Winter retreat – past experiences

“Cultivating Shamatha to reveal Insight” with Doug Veenhof

It has been such a wonderful experience, both for the participants, the sangha and the whole community at Thosamling.

It is difficult to put into words the feeling of calm and serenity that encompass the nunnery during the time of the retreat. Either as being part of a group dedicated to the practice or even as an outside observer, just witnessing the effort and joy of the participants, was a very special experience.

We would like to share with you some notes from last year’s retreat; Doug’s kind words and also some quotes from the participants in the retreat.

Doug Veenhof (Retreat leader) on his experience at Thosamling

“The two-month shamatha retreat that I led last winter at Thosamling was one of the highlights of my year.

The nunnery is a serene oasis in a setting of national park grandeur and our full days of practice were inspired by the sublime atmosphere inside the gompa.

The students in the retreat varied in age from 18 to 80 and their experience in Buddhism ranged from absolute beginners to long-time Tibetan translators. It was a delightful international mix.

All were graciously cared for by the abbess, Ani Sangmo, and a large staff. They are clearly on a mission at Thosamling to provide the best possible outer conditions for serious practice, and I can’t wait to treat myself to that again”

Sophie Perillo – on her experience of the 2 months retreat.

“Thank you all for making my first ever two months retreat a wonderful experience. I can honestly say my relationship to myself, others and the world is different for the better. I feel greater peace, ease and clarity.

I have had the pleasure of experiencing Thosamling from a few different perspectives …Every time I come back to the space I am immediately at ease by the beautiful surroundings and contemplative lifestyle of the residents.. enjoying the timeless peace of the Thosamling campus nestled in the foothills of the mountains blessed by centuries of other yogis and great practitioners who’ve lived in the area. I cherish the views of snowy mountains overlooking the organic veggie gardens and fruit forest shading the retreat rooms.

Thosamling provided everything I needed for my stay, from comfortable bedding, warm showers and good food to yoga mats, and meditation cushions… There are few places on earth so nurturing and ideal for contemplative practice.

The winter retreat with Doug Veenhoff was my first longer retreat (8 weeks) and was both challenging and deeply rewarding. Doug was an excellent, clear and straightforward teacher. He led our group through numerous approaches towards cultivating shamatha stability and clarity while also giving a concise overview of the whole path to enlightenment from a Dzogchen perspective. I found this combination of the practice and view to be very beneficial.

I have noticed a dramatic shift in my relationship with my own mind, sense of self and relationships to others since coming out of retreat- I feel like I cleaned out a lot of old junk and rebooted my whole system! The retreat space was like an incubator where I felt safe to clean out my mind’s old closets knowing I was held and protected in a blessed place.

I am deeply grateful to Thosamling. and highly recommend Thosamling’s guided meditation retreats.”

Jewel for Contemplative Retreat

I joined Thosamling’s two-month group winter retreat ‘Cultivating Shamatha to Reveal Insight’ from Dec. 2018 to Feb. 2019. I can only rave about the Nunnery and retreat, which provided wonderful outer conditions for cultivating inward contemplation and meditation in a supportive retreat setting. What I appreciate deeply was the opportunity Thosamling and its community gave me to focus on developing and deepening daily contemplative practice in a beautiful and nurturing setting. Without question, I hope to return and highly recommend Thosamling as a place to visit year-round…”

For the continuation of this post and more reviews of the winter retreat:

We would like to thank all of you who participated in the retreat, thank you for your kind words

All are welcome to join us again this winter for a 7 week shamatha retreat. if you missed out on last year’s retreat, here is your chance.