PHOWA COURSE BY HIS EMINENCE CHOJE AYANG RINPOCHE
16th - 22nd March@ Nepal 2023
Words from Amitabha Foundation Retreat Center
To all the devotees, monks and nuns, ordained and lay persons,
Phowa is the transference of one’s consciousness at the moment of death. It is said to be the quickest way to Buddha Amitabha Pureland and achieve enlightenment.
His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, H.H. The 16th Karmapa, the emanation of activity of all the Buddhas of present, past and future, H.H. Kyabje Dudjom Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche, an embodiment of Maha Guru Ogyen and the foremost head of the Nyingmapa Lineage in exile and many other great masters have all recognized His Eminence Choje Ayang Rinpoche as a highly realized and accomplished Phowa master and that his teachings will benefit many sentient beings in the path to attaining enlightenment and also the Buddha Dharma in general. His Eminence is a lineage holder of both the Nyingma and Drikung Phowa and continues the unbroken line of succession of the Drikung Phowa masters from Buddha Vajradhara.
His Eminence Choje Ayang Rinpoche has been conducting Phowa courses all over the world for over four decades. And Rinpoche had plans for Nepal too when the Amitabha Temple was completed but unfortunately, it could not happen as planned, due to the Nepal earthquake in 2015 that damaged the newly constructed Amitabha Temple in Kapan. When the renovation of the temple was complete, thereafter followed the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the whole world and travel got restricted, including public gatherings.
However, to fulfil the longtime requests and the fervent wish of many local devotees of Vajrayana followers, Rinpoche has now decided to bestow both the Nyingma and Drikung Lineage Phowa teachings at Amitabha Foundation Retreat Center, Kapan, Buddanilkantha Nagarpalika ward -11, Kathmandu Nepal.
About His Eminence Choje Ayang Rinpoche:
Phowa Course Details
16th - 22nd, March 2023
Amitabha Foundation Retreat Center, Kopan, Buddanilkantha Nagarpalika ward -11, Kathmandu Nepal
to be announced.
2018 past phowa course schedule for your reference only
Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese
Translators would have to bring along their transmitters and participants who need translation will have to bring their radios. It may hard to find good quality reliable radios in nepal.
Announcement / Important Update
The latest announcements will be posted here. It is each participant's responsibility to come for frequent checks.
The Phowa course is confirmed unless the covid situation gets worse and travel restrictions are imposed.
A Local taxi app updated for your travel planning.
New hotel recommendation list updated, please find here.
Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese translation is provided. Translators would have to bring along their transmitters and participants who need translation will have to bring their radios. It may hard to find good quality reliable radios in nepal.
Last update on 26th Jan
Registration & Donation
Please note that there are commitments to taking the Phowa course:
According to Rinpoche's instructions, those who have completed the Ngondro (Preliminary practices 100,000x) can attend the course without taking a commitment in order to receive the teachings.
For other interested people (including those who are currently doing the Ngondro) you can either promise to finish within 3 years:
*The Preliminary practices or
*Accumulate 150,000 recitations of Vajrasattva long mantra (practice with visualisation) and 150,000 recitation of Buddha Amitabha mantra as well.
If you take the Phowa course for the first time, Rinpoche asks you attend all sessions.
The practice after the course:
Rinpoche strongly advises everyone to do the complete practice (approx 2h), at least twice a month. The recommended days are the day of the full and the one of the new moon.
Commitments of Practice and Time
Students must commit to do the Phowa practice daily for 10 days after the course, and thereafter each fortnight (full and new moon) for the rest of their lives.
Rinpoche also requires that all who have not already done so complete either the Ngondro (Preliminary Practices) or 150,000 long Vajrasattva mantras (with visualisation) within a reasonable time (usually 3 years) after the course.
In addition, all students must complete 150,000 short Buddha Amitabha mantras with visualisation after the course, and also purchase or make either a Buddha Amitabha statue or a Buddha Amitabha Pure Land thangka, as a support for their practice. Both Vajrasattva and Buddha Amitabha practice as required for these commitments are taught during the Phowa course. (Most students can complete their commitments easily with approximately one hour a day of practice over the three years).
All participant are expected to answer questions about their Dharma background. Details please refer to the registration form.
In order to keep the Dharma door open to all, there is no fee.
Yet there are considerable amount of expenses in order to make the teachings happen. We encourage those with financial ability to make an offering to the teaching.
How to make a donation:
1) Donation from distance:
Donation could be made to any Amitabha Foundation Center in your country.
Amitabha Foundation Centres Contact Information could be found here.
After the donation, please kindly submit the donation receipt & dedication list here : https://forms.gle/rEh4reLJdZbGjmJ16 .
2) Donation while you are here
You can bring cash and make the donation when you arrive the retreat centre.
Dharma Supporter Scheme (TBC):
For those who generously donate $500USD or above to the Phowa Course, we would reserve a seat for you in the 'Dharma Supporter Zone', to show our gratitude towards your kind support. Details to be announced.
For those who are unable to attend the course but still wish to rejoice and share the merit of the teachings, may do so. We will especially include you in our dedication / prayer list. After the donation, please kindly leave us the details in registration form.
All communication and course announcement will be posted on this website announcement board.
You are also suggested to visit this website for updates.
The Liberation for Dead Beings Prayer Ceremony : (TBC)
Method 1) Apply Online: All participants are highly recommended to register online, here is the registration form.
Method 2) Apply through PDF form: For those who cannot access the online form, please download the form here, fill in the form, scan it and send back to us by email. It will take longer time to process your application, please kindly be patient.
Accomodation : Each participant should take care their accomodation and book the room as soon as possible.
The center cottages are located behind the Amitabha Mandala temple in a wooded area that protects from the noise and bustle of Kathmandu. The cottages have a level of isolation that facilitates retirement and provides practitioners with a comfortable meditation space: a single bed, a desk, a wardrobe, a bathroom (Western toilet and shower) and a kitchen equipped with a mini fridge and a gas cooker.
Option 2) A small list of hotel recommendations for your consideration, please go to here.
Option 3) Self arrange. You may book any accomodation next to the Retreat center show in Google Map >>.
*We are having a volunteer searching for hotels around the areas in Nepal. Shall we have any updates, we will directly post the information here.
The Amitabha Mandala Temple and Retreat Center is on a mountain top in the Kathmandu Valley. Around 20mins taxi from the Airport (Please allow extra time for busy traffic).
The retreat center located in a silent valley, yet it remains very easy to access from the city of Kathmandu. Retreatants are nearby, also monasteries of Kopan and Pullahari. It takes about 50 minutes to walk, 12mins by car to Boudhanath Stupa, costs will be around 300 - 400 rupees.
Boudha is 3.5 kms from Amitabha Foundation Retreat Center and the famous Boudhanath stupa is in Boudha. It has many Buddhist monasteries, guest houses, shops and nice restaurants with most having vegetarian options.
Taxi, Rickshaw, Motorcycle are common in order to getting around Kathmandu.
You can download various cab-hailing apps such as Pathao, InDrive and Taximandu to travel within Kathmandu. They work similarly to Grab and Uber. It is also easy to hail taxis on the streets. But take note that you need to negotiate the fares. Going by meter is an option but not advised if you are not familiar with the routes/fares.
You may download the local taxi app for your travelling.
1) Travel Visa to Nepal
please check here
, or visit the Nepal Embassy Website from your own country.
2) Covid-19 Policy in Nepal
Travel restrictions may change at short notice. Before you travel, make sure to review the latest travel restrictions at Nepal official government website to ensure you’re eligible to fly.
A student recommended this website which is updated daily and provides easy review on Covid policy for travel:
The closest international airport to the retreat centre is Kathmandu Airport (KTM), which is around 30mins by taxi if no traffic. Best to book a taxi from the Prepaid counter just outside the arrival hall. The cost from the airport is approximately 1000 rupees.
You can also take any taxi outside the arrival hall, if you don't mind bargaining for the price.
Generally the traffic can be quite bad at rush hours, usually between 9am - 10.30 am and 4pm - 530pm. So take note of this if you are heading to the airport for your return flight and plan accordingly.
4) Mobile and Wifi
Free Wifi is available in the airport but the connection may not be very stable. Most tourist restaurants within Nepal provide free wifi. Ncell SIM card is quite popular and has good reception as well. You can get their SIM card at the airport. You will need to provide 2 passport size photos. Ncell SIM cards can also be purchased at boudha and Thamel easily.