August 9 - 12, 2013
Thousand Armed Chenrezig Nyung Nä Retreat

Nyung Nä practice is an intensive 2-day purification retreat that includes fasting, precepts, prostrations, prayers, mantra recitation, and offerings. Nyung Nä is a practice based on the deity, 1,000 armed Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, and is extremely powerful for healing illness, purifying negative karma, and opening the heart to compassion. 

The retreat practice includes taking the 24-hour Mahayana precepts, with the addition of complete fasting and silence on the second day. As a retreat experience, this practice is very effective, but also physically demanding. It is important that you are aware of your own health limitations, please see additional information below.


Friday, August 9:
Introduction, review of logistics and schedule, 6-7pm

Saturday, August 10:
Three sessions 4:30-8:00 am, 9-11:30 am, 3-6 pm, including light mid-day meal.

Sunday , August 11:
Three sessions 4:30-8:00 am, 9-11:30 am, 3-6 pm

Monday, August 12:
One session, 4:00-8:00am, includes breaking fast and light breakfast.


Pre-registration is required for participation no later than Friday, August 9 at 9 am.

The suggested donation for the retreat is $125, and includes all beverages and food. The income is intended to include an offering to the teacher, as well as cover all associated expenses and special offerings. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, and sponsors are welcome to offer more.


Every participant will need their own copy of the retreat manual:

Nyung Nä: The Means of Achievement of the Eleven-Face Great Compassionate One by the Seventh Dalai Lama, translated by Lama Zopa and Ven. George Churinoff

The recommended spiral bound 2005 edition may be purchased at the time of registration (click on the registration button above for the option to purchase your text now) or on site for $25.

Advance orders will ensure we have sufficient supply. Books ordered in advance will be available for pick-up Friday evening.


Merry Colony served as Director of Education Services at FPMT from 2000-2011, and as Director of several other FPMT projects in the past 30 years.

Merry has completed more than 108 Nyung Nä retreats, as well as all nine Gelug preliminary practices, and many other retreats, including some in her cave hermitage at Cherok near Lawudo Gompa in Nepal.

For more about Merry, please see this recent article in Mandala Magazine (click here). top photo: Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Merry Colony, FPMT

What to expect when taking Nyung Nä

Participants undertake to observe these precepts:

  • no killing
  • no stealing
  • no lying
  • no sexual conduct
  • no intoxicants
  • no singing
  • no makeup or jewelry, ornaments, etc
  • no sitting on high or luxurious seats

And to only eat Pure Food; the following foods are not permitted:

  • no meat
  • no eggs
  • no radishes
  • no garlic or onion
  • no intoxicants

The First Day of the Retreat

  • taking the vow of the eight Mahayana Precepts
  • reciting prayers, chanting the Chenrezig mantra and dharani
  • doing prostrations at intervals
  • only one meal is allowed and must be of pure foods and eaten before midday. This meal will be provided to participants; please clearly indicate dietary restriction when you register.
  • after noon time, only drinks are allowed (either water, tea, coffee or beverages made up with 2/3 water); Maitripa will provide hot water and tea.

The Second Day of the Retreat

  • Continue to abide with the eight Mahayana Precepts taken on the first day, and taking the additional vows of no eating, drinking and talking for the next 24 hours; continue reciting prayers, chanting mantra and dharani; continue doing prostrations.

Note on the Definition of 'No Drinking': Nyung Nä falls under the Kriya Tantra, of which the precept of 'no drinking' allows the practitioner to wash and keep the body clean. Therefore, on the second day of the retreat, the practitioner can wash the mouth but not drink any fluids of any kind.

The Final Morning Session (Third Day) of the Retreat

We break the fast when the session starts at 4 am, do initial prayers, then have a tea break. This is followed by a prayers session, and then a traditionally-inspired light breakfast of rice milk porridge. The final session ends with a short tsog, and the retreat concludes by 8 or 8:30 am.

Advice on Practicing Nyung Nä

When doing Nyung Nä, keep in mind and remind ourselves as much as possible that we are doing the retreat not for ourselves but for all sentient beings, and that by doing the retreat, all sentient beings will:
  • be free from suffering
  • achieve ultimate and peerless happiness
  • attain omniscient mind

Try to keep these in mind throughout the retreat, including break time.

Nyung Nä helps us to:

  • learn to destroy the inner enemy, the self-cherishing attitude
  • learn to destroy the cause of samsara-craving
  • have a better understanding of the feelings of the beings in the lower realms (ie animals and hungry ghosts)
  • have a better understanding of those in the same realm, particularly those without access to the good standard of living to which we are accustomed
  • develop compassion for all beings
  • develop renunciation of samsara

Benefit of Being Silent

Remove all distractions and focus only on practice.

Benefit of Prostration

Every prostration that we make accumulates unbelievable and immeasurable merit, therefore when we do prostrations, we give heartfelt dedications of our merits to all sentient beings.

Benefit of Pursuing Nyung Nä Retreat

Through devotion, faith and determination, practicing Nyung Nä can purify one's past negative karma as well as accumulate merit.


Maitripa College | 1119 SE Market Street | Portland, Oregon USA 97214 | phone: 503-235-2477 | email: | fax: 503-231-6408