Tushita is a center for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition. Located
in Northern India, in the forested hills above the town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala – the seat in exile of
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Tushita aims to provide a friendly and conducive environment for people of all nationalities and
backgrounds to learn about and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha. With this in mind Tushita
offer regular drop-in events and courses on introductory Buddhist philosophy and meditation, as well as
intermediate level courses and group retreats for more experienced students.
Lama Thubten Yeshe
Founder of Tushita Meditation Center and the FPMT – Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935.
At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet where he studied until 1959, when as
Lama Yeshe himself has said, “In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and
meet the outside world.” Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, together as teacher
and disciple since their exile in India, met their first Western students in 1965. By 1971 they settled at
Kopan, a small hamlet near Kathmandu in Nepal.
In 1972, in response to the ever-growing demand from their Western students, the Lamas decided to
open a sister centre, which was intended to be used for retreats. They decided to locate it in McLeod
Ganj, Dharamshala, which was home to many of their teachers, and so Tushita Retreat Centre (which
was later renamed Tushita Meditation Center) was founded.
In 1974, the Lamas began touring and teaching in the West, which would eventually result in The
Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Lama Yeshe died in 1984, his
reincarnation Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche was born to Spanish parents in 1985.
The Retreat Environment
A retreat of spiritual study and meditation takes energy, commitment, and discipline. It’s a space in which
to shut out the distractions of everyday life and come face-to-face with yourself. That isn’t always easy,
especially for beginners.
At first it can seem very confining to follow rules and not do as one pleases. But the beauty of discipline
is that it leads to greater freedom.
Normally we are so busy doing something or talking so much that life passes us by without us realising.
A retreat environment offers us time to distance ourselves from our usual sources of distraction (TV,
phones, email, facebook etc) and the responsibilities of work, home and family.
Through the combination of this distance and not communicating with others (and knowing that others
won’t communicate with us), we are able to create a space in which we can look at ourselves more
objectively, with less identification to our roles as parent/child/sibling/partner/friend/employer/employee
etc. In this way, we can shift our emphasis from how we feel we should be, to how we are, or more
importantly how we want to be.
To study Buddhist Philosophy is to study ourselves. In combination with learning about and reflecting
upon the relevance of Buddhism’s teachings on wisdom and compassion in our own experience, this
attention can illuminate real insights into the way our minds work and how we act and react in our
relationships with others. Retreat provides a unique opportunity for us to cultivate a quality of attention to,
and gain fresh perspectives on our lives.
For all these reasons, retreat is an opportunity to be embraced.
Tushita Meditation Centre
+91) 8988 160988
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