º Fasting Retreat at Nagi Nunnery · Nyungne º
Every year, starting just before the auspicious month of Saga Dawa, the nuns of Nangkyi Tongsel Ling (Nagi) Nunnery follow the Nyungne fasting retreat. This is a powerful and rigorous purification practice for body, speech and mind that also generates great merit. The ultimate purpose of Nyungne is the attainment of supreme Enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. The Buddha himself proclaimed that the practice would appease all the temporary downfalls of sentient beings such as sickness and malicious spirits and would ultimately bring about rebirth in a Pure Land.
The Nynungne is normally a 2 day practice but the nuns will follow an 8 Nynungne cycle back to back over 16 days. The 8 Mahayana Precepts are followed (no killing, stealing, sexual activity, telling lies, taking intoxicants, eating after midday, singing/dancing/playing music, sitting on high seats). On the first day of each Nyungne, simple food and drink is taken before noon. However, on the second day, no food or drink (not even water) is consumed at all and silence is followed (except when reciting prayers/mantras).
The focus of the Nyungne is the 1000 armed Avalokiteśvara (Bodhisattva of Compassion). The nuns will spend each day practicing the Avalokiteśvara sadhana, meditating on Bodhicitta (the aspiration to attain Enlightenment in order to help all beings), chanting the mantra and long dharani of Avalokiteśvara, performing prostrations, and following other devotional practices.
May everyone rejoice in this noble and virtuous event and dedicate the merit for the benefit of all sentient beings.