Nyung nä means “abiding in the retreat.” In other words, you are retreating from negative karmas of body, speech and mind. When you hear, say or think of the word “nyung nä” don’t think only of fasting, of the physical practices involved. Don’t think a nyung nä is only about not eating—there is a much vaster meaning to think about.
Doing a nyung nä means your body is abiding in retreat, your speech is abiding in retreat and your mind is abiding in retreat. The essential meaning of retreat is retreat from nonvirtuous actions of body, speech and mind. Abstaining from negative karmas that harm others is the fundamental tantric practice.
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Abiding in the Retreat is a commentary to a nyung nä sadhana composed by Kälzang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama. Nyung nä is an intensive two-day retreat that combines meditation on Thousand-Arm Chenrezig and recitation of Chenrezig’s mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, with prostrations, fasting and silence.
In this book, editor Ven. Ailsa Cameron has skillfully combined teachings on nyung nä practice given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche from 1984 through to 2009. The book contains the benefits of nyung nä retreat and of various practices within the retreat, stories of Chenrezig, Bhikshuni Lakshmi and the lineage lamas, and actual instructions on how to do a nyung nä.
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About the Author
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and meditator who for 30 years has overseen the spiritual activities of the worldwide network of 160-plus centers, projects and social services that form the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which he founded with Lama Thubten Yeshe. Born in the Mount Everest region of Thami in 1946, Rinpoche was recognized soon afterwards by His Holiness Tulshig Rinpoche and five other lamas as the reincarnation of the great yogi Kunsang Yeshe. Rinpoche was taken under the care of FPMT’s founder Lama Thubten Yeshe, soon after leaving Tibet, in Buxa Duar, India, in the early 1960′s. Rinpoche was with Lama Yeshe until 1984 when Lama Yeshe passed away and Lama Zopa Rinpoche took over as spiritual guide of FPMT.