White Tara Retreat 2013.
(For long life, increase of virtue and wisdom)

 

Spiritual guides of the retreat: Gen Lobsang Norbu and Lhamo Ozer Chenmo

The nine-day meditation retreat on White Tara- Yeshe Korlo took place in the month of May in an isolated, picturesque environment of Jelov Klanac which is surrounded by hills, meadows and forests.  During this retreat in this lovely  tourist village farm near the famous Plitvice lakes,  the special experience of inner peace, contentment and a sense of freedom pervaded allowing and facilitating the practice of a specific  and gradual training of the mind in the three lower Buddhist tantras (kriya, charya and yoga tantra).
 
The Retreat began with the Dor-Sem practice to purify the mind, rituals like offering tormas to the yidam Deities - Vajrasattva and White Tara/Yeshe Korlo and also torma offerings to the protectors of this enlightened mandala.

As the early morning fog crept quietly across the horizons covering the view, our morning meditation session started at 6 am aiming at the training to develop a calm mind (Shine /Shamata). This excellent basic training practiced by the ancient Buddhist meditation masters has many practical levels for example where the practitioner uses his/ her various sense powers and sensations of the physical body, working with pain, breath, thoughts, feelings etc as the objects of meditation used to concentrate and relax the mind. Through these methods based on mindfulness and alertness, the practitioner becomes more and more self-aware and spacious. A special part of this training in Shamata involved the visualization of the yidam Deity Yeshe Korlo .The training in Shamata was led by the spiritual instructor Lhamo Ozer Chenmo (Reena Šmalcelj).

Based on a terma (ka-ter) the practice of the White Tara in the aspect of Yeshe Korlo (the wheel of wisdom) is a unique and very special practice, in the lineage of the  I, II, V, VII and XIII Dalai Lamas, which was derived from the direct vision of the Deity. Over the centuries Tara has been one of the personal protector Deity of the successive incarnations of the Dalai Lamas.

The initiation and the oral transmission of the root text (tsawa tsik) were given in Zagreb by Ven. Alak Tsawa Rinpoche with the commitment to practice this tantra. The commitment which was undertaken by the students during the initiation and the blessing of the Lama in the form of the Diety established the foundation and opened the door to the White Tara retreat. Rinpoche is known as a practitioner of this distinctive lineage in his previous life when he was one of the students of the XIII Dalai Lama. In this life time Rinpoche has received this transmission many a times from the XIV Dalai lama as well as from the vajra master the late Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

Detailed instructions on the practice of Yeshe Korlo including the Six Deity yogas of the action tantra and the visualization of the Deity Yeshe Korlo was given by the spiritual guide of the retreat Gen. Lobsang Norbu (Dragutin Šmalcelj) on the basis of oral transmission, which he received during his stay in the Himalayas from the late Lama Lati Rinpoche, the Ven. Geshe Locho  Rinpoche and from many tantric yogis practicing in their isolated hermitages (tsam khang) in the remote Himalayan range.In order to create a correct and complete foundation for the mantra recitation, requires one to initially meditate on the 6 Deity yogas (Nel'jor Lha’ drug ) of which the first is the training in the yoga of the Deity of emptiness, followed by the Deity yoga of sound, letters, form, mudra and sign.

 The afternoon meditation session in movement included writing the White Tara mantra and the seed syllable 'TAM' on the rocks along the pathway of the forest, alongside the previously carved Chenrezig (Buddha of compassion) mantras on the rocks, prayer flags strung on the trees and a small stupa built from rocks during the previous retreat.

The paths that lead through the woods around the tourist village farm of Jelov klanac we named ‘the path of peace, love and prayers for all auspiciousness’. The forest path covers a circular area around a green hillock enclosed by a wooden fence, where around twenty beautiful horses could be seen idly grazing fresh grass in this time of the year. The chirping of birds at sunset echoed everywhere in space and faded away along with the rays of sun light  which colored the clouds with the warmth of  the summer which was yet to come.
 
 As the winds played around the dark corners of our wooden huts carrying the sound of the rustling of the leaves of the nearby trees, the early evening hours were imbued with silent meditation and the sounds of the recitation of mantras with the rituals of the consecration of substances like the nectar of wisdom and pills for long life, which were then consumed. Our two loyal listeners the domestic cat and dog also consumed the nectar and pills which were energized by the sound of the White Tara mantra.  Later the horses were given the consecrated pills as a special blessing of Tara for a happy future life.

Work together, cooking, praying and, meditating on compassion and wisdom, brought a feel of togetherness, relaxation and expanded the feeling of equality among the participants of the Yeshe Korlo retreat to such a magnitude that 10 hours of daily sessions of practice through nine days passed unexpectedly quickly, generating a lot of positive energy in which bathed the faces of all of us by the end of this retreat.

Does it not introduce a passage through a secret door to the full freedom and happiness, of which many intuitively dream throughout their whole lives, in this world which is full of suffering and inner discontent!

Meditation group H.B.D. Padmasana