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Discovering Pristine Wisdom with Lama Mark Webber

Mar 18, 2020 @ 5:00 pmMar 25, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

5th Annual Dzogchen Retreat at the Wangapeka

We live in challenging times.  There is a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety amongst so many people in the world today; in relation to the environment, political leadership, economic divide, threat of war, technology and disease, etc.  How do we navigate this uncertainty? How can we be a wise and loving force in a struggling world?

According to Dharma, the key is to work directly with and refine the intention mind.  Our intentions are at the heart of all we do, think, feel, where we go, what we say and what we become. In order to make profound and lasting changes to our intention mind—for all beings—we need to unbind, blossom and keep liberating deeply rooted beliefs.

The teachings and practices of Dzogchen or ‘The Great Perfection’ serve to clear away the clouds obscuring our innermost awareness. This is medicine that goes straight to the heart of confusion, allowing us to discover pristine wisdom – the unstained, boundless refuge that we can depend upon to navigate any storm. And crucially, from this natural ground of freedom, we become capable of supporting all of life with unconditional compassion.

In this retreat, Lama Mark will open the door to the rich Dzogchen transmissions of the Drikung Kagyu lineage as preserved in Tibet, India and Nepal.  For anyone new to these teachings, this will be a rare and precious opportunity to develop an authentic connection to this lineage, and a strong foundation for exploring its practices, with the close support of a fully qualified western Lama.  For those with previous experience, it will be a wonderful opportunity to unfold more expansively, using powerful Yogic practices than have only just become accessible to westerners through ongoing translation efforts.

The major practice for this year’s retreat is the meditation on Dorje Drolö, the most secret syllable HUM practice, from the Chos Gonpo Yangzab, the Drikung Dzogchen lineage of ‘Completely Profound Enlightened Intent’.  Dzogchen practices, such as Dorje Drolö, go right to the heart: primordial, unchanging awareness. The ineffable vast expanse, displaying infinite compassionate qualities.  This is the body, speech and mind of Dorje Drolö.

Retreat Programme: 20 days

Please aim to arrive by 5pm on Wednesday 18 March in time for a light meal and evening class.

The retreat will officially end after lunch & clean up on Monday 6 April.

March 18: Introduction to Pervasive Totality: the View, Meditation and Conduct of the Dzogchen Path.

March 19: Morning and Evening—The 37 Practices of All the Bodhisattvas by Tokme Zangpo.* Learning to contemplate on the countless facets of relative and ultimate compassion-wisdom. Setting forth our intention in a profound direction.

March 20-21: Morning—Longevity and Deathlessness practice of Amitayus-Padmasambhava. A empowerment, blessing and ganacakra for long-life and the realization of the deathless nature. Inner yoga and ultimate bodhicitta. Practice day on March 21.

March 22-April 1: The Drikung Dzogchen empowerment and meditation of Dorje Drolö, the most secret syllable HUM. Transmission, explanations, group and solo practice sessions during 11 days of silent retreat. Dorje Drolö is one of the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava. It is a fierce practice, but also love filled and deeply compassionate for all. Guru Padmasambhava said in one of the Nyingma treasures, that to ripen our talents we need fierce means, one of the four Buddha activities.

April 2-3: Trekchö pith instructions and practice—discovering and abiding naturally in primordial wakefulness, for all beings. Direct instructions in Dzogchen Trekchö (‘thoroughly cutting through’) based on Patrul Rinpoche’s root text, commentary on Garab Dorje’s Three Words that Strike the Vital Point and Lho Drikung Ontul Rinpoche’s pithy instructions. 4 classes.

April 4 5: Red Dorje Phagmo (Vajra Yogini). Empowerment and instructions and some group sessions. Outer and inner yoga. A prerequisite empowerment and transmission for a planned future retreat on the Drikung Dzogchen practices of the Black Troma form of Dorje Phagmo a treasure of Padmasambhava, revealed by Terton Mebar Rinchen Phuntsog in the 16th century.

April 6th: morning. Blessings. reading and brief commentary on the Mangala Sutta.

Preference will be given to those who can attend the full retreat, but a 1 or 2 week option may be available by special arrangement if there is space available.

** A translation will be provided of The 37 Practices of All the Bodhisattvas by Tokme Zangpo.

Course Cost:

We are still finalizing costs for this retreat as Lama Mark’s overall 2020 teaching schedule takes shape, but approximate costs are now expected to be:

For Wangapeka members: NZ$1980

For non-members: NZ$2180

This fee includes all accommodation, prepared meals, cooks fee, materials as well as a contribution towards Lama Mark’s anticipated travel costs.

These course fees do not include any payment for the teacher / teaching.  In accordance with Buddhist tradition, Lama Mark offers the teaching of Dharma out of generosity.  There will be opportunity to offer dana / donation for Lama Mark in return, in appreciation of the teachings and to help support the continued flow of Dharma. Please give as generously as you can (within your own means, of course…).  As a rough guide, we suggest allowing for about NZ$30 per day, but this should be considered in light of your individual means.

A deposit of $500 is required to secure your place on the course.  This is fully refundable if you withdraw before 1 February 2020.  Beyond this date it is 50% refundable.

Financial assistance may be available for those who would be unable to attend the retreat without support.  Conditions apply. Please contact the retreat organizer if you are interested in submitting an application.

Enquiries & Registration:

For all enquiries, please contact Jonathan:

e: info@openbreath.org

p: +64 21 1860 476

To register please fill out our online registration form

Register Now

Please consider becoming a Wangapeka memberclick here for details:



Wangapeka Retreat Centre is approximately 75 min drive from Nelson.  We will be coordinating shuttles & car-pooling options in the weeks prior the start of the retreat.  If you do require transport to and from the centre, please email the course manager with your flight times, etc when you have these confirmed.  Cost usually works out to be between $50-$75 per person each way.

About Lama Mark

Lama Mark (Lama Yongdu Chokyi Gyaltsen) has been studying and teaching Buddha-dharma for over forty years. For thirty years his main root teacher was the great Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche who taught all three cycles of the Buddha’s teachings, including Abhidhamma, Vipassana in the lineage of Mahāsi Sayādaw, generation and completion stage practices of the Tantrayana and Mahamudra/Dzogchen of many lineages, especially of the Karma Kagyu and Sakya. More recently under the guidance and request of Drikung Lho Ontul Rinpoche, Lama Mark has been principally teaching the richness of the Drikung Mahamudra and Drikung Yangzab Dzogchen traditions.


Lama Mark has a deep and long term interest and collaboration in a number of scientific fields and the arts which he integrates with the teaching of Buddhism.


His compassionate activities demonstrate a profound commitment to freeing beings from innumerable suffering states. Lama Mark’s emphasis with practitioners and students is on uncovering pure Dharma to reveal its extraordinary benefits and share the great joy of its deep study, meditative practices and integration into all aspects of our lives.

For more information about Lama Mark, see:




Mar 18, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Mar 25, 2020 @ 2:00 pm
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