Kalachakra Dark Retreat (3 Isolations / Wensum) in the Winter
February 2nd – 11th
We are grateful to be able to offer this time also in the Winter season the Three Isolations (Wensum) Retreat at the Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center in the Austrian mountains. This retreat is a rare opportunity to practice in a similar way to how aspiring yogis practice during the traditional three-year Kalachakra retreat, in a uniquely beautiful natural setting. This retreat will support the participants in cultivating the Three Isolations of Body, Speech, and Mind as a solid ground for entering the Kalachakra Completion Stage of the Six Vajra Yogas. You are welcome to take part in the entire period or to leave earlier if needed.
Rafa Lobsang Dorje will lead the retreat with Rinpoche’s blessing. He received the Wensum teachings from Rinpoche in 2017 and has participated in about ten Wensum retreats in group and solitary settings. He also recently led three long Wensum retreats at Kalapa. Rinpoché may offer remotely via Zoom audiences in case there is a request from participants for a personal audience.
All participants must have received the Four Higher Empowerments of Kalachakra with instructions for the Three Isolations (Wensum) from Shar Khentrul Rinpoche. Everyone who has already taken these Higher Empowerments is automatically approved for participation. If you have not received them yet and have the aspiration to do so, fulfill the request here. If you are not sure that you have received the Four Higher Empowerments, write to us before starting your registration.
How to prepare myself for this retreat
In addition to the longer sadhanas “Divine Ladder” and “Enlightening the Heart”, you will need to know the sadhana “Secret Dakini Treasure”. For the latter, you must register here for the oral commentary Rinpoche gave recently if you have not already done so. We encourage you to study all the sadhanas as much as you can, including the transliterations and chantings, because there will be some sessions of chanting in Tibetan without a recording during the retreat.
During the retreat, Guru Puja and Kalachakra Tsok gatherings will also be held on special occasions. If these are new to you, we strongly encourage you to additionally register for their two associated courses at our learning center to prepare yourself in advance. However, these courses are not mandatory prerequisites for participation.
Bring your practice book “The Profound Path of Vajra Yoga”. You can also bring Rinpoche’s commentary “The Hidden Treasure,” the “Unveiling Your Sacred Truth 3,” and the Higher Empowerments Booklet as a reference for your practice. Other reading materials not directly related to the Wensum practice are not allowed. We aspire to offer new English materials written by the lineage masters about the practice in case the translation process is finalized before the event.
You can proceed with a credit card or paypal. If you wish to pay by direct debit deposit or wire transfer to our bank account, please choose that option at checkout. (In this case, please send an email to inform us about your wire transfer. If you have any obstacles, please write us.)
Retreat Infos and Guidelines
Retreat Infos and Guidelines
This is a strict retreat. The retreat will be closed and in silence. During this period, participants are not allowed to receive visitors or use computers, tablet devices, mobile phones, and so forth. We can store personal phones and other electronic devices in our office. If someone needs to contact you in case of emergency, they can email [email protected] or call +43 676 395 8898. Both e-mailbox and phone will be checked at least once each day. Rinpoche advises participants to follow the retreat guidelines respectfully, not only for the success of their own practice, but also to avoid disturbing others.
The daily schedule consists of four practice sessions and additional activities such as occasional pujas, watching Rinpoché’s recorded teachings, and so forth. Participants are welcome to address their questions related to the practice in written form to the retreat leader. They can request personal audiences with Rinpoché (remotely via Zoom) as well. Participation in two daily group sessions is mandatory unless health conditions completely prevent you from taking part. The remaining two sessions can be practiced in your own room if you prefer. Practice sessions will be conducted in English and Tibetan. If you absolutely prefer, you can bring copies of the texts in your own language as well and read them silently while the group recites in English.
Check-in 14:00 -16:00 on Friday, February 2nd. The retreat will conclude on the LOSAR with a Kalachakra-Tsok on Saturday 10th February evening. Check out on 11th after brekfast (if you absolutely need to leave earlier, that is possible. Just inform us in advance of your plans.)
This is a strict retreat, and participants should avoid engaging in too much physical activity and interacting with others unnecessarily. We need at least one volunteer to cook breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner for the participants. A room separate from that used by the retreat participants will be provided for the volunteer cook, who will be able to enjoy all the areas in the retreat center except for the Kalachakra Temple itself where the participants will practice. Unlike the participants, volunteers can access electronic devices, the internet, and so forth. This is an extraordinary opportunity to generate merit and create the causes to be able to engage in this practice yourself in the future. Rinpoche strongly encourages us to support our dharma brothers and sisters by volunteering.
If you are considering this opportunity, please write as soon as possible to [email protected], so that we can arrange a video call to plan your participation. You can also volunteer for only a portion of the event rather than for the whole retreat; you can offer as much as possible according to your capability. That being said, we prefer the participation of someone who can commit to the whole period. During your stay, we can provide free access to an online course or recorded retreat at our digital learning center if you would like to support your practice and study while you are volunteering.
Food and Accomodation
Food and On-Site Accomodations
The fee for the retreat includes three vegetarian meals and shared accommodations at the beautiful Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center. Please inform us ([email protected]) in advance if you have allergies, food intolerances, or other important health or mental conditions that we need to consider.
As space for individual rooms is very limited, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible. However, you can alternatively overnight outside Kalachakra (see registration options below).
Please note it takes incredible merit to have the conditions for this project to happen. If you cannot commit to attending for the entire duration of your choosen week(s), please let us know in advance the exact date and time of your earlier check-out. Please note that in this case we cannot offer you a special registration cost. The cost is for the event as a whole, regardless of whether you can stay for the entire period or not.
Getting to Kalapa
How to get to Kalapa?
Dzokden Kalapa Retreat Center, Garanas 41, Bad Schwanberg, zip code 8541, Austria, Südweststeiermark.
Nearest airport is in Graz, Austria.
To travel to Kalapa by train, start at the main train station in Graz. From there, take the S6 or S61 S-Bahn towards Wies-Eibiswald for about an hour to the Bad Schwanberg station. (timetable information)
To travel from the Bad Schwanberg train station to the retreat center, a relatively inexpensive taxi service supported by the government is available that will take you directly to the Retreat Center, which is referred to as “Buddhistisches Zentrum” by this taxi service. For more information, please visit the following website: Regio Mobil. The taxi must be ordered at least one hour in advance, but visitors are recommended to do so much earlier or on the day before you intend to arrive. On weekdays, this taxi service operates between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. On weekends it does not operate during the evening. As the journey is quite long (about 20 minutes), the service should be scheduled at least half an hour before the closing hours provided above. For trips on Sundays or public holidays please schedule the taxi service by 5 p.m. on the day before you intend to arrive.
To order: +43 (0)50 16 17 18
Cost: €6.00 total regardless of how many people are taking the taxi.
Alternatively you can book a normal taxi service or similar.
From the Graz-West motorway junction (A2/A9), get on the A2 towards Klagenfurt/Italy and take the Lieboch exit. Then, continue on Federal Road 76 towards Eibiswald. After about 30 km, you will reach Schwanberg. At the end of the main square in Schwanberg, turn left towards Garanas. After the bridge, turn right towards Garanas and follow the signs to “Kalachakra Kalapa Center” uphill for about 8 km to reach the center.
- Rafa Lobsang Dorje
Rafa Lobsang Dorje (Rafael Nassif) started his contact with Buddhism in 2008, after practicing in other systems of spiritual practice in his homeland Brazil. In Europe, India and Tibet he had precious opportunities to receive teachings, transmissions and empowerments from masters from almost all schools of Tibetan Buddhism and from the Theravada Tradition as well, and took part in different group and solitary retreats. He was fortunate to met his precious Guru Jamphel Lodrö (Khentrul Rinpoche) in Austria in 2015, from whom he has been receiving a vast and profound wealth of Dharma, from the foundational subjects until the Kalachakra Vajra Yogas. Since 2016 he has been teaching Lu Jong (Tibetan Healing Yoga). In 2018 he received from Rinpoche authorization and encouragement to teach the Dharma. Recently he reduced his professional activities as a composer in order to serve the altruistic ideals of his Guru as a full-time volunteer. He serves the community a.o. as a translator, editor, and coordinator of translation groups, and as a retreat leader and program coordinator.