Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tsegyalgar’s Winning Team, Dream Dancer

Dream Dancer
Tsegyalgar East

The curtain opens on a Community’s ceremonial celebration.  By virtue of the infinite love within the Community, a young child manifests.  She is the Dream Dancer.   She begins to explore her surroundings and soon falls into a dream upon a Rainbow.  During the dream she experiences dance throughout the ages, and discovers that each dance bestows upon her the knowledge of one of the 5 elements. When she awakens from her dream she is surrounded by her Community and its celebration of the Rainbow Body.  Everyone in the audience is encouraged to join in the festivities and to continue dancing together beyond time and space.

The Dream Dancer's Dream

Yellow Earth: 
Yeha Noha, Native American Dance, choreographed by Jakub Muller

White Water: 
Wade in the Water, American Spiritual, choreographed by Alicia Manica

Red Fire: 
It don’t mean a thing, American Swing Jazz, choreographed by Alicia Manica and Bret Bourman

Green Air: 
Footloose, choreographed by Alicia Manica

Blue Space: 
Mirror, choreographed by Alicia Manica

Vogue, choreographed by Leela Whitcomb Hewitt and Alicia Manica

Liberetto and sequential choreography by Bret Bourman

Lauri Denyer: Costume Designer
Paula Barry and Gabe Marder: Costume Crew

Sadie (Dream Dancer)

Jessica Waggenbeek
Martina Kacurova
Sarale Lizdas
Leela Whitcob Hewitt
Naomi Zeitz
Laila Reiss
Alicia Manica (Dream Dancer's dream self)
Nathan Waggenbeek
Jakub Miller
Thomas Keidel
Jim Valby
Will Shea
Gerry Steinberg

Upcoming Open Webcasts for World-wide Transmission of the Anniversary of Padmasambhava and Practicing Together with Mandarava

[Painting by Glen Eddy]

Anniversary of  Padmasambhava
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Anniversary of Padmasambhava
11pm (EST, New York and Conway time) 8:00 pm (PST)

Explanation required prior to the webcast for first time participants who can call in for a teleconference with Jim Valby earlier in the evening of August 5 at 7:00 PM. Contact the secretary Harold at 413-369-4153 or to receive the call in number and how to order the text. Do not wait until the last minute. 

[Painting of Mandarava by Wilven Pederson]

Practicing Together
On August 10th at 10:30am. (GMT - 5) there will be an open
webcast (
from Norbuling - Perú of the Mandarava Ganapuja specially
dedicated to the health of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu and all those
in need of healing.

(This time, we won't Dance nor potentite Namkha)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shang Shung Tibetan Medicine Program and 2nd Annual Conference at the Rubin Museum in NYC

The following film was prepared by SSI secretary, Bret Bourman, for the Rubin Museum’s Overview of Tibetan Medicine in the World for their exhibit -- Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine.

This summer July 26-27, 2014, The Shang Shung Institute and ATMA will co-sponsor the 2nd Tibetan Medicine Conference at the Rubin Museum, Ancient Medicine for Modern Times --bringing together leading Tibetan doctors and practitioners of Tibetan medicine from around the world. Click here for their latest schedule.

The conference will open on Friday, July 25 with a late-afternoon or early evening tea reception. This will be an informal gathering for attendees, a chance to meet and speak with the honored speakers, and include a special educational demonstration. The reception will also serve as a celebration of the ratification of the Tibetan medical standards.

Keynote address by Choegyal Namkai Norbu on July 27th at 830 am. 

Event Program for the conference
Tickets: Register Online Now

It’s not too late to help support this amazing round up of Tibetan doctors from all over the world through the Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Tibetan Dancing at Tsegyalgar

[Reprinted from 30th Anniversary FB - Modern Tibetan Dancing Khandroling July 12 Inauguration]

Each Evening here at Tsegyalgar East there is a rigorous schedule of Tibetan modern dancing and singing with Choegyal Namkhai Norbu during our retreat with him. Increasingly an important training in our Community, the following explanations serve to increase our understanding of the meaning. Photos and a story are forthcoming from an individual or individuals actively involved or check back with The Mirror Online at and our 30th Anniversary Facebook Page for marvelous postings on events. 

Photo by Paula Barry, CHNNR watching modern Tibetan dancing in Tenerife


“Any movement you do is Yantra", just like you are doing Yantra Yoga or doing meditation, some exercise. Milarepa said "there is no difference" because depend you, what you do everything, dealing with. Even if you are only jumping, but if you are jumping with presence, relaxed, then it become useful. If you are interested of teachings Sutra, teachings Tantra, teachings Dzogchen, Anuyoga, everything is coming from Tibet. When I was in Tenerife last year, then I am listening some of this Tibetan music, songs, etc... and I discovered how they are singing, they are communicating happiness, a sort of feeling, and situation, which kind of difficulties they have they are bringing in the melody, this is how we do in Dzogchen Teaching. 

We try to understand which is the real situation, we do our best, for that reason I am thinking ...oh, it is necessary, we should learn songs and listening well Tibetan songs. 

 What do you need to do when you are dancing?...when you are dancing...coordinate, must being present. That means you are being present, otherwise you couldn't dance, but if you are present when you are dancing you relax also, even jumping, not necessary charging, you jump relaxed, then it become also good for you, no? It helps. 

Dancing, relaxing, being present, knowing that...this is practice, no? This is practice. No? How is it? Choegyal Namkhai Norbu reprinted from the Dzamling Gar website

Visit and sign up for the new facebook page on Khaita Joyful Dances (replacing the previous Tibetan Modern Dances)

Khaita - Harmony in the Space

These words and the symbol (the golden infinite knot of love on our globe) were chosen by our Master few months ago in Dzamling Gar to represent all activities of Dzogchen Community related to movements and sounds.
Khaita Joyful Dances, Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga are all part of this.

By Adriana Dal Borgo

[Reprinted from 30th Anniversary FB - Performance Saturday July 12 of Tibetan modern dances]

 [Tsegyalgar Tibetan modern dancers after Saturday night performance repritned form Khaita FB page]

Another online resource is the following blog where you can download the songs and videos.

In honor of our 30th Anniversary, here’s an early You Tube video of Tibetan Step Dancing at Shang Shung Institute at the yellow schoolhouse in Conway, MA in 1998/1999 during one of our early "Tibetan Family Days" posted in 2006 with over 5000 views. Chen and Chime, TIPA trained musicians from Boston part of Chaksampa, lead us in our first humble dance class. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Demo

Earlier today we held our papermaking demonstration for Community memrbers in the Mohawk School cafeteria. A small handful of interested people (Diana, Jan, Francine, Thuy, and Rita) showed up and quickly were immersed in the process under the guidance of Sheryl Jaffee, our main teacher. Later, another group materialized following Jim’s explanation of the Ganapuja. 

Sheryl explaining the ropes to a small group

Beating the Kozo by hand

Making that first piece of paper

The first piece--perfect!

The ladies together pressing the water from the sheets of paper they created

A passer-by more interested in making music with our corn paper tambourine

The finished results dryng:  horsetail and kozo paper, some with Tibetan cloud motifs.

On the final day, Sheryl presented Rinpoche with the beautiful album she and her husband Walter made for our Festschrift project. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

In the Moment: Some Impressions on the Gurdjieff Movements Presented on Sunday Evening , July 13, 2014 and the Bigger Picture

Practitioners in the Dzogchen Community come from many different Teaching lineages, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist where there is a huge wealth of wisdom about the human condition found  within the deep currents of many traditions.  We honor all our previous Teachers by including them in our personal Guru Yoga.  In Tibetan culture,  it is considered really poor form to disparages one’s previous teachers. In fact there are many colorful stories of Masters rejecting a disciple based on their behavior towards a previous Teacher. That extends to disparaging the Teachers of others.

In general, the Gurdjieff Teachings hold a prominent place in the  introduction of Tibetan Buddhism into the West. James George, a senior disciple of Gurdjieff is beloved by all the Tibetan Lineage holders for assisting Tibetans as they fled Tibet while he was Canadian ambassador to Nepal. In his research into Gurdjieff’s secret years in Tibet Mr. George surmised that the location of the monastery Gurdjieff spent time in was the seat of the Trungpas ----Surmong.  Many of the early students of Tibetan masters coming to the  West were in the "The Work,” as it is called. In particular we owe a great debt to Mr. Anderson who first invited Chogyal Namkhai Norbu to teach here in 1982. As such, in honor of our 30th Anniversary we celebrate our Community’s origins. ---Jacqueline Gens

Mary Gilliland and Peter Fortunato, long time students of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu would like to share a few impressions about the de Hartmann music and the Gurdjieff Sacred Dances that were presented as part of the Thirty Year anniversary Celebrations for Tsegyalgar: 

         We had been involved with the Work through Mr. Gurdjieff's student and secretary Louise March*, founder of the Rochester Folk Art Guild.  Through Mrs. March in the 1980's, we were introduced to the Movements and their accompanying music, practicing the preliminaries with a group of more experienced students.  The presentation at the Mohawk School is among the best we have ever seen.
         The music, solo piano, evokes East European and Central Asian folk melodies – unadorned, pensive, resonant – and creates an atmosphere for contemplation. The Movements and Dances, like the music, are not easy to describe.  As with many of Gurdjieff's exercises, they seem designed to disrupt expectations – in this case, one's ordinary expectations for how a corps of dancers interact with rhythmic, sometimes martial sounding, sometimes tender, melodies. 
         The members of the Movements Project were costumed in light tunics and loose trousers, evoking something of the cultural context from which Gurdjieff drew inspiration.  Moreover, they offered a magnificent display of individual attention and group coordination – very important in the Work, as it is in the collaboration of the Dzogchen Community.  Characteristic of the Movements and Sacred Dances are the abrupt, hieratic gestures executed with arms and hands that seem to evoke such postures as might be seen on ancient relief sculptures from the Middle East or Egypt.  The effect of these gestures  can be disturbing to one's ordinary ideas about flowing dance movements and transitions in response to music.  It seems this effect is part of their mystery, however, and the concentrated intensity of the Movements Project in motion was finally irresistible and emotional in a very subtle way.   
         Besides our personal associations and reminiscences while we watched both of us felt our hearts opening to the dancers in appreciation of their sustained effort, not only throughout a long and complex program on the stage that night, but also because of their disciplined preparation and devotion to the Way they are practicing. 
         G. I. Gurdjieff characterized humans as "three brained beings."  To explain the workings of our three centers he used the analogy of a cart for the body, a horse for the feeling center, and a driver for the mind.  All three must function in harmony for a person to experience "Being," or awakening.  It seems that this tradition of dance is designed to help bring the three centers into harmony, first by disturbing habitual patterns of behavior and then by introducing new "impressions" within both the dancers and audience. --Peter Fortunato and Mary Gilliland

The following video was prepared by Margit Martinu, a member of the International Dzogchen Community, authorized as both a Gurdjieff movement instructor and a Vajra Dance teacher. Many thanks to the practitioners of the Gurdjieff movements who traveled so far to attend the 30th Anniversary of Tsegyalgar. 

*Mary read the following poem at our Mocha Maya reading in honor of her first teacher, Louise March, a prominent teacher of the Movements.  

You Who Filled

I burn.  I look.  I do not expect to see the hawk

brand locust limb.  The branch does not sway. 

The bird feathers east, its wings are the sun,

not a word can come.  You laugh in the pond--
unclothed, eighty-five, feet marshy.

Though I came late, you were a girl with me
--keeping the roomful in silent grace
for so long the mayonnaise turned yellow,
pouting at spots I left on the floor,
plucking the double rose.  Asking the words

to the twelve truths, you named them, as we drove
from a room that was hanging smoke.  The locust in my yard
that I keep from the furnace sucks garden moisture like a wick,
gazes through the second-story window. 
What my life burned for had banked to coals.  You breathed

in the dark hall, the hill of dawn, on cushions
on Turkish rugs on the verge of attention. 
Your lifetime, by years' measure long,
was barely a perch for a strong soul. 
Your body is dessicate, a wind-loosened nest.

We are your caskets, bountiful one. 
Transient leaves are brittle in bright sun
and you who filled the year with an infinitude
of mothering have left us.  You whom so many mourn
on this golden day have left us fire inside.

                                                                        for Louise March
                                                                        d. 15 November 1987

                                                         publication:  Seneca Review  26,1 (1996)

[Reprinted from Suzi Smith of Namgyalgar FB PAGE of Gurdjieff movements
at the July 13 performance in Mohawk High School Auditorium]

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Namgyalgar/Tsegyalgar Dance Competition on July Sunday, July 13, 2014

Photo Reprinted from Facebook by Alicia Manica of Sunday afternoon’s dance competition between Tsegyalgar  and Namgyalgar

 Tsegyalgar’s home team brought together some members of the local community working many many months on the project

The Winners here triumphant!

More about the competition later and the Namgyalgar Team who might not have been the official winners yet nonetheless won us over with the depth and  elegance of their cohesive work,Timeless Land, spanning the vast prehistory and present history of Australia. Dancers traveling from Australia were: Jan Cornall, Suze Smith, Thuy Nyuygen, Catherine Horner, Graeme Horner, Alicia Horner, and Nicholas Martin. 

Kudos to all!

Two Videos by Soledad Suarez--Remembering the Future and Mandala Hall Now Available on You Tube


Soledad Suarez has completed two films in honor of Tsegyalgar East’s 30th Anniversary. The first is a history of the Gar called Remembering the Future with many interesting interviews. The second is about the Mandala Hall. Both videos contain historic footage of Rinpoche’s early teaching in North America and the history of the Vajra Dance related to the Mandala Hall.  A must see. Thank You Sole and to all who made these videos happen. 

30TH Anniversary Literary Events

On Tuesday July 15, the Community sponsored two literary events in honor of our 30th Anniversary.  During the morning session, visiting writer Jan Cornall from Australia gave a Meditative Workshop --Seize the Moment

[photo by Jan Cornall in the Mohawk High School Library]

Fourteen people attended with the intention to strengthen their writing. Jan’s exercises were marvelous forays into  “sensory literacy” (to borrow a tern)  by  combining the power of observation and awareness with sensory experience to trigger writing in the moment without self-censorship or judgements. Her guided meditations created powerful prompts for imagery and meanings, sometimes with surprising outcomes. Sharing the results of these exercises with our fellow participants was half the joy. How refreshing to enter into a non-competitive activity without judgements to kill the delicate creative process. Jan proved a master of this technique bringing us gently into the moment with her guided meditations through the corridors of our’s mind’s eye. 

As  a sometime teacher of contemplative writing, I really enjoyed learning some new techniques from Jan. I particularly loved her brilliant strategy to work with  self-deprecating remarks that can surface towards one’s writing.  At the beginning she suggested that if we didn’t like the result of our work with the exercises--we just say “Bananas” and move on. 

Well, among all the 14 participants there were NO bananas just a good time sharing our spontaneous work and mingling our minds in the transmission. Thank You Jan!

Later that evening there was a reading at Mocha Maya’s Coffee Bar in Shelburne Falls, home to many literary events. They were great hosts providing us with a podium, sound system and selected beverages and snacks. Featured readers included Jim Bauerlein from Shelburne Falls, Jan Cornall from Austraila, Peter Fortunato and Mary Gilliland from Ithaca, Jacqueline Gens, and of course, Louise Landes Levi who each read for seven minutes. Afterwards there was an open mike for other readers to participate.

[some of the audience at the Mocha Maya reading]

[Jim Bauerlein from Shelburne Falls read his powerful poems]

Mary Gilliland with her husband Peter Fortunato both poets (below) from Ithaca emceed the event. 

Peter read his poem ‘Up on Khandroling” you can read on the blog here.

[It was great to hear our guest reader Jan Cornall “perform” her work with a rare combination of verve, tenderness, and expressive clarity]

[Our own Dzogchen Community Poet Laureate, Louise Landes Levi, here with Dan Zegunis. Louise was in great form reading with her characteristic humor and divine sense of irony and devotion]

[Mocha Maya’s proved the perfect venue for our reading to a packed house]

Many poems were read in honor Rinpoche who himself is a poet in the Tibetan language. He remains as ever the Light who shines a Beacon in the dark forests of our mind bringing us home to our true nature.

Thank you to all our readers and audience supporting our 
Dzogchen Community writers. 

Photos by Jacqueline Gens who apologizes for the fuzziness of her IPad lens

Monday, July 14, 2014

Khandroling Paper Cooperative: Updates on the Festschrift and other News

Several people have asked--YES Khandroling Paper Cooperative will be finalizing the Festscrift dedicated to Choegyal Namkhai Norbu during the retreat with Rinpoche at our table in The Mohawk High School cafeteria most days. As you can imagine we have a full plate here. Thank you all for your fine artwork and texts filled with so much devotion and inspiration. These are in the  process of being printed now. During the retreat we will be pasting in the individual art works and texts with rice paper hinges into the handmade book made by Sheryl’s husband Walter. So stop by for a visit. Hopefully in time, we can create a virtual book.

[Tashi Mannox Dzogchen Calligraphy prepared for Choegyal Namkhai Norbu in our Festschrift]

ON ANOTHER NOTE: During the retreat, interested people are invited to experience papermaking and/or origami first hand during our open demo at the Mohawk High School on Friday July 18 from 1-4:00 PM with Sheryl and Brenda, our main instructors in the paper cooperative. This will take place after lunch and between teachings by Rinpoche. 

If you are local or wish to come back for a visit, we will hold our 2nd Annual Fiber to Fiber Papermaking Workshop on August 9 & 10 at the gorgeous Lower Khandroling Farm Coop which will be in full bloom.  

Right now we are working on a number of projects we hope will come to fruition including a partnership with a local museum to house our studio as an educational center for all things paper year round sometime in the early fall. More on this as things develop. Stay tuned for further programs for 2014/2015.

We have completed our “sacred” calligraphy paper for Lama Tsultrim and others such as a unique project with Jennifer Storey who is a student in the Shang Shung Tibetan Medicine online program. The results are wonderful and still improving as we experiment. We are always happy when people “get” our mission of recycling sacred texts and substances for the purpose of sacred art.  Here is Jennifer preparing her pulp with special symbols for a project she is working on. 

Looking forward to our retreat with Rinpoche..........and sharing our enthusiasm for the ancient art of hand papermaking.

Remember to visit our blog for the latest info and articles of interest at

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Performances July 13, 2014

There will be  a live webcast today of the Dance competition between Namgyalgar and Tsegyalgar beginning at 2:00 PM EST

The Dance performance will take place in the Mohawk High School Auditorium

go to the main webcast link

Tsegyalgar East is honored to present a performance of the Gurdjieff Movements and solo concert by Elan Sicroff rarely performed in public on the auspicious occasion of the inauguration of the Mandala Hall  during our 30th Anniversary celebration. 

Sunday Night, July 13, 2014
featuring Dzogchen Community dances--Harmony in Space, Vajra Dance and Modern Tibetan Dance; Also featuring Gurdjieff Movements and de Hartmann’s Solo Piano with Elan Sicroff

These Events will take place at the Mohawk Regional High School Auditorium on Sunday, Juy 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Early members of the Dzogchen Community studied these dances in the 1970's under the direction of their then teacher, Mr. Paul E. Anderson, a close disciple of G.I Gurdjieff, who first invited Chogyal Namkhai Norbu to teach his students in Conway, MA in 1982. 

{PHOTO : Al Daggett L and John Foster R, current gakyil members
Gerry Steinberg is in the middle with full hair/beard, Paula Berry to Gerry's left, Laurie & Efrem, Vern and others like Kathy S and Joe, etc are in there too]. 

Thus, sacred dance has been a prominent part of our community culture from its onset culminating in the extraordinary Teachings of the Vajra Dance conceived and discovered by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu at Khandroling. 

Margit Martinu who is both an authorized Vajra Dance instructor in the International Dzogchen Communtiy as well as a prominent Movements teacher has organized a program to present during out 30th Anniversary Celebration on July 13, 2014. Visit her beautiful website for further information about the Sacred Gurdjieff Movements,

Pianist Elan Sicroff  will  also perform on the evening of July 13, 2014, the musical compositions of G.I Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann.