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Glimpses of Yarne

A retreat with Pema Chödrön


   You could say we are just an average bunch of people here – average in terms of our confusion and our wisdom, our inherent goodness and our obstinate little ways. But what is not so typical is that everybody here is committed to making a choice that creates a good future rather than continues to destroy the planet."

- Ani Pema Chödrön


Gampo Abbey is a Buddhist Monastery on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. At the time of filming it was celebrating thirty years from its founding by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1984.


Every winter a six week retreat called Yarne is held there. Lay practitioners join the Abbey’s monks and nuns for six hours of daily meditation, teachings, periods of study, household work and rest. Part of most days are spent in silence and there are two weeklong periods of complete silence. Ani Pema Chödrön is the retreat leader and main teacher.


The tradition of the Yarne retreat goes back to the time of the Buddha when monastics would gather in summer to shelter from the monsoon rains to meditate and hear the Dharma.


Gampo Abbey is nestled in the lap of the Cape Breton Highlands and perched on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence - a site both achingly beautiful and challenging as the hurricane force les suêtes winds can sometimes blow for days. On any given day there can be rain, sleet, ice pellets and snow, fog and sunshine - perhaps a reflection of the ever changing minds of the practitioners.


50 Minutes in HD

Photographed and Edited by: Kent Martin

Music by: Binny Clark and the Gampo Abbey Choir

Production Assistance: Roger Farwell and Jascha Hoffman

Interviews with: Pema Chödrön, Lodrö Kalsang, Dawa Lhatso and Loden Nyima.

Produced by: Unceasing Play Productions (2014)







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