Nyungnay is one of our most precious Kadampa Dharma jewels and as a centre practice it comes around just once a year – on Buddha’s Enlightenment Day. Every year, to celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day, we engage in the practice of 1,000-armed Avalokiteshvara, called Drop of Essential Nectar. During which, we make exquisite offerings, praises and prostrations and thereby accumulate huge merit, purify vast negativity for ourself and others and receive the most powerful blessing to propel ourself swiftly along our path to enlightenment.
This practice is very beneficial for purifying negative karma and for pacifying delusions. It is also a sublime meditation on love and compassion, and a deeply effective prayer for world peace.
Each day of the retreat begins at 6:30am when we take the Mahayana Precepts. During these precepts, we promise not to engage in negative actions of body, speech and mind for the whole day. We limit our intake of food and drink, with the intention of purifying our negative karma. Then we engage in three rounds of prayers, prostrations, and mantra recitations. . Usually the second day is accompanied by a full fast, although strongly recommend, this is not compulsory. Each of us does this according to our own capacity. Everyone is welcome to join us for this special retreat.
You are welcome to join in for just one day of the retreat; however, to participate in any of the retreat sessions, you must take the precepts at 6:30am that day. For those of you who are new to this special purification practice, here is some additional information: If you are participating in the traditional way in the 2-day Nyungnay Retreat, then on the first day you eat only one meal at midday – no breakfast, no dinner, no snacks. You can drink liquids all day, however. There are certain foods we avoid during this retreat, and a list of those foods will be provided here soon. If you participate in the second day, traditionally this is a full fast day – no food or drink at all. But, you can participate according to your abilities (i.e. if there is a medical reason you cannot abstain completely from food or from liquids, then on the second day, you can follow the same format as on the first day – only eating one meal at midday, fluids only the rest of the time).
Precepts – 6:30am each day
Day 1 – Friday April 15th, BUDDHA’S ENLIGHTENMENT DAY!
Tharpa Publications also sells the prayers in various formats (Booklet, EPUB, Kindle, MP3 audio) which you can purchase and download immediately:
Guidelines for Eating on Days When We Take the Eight Mahayana Precepts
As Precepts days are ones when we try to avoid non-virtues, we should also try to refrain from eating particular foods that for us stimulate strong attachment. Remember, our motivation for taking Precepts is Bodhichitta.