Group G, 3 Year Retreat, Final Gate Opening Ceremony

August 20th, 2017 marked the end of the final phase of the Group G 3 year retreat at Sopa Choling Long Term Retreat center, Gampo Abbey.  The retreat ended with a Gate Opening Ceremony where the boundaries of the strict retreat were opened allowing the 10 retreatants to join their friends and family who had gathered to celebrate their accomplishment.

Larry Mermelstein and Nancy Huszagh

The Gate Opening Ceremony was lead by Larry Mermelstein, Director of the Nalanda Translation Committee and Nancy Huszagh, the Druppon (retreat master) of the retreat.

Group G retreatants leading circumambulation of Sopa Choling

Upon completion of the Gate Opening Ceremony the guests joined the retreatants in a ritual three circumambulations of the retreat center which was followed by a lhasang, smoke offering ceremony, to cleanse and purify obstacles and invite uplifted energy.

Lhasang Gate Opening Group G retreat

Following the lhasang, everyone gathered in the main shrine room in Sopa Choling for a Sadhana of Mahamudra feast that was followed by songs and offerings from the retreatants and guests.

Nancy Huszagh, retreat master, congratulating retreatants