Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The Nyung Nay (“NN”) retreat is a two-day intensive practice relating to Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, that includes taking the 24-hour Mahayana precepts with the addition of complete fasting and silence on the second day. Doing even one NN retreat for just two days is said to be as effective as doing any other three-month purification practices, and it is extremely powerful for healing illnesses, purifying negative karma and opening the heart for compassion.

This extremely powerful purification practice of NN was given to the nun Gelongma Palmo directly by Chenrezig as a method to cure herself of leprosy and, eventually, to attain her enlightenment.

In the Tantra of the Eleven-Faced Chenrezig, it says that by doing one NN you can overcome the obscurations and wrongdoings accumulated throughout 40,000 eons of continuous samsara.

Not only that, if while doing a NN retreat you become ill, this purifies the karma that would otherwise cause you to be reborn in the hell realm (provided that you still keep the NN vows). If you become torpid, sleepy or depressed but still continue the retreat, this purifies the karma that would otherwise cause you to be reborn in the animal realm. If you suffer from hunger or thirst, you purify the karma that would otherwise cause you to be reborn as a hungry ghost.

In the Sutra on the Establishment of a Place, it says to practice generosity for your whole life and to do 1 NN are of equal merit. To serve all Arhats throughout the universe and to perform 1 NN are of equal merit.

There have been many inspiring stories about the actual, immediate karmic result of doing the NN practice. There are many accounts of people who had accumulated extremely negative karma, but were then able to purify it by doing NN retreat.

One of the 84 Mahasiddhas Lavapa said, "This practice of one-seat and fasting or NN is extremely skillful and powerful practice. Previously there was a man who, in order to acquire a certain woman as his wife, killed 6 people and their horses. Full of remorse, he later performed this practice 9 times, after his death he was reborn as a spiritual teacher.

In addition, there was a hunter who performed 46 NN and after he died, he was reborn in good circumstances in an affluent family. Also, there was a butcher who performed 8 NN and he was reborn as a leader of people."

In addition, even if you cannot do the practice yourself, there is immense benefit to sponsoring a NN retreat or facilitating the practice for others. This includes such things as providing the food on the first day or serving the people who are doing it.

For example, it is said that to serve or offer food to a NN participant is the same merit as offering food to an 8th-level bodhisattva. In addition, it is said that by offering food to NN participants even once for a day, the result will be that in all your future lives you will never suffer from famine, and for 80,000 eons you will never suffer from hunger or thirst. All obstacles will be pacified, you will be assisted by devas and your body, speech and mind will be free of defect and everything you wish will occur. Your longevity, merit and prosperity will increase, and you will become a disciple of all the present and future Buddhas.

Devotees practicing Nyung Nay which encompasses prostrations at Bodhi Gaya, India.

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