Thursday, January 29, 2015

News from Margaret J. Wheatley

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This new header represents a shift in the focus and direction of my work. Increasingly I feel compelled to speak and teach about how we can persevere and do good work as Warriors for the Human Spirit. I draw great strength and clarity from the red rock canyons of southern Utah, so they appear here and in the design of my new website. And raven, as described in my newest book How Does Raven Know?, is a continual reminder of the many sources of support and companionship available to us from ancient ways of knowing this planet. To preview my new book, click here to visit my new web site:

I would like to tell you of three seminars or retreats I'm offering in the first half of 2015, each of which focuses on strengthening us warriors to be able to persevere and contribute well to this increasingly difficult time.

Engaging Wholeheartedly as Women Leaders:
Maintaining stamina, direction and values in the midst of challenge and uncertainty
The Sophia Institute, Charleston, South Carolina, May 8-9, 2015
For description and information, visit

Avoiding the Ambush of Hope
A Retreat for Exhausted and Overworked Leaders
Hosted by FOUG
Montréal, Canada June 4 to 6, 2015
For description and information, visit 

Subtle Beliefs that Restrict Our Leadership Capacity:
Peeling the Onion One More Layer
Cape Cod Institute, August 3-7, 2015
For description and information, visit 

Please continue to check my website at for additional seminars, retreats and new products.

A Message from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

A warm hello from us, The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil, especially to those buried in snow.  We hope this email finds you well and enjoying the first month of 2015.

This is a check-in to bring you up to date with what we are working on. 

We are busy preparing for Rinpoche’s arrival and the orchestration of July’s retreat at the Mohawk School. There seems to be a rumor the retreat will be on Khandroling, so we wanted to clarify for you, we will be hosting Rinpoche at the Mohawk School in Shelburne Falls, MA.

We do have a wonderful summer program of  Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga and a Goma Devi practice retreat to be combined with Karma Yoga, all on Khandroling.  We will send out the official program soon. One sneak peak: Prima Mai will be offering a SOV Vajra Dance retreat intensive July 6-12!

Another important issue is the request for a Community meeting sooner than the one we will have with Rinpoche this Summer. There is a committee on the Gakyil working to create a plan for more regular organized community input throughout North America.  The actions of this Community Council will not, however, be fully implemented before this Summer. 

We are also looking into ways to make any possible meeting accessible to all members of Tsegyalgar East electronically. As a Gakyil made up of over half its members “at a distance” we realize the importance of brining the wonderful local community of Tsegyalgar East together with all the equally wonderful members at a distance.

Our main focuses are:
  • ·      Alignment with IDC
  • ·      July’s retreat with Rinpoche
  • ·      Membership drive
  • ·      New Member Welcome program
  • ·      Fundraising campaigns for Khandroling and the Gar.  

We do want to remind you that we welcome all your requests and inputs via email.

If you want to volunteer for help with Rinpoche’s retreat please write to Dominik Niceva

For general concerns and correspondence and to become a “friend of Blue” please write to
Liz Wickhart or Karen Prestwood

If you are local and want to help with projects on Khandroling, at the schoolhouse etc please contact
Cindy Thibeau

If you would like to have your ling or group be in association with the Community Council and participate in a strategic planning session please write

We want to hear from you, we want your involvement. Consider joining one of the projects mentioned above for more opportunities to participate in YOUR Dzogchen Community.

With love,

The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rochelle Hood May 27 1935- Jan 23 2015

[Photo reprinted from the Mirror]

Rochelle Hood 
May 27 1935- Jan 23 2015

A long-time Dzogchen Community  member, Rochelle was known throughout the community and beyond. She was an excellent and reliable provider of healthcare through her use of Shiatsu, and later Ku Kye healing techniques and helped many people to have better lives through her treatments. Her specialties also included acupuncture, cupping, a brand of Philippines massage and macrobiotic counseling, all of which she was highly trained in. She was born in the Philippines where she leaves family and friends, and lived for many years in NYC, Paris, Germany, and Italy. It was in Italy near Merigar that she passed away among her Dzogchen family after some years of declining health and illness. 

There are personal reminiscences abounding of Rochelle, because she was very witty and exuberant and loved to talk to people and engage in all the activities of the community such as performing the Vajra Dance, retreats, practices, parties, teas, excursions. She was known for her irreverent sense of humor and her self-deprecating manner; she did not seem to take anyone’s pretenses seriously, least of all her own. And yet despite her frequent hilarity, she showed a profound respect for the Guru, Dharma and Sangha, as well as real understanding and experiences of her dharma practice. She was a good person to be around, a real friend.

She will be greatly missed by many people, and we will not see anyone quite like her again. It was a pleasure and privilege to call her our sister. Our prayers go to her for a speedy and good rebirth.

By Lauri Marder

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year and Recap of 2014 Milestones

[Photo reprinted from the Mirror] 

Dear Vajra Community--

Best Wishes for the New Year!

Many milestones occurred in 2014 at Tsegyalgar East including, of course, our Retreat with Choegyal Namkhai Norbu, the 30th Anniversary including the dance  competition between Tsegyalgar and Namgyalgar and the Inauguration of the Mandala Hall.

Visit the NEW online Mirror (another milestone) for an article about Rinpoche’s Teaching/Commentary,  Light of the Sun on The Four Dharmas of Longchenpa in July 2014. 

Visit to download the new pdf format.


Soledad Suarez’s video highlights the importance of the Mandala Hall  project which houses the first Universal mandala on Earth along with some wonderful archival footage of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu.




Congratulations to Joey and Laila on the birth of their third child, a son - VEDA KAI MELLA-REISS, born October 13, 2014 in Conway, MA at home who joins  Laila, Joey, Goma Devi and Ati Norbu

Congratulations to Matt Schmookler and Katya Borisenko 
on the birth of their son Varya

Tashi Kaiser of the NY ling and Sydney Maressa 
were married on August 1, 2014


2014 marked a year of losing many friends. We celebrate their life and remember them well for their dedication to the Teachings. 

Andrea Sertoli
Thomas Kehoe
Kathy McGrane
Catherine Ling

Khaita Tibetan Joyful Dances - Harmony in the Space
became an international sensation in 2014.
Click here to view the fantastic video of dances performed at most every Gar and Ling in honor of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s birthday on December 8, 2014.


MORE TO COME..........

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Season's Greetings from Tsegyalgar East and West

The Coming of Light*
Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light. 
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves, 
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows, 
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine 
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.
..Open your inner eye and observe yourself. Stop searching for a lamp outside of you to illuminate yourself inside. Kindle your inner light. Then the teaching will live in you, and you - in the teaching....  -Choegyal Namkhai Norbu 
-Reprinted from "Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State" (Part 1.1)
SEASON’S GREETINGS and Love to all From Tsegyalgar East
TSEGYALGAR WEST sends Holiday wishes and thanks to all for your support of the reconstruction project and preparations of Rinpoche's Winter retreat happening this weekend at the Gar. It has been an extraordinary year and TW is poised to move forward into a new phase of growth in 2015.

Please do join us at the retreat on the webcast Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Dec. 20-22nd from 12-2 p.m. EST.and check our website for 2015 program schedule and information.

We send you our very best wishes for a marvelous holiday season filled and all best in the New Year ahead!

Warm wishes and best from
Tsegyalgar West Gakyil

[Photo credit: Dharamsala candle by  Rosemary Rawcliff]
*Poem by Mark Strand Reprinted from the Academy of American Poets website

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dear Friends of ASIA ~ 

Thanks to all of you who came forward over the weekend to answer our urgent appeal for our mission to Khamdogar.
What are ASIA and Tsegyalgar? YOU! ME! US! Together, we are realizing the goals of this project. THANK YOU! We have already collected over 14k - from all over the world.

In addition, an anonymous donor is offering this statue of Guru Padmasambhava as a gift. It is believed to have been consecrated by Rinpoche in 2012. The sponsor who donates the most will receive a gift of this statue, as a thank you for participation.  

If this gift interests you follow this link to the Khamdogar donation page: 

We continue to accept tax deductible donations for this project. You will receive a thank you letter and tax deduction receipt for your donation, from ASIA. 

Or contact or for more information or if making donation by check.

Thank you very much, everyone.
With kind regards, 
Andrea Nasca, ASIA America

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s USA 2015 Schedule

Exciting News.  It has now been confirmed that Choegyal Namkhai Norbu will return next summer

USA, Tsegyalgar East Retreat July 1-5, 2015

USA, Colorado (Location TBA)
July 9, 2015 USA Public TalkJuly 12-14, 2015 Retreat

USA, Tara Mandala
July 17-19, 2015 Tara Mandala Retreat                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Lama Tsultrim Allione has confirmed that Choegyal Namkhai Norbu is scheduled to teach at Tara Mandala July 17-19, 2015.   Tara Mandala is our sister organization known as a Dam Trog Fellowship in which the organizations are separate but share in Teachers and Transmissions. For further details as they develop, contact the office of  Tara Mandala.

For full details visit - Choegyal Namkha Norbu’s international schedule on the Mirror Website

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Urgent Request to Support Asia Mission to Khamdogar Today

Dear Friends of ASIA,

ASIA has the opportunity to deliver much needed aid to KHAMDOGAR right now! 




All would be lost without the support of YOU, Dzogchen Community members because we cannot do public fund raising for this project. It is too sensitive and too specific. We rely completely on collaboration from you.

to make a secure donation of any amount by credit card via paypal right now.

To make a donation by check, please make your check out to ASIA write Khamdogar  in the memo, put it in an envelope and mail it RIGHT AWAY! 
ASIA, P.O. Box 124, Conway, MA 01376-0124 USA

Please email to inform us that we can count on you and state the amount of your donation. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

KHAMDOGAR is the spiritual community that developed around RIGDZIN CHANGCHUB DORJE, the root master of CHOEGYAL NAMKHAI NORBU RINPOCHE who directly transmitted the knowledge of Dzogchen to Rinpoche, when Rinpoche resided there with him for six months in 1955. 

This project presents many challenges because it is in a geographically remote and politically sensitive region. It is very difficult, sometimes impossible to make a mission there to deliver aid but WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO DO IT RIGHT NOW.

Our director spoke with Rinpoche a couple years ago about Khamdogar asking, how can we continue in the face of all these obstacles? Rinpoche replied, <b>“WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP!”</b> We are the only ones who can help them. SO PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TODAY ~ THANK YOU!

The Khamdogar project has several FUNDRAISING GOALS including: 

  • building a small study and practice college
  • restoring a printing house
  • constructing an aqueduct
  • restoring the Chortens of Rigdzin Changchub Dorje
  • restoring an old temple housing the relics of Changchub Dorje

The total estimated cost is $227,150 USD. 

In 2001, Rinpoche sent a handwritten letter to Tsegyalgar East, asking us to “take care of” and “be responsible for” Khamdogar. So far we’ve been able to support this holy place via 66 long distance sponsorships, annual fund raising and auction donations at Dzogchen retreats. THANK YOU! But ASIA opens the support of this project to anyone in the International Dzogchen Community who would like to participate. You don’t have to be from Tsegyalgar to donate.

Due to the very difficult situation in this region, we cannot manage this project in the usual way, preparing project proposals, budgets and financial narrative reports. Nevertheless, we must try to provide the financial support needed to maintain the life of the Khamdogar community and our spiritual tradition. We will provide an update on the situation when our counterpart returns.

Khamdogar Project: History & Overview

Khamdogar is an ancient community of practitioners founded by Rigdzin Changchub Dorje, the master of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, in the early 1900s. Rigdzin Changchub Dorje, a Dzogchen master and a famous Terton (discoverer of treasures) lived in Khamdogar with his family working as a doctor and transmitting his teachings.

Near Khamdogar, in an area called Dedrol, there is a cave in which Atha Lhamo, the daughter of Master Changchub Dorje, lived and practiced. After the Cultural Revolution, nuns built a small nunnery and currently there are 66 nuns who live in retreat for long periods (they take turns, half of them doing practice for several months while the others serve them and then they trade). 

The entire complex of Khamdogar is in ruins and the local people live in extreme poverty. The local community of practitioners, laypeople, monks & nuns who still live there, under the spiritual guidance of the son of Atha Lhamo - the daughter of Rigdzin Changchub Dorje, who attained the rainbow body ‚Äì need our help. Fortunately, at this very moment, we have the opportunity to deliver aid to them. 

ASIA, founded in 1988 by Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, is the humanitarian aspect of our worldwide Dzogchen Community.  ASIA has worked continuously for over 25 years to help the Tibetan people, providing crucial aid to remote Nomad populations, who otherwise would have no access to health services, educational opportunities or emergency disaster relief. 


With kind regards,

The A.S.I.A. Tsegyalgar Gakyil  & friends
Martina, Gregg, Damien, Andrea, Sam, Kimjaye, Ivana, Paula, Jacqueline, Diane, Al, Jakub, Cindy, Dominik,  Helena, Jacob, Elizabeth & Karen

Email: (for more info)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tsegyalgar East A Magical Place

[Photo by Miguel Farrada Gutierrez reprinted 
from Tsegyalgar East Facebook group]

This photo of the yellow schoolhouse was too good to pass up.  Maybe photo  shopped, maybe thigles. In any case, everyone is welcome.

WW Transmisson of Adzom Drukpa with Explanation (November 5) and Live Webcast (November 17)

Tsegyalgar East will host the next World Wide Transmission explanation for the Anniversary of Adzom Drukpa with Santi Maha Sangha instructor Jim Valby at the Tsegyalgar East Gonpa at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, November 5th.

Participants can call in to this explanation session from anywhere in the USA. For more details on how to do this as well as receive a required text, please contact our secretary, Harold Graves, at 413-369-4153, or Please do NOT wait until the last minute.

Event: World Wide Transmission, Anniversary of Adzom Drukpa
Date: November 17th, 2014.
Time: 7:00 AM, EST

Location: TBA. You can also connecto the World Wide Transmission for free from any location at the above time via this link:

About the World Wide Transmission

The transmission of knowledge from Master to disciple can be oral, symbolic or direct. The uniqueness of the Dzogchen teaching is the direct transmission or “direct introduction”. In direct transmission Master and the student find themselves in the primordial state at the same moment through one of the experiences related to body, voice or mind.

Due to the power of the transmission, the student is able to discover his or her own real condition in this way. Newcomers who want to participate at this Transmission, should be seriously interested in the Teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and should try to receive his Teachings in the future.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu offers direct introduction three times a year, on the anniversaries of Garab Dorje, Guru Padmasambhava, and Adzom Drukpa . In order to make it possible for people who cannot attend a retreat or come to a direct introduction in person, these direct transmissions are also offered by live Internet webcast.

If you have never participated in a transmission with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu or if you wish to renew your understanding of Worldwide Transmission, you are strongly advised to attend the explanation session in order to receive the greatest benefit from it.

Newcomers who want to participate at a World Wide Transmission should be seriously interested in the Dzogchen Teachings, which are transmitted by our Teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and practiced by our worldwide Dzogchen Community. New participants at a Direct Transmission should try to receive Teachings from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu personally in the future, participating in retreats.

Dr. Jim Valby has been a student of Dzogchen Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu since 1982. He earned his doctorate in Far Eastern Studies under Herbert Guenther at the University of Saskatchewan in 1983, focusing on the texts of Shrisingha and Vimalamitra. He participates in Dzogchen Community projects helping to prepare English translations from Tibetan texts. He has taught the essence of the theory and practice of Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen in more than 197 retreats at 77 locations in 28 countries. He is an authorized instructor for the Base, First and Second Levels of SantiMaha Sangha (SMS). He lives in Western Massachusetts, USA.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yantra Yoga Studio Programs At Tsegyalgar East Announced

The Yantra Yoga teachers of Tsegyalgar East are proud to announce the broadening of our weekly program with several activities for the general public. No previous experience is needed for the public courses.

Yantra Yoga, the Tibetan Yoga of Movement, is an ancient uninterrupted lineage and a fundamental method to integrate the profound essence of the Dzogchen Teaching in the three doors (body, voice and mind) of the practitioner. Through positions and movements combined with breathing, one's energy is coordinated and harmonized so as to let the mind relax and find its authentic balance, which is the basis for contemplation.

All classes start September 15 and go until November 12 2014

Pranayama with Paula Barry, Monday September 15 at 5:30pm
Pranayama Class: We will begin with a review of Complete Breathing, learn the principles of Kumbhaka with Rhythmic Breathing, and apply this type of hold to the Sog Tig breathing of the Mandarava practice.
Yantra Yoga Beginner class starting every Tuesday September 16 from 5:15 pm until 6:30pm with Martina Kacurova
Beginners Yantra Yoga class:
Martina will introduce the history, language, and poses of Yantra Yoga, which can reshape, transform, and deepen the effect of our practice by coordinating and enhancing the quality of our more subtle and powerful energies.
Harmonious Breathing every Wednesday September 17 from 9:00-10:30am with Naomi Zeitz  CANCELLED
Harmonious Breathing is a key element in coordinating the functions of our body and mind. It is indispensable for calming the mind, reducing body tension and improving both physical and cerebral functions. Harmonious Breathing can be applied anywhere and anytime thus being a very powerful tool for improving the quality of our everyday lives. The breathing exercises are simple yet very effective. Ancient breathing techniques are now scientifically and clinically studied, taken and incorporated into modern practices for people with respiratory impairment, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Deep slow breathing can improve cardiovascular function and reduce hypertension. Harmonious Breathing takes its source in Yantra Yoga (one of the oldest methods of Yoga taught in the world, transcribed in the 8th century AD) and differs from other Yoga by the integration of movement and breathing.

LOCATION: Yellow Schoolhouse at 18 Schoolhouse Rd., Conway, MA 01341 
Cost:  $10 per session - $8 per session with card


Paula Barry is a longtime student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She is an authorized second level Yantra Yoga instructor.

Martina Kacurova is a certified local instructor of the 1st level of Yantra Yoga. Martina teaches Yantra Yoga to adults and children. Martina has been a student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu since 2005. She comes from the Czech Republic. Martina lives and works as a registered nurse in western Massachusetts.

Naomi Zeitz has been a student of Yantra Yoga since 1987 and an instructor in the Dzogchen lineage, authorized by her Teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, since 2008. She specializes in teaching simple yet profound methods of breathing and working with people of all ages and physical conditions.

To find out more about weekly practices at Tsegyalgar East and special events
visit our website at

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tsegyalgar East and the New Gakyil – 2015 Crisis and Opportunity—Meet New Yellow Gakyil Member Diane Kramer

[Diane Kramer and Fred Klarer]

The following post by new yellow Gakyil member Diane Kramer is the first of more to come introducing our new Gakyil

I was asked to write something as a new member coming onto the Gakyil as part of Yellow, the financial and organizational admin section of the Gakyil. Upon reflection, I decided to interview myself about what this all means to me, so here goes:

Why did you join the Gakyil?
I started coming up to Tsegyalgar with my husband, Fred, a former Buddhist monk in the Chinese tradition, in the early nineties. We came up for a few years from Long Island. During this time we built and hosted an early  website with Ed Goldberg.Then, we were drawn to Vajrayana Rinpoches, always Nyingma, such as Chagdud Tulku.

In 2011, we both felt the pull to return to the Dzochen path and started coming regularly to Rinpoche’s retreats and to Jim Valby weekends.

Walking around at the last retreat I felt comfortable and welcomed by community members, especially by Jim Valby and Katherine, Marilyn, Harvey Kaiser, Robin and Diane Sievers, plus others. While feeling comfortable, I also felt like a guest. Here were at least a hundred people working to make this retreat a great success and an experience of oneness for all of us, and I was not making a contribution. At that moment, I went up to Al Daggitt and said: I want to join the Gakyil. He sent me to Ed Hayes who put me to work opening wine bottles for the Ganapuja. I applied to the Gakyil and was accepted.

Now, here I am, happy at my good fortune and amazed at what has been accomplished.

What has it been like to start up on the Gakyil on Yellow?
It has been like being thrown into the deep water without being a good swimmer J I am learning and learning fast. I am in constant contact with Al and Dominick, my fellow Yellows, and looking forward to the first Gakyil meeting on Sunday, September14th. We are coming up from Long Island for the event.

What are the Challenges?
Though money is a problem, Rinpoche says  not to make it about money. And I do not think our challenges are, at their root, money. More I see the challenge as developing a sustainable community that is self-sufficient, even when Rinpoche is not available. I see a community that keeps on expanding as each person recognizes his or her role and takes on the responsibility of helping all and each of us to self-liberate. That to me means Opportunity.

What are the Opportunities?
From what I have learned so far, we have the Opportunity to further the work of past Gakyil members and other workers for the community this year by moving forward on a number of fronts. We need to:

·   *Align more with the IDC and take our place more fully in the global community as it grows and develops

·    *Grow our membership through orienting new members more fully (as Merigar West is doing – see the article in the Mirror

·    *Find ways of more Community Involvement for more members, as was expressed in the blog A Message from the Tsegyalgar East Development Committee

·    *Develop more activities for members that will also create sustainable income streams to keep the organization going

What is my personal part in this?
I have had experience as a clinical, organizational, teaching and research psychologist over a 45 year career. I have run both profit and not-for-profit organizations. I hope I can use my resources to be helpful making good decisions in our collaborative Gakyil. My desire is for a self-sustaining and vibrant Dzochen community that attracts more members as we expand what we can be to and for each other.

With Love, Diane
Dr. Diane Kramer 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Catalysta Now Live

Cataysta is a digizine founded by NYC Dzogchen Community member Ed Goldberg that collaborates with you to create a career driven by passion and benefit for the greater good


Catalysta’s Fall 2014 season presents may new features

with a spot light on Eco fashion

To read a previous interview with Ed Goldberg, visit here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Queen of the Night - A Message from Woody Paparazzo

Hi Folks;  

Some of you know of my affair with the Queen; there is a large cactus on the grounds here called Queen of the Night.  It produces glorious blossoms once a year, and each blossom opens once late in the night, and by  mid-morning it has withered and is soon gone for the year.  A fascinating plant.

So, I took some cuttings and rooted them.  I read that it could be fifteen years before it would bloom. Oh, well...

But-- from the three nice specimens I have, one is now in bloom.
Here are some pix from about 5:00 a.m. today.

Woody and Barbara Paparazzo  part of the early Dzogchen Community members associated with Mr. Anderson, retired to Mexico a couple of years ago where they now live year-round.