Teachings, Courses, & Retreats

  • $244.00 – Tier 1
  • $292.00 – Tier 2
  • $195.00 – Access Level

Date & Time Details: December 16, 2022 - December 18, 2022

Location: Online - Zoom

Suggested dana range: $60 - $180

The program prices do not include teacher offerings (dana). To learn more about dana and suggested dana ranges, please click here.

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Nurturing the Unseen: Buddhism and the More-than-Human World (A Winter Solstice Celebration) – VIRTUAL RETREAT

With Erik Jampa Andersson

December 16 - 18, 2022

In this Virtual Retreat, Erik Jampa Andersson (author of the forthcoming book Unseen Beings, to be released by Hay House in Spring 2023) will guide participants through the vast and fascinating web of the more-than-human world. Throughout history, our perceptions and relationships with non-humans both seen and unseen have profoundly impacted what it means to be human. In the Buddhist tradition, these beings are identified not as supernatural forces of ultimate good and evil, but as other natural sentient beings seeking emancipation from suffering. 

As human beings living in the 21st century, we are faced with a highly unusual set of circumstances. For the first time in our planet’s history, an animal has gone from being a mere participant in the world to becoming a formidable geological agent, akin to the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Our devastating impact on the world around us in the Anthropocene, largely motivated by greed, is made possible only through a deeply disconnected and blindly anthropocentric worldview. 

In this retreat, we will begin to break down our myopic human-centeredness to embrace a far more complex, vibrant, and enchanting universe, recognizing that it is only through cultivating right relationship with the beings around us that we can begin to turn towards authentic balance. At this important seasonal juncture, we will take the opportunity to not only turn inward but also outward, towards the many forms of life with whom we share this remarkable planet. 

Guided by the teachings of acclaimed masters like Machig Labdrön (1055-1154) and Yuthok Yönten Gönpo (1126-1202), we will explore how Tibetan visionaries applied Buddhist ethics and philosophy to ancient paradigms of ecology, health, and spirit relations in the Himalayas. We’ll see how unseen beings, rather than being established as ‘gods’ or ‘demons’, are simply presented as other sentient beings with whom we need to maintain healthy and balanced relationships. Failure to do so, according to Tibetan Medicine, can lead to a wide range of medical and ecological consequences including outbreaks of infectious disease and compromised communal and mental health. These ancient insights are perhaps more relevant today than ever before, as humanity grapples with the power and consequences of widespread industry and environmental exploitation.

While many of the so-called ‘unseen beings’ to be discussed are conventionally ‘invisible’, many others are unseen only as a result of our biases and perceptual limitations. Responding to ground-breaking scientific research on non-animal intelligence, we will critically explore the apparent absence of plant and fungal sentience in Buddhist cosmology, and discuss the historical factors that may have influenced this omission. We’ll also see how animistic paradigms persisted against a backdrop of doctrinal silence in many Buddhist societies, including Tibet, and how these positions are bolstered by modern scientific research. 

It’s only when we perceive the vast array of life around us as meaningfully alive that we can begin to move towards a more comprehensive, personal, and relational understanding of interdependence. To foster a deeper sense of relationship, we will explore the many available practices and rituals for establishing and maintaining benevolent relationships with the non-human world. These rituals, while often overlooked in the wake of ‘secular’ Buddhism, offer invaluable tools for contextualizing and responding to the ecological crises that face our planet.

This retreat is a highly special opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

 

 

Who Should Attend? 

  • This is open to everyone.

What is a Virtual Retreat?

Virtual Retreats are Tara Mandala At-Home intensive retreats, teachings and in-depth workshops during which practitioners receive dharma teachings, engage in guided practice, experience hands-on learning, and connect with other participants through an easy-to-use online platform (Zoom) during consecutive days (with few exceptions) and daylong offerings. This modality of learning is appropriate for practitioners who are able to create a practice container of their own, setting aside a dedicated retreat space, removing themselves from social media, and taking care of necessities with the mind of compassion in action for the specific dates and times that the teachings occur. 

Virtual Retreats are meant to be attended live given that direct transmission (Tib. lung) may be given. However, access to recordings of the sessions are available for additional viewing for various timeframes specified by the price level selected.

Tiered-Prices

Tara Mandala is working to expand opportunities for access to Buddhist teachings and practices while offering an equity-informed fee structure when possible. With our new tiered pricing, we strive to make the Dharma more accessible to all while furthering the important conversations that must happen around current structures that inhibit equal access to underprivileged communities. We encourage you to select the registration tier at the highest level within your capacity to assist Tara Mandala in covering the costs of offering these wonderful teachings while also benefiting from access to the recordings of the teachings post-retreat. We thank you in advance for your support and your practice!

$244 – Tier 1 (includes access to recordings of all sessions for up to 30 days from the end of the retreat)
Registration at this level covers the basic costs for this retreat and allows Tara Mandala to maintain sustainability.

$292 – Tier 2 (includes access to recordings of all sessions for up to 1 year from the end of the retreat)
Registration at this level covers the program costs for this retreat and provides additional support for the year-round work of Tara Mandala.

$195 – Access Level (includes access to recordings of all sessions for up to 7 days from the end of the retreat)
Registration at this level is offered below the cost of holding this retreat to assist participants with financial limitations and encourage the exploration and practice of dharma.

Choosing the Tier 1 or Tier 2 levels allows Tara Mandala to continue to make dharma teachings accessible and inclusive while also allowing its year-round operations to continue and expand while being a repository for wisdom literature, a center for translation, a beacon for the feminine in Buddhism. Tara Mandala is an  active dharma organization and retreat center that provides refuge for deep practice and transformation. There are many ways to support and engage with Tara Mandala’s worldwide activities. Click here to learn more. We appreciate your support and generosity!

Offering dana to the teacher: The practice of offering dana, which means “generosity,” is the traditional offering the student makes to the teacher as a symbol of appreciation, gratitude, and reciprocity for receiving the precious teachings. Information on offering dana to the teacher will be provided during the virtual retreat. To learn more about dana and suggested dana ranges, please click here.

Payment Plans and Financial Assistance
Tara Mandala has two scholarship funds and offers deferred payment plans as resources for anyone with financial limitations. For more information and to apply, visit our Scholarships and Financial Assistance Page

Sustaining Sangha:
If you are currently a member of our Sustaining Sangha, you may apply your retreat discount to this program.

Click Here for Our Cancellation and Refund Policy

VIRTUAL RETREAT SCHEDULE
Listed times are the online portions of the retreat. All times are Mountain Time. 
Please use this link to see how this daily schedule translates into your timezone.

Friday, December 16:
7:00am-8:00am MT: Opening Teachings (2-3pm GMT)
10:00am – 12:00pm MT: Teachings (5-7pm GMT)
1:00pm – 3:00pm MT: Teachings (8-10pm GMT)
4:00pm – 5:00pm MT: Practice/Activity (11pm-Midnight GMT)

Saturday, December 17
7:00am-8:00am MT: Teachings (2-3pm GMT)
10:00am – 12:00pm MT: Teachings (5-7pm GMT)
1:00pm – 3:00pm MT: Teachings (8-10pm GMT)
4:00pm – 5:00pm MT: Practice/Activity (11pm-Midnight GMT)

Sunday, December 18:
7:00am-8:00am MT: Teachings (2-3pm GMT)
10:00am – 12:00pm MT: Teachings (5-7pm GMT)
1:00pm – 3:00pm MT: Closing Session (8-10pm GMT)

Leader

Erik Jampa Andersson
Erik Jampa Andersson is a practitioner and instructor of Sowa Rigpa (Traditional Tibetan Medicine) and the Yuthok Nyingthik. He is a graduate of the Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Medicine, where he received a comprehensive training in the Four Tantras (rGyud bZhi) of Tibetan Medicine, and is currently completing an MA in…
Learn more about Erik Jampa Andersson

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Tara Mandala

PO Box 3040
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Phone: 970.731.3711 Web: taramandala.org

Mission Statement

Tara Mandala offers solo and group practice, study, and retreat inspired by and anchored in authentic lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism, nurturing a complete path to ultimate realization as well as exploring the interface between Buddhist teachings and Western psychology … More »