Date: 04 March 2001 Night (7.30 p.m.) to 07 March 2001 Morning (7.30 a.m.)
Advice on Doing The Nyung-nay Retreat
The Nyung-Nay or fasting retreat is a Vajrayana practice, from the Kriya ("Action") class of Tantra. It is a powerful, quick and effective method to purify a lot of negativities and at the same time collect a vast amount of merit. Meditators of the past have been known to purify such diseases as leprosy through this practice. However, the principal purpose of the practice is the attainment of supreme enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings.
One should have received an Avalokitesvara initiation in order to do this retreat. If this is not the case, one should have received a complete initiation from one of the three higher classes of tantra, or an initiation of one of the deities of the tathagata or lotus family of Kriya Tantra. As an absolute minimum, one should have taken refuge.
A Nyung Nay retreat consists of 7 sessions spread over 3 days. In each session we practice the sadhana ("The Means of Achievement of the Eleven-Faced Great Compassionate One") of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha-form symbolising compassion. The sadhana involves meditating on bodhicitta (the aspiration to attain enlightenment in order to help all beings), visualising, reciting prayers and mantras, and performing prostrations. Each session takes between 2 - 3 hours.
Participants arrive at the retreat center the evening before the first day. On the first day of the Nyung.Nay, we take the 8 Mahayana Precepts: avoidance of killing, stealing, sexual activity, telling lies, taking intoxicants, eating more than one meal, singing, etc., wearing ornaments, etc. and using high seats or beds. Three sessions of the sadhana are practised on the first day.
On the second day, we take the 8 Mahayana Precepts, as above, with the additional vows of not eating, drinking or speaking for the next 24 hours. Three sessions of the sadhana are practised on this day. Although we vow to keep silence, we continue to recite the prayers and mantras of the sadhana. If communication between participants is necessary, it must be done through writing notes.
The second day is the most difficult part of the retreat. We experience hunger, thirst, tiredness and aches and pains from doing prostrations. Some people feel ill from the fasting. However, if we understand the purpose of the practice, we will not mind the discomfort. By experiencing hardships in our Dharma practice, we are able to purify a great deal of our negative karma accumulated over countless previous lives. We can also build up positive habits and states of mind to counteract the negative ones. Although the Buddha advised the "middle way" - not too soft, not too tough - the discomfort experienced during a nyung.nay is bearable and not too tough. Also, it helps us have better understanding of the suffering experienced by animals and hungry ghosts (and some humans!), and thus develop greater compassion for sentient beings, and greater renunciation of samsara.
We do the 7th and last session of the Nyung.Nay in the early morning of the third day. Following that, the fast is broken with a soothing drink. Participants are free to leave after breakfast.
Venue: Dharma Hall at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery ,
88 Bright Hill Road, S574117
How to get there:
Bus no. 410 (white plate) from Bishan Bus Interchange (beside Bishan MRT)
Mar 04, 2001, Sunday (eve of the retreat)
7.30 p.m. Check in and briefing (please be punctual and have your dinner before coming)
Mar 05, 2001, Monday (first day of the retreat; 8 Mahayana precepts; lunch only)
6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Taking of 8 Precepts and Fist session of Nyung-nay practice
10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. Break
11.00 a.m. Lunch
2.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Second session
4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Break
5.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. Third session
Mar 06, 2001, Tuesday (no eating, drinking or talking until the next morning)
4.00 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. Fourth session
7.30 p.m. to 10.00 a.m. Break
10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Fifth session
1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Break
4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Sixth session
Mar 07, 2001, Wednesday (last day)
7.30 a.m. Housekeeping and breakfast. Home-sweet-home.
Use of handphones and pagers is not allowed, except for emergencies. Hand phone number to call for emergencies: 97728089 (until October 26 only)
Participants may not leave the retreat place for the duration of the 3 days (except to take a walk around the monastery).
In between the sessions of Nyung Nay practice, participants may do other practices and prayers or read Dharma books, or rest or go for a walk. It is best to avoid reading non-Dharma books, unless absolutely necessary (e.g. studying for an exam).
Participants should be silent when outside the compound so as not to disturb the temple activities.
Participants are expected to share in the housekeeping and cleaning for the comfort of all.
It is advisable to bring a towel, blanket or cushion to protect the knees while prostrating.
For further enquiries, please page for Phuah Soon Ek @ 92568798
Items to bring by participants
Rosary (for reciting mantras)
Blue and red Pearl of Wisdom prayer books.
Dharma books to read during breaks.
Picture of 1000-arms Chenrezig to help with visualisation.
Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, towel, soap)
Personal medication, medical ointment, insect repellant (First aids is available for use)
Enough clothing; loose and comfortable clothing such as long pants, sleeve shirt or Tee, pajama. No shorts and bermudas, no sleeveless Tee, no singlet. Please note that washing is not allowed in the bathrooms.
Personal jacket (as the building is fully air-con).
Pillow case, mattress cover , blanket or sleeping bag (if one is particular on cleanliness)
Big towel or blanket for prostration.
Stationery (pen, pencil, notebook, paper)
Cup for hot beverages, water bottle.