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Phowa Retreat & Birthday Programs

Phowa is a Vajrayana skillful means to transfer our consciousness at the time of death. It may be described as "the practice of conscious dying", "mindstream transference", or “enlightenment without meditation”. It is the simplest and most direct method to attain enlightenment.

Phowa is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Marpa the great translator says, “If you practice Phowa, then at the time when death is approaching, you will know no despair. If beforehand you have become accustomed to the path of Phowa, then at the time of death you will be full of cheerful confidence.” It is taught that one does not return to the samsaric realms after entering Dewachen, and that one can quickly and easily achieve enlightenment from that realm.

The practice of Phowa is especially relevant in the modern times, when most of us lack the luxury of entering solitary retreat and engaging in long meditation. The practice Phowa can enable us to cut through attachment to illusions and awakes our primordial Buddha nature. As life is very fragile and it can end without warning, no one can help us except our own practice of Buddhadharma.

The forthcoming Phowa retreat to be held at Druk Amitabha Mountain, led by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and his spiritual sons, Their Eminences Gyalwa Dokhampa and Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, will also include explanation and transmission of Chod practice. There will be live translation in English, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

On 11th March, there will be a joint birthday celebration for His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche.

Live webcast of "Phowa Retreat and Birthday Celebrations" will be available on Drukpa Channel. Only the teaching will be broadcast; the sessions on empowerment and visualization will NOT be broadcast, due to the Tantric nature of the Phowa practice.


5th-10th March

Phowa Retreat

11th March

Joint birthday celebration of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche

Registration Deadline: 15th February 2014

Preparation Practice for the Phowa Retreat

His Holiness has advised that each registrant should accumulate recitation of 10,000 Vajra Guru Mantra prior to joining the retreat. Recitation of 10,000 Vajra Guru Mantra is a commitment for each registrant. If you can recite more, it would be an encouragement to all the masters leading the pilgrimage and the teaching retreat. We thank you in advance. Submit your mantra count at the beginning of the teaching retreat. A monk/nun will be going around getting the count from you. We have prepared a mantra counting sheet to assist all registrants in recording the recitation count. Please click the above button to download counting sheet. Below is the recommended sequence of practice for each session of mantra recitation.