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2024 CCN Annual Summer Retreat

6-Day Buddhist Mind Training Retreat

at the Centre for Alternative Technology | Online Livestream via Zoom | 24 - 30 August 2024

CCN Annual 6-Day Retreat: 'Transforming Adversity into Awakening'

Teachings on The 37 Practices of All the Bodhisattvas

Join us for a six-day retreat on transforming everyday life into awakening by following the path of a bodhisattva.

Guided by the highly revered 14th-century Tibetan Buddhist text, The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo, this retreat will offer a unique opportunity to explore radical teachings that challenge and transform conventional views of our self, others, our reality, and the adversity we face.

Click here to watch an introduction to the text, the author and the retreat on YouTube.

This beautifully condensed text gives advice on how to transform our own life by following the bodhisattva path. A bodhisattva is one who, motivated by compassion, works to achieve enlightenment so that they can help all other sentient beings. This classic text will serve as the basis for deep discussions of our life, our priorities, and ways of handling challenge and change.

Gyalse Tokme’s teachings invite us on a journey of deep introspection and awakening. These verses express a bodhisattva’s ideals – and though they may at times be radically different from our own – by emulating them however we can, we cultivate practical tools for living with greater compassion, understanding, and resilience.

Throughout this retreat, we will engage with these teachings in a practical way, to discover how embracing adversity can become a powerful path to inner peace and enlightenment.

           I am delighted that David Oromith will be leading the CCN’s Annual 6-Day Summer Retreat focusing on Transforming Adversity into Awakening.

In these times it is essential that we transform all that we encounter in our daily lives and the world around us into the spiritual path.

Focusing on the 14th-century Buddhist Text, The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo, this will be an excellent opportunity to be guided on the bodhisattva path.

With greater compassion we can be transformed and transform the world around us.

This retreat will surely be of great benefit to all who can participate.

– Lama Alan Wallace

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About our retreat

Each day, we will explore different verses from the 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas, guided by commentaries from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. We will explore how the wisdom contained in these verses can be applied to modern life. The teachings focus on:

  • Aligning Behaviour with Intention: Learn how to align your thoughts and actions with your highest aspirations and intentions.
  • Transforming Adversity: Learn how challenges and difficult people can provide powerful opportunities for growth and awakening.
  • Radical Compassion: Delve into practices that transform empathy and wisdom into the compassionate mind of bodhicitta.
  • Reframing Perceptions: Discover how reframing our perceptions can lead to a profound change in how we experience life.

This retreat is suitable for both those already familiar with the Tibetan Buddhist path and anyone interested in finding a new approach to stress and suffering in daily life. Whether you are seeking spiritual deepening or practical approaches to life’s challenges, we hope these teachings will offer valuable insights.

Through teachings, guided meditations, discussions, Q&As, and reflective personal time, you will have the space to connect with these teachings intimately. Whether joining us in-person or online, we hope that this retreat provides the perfect environment for this journey of reflection and transformation.

Dates & Location

The Centre for Alternative Technology’s WISE Building is an award-winning venue with outstanding sustainability credentials.

Situated in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere in mid-Wales, WISE has impressive facilities with stunning views into Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park.

CAT is easy to get to via public transport. Machynlleth is on the Birmingham to Aberystwyth train line, and from there regular buses will bring you within a short walk of CAT. 

Travelling to CAT

About the teacher

David Oromith is the Operations Officer for the CCN, as well as co-founder of Samadhi. He is a Buddhist contemplative and meditation guide with a background in mental health services. Having practised meditation since the age of 18, his journey into Buddhism began through personal struggles with depression and anxiety, leading him to the Buddha’s teachings. 

David has studied under various teachers, with Lama Alan as his root guru, and is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism among other traditions, recognising the value and benefit of multiple points-of-view. He focuses on meditation training and core, practical Buddhist principles in his teachings. He is the author of the book A Practical Guide to Mindful Living and leads several retreats across the UK every year, as well as teaching online and in person across South Wales. 

David’s engaging style is clear, practical, and relatable, hoping to make ancient practices applicable to modern life. He envisions and works towards the establishment of the Samadhi Eco Retreat Centre as a community for spiritual development.

About the CCN

The Contemplative Consciousness Network (CCN), was established in 2011, following the teachings of our president Dr. B. Alan Wallace. We are a charity dedicated to exploring and enhancing human potential and well-being through the study and practice of contemplative consciousness.

Preliminary schedule for the main days of the retreat (subject to minor changes)

TimeActivity
6:30am – 8:00amPersonal practice (optional)
8:00am – 9:00amBreakfast
9:00am – 10:30amSession 1 – Teaching & Meditation*
10:30am – 11:00amBreak
11:00am – 12:30pmSession 2 – Teaching & Meditation*
12:30pm – 2:00pmLunch
2:00pm – 3:30pmAfternoon rest & personal practice
3:30pm – 5:00pmSession 3 – Teaching & Meditation*
5:00pm – 5:30pmBreak
5:30pm – 6:30pmSession 4 – Teaching & Meditation*
6:30pm – 7:30pmDinner
7:30pm – 9:00pmEvening rest & personal practice

* All sessions will include a teaching and guided meditation, along with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss your thoughts on the verse. 

The retreat begins at 3pm (check-in) on Saturday, 24th August and we depart at 11am on Friday, 30th August. There will be an introductory session on Day 1, Saturday at 5:00pm, followed by five full days of retreat as per the above schedule on Days 2-6, Sunday – Thursday. We will conclude with a final session on Day 7, Friday at 9.30am.

About Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

The text we’ll explore was composed by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo, one of the most humble and impressive figures of Tibetan Buddhism’s past. He was an extremely learned scholar, who studied a vast number of teachings from all traditions. His every instant was devoted to helping others and to Dharma which he spread through composition, teaching and debate. He could teach with total confidence on any subject or text.

Without any expectation as to the result, he was extremely generous to all, particularly the poor, the destitute and the suffering. A formidable and inspiring example of what it truly means to cherish others more than oneself, his words continue to resonate and inspire centuries later. 

"The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas was the first course I joined and it completely captivated me from the start. I had absolutely no experience of any Buddhist teachings and so had no clue what to expect.

David guided the diverse group, who were at different levels of understanding of the Buddhist teachings, through the lines of this beautiful 14th century text with such ease, giving modern day examples that were so insightful and relevant to life today with all its many challenges. He always answered our many questions with a patient and considered approach.

Whether new to the teachings or well versed, myself and others found this text quite inspirational and helped me personally to better understand myself, my relationship with others and how to better navigate my life with loving kindness, compassion and awareness by identifying what gets in the way. I can’t recommend these teachings highly enough as a relaxing and enlightening course, that offers sound advice to support wellbeing and happiness."
– Julie

"Mind training is especially well suited for an active life. It does not require that we withdraw in seclusion, but that we re-examine all of our relationships - to family, friends, enemies, and strangers - and gradually transform our responses to whatever life throws our way. It is a Mahayana practice that aspires to attain full awakening through compassion and loving-kindness for all creatures."

B. Alan Wallace

FAQs

The Centre for Alternative Technology is around three miles north of Machynlleth on the A487, just by the small hamlet of Pantperthog.

CAT is easy to get to via public transport. Machynlleth is on the Birmingham to Aberystwyth train line, and from there regular buses will bring you within a short walk of CAT. Or take the Sustrans cycle route from Machynlleth straight to our doorstep. If you’re coming from North Wales, a regular bus from Bangor to Aberystwyth stops at Pantperthog.

Accessible parking is available for those who need it.

By Train
Machynlleth is on the Birmingham-to-Aberystwyth train line, which can be also accessed via Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton. This line is served by Transport For Wales trains.

By Bus
You can catch either the T2 or fflecsi bus to CAT from Machynlleth. See the T2 timetable or look up the Fflecsi service for details.

By Bike or on Foot
Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 8 passes via the rail station, right up to the entrance of the CAT Visitor Centre. This is a very pleasant, albeit a little hilly, route. The journey takes less than half an hour by bike and about an hour on foot. See route.

By Car
The Centre is located north of Machynlleth just off the A487 towards Dolgellau. It is clearly signposted from the main road. Car parking is available on site.

Generally, listening to one session before moving on to the next is preferable as we will go through the text verse by verse. This ensures you receive the wider context and relevant points that may have been covered already.

However, as each verse is, in a sense, a self-contained teaching, it is perfectly ok to join a session having missed previous ones if this is unavoidable. 

Some background understanding of Buddhist theory and practice will be beneficial for the retreat, however, David will offer a commentary that enables even newer practitioners to access this wonderful text. As a classic lojong (mind training) treatise, the text itself challenges our ordinary perceptions of handling adversity and felicity in daily life, and so we should feel open to working with our perceptions and fixed ideas.

The text itself summarises the entire bodhisattva path and provides excellent pith instructions for Mahayana practice. It categorises all of the practices of the Mahayana Buddhist path in successive order. In this sense, it is a comprehensive practical guide for following the path of the bodhisattvas, in a step-by-step fashion.

The video recordings will be uploaded (unedited) within a few hours of the live session happening. The recordings will remain on the website indefinitely – so you can revisit the teachings again and again.

David will share comprehensive notes on the 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas, verse by verse, alongside his commentary. For further reading, David recommends the online commentaries by H.H. The Dalai Lama and Garchen Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpcohe’s commentary, published in the book titled The Heart of Compassion.

Registration

Registration is a two stage process

In-person places are limited. The retreat will also be live-streamed on Zoom and available to follow by recording.

1. Register for the retreat (all attendees)

The retreat fee of £250 covers the hire of the meeting room and the costs of setting up and running the retreat, including meals and accommodation for the teacher and volunteers. Any surplus helps support our yearly programme and the CCN’s activities. 

There will be an opportunity for anyone who wishes to offer dana to David Oromith in gratitude for the teachings.

The ‘discount code’ box in the application form pertains to Bursaries. See below for more information on bursaries.

At the CCN, we embrace a sliding scale policy for our event fees, guided by the Buddhist principle of generosity and inclusivity. We suggest donations to help cover event costs and support our ongoing activities, for the benefit of all. Only through your honesty and generosity will we be able to continue offering these sessions for the benefit of all. Please contribute what you can — every offering helps us sustain and continue providing our events and courses for the collective good. 

2. Book your accommodation (in-person attendees)

On the second page of the booking form you will find 4 options. Options A & B are the nicer rooms, located in the main WISE building, all with private ensuites. Options C & D are the more affordable options – basic rooms in an older building with shared facilities. 

WISE Building – Modern Ensuite Rooms
Option AShared £495 (Sharing a twin en-suite room with 1 other attendee with full board @ £82.50/night)
• Option BPrivate £675 (Private single en-suite room for 1 person with full board @ £112.50/night)

Basic Rooms with Shared Facilities
Option C Shared £325 (Sharing a twin, non-ensuite room with 1 other attendee with full board @ £54.20/night)*
Option D Private £455 (Private single room with shared facilities for 1 person with full board @ £75.80/night)*

This cost includes your accommodation (6 nights) + full board (three meals) + refreshment breaks. Meals start with dinner on Saturday 24th and finish with breakfast on Friday 30th. 

Shared rooms – if you are sharing with a specific person, please mention their name in the ‘Any other comments’ box. 

*Options C & D can also be self-catered which offers an even more affordable option, please get in touch to reserve one of these rooms on a self-catered basis.

You are also welcome to join in person but stay off-site. Please register as normal but get in touch to book your meals if you require them.

If you wish to reserve a space but pay for your accommodation at a later date, please get in touch.

Bursary Fund: CCN can offer bursaries to help cover the cost of the retreat. We believe that it is important that no-one is excluded from the retreat because of low income. If you would like to support our vision of making these teaching as accessible as possible, please consider contributing to the bursary fund, details of which are in the registration form.

Ordained Sangha – We offer a full bursary to members of the ordained sangha, and cover the cost of accommodation for ordained sangha members who would not otherwise have the means to attend. Please use this form.

Others on low income may be offered a bursary to help with the retreat fee, but will have to cover the cost of accommodation themselves. To request the bursary, please use this form. We will send you a ‘discount code’ to enter on our registration form.

For any queries, please email Marie at [email protected]

Booking

  • 1Select Ticket
  • 2Attendees
  • 3Payment
  • 4Confirmation
Benefactor Option £300
300
Available Tickets: 79
The "Benefactor Option" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Standard Option £250
250
Available Tickets: 79
The "Standard Option" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Lower Option £150
150
Available Tickets: 79

We rely entirely on donations. Only through your honesty and generosity will we be able to continue offering these sessions for the benefit of all. Please contribute what you can — every offering helps us sustain and continue providing our events and courses for the collective good.

The "Lower Option" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Total: 0

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