The Tower and the Cave of Demons

Unlocking symbols from the life of Milarepa

Milarepa's towers

Milarepa was a murderer turned yogi turned enlightened saint, who lived in Tibet in the 11th century. His colourful life story serves as an inspiring and refreshingly practical, relatable example of transmuting suffering into faith, devotion, joy and ultimately liberation.

Led by Bodhidasa, a Sydney-based Order member who took up the practice of Milarepa at ordination, we will aim to unpack two key stories from Milarepa's life: the seemingly pointless building and tearing down of towers at the behest of his teacher Marpa, and if we have time, the encountering of demons in his cave high in the mountains of Tibet. We'll use the four levels of meaning common to the Tibetan traditions - outer, inner, secret and ultimate - to unlock the symbolism in these stories, taking us closer to the heart of Reality.

Ritual and meditation sessions will support us, led by Purna, Vasudhara, Malini and Suvarnadhi.

This online sangha retreat is open to regular friends, mitras and Order members.

Programme for the weekend (times given in NZT)

(You'll see your afternoons are free for walking in nature with a friend, or reflecting on and absorbing the material.)

Friday night
7.00pm - 8.30pm - Introduction to the life of Milarepa and a puja (led by Suvarnadhi)

10.00am - 10.50am - Meditation (led by Vasudhara)
11.15am - 12.45pm - Building and tearing down towers: talk and discussion (led by Bodhidasa)
7.00pm - 8.30pm - Meditation & puja (led by Purna and Malini)

10.00am - 10.50am - Meditation (led by Vasudhara)
11.15am - 12.45pm - Encountering demons: talk and discussion (although depending on progress the previous day, we may continue with the story of Milarepa building and tearing down towers - led by Bodhidasa)
7.00pm - 8.00pm - Puja and closing (led by Suvarnadhi)

Zoom links will be sent out to those registered on the afternoon of Friday the 15th.


Start: 15 October 2021 at 7:00pm
Finish: 17 October 2021 at 8:00pm


By koha / donation
Please give generously. Our income has reduced by about 50% during the overall lockdown period, with no clear end in sight. We appreciate your income may have been affected too, so as always, the invitation is to simply give what you can.


Image of The Auckland Buddhist Centre - online
The Auckland Buddhist Centre - online

virtual meeting room

Led by

Portrait of Bodhidasa

Bodhidasa was ordained in 2014 by Ratnavuyha on the four-month Guhyaloka course. His name means ‘He Who is the Servant of Enlightenment’. A…

Portrait of Vasudhara

Vasudhara has been involved with the Triratna Buddhist community since 1999 and was ordained in 2014. She leads some of our Friday night pujas and is…

Portrait of Purna

Purna was attracted to Buddhism at a young age and was ordained into the Triratna Order in 1975. His involvement in Buddhism and the movement has…

Portrait of Order Members and Mitras
Order Members and Mitras

Triratna Order Members are members of our spiritual community who have made a commitment, known traditionally as Going for Refuge, to keeping the…

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