Working Retreat at Drala Jong

In October 2021 the first retreat took place at Drala Jong after the pandemic. There were still some restrictions and therefore the number of apprentices who could participate was relatively small. Nevertheless this was an important occasion which marked the beginning of more regular activities at Drala Jong.

Fire ceremony

It is usual that the retreats at Drala Jong start with a fire ceremony. For this occasion smoke offerings according to the lineage of Khatrül Rinpoche and according to the Aro gTér were performed. This practice creates a connection with all beings in the surrounding land and is therefore ideal to create auspicious circumstances for a retreat.


Every day after morning practice teachings were given by Khatrül Rinpooche and by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen. Khartrül Rinpoche is a great phurba master and therefore it was a great privilige that he was giving teachings on phurba practice on this retreat. It is quite typical for the gö-kar-chang-lo’i dé that such teachings are presented only to small groups of dedicated practitioners. Drala Jong provides an ideal intimate setting where this kind of transmission is made possible in the West.

There was a quality of seamlessness between the time of formal teachings and the informal time spent with the lamas in the morning, in the evening and during breaks. This kind of atmosphere which is both relaxed and infused with a high amount of kindness and awareness by all participants is essential to provide the circumstances where authentic transmission of Vajrayana practice can occur.


The afternoons were full of work, which is another feature that is typical of our retreats at Drala Jong. The little video provides a good impression of the atmosphere during the afternoons. People are working hard but are utterly cheerful. There is an enormous amount of work to be done to transform the buildings and the land to become a fully functioning retreat center for larger groups of people. The enthusiasm of all participants is infectious and it is amazing what can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

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