Second Annual Vajrayogini Druppa
September 28 to October 6, 2013
at the Söpa Chöling Retreat Centre at Gampo Abbey
with Acharya Larry Mermelstein and Gelong Lodrö Sangpo
As part of our tradition, Gampo Abbey and Söpa Chöling perform Vajrayogini Druppas.
This druppa (practice intensive) format was introduced in 1987 by Thrangu Rinpoche's three-year retreat master Lama Sherab Tendar. It involves the construction of a sand mandala, four sessions (thüns) of daily practice (reciting daily through the entire sadhana including abhisheka and feast section) and the dismantling of the sand mandala (carrying the sand to the ocean).
Everyone who has received the Vajrayogini abhisheka is invited to join — in particular all Söpa Chöling alumni (three-year retreat graduates).
Following last year's successful Vajrayogini Druppa, the emphasis will again be on practice and incorporating teachings. Teachers include Acharya Larry Mermelstein and Gelong Lodrö Sangpo.
Dates: The druppa begins with your arrival September 28 afternoon followed by two days of preparation (constructing the sand mandala, tormas, etc.) and ends on October 5 after an elaborate feast and the procession to the ocean. Take-down is Sunday, October 6 with departure after lunch.
For more information: Contact Nancy Huszagh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply: Download the application form. Please email your completed application to email@example.com or fax it to (902) 224-1521.
Vajrayogini Druppa 2012
The most recent Vajrayogini Druppa was held at Söpa Chöling in July 2012 and was led by Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje and Gelong Lodrö Sangpo. Twenty-four yogis and yoginis, including 12 guests, gathered for this most wonderful and inspiring practice.
Druppa participants with their sand mandala
Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje teaching
Here is a report from Lodrö Sangpo:
We are happy to let you know that we have just completed (more than successfully) our Vajrayogini Druppa 2012. The participants filled the shrine room at Söpa Chöling to its full capacity. (To get an impression of the various stages, look at the photo album on our Facebook page.)
After months of preparation, which included the study of the Dorje Loppön's marvelous "Dancer in the Coemergent Mirror", the Dorje Loppön surprised us all by joining the Druppa itself for three full days during which he gave teachings going beyond his "Dancer". While emphasizing the sampannakrama, coemergence, and mahamudra aspect of the practice, he also gave detailed sadhana-related instructions on the self- and front-visualization, and in particular on the abhisheka section itself. In addition, he led us daily in the Long Werma Lhasang, followed by Lujong practice.
The Druppa itself — headed by Gelong Lodrö Sangpo — started with two days of preparation beginning with "Setting the boundaries" and "Asking for permission to construct the sand mandala", which was then followed by drawing and constructing the sand mandala, as well as the other mandalas involved, and by torma making and a little music training, since, here at the Abbey, we are performing the Druppa with the traditional "band", i.e., cymbals, drums, damaru, and bell.
The actual Druppa itself includes four daily practice sessions, during which at least once one chants through the abhisheka section, followed by a feast.
The Druppa ends with an elaborate feast which is followed by dismantling the sand mandala and the ceremonial returning of the sand to the ocean.
In our case, our last day was very joyful and became a "blast", ending with returning the sand to the ocean late at night.
May Druppa practice spread far and wide!
Some comments from participants:
"It all was perfect, sincerely! The Loppön’s methodical explanations of how to practice the sadhana were extremely helpful. Receiving the oral instructions for the abhisheka section was very important and useful. Now I know what to do!"
"Thank you for an extraordinary effort to make this program exceptional. The monastics from Gampo Abbey worked so hard and were able to create a very strong environment for practice."
"Appreciated being involved in all phases of the preparation, i.e., got some experience working on sand mandala as well as torma, etc. Appreciated the emphasis on practice versus a program and talks."
To see more photos of the 2012 Vajrayogini Druppa, click here.