Monday, June 22, 2015

Comings, Goings and New Transitions

Kathryn O’Connor (above right) from NYC will be attending the Tsegaylgar East retreat before flying out to Nepal once again to return this summer to The Tsoknyi Gechak School where she volunteers -- It's part of the Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery in Chobar.

Here are a few links:

About Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery

Kathryn teaches the girls art as well as participating in a number of collaborative artist ventures with local partners. She will be collecting funds for a number of reliable organizations she works with.

[Goma and Ati up on Khandroling lending a hand]

Joey Mella and Adishakti Laila Reiss, members of the community and graduates of the four-year program in Tibetan Medicine recently announced they will be moving to Hawaii with their three children Goma, Ati, and Veda. We will miss their gracious presence.

Barbara and Woody Paparazzo are back in Conway after a couple of years in San Miguel Allende, Mexico!!!!
Jacqueline Gens is now living in Shelburne Falls, MA after a couple of years on the move in search of affordable senior housing. Her writing group Meditation and Poetry meets first Saturday of the month in Brattleboro, VT with a second group starting up in Shelburne Falls beginning in late July (third Saturday of the month). If sufficient interest, there will also be a memoir writing group. Visit Poetrymind blog for further details. 

Long time Dzogchen Community members Constance Wilkinson and Greg Moscatt celebrated the wedding 
of their daughter Sophia to Ethan Pilling on June 13, 2015.

[Participants in Bodhi’s recent Deepening Course of the Vajra Dance on Khandroling]

[Jim Valby’s beginning dharma course for Shang Shung Institute USA, June 19, 20 and 21, 2015 at Tsegyalgar East]

Among the karma yoga activities in preparation for the upcoming retreats, Geko Jeremy with volunteers Jess, Tom Clark, Sean Quinn, Martin Kourim, Jana Hanakova, John Foster, Naomi, Caroline, Andrea Lawrence, Harold, among others, repainted the scuffed up old mandala in the yellow schoolhouse. 

More to come......

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Let’s Help Send Uma Shannon to San Francisco

Uma, the daughter of John and Miranda Shannon and grand-daughter of Nancy Simmons and the late Barrie Simmons, among the earliest students of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu, was recently accepted to the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, CA starting fall 2015 . This two year world class program accepts only 36 students annually, and it's Uma's dream come true!

In Uma's own words:

"I am attending the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program next year, because it has everything I am looking for as a dancer. Alonzo King LINES can provide the rigorous multifaceted program I need to prepare myself physically and mentally for my dance career. I began dancing at 14, five years ago, dance has changed me and continues to change me. My desire and drive to excel at dance has taken me far. I have studied various forms of dance including: ballet, contemporary, modern, flamenco and most recently the movement language called Gaga. I have danced continually, adding as many hours to my training as possible.”

The Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program has awarded Uma a partial merit scholarship, but there is still a significant amount of tuition to pay. She can't take out educational loans because it is a professional training program and not a school. She is asking for your support so that she can continue to train and become a professional dancer. Uma's current goal is to raise enough funds to cover the cost of the first year of this two year long training program, its associated costs and living expenses.

Please visit and share Uma’s Indiegogo site Help Uma Go To Alonzo King LINES Training Program to find out all the details of her new fundraising goals as well as her most recent campaign updates.

If you are on Facebook please visit and like Uma's Dance Project , where you can watch her latest dance videos, see her latest pictures and get status updates. Uma loves to choreograph new dances and looks forward to sharing them with you on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you all so much for all your support

PS: As the Alonzo King LINES program does not provide room and board, one of Uma's greatest challenges is affordable safe housing in the Bay area, within a reasonable distance from her program in San Francisco. Any leads, advice and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to teach the 25 Spaces of Samantabhadra

   Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

July 1- 5, 2015 Tsegyalgar East Retreat 
The 25 Spaces of Samantabhadra according to the series of Longsal Teaching Open webcast

Visit for all retreat information

News from Shang Shung Institute USA & International

Shang Shung Institute Presents  Beginning Dharma with Dr. James Valby

June 19th-21st, 2015.
Shang Shung Institute
Tsegyalgar East, 18 Schoolhouse Rd., Conway, MA

Friday Evening, June 19th through Sunday Afternoon, June 21st

Introductory Public Talk: Friday Talk: 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET

Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st
9:30 AM Registration/ Arrival
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Beginning Dharma with Dr. James Valby

Jim Valby will tailor the course to the attendees. Please come prepared for sitting meditation with loose clothes for sitting and light stretching.

For more information and to register please visit the Shang Shung Website (link above)

Shang Shung Tibetan Medicine School Alumni Participate in the Integrative Tibetan Medical Conference in Barcelona, Spain March 2015

The Integrative Medicine Meeting organised by the Cultural Association of the Dzogchen Community in Spain [Asociación Cultural de la Comunidad Dzogchen de España] and the School of Tibetan Medicine of the Shang Shung Institute is aimed at raising awareness and sharing the results of work undertaken by numerous integrated health professionals – both in Spain and overseas. This field of medicine adopts a holistic approach to the treatment of patients and combines techniques from traditional medicine with allopathic and complementary techniques.
In the first Edition, the conference was focused on the contributions made to the treatment of mental disorders and dementia by allopathic, Chinese, homoeopathic and Tibetan approaches to medicine. Professionals from all areas of medicine – psychiatry, homoeopathy, neurology, Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine, etc. – took part in the event.
More information:
The upcoming Edition, which will be happening in March 2015, during the days 20, 21 and 22 March, will be aimed at the general audience. It will gather the different medical systems and professionals specialized in the treatment of cancer so that they can dialogue and share their experience on how to deal with it from their different medical visions.

Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine Curriculum
Three-Year Advanced Tibetan Medicine Program
ཤེས་རམ་ཞིབ་འཇུག་སློབ་མ། shes ram zhib 'jug slob ma

[Graduates of the four-year Tibetan Medicine Program, 2012]

The SSI School of Tibetan Medicine, Three-Year Advanced Tibetan Medicine Program (ATMP) follows the curriculum of the shes ram pamaster’s level programs offered in traditional schools in Tibet. The goal of ATMP is to deepen the understanding and knowledge of those graduates of traditional Tibetan medicine programs like the Shang Shung Institute’s Four-Year Tibetan Medicine Programs, and in so doing, provide greater opportunities for professional development and increased understanding of cross-cultural and cross-national medicine modalities.  This continued course of study builds upon the foundation of the Four-Year Tibetan Medicine Programs with its in-depth study of their commentaries and a body of theories and practices found within them.

The ATMP’s curriculum is intended for those who are determined to dedicate their life’s work to Tibetan medicine. It provides them with a rich understanding of Tibetan medicine’s integrative relationship to modern medicine and public health. Participants of the ATMP will extensively research and develop their knowledge in the theory and practice of Tibetan medicine as is relevant to contemporary society.

Candidates who wish to enter the ATMP must take the program’s entrance exam.  Successful completion of either of the SSI’s four-year Tibetan medicine programs, or equivalent, or three years professional experience post-certification from a licensed professional or occupational school, is prerequisite to taking the entrance exam.  Entrance exam dates are typically scheduled between mid July and mid August.

The ATMP is a three-year program consisting of two semesters per year, sixteen weeks per semester.  The first two years (semesters 1-4) are comprised of a hybrid of on-site and on-line learning.  On-site, resident classes assemble five days per week during weeks one through four of each of the first four semesters. During weeks five through sixteen, students engage on the weekend in on-line, distance learning.  The third year consist of on-line classes only.  These classes convene on weekends during weeks one through sixteen of the the final two semesters.

Years one and two of ATMP focus on advanced theory of Tibetan medicine, core-curriculum, comparative studies and the integration of complementary body, energy and mind disciplines which are integral to the advanced TM practitioner’s development.  The third year of classes focus on preparing a dissertation and guiding student’s in research and development.

The ATMP has been recognized by Qinghai University Tibetan Medical College (QUTMC) as being equivalent to its own shes ram pagraduate program. Third-year students of ATMP are permitted to enroll at the most advanced level of the QUTMC graduate program and to receive master degrees from QUTMC upon successful completion of his or her thesis presentation.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Live Webcast with Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Giving the Lung for the Dra Thalgyur Tantra

Choegyal Namkhai Norbu will offer the Lung/Reading Transmission of The Dra Thalgyur, the root Upadesha tantra of The Dzogchen Teaching. He has specifically requested that everyone who wants to participate listens to the complete Lung and remain for the entire Transmission, “not even going to the toilet”, “otherwise the Lung has no value”. This applies if you attend via webcast or receive the Lung in Dzamling Gar, so if you will participate, it is necessary to be present for all sessions, arrive early for each session, and do not leave until each session has ended.

The schedule for the Event is Friday, May 8 at 5-7 PM Tenerife time (GMT+1), Saturday, May 9 at 10 AM - 12 Tenerife time (GMT+1) and Sunday, May 10 at 10 AM-12 Tenerife time (GMT+1).

Jeremy will be projecting webcast to screen in the Tsegyagar East Schoolhouse Gompa . Friday, May 8th 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST Saturday, May 9th 5:00 am - 7:00 am and Sunday, May 10th 5:00 am - 7:00 

Dra Thalgyur (sgra thal ‘gyur) is the abbreviated title of the Dzogchen Upadesha Tantra named rin po che ‘byung bar byed pa sgra thal ‘gyur chen po’i rgyud. Guru Garab Dorje re-transmitted this tantra about 300 years before Jesus was born. The Dra Thalgyur has 6 chapters with a total of 168 questions & answers in about 200 folios. These questions include everything we always wanted to know about Dzogchen but did not know how to ask. It is the most important Dzogchen text but it is very difficult and condensed. During a period of about 3 years, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu edited 2 editions of Vimalamitra’s commentary on the Dra Thalgyur. Korde Randrol (‘khor ‘das rang grol) means the self-liberation of samsara and nirvana. We are very fortunate that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu will transmit these profound teachings. (Jim Valby, 2013)

This is a very special event for anyone interested in Dzogchen. 

Yantra Yoga Instructor Naomi Zeitz and Santi Maha Sangha Base Instructor Lynn Newdome Collaborate for an Online Course on Kumbhaka and the 7th Lojong

[Photo compliments,The Mirror]

On April 18th-19th, Naomi Zeitz and Lynn Newdome presented a joint course on Kumbhaka and the 7th Lojong.

The 7th of the Seven Mind Trainings presented in The Precious Vase are the three trainings in Meditative Stability in the State Beyond Thought. The text presents three types of practice, training in the state through pleasure and emptiness, through clarity and emptiness and training in the ultimate nature of reality (bar rlung).

In order to apply these three practices one must have some mastery of kumbhaka. So to this end, this course will focus on the theoretical aspect of kumbhaka, and more importantly the application of the methods of Yantra Yoga that help us to understand and apply Kumbhaka.

Over 20 people attended the course online.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The News from Tsegyalgar East

Photo by Sean Quinn

Dear Vajra Brothers and Sisters,


Sending Spring greetings and excited murmurs as we prepare for the arrival of our Precious Master. We wanted to send out an update to let you know what we have been working on.

Retreat Location

The Mohawk High School has been secured as the main location for Rinpoche's July retreat in MA. We will also have activities with him on Khandroling. Rinpoche has expressed that it is most important we make it easy and inviting for people to access His teachings. While several people on and off the Gakyil made a concerted effort to trouble shoot and plan the retreat with Rinpoche on the land, in the end our real circumstances did not make a retreat on Khandroling as accessible as the Mohawk venue.

Khandroling Road Project
Still the Land of the Dakinis calls; Summer 2015 on Khandroling is packed with activity. Because of generous offers to supplement cost from Community members, the Gakyil has approved a road improvement to access the land better especially after such a harsh MA winter. This is the year to get to the land and practice. Invite all your international Vajra Dance friends, Yantra Yogis and block your calendar accordingly. Here is the full schedule of courses and retreats on Khandroling .

Shine the Light 
Let's spread the word and lights together. If you or another community member you know is active on Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc and would like to help us spread the word about Rinpoche's US retreats and the Summer on Khandroling please have them write to the Blue Gakyil. Together we can create a beacon for those looking to connect with our Precious Master and the Supreme Teachings of Dzogchen.

Alignment and a Place to Call Our Own 

In other news the IDC alignment is coming close to a finalization. We will complete all documents and then arrange a community vote in order to ratify the alignment. We hope to complete this process by the time Rinpoche arrives at the end of June.

Along with the alignment the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil has approved the time share model for raising money to complete our house in Dzamling Gar. You can read the proposal that was approved in the attachment to this email. We are working closely with Tsegyalgar West Gakyil to update and finalize the proposal.

Enlightened Activity 
There are many activities that will be happening around the retreat as well as during. Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance, Intro to SMS, explanation of Ganapuja, Ganapujas and of course Khaita joyful Dances with the Maestro. A Community Meeting will be held at the time of the Retreat. Included will be an overview of our Strategic Plan for your input, a review of our financial picture, and a focus on future Khandrolling Development. We will have a more complete list of events for you soon.Sometime before Rinpoche's retreat there will be a meeting for a new project being spearheaded by Lauri Marder and Lynn Newdome. The idea will involve collaboration among all the disciplines we are using in the Dzogchen Community. The aim of the project is to introduce people outside the community to the view of working with the mind, body, and energy for development of the human capacity. Reach out to Lauri if you want to learn more

. We will also have a new members welcome team to help orient new students so bring your friends and loved ones.
Register NOW, retreats are run solely on your donations.

Tsegyalgar Wants You!

We want to collaborate with you so please let us know how you are able to help during the retreat; all forms of participation welcome. Send us an email and we'll get you coordinated with the ​right group for your offering.

For those who have not renewed their Membership, please do so as soon as possible to access all your benefits such as a new round of online courses, Rinpoche’s Retreats from all around the world, free use of the Retreat Cabins and much more. To renew, go here. This year we have a monthly payment plan through Paypal to help anyone with budget challenges
We are always happy to hear from you and look forward to meeting many of you in person come July.

With love, The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Louise Landes Levi Release of The Ming Oracle Recording

[Photo by Jacqueline Gens, Khandroling 2014]

If you are a fan of Louise's exquisite literary work and musical performances, you will appreciate the following recording, The Ming Oracle. The haunting strains of the Sarangideeply stimulates one's heart chakra, a lamentation for these times. Click below to read on and listen to a selection.

Louise Landes LeviFrom The Ming OracleLP - Sloowax 004

Recording by Louise Landes Levi on traditional bowed harp or sarangi and Hilary Jeffery (who also plays with Catherine Christer Hennix) on trombone drone. Levi studied sarangi under the guidance of Annapurna Devi and Ali Akbar Khan.

Levi & Jeffery interpret the perennial tradition of Indian raga - informed by the deep dream of the 20th century & the visionary ensembles of the mid century: The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company (Daniel Moore) & The Theatre of Eternal Music (La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela). Also an accomplished poet, the LP comes with a booklet with a selection of poems from ‘Tower 2/TARA or dc-x’, which was originally printed for the funeral rites of Simon Vinkenoog. Edition of 300 copies.

To read more, click here

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bhutan 2015 Trip with Choegyal Namkhai Norbu

Rinpoche is kindly offering again to those of his students who are interested in visiting Bhutan with him, the possibility to join him. He has asked us again (Tsering and David) to organize the trip.

We are organizing accommodation for everyone from the group in the same hotel where Rinpoche will stay and give teachings. We have already signed the contract with the hotel. There are very limited rooms.

People who are interested to participate are asked to contact David Surricchio,or Tsering Choden

We will close the registration by the end of April 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Request for Karma Yoga Helpers from the Red Gakyil

Tsegyalgar East is currently organizing and preparing for the retreat of 
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu July 1-5, 2015 this summer. In order to accomplish the many tasks involved, we need karma yoga helpers to bring the retreat to fruition.

 If you would like to participate and add your energy and skills, please contact our karma yoga coordinator, Rita Kaiser, at, or, or We need help of all kinds, so please let us know how you would like to contribute your energy. 

[Photo Kathleen Fekete]

Thanks so much.
Red Gakyil

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Day of Spring in NYC

Kathryn O’Connor captured the following images in NYC’s Thompkins Square Park on the first day of Spring.

[Reprinted from Facebook]

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Next International Practicing Together Date is April 4, 2015

The next international Practicing Together live webcast date is

 *Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM EDT

The webcast will originate from Hungry with a Mandarava Ganapuja
especially dedicated to the good health of our beloved Master and all those in need of healing.

Visit the link below at the designated time. 
To access the international Time converter click on EDT above. 

This time allows for the practice schedule to connect most practitioners from all
over the world so that we can follow together.

May this practice benefit all sentient beings.

For further information visit the the Practicing Together site at :

(Painting of Mandarava by Wilven Pedersen)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dzogchen Community Members from Tsegyalgar East and West visit the Tsegyalgar House at Dzamling Gar

The following photo of members from Tsegyalgar East and West was taken by photographer Felicia Murray in Dzamllng Gar while reviewing the Tsegyalgar House. Each Summer and Winter Gar received a shared house as part of the International Gar which they are responsible for building beyond what is minimally there. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, here are a few photos of the Tsegyalgar House.

Special Announcement about the Worldwide Day of the Dance of the Vajra on March 15, 2015

15 March 2015

We are delighted to announce an important initiative for the Worldwide Day of the Dance of the Vajra, which this year falls on Sunday, 15 March.

At 3PM Italian time, Prima Mai will lead an explanation and practice session on the Khalongdorjeikar Dance, also known as the Dance of the Twelve As.

We will transmit this session via closed webcast to everyone who requests access in exchange for a small offering.

After the session we will post the video of the practice online since it will be a useful tool for improving your practice.

Check here for the hours corresponding to your local time zone:

If you are interested in participating, please complete this form by no later than Saturday, 14 Marchto ensure that you can receive the password on time.

To help cover the costs for organizing this course, we are asking participants to contribute an offering of 10 euros to the Dzogchen Community of Merigar. We’ll use it to cover the cost and to improve the mandala hall. ​The lings and groups can do a free offer​.
TEL. 0564 966837

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Special Offer for Vajra Dancers coming to Tsegyalgar for both retreats July 1 – 12, 2015

Our Khandroling neighbor, Marie Stella, will once again host visitors at Beaver Lodge, an eco Bed and Breakfast located 1 mile from Khandroling. Make your reservations early to save your place. 

$40 per night, per person double occupancy for Vajra Dancers who book the entire 11 days -July 1-12, 2015 minimum.

Visit or email
Telephone: 413-625-2009

Surrounded by serene woodland in conservation, the passive solar timber frame Beaver Lodge can accommodate thirteen persons. The energy efficient house and grounds emphasize sustainable landscaping and a large organic vegetable garden surrounded by decks and patio. Shared bathrooms and kitchen privleges. Cat on the premises.

Last year the Tsegyalgar East blog interviewed Marie. To read more visit here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 15, 2015 Join us for a Ganapuja followed by a Community Meeting

Anniversary of Ayu Khandro & International Day of the Vajra Dance

March 15th, 2015

Location: Schoolhouse Gonpa

6:00 PM

Dakini Ganapuja

Dakini Day Ganapuja and Anniv. Ayu Khandro -WW Vajra Dance Day - Community Gathering
5:00PM Vajra Dance Tun in costume
6:00PM Ganapuja
Community Gathering after the Ganapuja

Karen Prestwood & Cindy Thibeau would like to invite people to a community gathering immendiately following the ganapuja on 3/15/15. The purpose is to update the community and to listen to ideas, suggestions and concerns. 

For a biography of Ayu Khandro Dorje Peldron, one of the principle teachers of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu, click here

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Necklaces made by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu for Dzamling Gar Fundraising

Recently Chögyal Namkhai Norbu hard began to make necklaces as a fundraiser for Dzamling Gar's Gonpa Development project. To view the dozens of his personally crafted creations, each one unique, visit this link on the Mirror website. The project is called Evolution Creations.

Dzamling Gar is the International Gar in Tenerife, Spain. To read more about their exciting new projects visit their website at

Monday, March 2, 2015

Town and Country Winter Wonder

This winter the New England northeast has received a negative rep for being unbearably cold with harsh wind conditions, Going beyond such limited points of view, some of our community have documented the landscape with exceptional results. Facebook seems to be the repository of these pictures.
here are a few:

Kathryn O’Connor form NYC captured the East River in photos that convey the romanticism of a cityscape from bygone eras.

[Kathryn o’Connor]

[Kathryn O’Connor]

Sean Quinn from Shelburne Falls often captures photos of local farms on his way to and from work, which he posts on his Facebook page. His photos of Khanrdoling nearby during every season offer vast views via the wide angle lens he often favors when photographing on the land.  You can see many of these on the Khnadroling Facebook Page, which you can join.

Here are a few recent winter scapes of Khandroling  he posted on Facebook the other day:

[Khandroling, Sean Quinn 2/2015]

[Khandroling, Sean Quinn, 2/2015]

[Khandroling, Sean Quinn, 2/2015]

Cape Cod Bay above posted by Tibetan translator, Constance Wilkinson on her Facebook page. The Cape was specially hard hit this winter. Constance has been documenting the various extreme conditions. Below her house:

[Tara Mandala, Pagosa Springs, reprinted from TM Facebook]

If you are a shutter bug yourself send in your own winter wonderland 
photos and we will post them here.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Importance of Singing and Dancing for the Continuity of Tibetan Culture

The joyful Khaita songs and dances are now widely practiced all over the world. If you missed the charming international birthday greeting to Rinpoche back in December, here it is again. It very much conveys the flavor of this community practice.


 During the Teacher Trainings in Dzamling Gar in January, Rinpoche again addressed the importance of these Tibetan songs and dances for the continuity of Tibetan culture. The following is reprinted from the Mirror. Click onth e link below to continue with the article. 

 In the program for this retreat [the Teacher Authorizations - Jan 30-Feb.4, 2015] we also have the program of singing and dancing. This may surprise many of you, for example, that many times during retreats I not only explain the Teaching and we practice together, but we also sing and dance. When I start singing and dancing most people go away. They think, “I do not enjoy this singing and dancing, this is not Dzogchen, this is not teaching”, and some people may also think, “Oh, our Teacher is doing stupid work, always singing and dancing instead of doing practice.” I imagine they have this kind of idea and that’s why they do not remain and are not participating.  To continue Reprinted from the Mirror 

The Tsegyalgar East blog has covered this story over the past year or so from both a Tibetan perspective and Western. 
Visit the links here:

Friday, February 27, 2015

More photos from Losar

Sean Quinn, one of the community photographers took the following photos at Tsegyalgar East

In the gonpa

Dr. Phuntso Wangmo explaining the traditon of the divination soup
(seen below)

All photos by Sean Quinn reprinted from his Facebook page

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mandarava Ganapua at Tsegyakgar East

Saturday, March 1,  there will be a Webcast of Mandarava Ganapuja at 
11 am EST in the schoolhouse gonpa at Tsegyalgar East. Participants will need to prepare food for the puja either before the 9:30 am Mudra explanation or sometime before the 11:00 am webcast puja begins.

Staying to clean up afterwards would be very appreciated.