are written by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the author of The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra.

SCHEDULES AND REGISTRATION FOR WINTER RETREAT BELOW

Registration is now open. You can book for multiple weeks, one week, or a weekend. To book for a particular week or weekend, please open the respective retreat’s tab below.

Renunciation · JAN 6 - 12 w/Gen Rigpa
Compassion & Wisdom · JAN 13 - 19 w/Gen Rigpa
Refuge · JAN 20 - 26 w/Gen Rigpa
Vajrasattva · JAN 27 - FEB 2 w/Gen Rigpa

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This retreat is based on the preliminary guide of Varjasattva presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.)

 

Mandala Offering · FEB 3 - 9 w/Gen Samten

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This retreat is based on the preliminary guide of Mandala Offering presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.).

Guru Yoga · FEB 10 - 16 w/Gen Samten

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This retreat is based on the preliminary guide of Guru Yoga presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.). 

Tranquil Abiding · FEB 17 - 23 w/Gen Samten

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This retreat focuses on meditation on the nature of the mind, as presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.).

Superior Seeing · FEB 24 - MAR 2 w/Gen Samten

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The retreat is based on the ultimate nature of reality or emptiness presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.).

Vajrayogini Generation Stage · MAR 3 - 9 w/Gen Samten

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Qualifications necessary for participating in this retreat:

Familiarity with Kadam Dharma is essential. To gain a basic familiarity with Kadam Dharma, it is helpful to read Modern Buddhism: Volume 1 – Sutra and Volume 2 – Tantra. A free eBook download is available at emodernbuddhism.com

Participants must have already received the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment of Heruka. Alternatively, if you have received a Je Tsongkhapa empowerment that included the transmission of the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra, and are planning on receiving a Heruka empowerment soon, you are also qualified to attend. If you have not received either of these empowerments, please contact us.

    Completion Stage · MAR 10 - 16 w/Gen Samten

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    This retreat is based on the completion stage meditations presented in The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra (2nd ed.).

    Qualifications necessary for participating in this retreat:
    Familiarity with Kadam Dharma is essential. To gain a basic familiarity with Kadam Dharma, it is helpful to read Modern Buddhism: Volume 1 – Sutra and Volume 2 – Tantra. A free eBook download is available at emodernbuddhism.com

    Participants must have already received the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment of Heruka. Alternatively, if you have received a Je Tsongkhapa empowerment that included the transmission of the Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka mantra, and are planning on receiving a Heruka empowerment soon, you are also qualified to attend. If you have not received either of these empowerments, please contact us. 

    Retreat Fees & Important Registration Information

    General registration goes live Friday, November 11 at 2:00pm (EDT)* 

    Retreat Costs

    • Weekend (Friday – Sunday): $50
    • Weekly (Friday – Thursday): $100

    Please note: a 20% discount on retreat fees is applied to four or more consecutive full weeks of retreats. 

    Due to the nature of these retreats, we do not offer drop-ins for days or individual sessions. 

    Accommodations

    IMPORTANT: Because of the limited private accommodations, we are offering pre-application from November 2-9 for those who wish to attend and stay onsite for at least four consecutive weeks of retreat, and we will prioritize those who wish to stay for the full ten weeks of retreat. If you would like to participate in at least 4 consecutive weeks of retreat please complete this form to let us know you are interested

    Please use the chart below to see accommodation options and prices. Please note for accommodations (not meals) booked for 2 consecutive weeks, a 20% discount is applied, 3 consecutive weeks, a 30% discount is applied and 4 consecutive weeks or more, a 40% discount is applied.

    Onsite Meals
    Vegetarian, vegan and/or wheat-free lunches and dinners are available each day for $7 each. Breakfast is only available to those staying onsite and is included in accommodation fees. 

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    Registration Notes:

    • Each guided retreat starts Friday evening and ends Thursday at lunchtime (6 nights)
    • The Heruka close retreat fee is a set price of $150 regardless of the number of weeks/days the person stays.  If you are interested in finding out more details about the close retreat, please visit this page.
    • Private rooms (deluxe, single, twin, doubles) and en-suite triples must be booked for 6 night blocks from Friday to Thursday (i.e. the full week of retreat). Partial bookings are not available for private rooms or en-suite triples, i.e someone would not be able to book for a weekend, for 10 nights or 23 nights but could book for 6 nights, 13 nights, 20 nights, etc. 
    • Those wishing to book for a private room (deluxe or single) or shared/dorm accommodations for at least four up to the full ten weeks of retreat can use this application between November 2-9  to inquire about availability.  We will prioritize those who wish to stay for the full ten weeks of retreat. General registration opens on November 11 at 2pm ET. At this time, if there are private rooms or en-suite triples still available, these will be opened to 6 night minimum stays. 
    • Weekend retreats are available in-person. Dorm and shared room accommodations are available for partial bookings with a 2-night minimum. Due to the importance of attending the introduction and start of retreat, these must be booked starting Friday night.
    Gen Samten Kelsang

    Gen Samten Kelsang

    Gen Samten Kelsang, the Resident Teacher at KMC New York, will lead the first two and last four weeks of the Oral Instructions of Mahamudra Retreat. With over 30 years of study and practice of Buddha’s teachings, he presents Buddha’s most profound teachings in a practical and accessible way. As one of Venerable Geshe-la’s senior disciples, Gen Samten has had the unique opportunity to engage in a three-year retreat and carries with him a wealth of experience in skillfully guiding sincere practitioners to profound meditative insights on retreat.

    Gen Kelsang Rigpa

    Gen Kelsang Rigpa

    Gen Kelsang Rigpa is the Western US National Spiritual Director and the Resident Teacher at KMC Los Angeles.

    Gen Rigpa will guide weeks one – four

    Throughout the years, he has studied under, and received lineage blessings and oral transmissions directly from his own Spiritual Teacher, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. Gen Rigpa’s heartfelt and practical teachings are presented with warmth and humor, making them accessible to everyone.

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    In silence, we engage with the meditation object in a more intimate way. We stop ‘chatting’ about the Dharma from our mouth and start listening to the Dharma from deep within our heart which gives us a special inner experience of the teachings we receive. Penetrating insights arise and since we are able to hold onto them with firm mindfulness we find Dharma experience pervades and nourishes our heart at a very deep level.

    Weeks one through six we will observe silence until lunch each day.

    Weeks seven through ten we will observe full silence.

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    BLESSED BY OUR GURU

     Over the years, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche has visited KMC New York three times, blessing the entire property and the Temple—providing one of the necessary conditions for a qualified place of retreat.

    Contact Us

    Phone

    (845) 856-9000
    9am-5pm Monday - Friday

    Location

    47 Sweeney Rd
    Glen Spey, NY 12737