Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice

Information and advice for attendees

The information on this page is offered in support of practitioners partaking in Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice.

Important Notes:

Everyone is welcome at this free event but please contact the EPC if you have not engaged in the practice before.   

Please make use of these materials to support your practice and attendance at a Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice Retreat, but please also be aware that this information and website page is not available to members of the general public and should not be shared outside of the centre’s community. Thank you.


About Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice

Nyungnay is one of our most precious Kadampa dharma jewels and as a centre practice it comes around just once a year – on Buddha’s Enlightenment Day.

We can spend two days with thousand-armed (eleven-faced) Avalokiteshvara – ‘Mahakaruna’ – the nature of our Guru’s great compassion, making exquisite offerings, praises and prostrations and thereby accumulate huge merit, purify vast negativity for ourself and others and receive the most powerful blessing to propel ourself swiftly along our path to enlightenment.

Wrapped within the practice of Mahayana Precepts, it involves fasting and making three sessions of prostrations, with the sadhana ‘Drop of Essential Nectar‘, over two days. Usually the second day is accompanied by a full fast, although strongly recommend, this is not compulsory.

Next Retreat

The next undertaking of the Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice at KMC Plymouth is from Friday 12th to Saturday 13th April 2024.

Some Useful Definitions

(Courtesy of The NKT website).

Nyungnä – A fasting and purification retreat in conjunction with Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara.

Avalokiteshvara – The embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas. Sometimes he appears with one face and four arms, and sometimes with eleven faces and a thousand arms. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, he manifested as a Bodhisattva disciple. Called ‘Chenrezig’ in Tibetan.

Enlightenment – Usually the full enlightenment of Buddhahood – an omniscient wisdom whose nature is the permanent cessation of mistaken appearance and whose function is to bestow mental peace on all living beings. Generally, there are three levels of enlightenment: small enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Hearer; middling enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Solitary Realizer; and great enlightenment, or the enlightenment of a Buddha, also known as ‘Buddhahood’. An enlightenment is a liberation and a true cessation. See Clear Light of BlissJoyful Path of Good FortuneOcean of NectarTantric Grounds and Paths, and Mahamudra Tantra.

Mahayana path A clear realization in the mental continuum of a Bodhisattva or a Buddha. There are five Mahayana paths: the Mahayana path of accumulation, the Mahayana path of preparation, the Mahayana path of seeing, the Mahayana path of meditation, and the Mahayana Path of No More Learning. The first four are necessarily in the continuum of a Bodhisattva and the last is necessarily in the continuum of a Buddha. See Ocean of Nectar and Tantric Grounds and Paths.

Mahayana Precepts The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta, the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. The essence of this practice is taking eight precepts and keeping them purely for twenty-four hours. We first need to receive these precepts from a qualified Preceptor, and then we can take them on our own as often as we wish. Instructions on both these methods are included in this prayer booklet. 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. This booklet contains a brief explanation of the practice of keeping the eight Mahayana precepts.

Inspiring Links

Celebrating Buddhas Enlightenment Day – NKT Article – inspiring pictures from across the global Kadampa family

An Enlightened Being in Our World – NKT Article – some pictures, videos and text

Excerpt From Introduction to Buddhism – Buddha’s Enlightenment – wonderful words from Geshe-la

Information from Tharpa Publications

“This special fasting and purification practice is performed in conjunction with Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara. It is very powerful for purifying negative karma of body, speech and mind, and for pacifying strong delusions such as desirous attachment and hatred. It is also a special method for receiving blessings and improving our experience of love, compassion and bodhichitta.

“Nyungnay Purification Ritual Practice Retreat Sessions is a specially prepared audio recording and includes two practices, Drop of Essential Nectar and A Pure Life. The recording has been arranged in accordance with the Nyungnay retreat format followed at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre”.

Two Powerful Practices in One Retreat

“This special audio recording features two powerful sadhana practices: Drop of Essential Nectar and A Pure Life.

“Drop of Essential Nectar is a special purification practice performed in conjunction with Eleven-faced (or Thousand-armed) Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. It is used in an annual two-day retreat called Nyungnay that is practised at Kadampa Buddhist centres worldwide to mark Buddha’s Enlightenment Day. This recording includes a chanting-only version of Drop of Essential Nectar, which serves as the basis for the remainder of the retreat.

“A Pure Life is the practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts, which is often done on the 15th day of each month in Kadampa Buddhist centres worldwide. It is also completed during the first session of each day of the Nyungnay retreat.

“For a complete explanation of each practice, refer to the sadhana booklets A Pure Life and Drop of Essential Nectar, also available from Tharpa Publications.”

You can see all the materials you need for this retreat on a single page via the link to Tharpa below. Limited items may be available from KMC Plymouth’s Book Shop. You will not need a personal copy of the session recordings when attending the centre for this retreat.

Video and Materials Links

Please enjoy these short videos about Nyungnay Purifying Ritual Practice and the link to Tharpa Publications

Tharpa Materials