The Definition of Nyungne Practice by Wangchen Rinpoche

Nyungne Shrine at the Hay River KTC, with Lama Tsultrim Yeshe.
About the Nyungne Practice

The fasting practice of Nyungne is a well known very popular and profound purification practice that is widely performed in Tibet.

One set of Nyungne consists of two days of practice.  The first day is a preliminary day, and the second day is the acual fasting day. One takes what is called the Tekchen Sojong Vow, the Mahayana vow of restoring and purifying ordination, with a total of 8 precepts, and on the preliminary day, one eats only one meal, with drinks for the entire day.

The meal is completely and purly vegetarian, which means that it is free from any meat substance as well as onions, garlic, eggs, etc.

The next day is a complete fast with no meals or drinks, and one must also be silent. “

The vows are:
  • The first vow is against killing.
  • The second vow is not to steal or not to take that which is not given.
  • The third vow is not to engage in sexual activity
  • The fourth vow is not to lie.
  • The fifth vow is to obstain from intoxicants
  • The sixth vow is to maintain fasting during specified times.
  • The seventh vow is to obstain from frivolous behaviour or behaviour which brings attention to yourself. This includes the wearing of jewelry, makeup or perfume
  • The eighth vow is to avoid high fine seats or beds.
Standard Nyungne Schedule (one set of practice)

Friday: Orientation and Brief Nyungne Teaching

(Those curious about the practice, but not yet ready to do it, are encouraged to attend Friday)

Saturday: Practice begins at 5am, ends around 5:30pm. Fast begins after Noon meal. Clear liquids allowed until sleep time.

Sunday: Practice begins at 5am, ends around 5:30pm. No food, no liquids. Complete silence except for practice. Functional written communication only.

Monday: Practice begins at 5am. Fast broken in shrine room around 6:50am. Big breakfast after retreat ends around 8:00 am