Three Yanas of the Great Eastern Sun

John Rockwell

October 22–November 5, 2021

Tuition $675 + 14 nights

A Mahamudra Shamatha-Vipashyana, Tonglen, and Sadhana of Mahamudra Retreat

This two-week retreat is open to anyone who has a regular sitting meditation practice.

Full participation qualifies as two weekthün credits within the Shambhala Path curriculum.

The view of this retreat is to join all three yanas of our journey together — on the spot.

We will practice formless sitting of mahamudra shamatha-vipashyana as our main practice, which is the most basic and advanced practice we have. This will be enriched by compassion practices such as tonglen, as well as study and contemplation. Every day we will practice The Sadhana of Mahamudra, the profound treasure text of the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We will also include qigong in our early morning session.

In this way, we will mix our hearts with space, compassion, and devotion — grounded in our direct perception of this world with its human, plant, animal, and elemental societies.

Lodging prices for this retreat have been reduced by between 15% and 20%, depending on lodge room type, to make it easier for practitioners to practice at SMC.

What to Expect

Participants should begin at the beginning and commit to the full retreat.

No partial attendance is being accepted.

This will be an intensive retreat that follows a schedule from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. MT, as is our tradition.

Silence will be an important part of the retreat, with most meals taken in silence. There will be time for small group discussion, aimless wandering outside, and creative happenings.

Public Health

We will be socially distanced and modular in order to create a safe container in line with CDC and state COVID protocols. Vaccine for all participants is strongly encouraged. Please review the SMC COVID-19 policy before completing registration.

Prerequisites / Who Should Attend

Open to all who have a practice of shamatha-vipashyana.

The suggested minimum prerequisite for an intensive retreat of this nature is Level One or an introduction to meditation program at a Shambhala Centre, but any practitioner may attend with the recommendation of a senior Meditation Instructor.

Heart Gift

Toward the end of your retreat you will be asked if you would like to make a heart gift to the teacher. In Shambhala and other wisdom cultures, people often make heart gifts to those who have made receiving precious teachings possible. The heart gift is purely optional and based on personal inspiration and gratitude. The amount is not important, just your inspiration to give, connect, and explore the cycles of generosity and offering.


John Rockwell

John Rockwell has been on the path of dharma for 45 years. He met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1975 and studied and practiced the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings for 12 years with him, and in particular worked with him on translating Tibetan texts into English. For ten years, he studied and taught at Naropa University in the Buddhist Studies department. For many years, he served as an acharya or senior teacher for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and also studied intensively with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. John’s inspiration is to share the profound and practical teachings that he has received.


Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. This program ends with breakfast on the final day. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.