2020 Teachings in Queenstown, New Zealand
By Lama Mark Webber
February 21 to March 16, 2020 (3 weeks)
Great Foundations of the Awakening Mind
Introduction to the classes and retreats:
Lama Mark Webber (Lama Chokyi Gyaltsen) brings over forty years of classically grounded study and practice in both Buddhism and science to his teaching. Using diverse methods of instruction, he helps people understand the cause of suffering states and its cessation, guiding them on the path of freedom, to discover the vast expressions of compassion and innate joy. He illuminates, often with humour the most essential points of all Buddhist teachings and meditations. No matter what kind of state—positive or negative, confused or clear, anxious or happy, dull or energetic, joyous or angry—the very basis of all our experience is always unobstructed, luminous and pervaded with great love.
The meditations and contemplations Lama Mark introduces help us recognize that our minds are naturally free of all fabrications and that the ground of all our experience, called Buddha-nature, Dzogchen, Mahamudra, etc. is an all pervasive compassionate awakeness known as bodhicitta. Unfolding and clarifying profound intent—bodhicitta—is integral to all the meditations, studies and paths we take.
Sustainable happiness and deep compassion will not be found by chasing and grasping after outer objects, people, places and things. So too, no matter how fascinating and intelligent our thoughts and ideas are, they mask the pervasive continuum of awake mind. Learning to be naturally at ease in our own skin, vividly awake, abiding in our mind’s basis—inclusive of all experience—is the meditation. Whether day or night, daily life, retreat or no-retreat, generating bodhicitta (profound intent, the mind of enlightenment) and blending it into all we do, feel, think and sense is a great gift to all beings.
By mentoring us to develop a high level of capacity through listening, study, reflection and meditation, Lama Mark helps build our confidence in bodhicitta, and opens up a love of Dharma that enables us to approach and become familiar with the ever-present luminous awareness within us. Instructions to reveal this fundamental essence are central to Lama Mark’s way of teaching Buddha Dharma. With enough strength and profound intent we will recognize this to be the meditation and conduct for every facet of our lives. This describes the heart of Lama Mark’s guidance and teachings.
- The topic of the first weekend’s teachings has changed from what was previously advertised.
- The Medicine Buddha empowerment (10th March) has been added to the original schedule.
- The public talk, “Inner Yoga of Breath and Touch” (13th March) has been added to the original schedule.
Unfolding Confidence in Profound Intent
- Friday Feb. 21, 7:00 pm. What is Mindfulness? What is Meditation? A Practical Orientation from Classic Buddhist and Modern Perspectives. This weekend of classes are explanations, instructions and practical guidance for unfolding the full scope of mindfulness and meditation from classic Buddhist perspectives and some recent methods. Lama Mark Webber explains—following a pithy handout he has written—the purpose of Buddhist meditation, what works and why, what really gets in the way, and what we need to gather in our lives for rewarding meditation and awakening.
- Saturday Feb. 22 and Sunday Feb. 23. Continued: What is Mindfulness? What is Meditation? 4 classes at 10:00am -12:00pm & 2:30 – 4:30 pm. Lama Mark Webber continues with practice guidance and exercises on the full scope of mindfulness, meditation and Dharma. He will give a reading and detailed explanations of the Buddha’s famous Mangala Sutta (Discourse on Blessings). And the Lama will give detailed instructions on the Buddhist meditation on Breath (Anapanasati) for both attaining profound tranquility and Insight. A rich weekend of instructors for both beginners and experienced practitioners and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
- Tuesday February 25. 7:00pm. The Transmission of Padmasattva Yab-Yum. The Union of Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal as ultimate compassion and wisdom:This is the transmission of the Padmasattva, the Secret Means of Attainment of Guru Padmasattva from the lineage of the Drikung Kagyu Dzogchen cycle.
- Wednesday February 26.9:00am and 7:00 pm sessions.Morning and evening practice sessions of Padmasattva yab-yum, with explanations and order of practice.Lama Mark will give commentary on the famous Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche found in the Padmasatta meditation. And he will speak about the, history, importance and lineages of the remarkable awake energy that is Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.
- Friday Feb. 28, 7:00 pm. The Twelve Links of Dependant Origination.Teachings on dependant origination are essential to Buddhist meditation and understanding.Lama Mark will explain and guide us in meditations on the twelve interdependent causes that give rise to birth, bewilderment, joy, sorrow, decay, being-ness, concept making and entanglements. Knowing where to look, seeing and severing links of causality result in cessation of fabrications; a profound indescribable freedom of the unborn awareness.
- Saturday February 29 & Sunday March 1. 4 classes at 10:00am -12:00pm & 2:30 – 4:30 pm.Dependant Orgination—the Twelve Links continued.Teaching and Meditations. From causality to emptiness and their inseparability.
- Tuesday March 3, 7:00 pm. Dying with Vivid Clarity: Consciousness Transference (Phowa) Phowa – consciousness transference for one self and others. Transmission of Orgyen Nuden Dorje’s Phowa treasure, called “The Ruby Garland” and associated texts. Teachings on the signs and stages of dying, bardo and primordial wakefulness. Including assistance and guidance to those dying. Group sessions. A completion stage practice that is an excellent preparation for Trekchö, the Dzogchen practice of Thorough Cut.
- Wednesday March 4, 9:00am and 7:00 pm: Practice sessions and explanations of Tuesday’s Phowa Transmission.
- Friday March. 6, 7:00 pm. The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind Away From Bewilderment and Suffering (Samsara).Also called the Four Common Foundations.These profound four contemplations are universal to all Mahayana traditions. Before proceeding to any meditation or study of Dharma, they quickly remind us of what we need to do, where to look and where we are heading.
- Saturday and Sunday March 7 & 8, The Abhidhamma Held in Your Hand. Core Insightful Meditations and Contemplations from the Abhidhamma: Start of an Eight Day Urban Retreat. The Saturday and Sunday classes are open to the public.Lama Mark distills the profundity of the Abhidhamma and Vipassana traditions into the key meditations. He starts with the six roots of mental activity—greed, hatred, delusion, generosity, loving-kindness and knowledge/wisdom—continues through mental states and appearances to dependant origination, causal relations and what are concepts and dhammas. The Lama incorporates the scientific method, taxonomy and interconnectedness into the Dharma in 4 classes: 10:00am -12:00pm & 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday.
- Tuesday March 10, 7:00 pm. Medicine Buddha Empowerment.
- Friday March 13, 7:00 pm. Inner Yoga of Breath and Touch. How to find Stillness, Awakeness & Compassion.
- Sunday March 15: Empowerment of Vajra Yogini.Followed by a community feast (Tsok). Sunday 4:00pm to 6:30 pm.
- Monday March 16, 7:00 pm.Vajra Yogini Practice.Instructions, commentary and how to practice.
We are now accepting registrations.
Please review accommodation options with regard to the retreat.
Lama Mark Webber (Lama Yongdu Chokyi Gyaltsen) has been studying and teaching Buddha-dharma for over forty years. For thirty years his main root teacher was the great Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche who taught all three cycles of the Buddha’s teachings, including Abhidhamma, and Vipassana in the lineage of Mahāsi Sayādaw, generation and completion stage practices of the Tantrayana and Mahamudra/Dzogchen of many lineages, especially of the Karma Kagyu and Sakya. More recently under the guidance and request of Drikung Lho Ontul Rinpoche, Lama Mark has been principally teaching the richness of the Drikung Mahamudra and Drikung Yangzab Dzogchen traditions.
Lama Mark has a deep and long term interest and collaboration in a number of scientific fields and the arts which he integrates with the teaching of Buddhism.
His compassionate activities demonstrate a profound commitment to freeing beings from innumerable suffering states. Through clarity, joy and humour Lama Mark’s emphasis with practitioners and students is on uncovering pure Dharma to reveal its extraordinary benefits and share the great love of its deep study, meditative practices and integration into all aspects of our lives.
For more information about Lama Mark, see: