Soul Retrieval

5 ElementsAncient Bön Practices to Restore and Heal 
May 3 - 7, 2018 

The soul is composed of of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space as these elements pervade all of life and are the essential components of our entire worldly existence. The Shamanic rites of soul retrieval (la lu) and life force retrieval (tse lu) are methods of calling on the essence of the the elements - elemental spirits- to balance and heal the individual.

It is believed that a traumatic event or other shock can cause an individual to loose connection with the elements and become dispirited. 

Life force is the presence of energetic forces within one's self. It is possible to retrieve the soul and life force through the use of mind and symbols in ritual. Through ritual and meditational practice, one can bring back the positive qualities that are missing or reinforce qualities that are weakened in oneself or others.

In this series of teaching retreats we will learn the ancient Bön methods of divination, meditation, and ritual of Soul Retrieval as Geshe Denma Gyaltsen teaches these methods in 3 separate retreats at Chamma Ling. 


  • Soul Retrieval (La Lu), May 3-7, 2018
  • Life Ransom (Chi Lu), Fall, 2018
  • Tséwang Rikdzin Longevity Practice & Sidpa Gyalmo Divination, Spring 2019

Each of these retreats is a whole and complete teaching unto itself, and will be open to all. However to gain a certificate of completion all three retreats must be attended, and all the practices and accumulations completed.

Soul Retrieval Retreat
May 3 - 7, 2018

In this five day retreat Geshe Gyaltsen will open the first day of teaching with the ghana puja of Lama Tsewang Rikdzin, the deity of Longevity practice. In the following days everyone will participate in the ritual of Soul Retrieval, and learn how to perform each of the steps, including the creation of the deer torma, the preparation of the ocean of milk, and the use of the dice in divination of the results. Geshe-la will carefully explain the symbolism of the deer, turquoise, black and white stones, and the dice. After learning all the components there will be an exam and a complete practice of the ritual again, to assure that everyone has full understanding and can perform the ritual correctly. This is a unique opportunity to gain a thorough and complete experience of this ancient practice in order to help other beings.

Lodging and Meals: The retreat will be held at the Chamma Ling Community House within our retreat center. A limited number of cabins and dorm beds are available for participants, as well as camping on site. Participants may also choose to stay off site during the retreat. Meals are not included. Lodging costs for 5 nights: Single Cabin - $400; Double cabin - $475; Dorm bed $125; Private bedroom with bath in Community House - $300; Camping with access to showers and bathrooms - $60.

Childcare: The nature of this retreat, and our facility, does not make it feasible for us to provide childcare on site. Participants may contract with local child care providers if needed. 

Cost: $585, $625 after April 19. A limited number of work study positions are available. Registration now open.


Questions? Contact Susan at


Geshe Denma GyaltsenGeshe Denma Gyaltsen is the resident lama of Ligmincha Texas, resides in Houston, and has taught at centers throughout the United States and Europe. Born in northern Nepal, he began his studies at Menri Monastery in 1981, receiving all the teachings, initiations and transmissions in sutra, tantra and dzogchen, and was awarded the geshe degree in 1996. He taught at Menri, and then served two terms as the abbot of Zhu Rishing Yungdrung Kundak-Ling Monastery, a Bön Monastery in Sikkim, until 2003. Since that time Geshe Denma has traveled and taught throughout the West, as well as in India and Nepal. We are very pleased to welcome back Geshe-la to teach at Chamma Ling again!


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