2019 Abhidhamma Retreat

Transmission and step by step teachings & meditation for 3 months, plus 1 month intensive Vipassana retreat


Dates: September 21st 2019 – February 3rd, 2020

Location: Crystal Mountain Society Retreat and Namgyal Choling Gompa, Galiano Island, B.C. Canada


In response to requests for another deep study of Abhidhamma with Lama Mark, there will be a four month retreat on Galiano Island.

The Abhidhamma (Pali for “Higher Laws” or “Higher Phenomena”, Sanskrit: Abhidharma) is one of the three-baskets (collections) of the Buddha’s teachings. The emphasis of this retreat will be on combining study with an approach and practice of Vipassana via the tradition of Abhidhamma as Lama Mark received it from the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche. In this mode of transmission there is less emphasis on the Abhidhamma as Buddhist philosophy, and more on the entire scope of the Buddha’s teachings and how we can practice it to an extraordinary depth. It is a profound study and series of meditative investigations into: mind and form; mental states; meditative concentration; realms of being; mental processes and cognition; stages of liberation; emptiness; interdependent origination; and the causality/emptiness teaching of the interdependence of all phenomena (Patthana). Highly recommended for practitioners who are or may someday teach and guide people in Dharma and meditation.

The Course/Retreat Plan:

Two day orientation, 5 day setting up and settling in;
Three-months of continuous Abhidhamma teachings (as per the tradition of full transmission), with study and short meditation periods. Manjusri empowerments;
One month Vipassana/Abhidhamma retreat;
One week coming out of retreat.
Lama Mark will give the entire transmission of the text, the Abhidhammathasangaha, with occasional teachings from the Abhidhammakosa interspersed with modern cognitive, neuroscience, life sciences, ecology, physics, chemistry and space science perspectives. Be prepared to study, meditate, investigate together and do lab explorations! There are often two x 2 – 2.5 hour classes from Lama Mark and a practitioner’s study and review session most days, except during the meditation periods. There will be the opportunity for interviews and guidance.

Empowerments and other teachings to be announced.

We are currently working on a budget. Details on costs and accommodation will be shared regularly with those who are registered/interested. A non-refundable deposit schedule will be announced. Enquire about scholarships.

If you seriously wish to attend this retreat or have any questions please contact Susan van Asselt at: vanasselt.susan@gmail.com

Note: Only participants who attended the last four month Abhidhamma retreat will be considered for attending part of the program.