Ganden Do Ngag Shedrup Ling Centre completed its 7th 100 Million Mani Retreat in a row. This year, due to some logistical reasons, the Centre hosted this major annual event in the month of September. It was a surprisingly warm and pleasant month for Mongolia enabling participants to concentrate better on the practice and not experience the discomfort of either hot summer or cold winter. However, we observed that there was a reduction in the number of people who could join us in the Gompa of Idgaa Choinzinling Monastery due to the clash of the commencement of the new school year. Nevertheless, the average attendance of approximately 100-150 people yielded the excellent result of a collective recitation of 108’000’000 mani mantras which were offered to Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the first Mani Retreat in Elista, Kalmykia. GDNSL Centre Director, Ianzhina Bartanova paid a visit to Elista and offered congratulations to the Abbot of the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni temple upon the successful hosting of the retreat. Ven. Anja was pleased to know about the annual 100 Million Mani Retreat in Mongolia and expressed that people from Kalmykia might now be more interested in visiting Mongolia and participating in the Mani Retreat here.
Thirty days of retreat passed very fast and new lessons were learned. Despite having quite some familiarity of organizing this event, there is always room for improved service and for the further implementation of skillful ways to overcome obstacles. The second day of retreat was marked by the sudden declaration of a state holiday due to the visit of Russian President, Vladimir Putin. The announcement was made by the Mongolian government with the recommendation that citizens stay home in order to reduce the traffic congestion for the two Presidents! Fortunately, for our staff and retreat participants, our schedule was followed as per normal. The daily program was changed only once for special teachings from our Geshe Thubten Soepa explaining the meaning of the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM.
Every year the devoted retreatants touch our hearts with their seemingly magic stories, like immediate healing with blessed water or some miraculous event happening in their lives. However, we view these as further confirmation of the power of the Buddha of Compassion, the power of faith and the power of merits. We sincerely dedicate our collective merits for world peace and resolution of the climate crisis to significantly reduce the suffering on this planet.
Looking to the future and ever striving to improve what we can offer, we are discussing the possibility of organising a strict retreat next year concluding with a fire puja for participants who can commit to full participation and recitation of the required number of mantras. Please watch this space! We warmly invite everyone to join us and help in fulfilling Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vast vision for Mongolia.