Guided Retreat on Vajrasattva

Title: Vajrasattva Purification Retreat – Pure mind pure world
Date: Sunday 18th December
Times: See schedule below
Location: Amoghasiddhi Kadampa Buddhist Centre
Costs: £2.00 a single session, £5 per day – free to members

About Vajrasattva & the retreat 

The Buddha of Purification, the manifestation of the purifying power of all the Buddhas, appearing in the aspect of a white-coloured Deity specifically to purify the negativities of living beings. The practice of meditation and recitation of Buddha Vajrasattva is a powerful method for purifying our impure mind and actions. Buddha Vajrasattva is the same nature as Buddha Vajradhara, differing only in aspect.

In our previous lives, while under the influence of deluded minds, we accumulated a lot of negative karma, and we also transgressed our vows and commitments and incurred root and secondary downfalls. As a result, we now experience difficulties in developing faith and conviction in Dharma, and in making progress on the stages of the path to enlightenment. Moreover, if we do not purify all this negativity while we have the chance, we will have to experience great suffering in the future.
Any living being, even a worm or an insect, can commit negative actions; but only humans have the fortune to be able to purify them. We have been accumulating non-virtuous actions and experiencing their suffering results since beginningless time; but now we have an opportunity to purify them completely. We should make use of this precious opportunity to purify our negative karma, not to create more! Since purification is the root of future happiness and spiritual realizations, we should strive to cleanse our mind of delusions and negative karma by practising the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva. This is a very powerful method of purification.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso 1990
During this retreat we will engage in the practice of Vajrasattva with the practice of the four opponent forces, listed below, which makes our purification practice very powerful. Each session will be guided and is suitable for all levels of experience.
If we do powerful purification every day we can completely purify all our negative karma; if we do middling purification we can reduce our negative karma; and if we do a little purification we can prevent our negative karma from increasing. If we do no purification our negative karma will increase as time goes by and we will definitely experience its painful results. The degree of purification we attain depends upon the strength of the four opponent powers:
(1)The power of regret
(2)The power of reliance
(3)The power of the opponent force
(4)The power of promise
For our practice of purification to be complete, all four powers must be present.
The power of regret This is the power of our regret for the harmful actions we have committed. We develop regret by remembering all the dangers of our negativity. Indirectly regret destroys both the potentialities of our non-virtuous actions and our wish to repeat such actions in the future. For this reason it is also known as ‘the power of destruction’. The stronger our regret, the stronger our restraint. If for example we were to discover that we had swallowed deadly poison we would feel deep regret. How much greater our regret should be for our negative actions, which poison all our future lives!
The power of reliance There are two main objects of our negative actions, the Three Jewels and living beings. Most of our negative actions are committed against other living beings. Motivated by attachment, anger or ignorance, we kill, steal, lie and so forth. We have also committed many negative actions against holy beings such as Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Spiritual Guides. Driven by delusion we have created heavy negative karma by engaging in actions such as abandoning Dharma, denying the existence of enlightened beings or showing disrespect towards the Sangha. Therefore, going for refuge by relying upon the Three Jewels, and generating compassion or bodhichitta by relying upon all living beings as our object, are powerful methods for purifying the negative actions that we have committed against them. This is what is meant by the power of reliance.
The power of the opponent force This is the power of any virtuous action we perform as an opponent to whatever non-virtuous action we wish to purify. The opponent can be any virtuous action performed with sincere regret for our negativity. For example, we can make prostrations, recite mantras, recite the names of Buddhas, read the scriptures, meditate on emptiness, make offerings or practise giving. This remedial action is the actual means of directly destroying non-virtuous potentialities.
The power of promise This is the power of promising to refrain from negative actions. When we make a promise we need to know for how long we are able to keep it. We can avoid some negative actions for the rest of our life and others for only a short while. When it comes to those we cannot avoid completely, we can promise to avoid them for a short time and then gradually extend the duration as our capacity increases. Eventually we will be able to promise to refrain for the rest of our life. Even those whose livelihood depends upon negative actions such as killing animals can practise like this.

About the Teacher

Gen Kelsang Yankyi is the Resident Teacher of Amoghasiddhi KBC. She has been studying and teaching Kadampa Buddhist meditations for over twenty-five years. She is loved for her gentle and joyful approach and her ability to present Buddha’s teachings in a clear and down to earth manner making them easy to practice.


09.30 am – 10.45 am First session
11.45 am – 1.00 pm Second session
1.05 pm – 1.25 pm Heart Jewel Prayers
2.30 pm – 3.45 pm Third session

For more information, or questions please ask at;

Vajrasattva Retreat