Compassion Fasting Retreat: Nyungne

Nyungne is a special fasting and purification practice performed in conjunction with prostrations and prayers to Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. This is a very powerful method for purifying negativity of body, speech, and mind, and for pacifying delusions such as strong attachment and anger. It is also a special way of improving our minds of love, compassion, and receiving the compassionate blessings of Avalokiteshvara. This practice is done annually at Kadampa Buddhist centers throughout the world to celebrate Buddha’s Enlightenment Day.

Buddha’s Enlightenment Day is the occasion when Buddha Shakyamuni showed the manner of accomplishing the ultimate goal of living beings – the attainment of enlightenment – at Bodh Gaya, India in 589 BC. With this auspicious deed he demonstrated how each of us can overcome all internal and external obstacles and hindrances and become an enlightened person.

Usually the Nyungne retreat is done over two days, with the Mahayana precepts session at 7 am at the beginning of each day. (Please note: In order to attend any of the Nyungne retreat sessions during the day you will need to attend Precepts in the morning). On the first day it is customary to abstain from all meals apart from lunch. On the second day we engage in a complete fast, abstaining from all food and drink for 24 hours. On both days, we do three sessions of a ritual prayer, Drop of Essential Nectar, combining prostrations with chanted meditation. Those who prefer not to engage in a complete fast on the second day can do it the same as the first day. You can choose to attend one day or both. 

It is highly recommended that you attend the Friday evening talk Purifying Negativity: Overcoming Inner Obstacles particularly if you have never engaged in this retreat before.

Register for Friday at this link.

About Precepts (you must take the precepts in order to engage in the retreat sessions)

The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta intention, the compassionate wish to realize our spiritual potential for the benefit of all beings. The essence of this practice is taking eight precepts and keeping them purely for twenty-four hours. When we take precepts, we explicitly promise to abstain for 24 hours from eight actions which include: (1) killing; (2) stealing; (3) sexual activity; (4) lying; (5) taking intoxicants; (6) eating after lunch (meaning we only eat lunch); (7) sitting on high or luxurious thrones or seats; (8) wearing ornaments, perfume, singing & dancing.

Because this practice is motivated by bodhichitta it is especially powerful for purifying negativities, accumulating merit—a positive strength of mind—and creating the cause for us to attain the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.

If you have any questions about this retreat, please contact us: [email protected].

Registration details

Cost: $30 per day or $50 for both days; free for members. Saturday lunch is available for $5 additional.

Hourly Schedule

Saturday, April 15

7 - 7:40 AM
Precepts & Introduction
8 - 9:30 AM
Session 1
10:30 AM - 12 PM
Session 2
12 - 3 PM
Lunch & break
3 - 4:30 PM
Session 3

Sunday, April 16

7 - 7:40 AM
8 - 9:30 AM
Session 1
10 - 11:30 AM
Meditations for World Peace
1 - 2:30 PM
Session 2
3:30 - 5 PM
Session 3
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Saturday April 15 2023


7:00 am - 4:30 pm


$30/day or $50 retreat

More Info



  • Gen Kelsang Dorje
    Gen Kelsang Dorje

    The Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Florida is Buddhist monk Gen Kelsang Dorje.

    Gen Dorje has been studying and practicing Buddhism for over 20 years under the guidance of his teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition.

    Gen Dorje is admired for his warmth and humor in making Buddha’s teachings relevant to the modern world. He is an inspiring example of how to integrate Buddha’s teachings into a joyful life.