In March, I attended a month long retreat with Lama Mark Webber at Wangapeka Retreat Centre. The retreat itself was life changing on my path of Buddhist practice. In addition, it was a delight to be able to stay at Wangapeka Centre in very comfortable, individual rooms with good food and pleasant surroundings. I especially enjoyed the walks in the woods on the many paths surrounding the centre, capturing the light through the trees, listening to the birds, and meditating with my steps over the pine needles on the trail.
Lama Webber’s teachings opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the world, or should I say the illusion of the world, and seeing what is the view behind it. This was my first retreat not only with Lama Mark, but also in Dzogchen. I must admit it was quite a heady experience and the teachings were much more advanced than I had been exposed to previously. However, I took up the challenge, attempting the visualisations and participating in the classes, which were usually twice a day with some days out just to practice.
I felt very privileged to be able to receive these teachings, which are of the highest order and have only been accessible outside of Tibet following the Dali Lama’s escape to India. These teachings are generally taught only to the Lamas, not to the laypeople. We were fortunate to have such a knowledgeable teacher as Lama Mark Webber to guide us. I would recommend this way to anyone who wants to pursue a path of higher realisation. In addition, Dzogchen purports that one can achieve enlightenment in a single lifetime. Very encouraging for an old practitioner such as I! I left Wangapeka feeling inspired by the retreat and motivated to continue studying, grateful for this opportunity.