Guru Yoga and Mandala Offering Retreat – unguided

Saturday 17th – Thursday 22nd December

Guru Yoga and Mandala Offering

This retreat combines the practices of Guru Yoga, which is the gateway to receiving blessings, and Mandala Offerings, which is the gateway to accumulating merit. We all wish for spiritual realizations, but this depends upon preliminary practices such as purifying negativity, accumulating merit and receiving blessings. In this annual retreat we focus on the preliminary practices of receiving blessings by engaging in Guru Yoga practice and accumulating merit, or positive energy, by making mandala offerings.

The word “guru” is Sanskrit for “spiritual guide” or “spiritual teacher.”  These days, it is possible to have a spiritual guide who is male or female, lay or ordained, Eastern or Western.  During this retreat, we will visualize our personal spiritual guide appearing in the aspect of Je Tsongkhapa, an emanation of the wisdom Buddha Manjushri.

The word “mandala,” in this context, means “universe.”  In a traditional rice mandala offering, we use a rice mandala kit to create an offering that represents a completely pure universe. We then use the mandala kit to make offerings to Je Tsongkhapa, imagining we are offering countless purified universes, along with the imagined purified objects of our own attachment. In this way we accumulate vast merit and receive powerful blessings.

Everybody is welcome to this retreat.

Retreat details

There are three to four sessions per day. Each session lasts for one and a half hours and consists of chanted prayers in English and mandala offerings. During retreat everyone is asked to maintain silence from after the last session at night until after the second session the next morning. You are welcome to drop in for any or all of the retreat sessions. As this retreat is not guided there is no charge but donations welcome. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early if you wish to receive instructions on how to make a mandala offering.


Kalpa Bhadra Buddhist Centre, 24 Rugby St, Merivale, Christchurch


Introduction $10. Retreat sessions free – donations welcome

Session Times

Friday 16th December

Introduction with Kelsang Luma 8.00 – 9.00pm

Saturday 17th – Thursday 22nd December

Ses 1: 7.30 – 9.00am

Ses 2: 10.30 – 12.00pm

Ses 3: 4.00 – 5.30pm

Ses 4: 7.30 – 9.00pm

Sunday 19th Dec – session 2  begins 11.00am – 12.30pm

Please note that session times vary. Please check our calendar on our homepage for updated session times.