Saturday, January 7, 2017

Breath and Kumbhaka 8 Week Course with Paula Barry Beginning Monday, January 9, 2017

Breath/Kumbhaka 8 week course

Date:January 9th to February 27th, 2017.
Category:Yantra Yoga Course
Location:Tsegyalgar East Schoolhouse Gonpa
Breath/Kumbhaka 8 week course
Mondays: 5pm-6:30pm with Paula Barry

Suggested Donation of $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds).

In this 8 week series of classes we will begin with breathing exercises and demonstrative yet simple movements that will facilitate the 'unlocking' of the complete breathing so that we will be able to then work with the breath in order to discover and experience the different kinds of inhalation, exhalation, and holds that are necessary for working with and controlling the breath. Once we have begun to establish this knowledge (in the first class) we will continue to develop this with the application of the kumbhaka hold. Over the series of 8 weeks we will apply this knowledge adding visualization, in order to practice of the Seventh Lojong, and some of the profound Pranayamas of the 5 Series of Yantra Yoga. This should be a fun class suitable to all practitioners with transmission and a desire to master and practice the profound methods of Pranayama. It does not require flexibility or strength, merely the ability or the desire to sit in any position with a straight back.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tashi Mannox To return to the US for a Collaborative Workshop Sponsored by Shang Shung Institute and Khandrolng Paper Cooperative.

I bow down to the tradition, I don’t wish to compromise the tradition in the contemporary art I create, I don’t want to water anything down, if anything I want to promote the tradition of Tibetan Calligraphy in a contemporary way. I was trained that way -- Tashi Mannox

Tashi at Tsegyalgar East, teaching Tibetan Calligraphy, 2014, photo by Jacqueline Gens

Shang Shung Institute and Khandroling Paper Cooperative are pleased to announce that Tashi Mannox is scheduled to teach another Tibetan Calligraphy Workshop at Tsegyalgar East the Weekend of May 6 & 7, 2017. Further program information and schedule TBA.

The following link is to an in depth interview with Tashi Mannox by Jacqueline Gens reprinted from the Mirror in April, 2014 following his amazing 2014 workshop. 

To read about Tashi's previous workshop visit Khandroling Paper Cooperative page from 2014 with a slide show and review. 

Participants traveling from out of town may stay in the dormitory onsite for a modest fee or may select other lodging options from Tsegyalgar East's lodging page here. For directions, visit Tsegyalgar East information here [scroll past the 2015 Mohawk School venue info].

To reserve limited space in the dorm, please contact Jeremy, at 

Pamela traveled from California to attend the 2014 workshop, photo by Jacqueline Gens

For further information about Tashi Mannox and his work, visit his website at 

Birth Announcement for Atlas Samten Dorje

 Atlas Samten Dorje was born to Sydney Maresca and Tashi Kaiser (Kundrolling, NYC) on November 19th, 2016, in Kingston, NY. Mama, baby and Papa are healthy and happy.*

*Reprinted from the Mirror

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Invitation to Visit Tsegyalgar East

Photo of Nancy Paris, Tsegyalgar East Webmaster by Jacqueline Gens, 2016

Dear Vajra Sisters and Brothers,

We'd like to invite any and all volunteers interested in helping with the maintenance of our Gar. You can come and stay for a week, a month, or even three. Motivated self-starters are especially welcome!

Some things to do include:

Cleaning is a steady need, including sweeping the main hall floors as needed and spot mopping as needed, setting up and breaking down/cleaning for Ganapujas.
If somebody is interested in collaborating with our Geko, Jeremy to manage the Gonpa, this would be fabulous.

Other things to do include setting up/breaking down and cleaning for any practices or courses as needed, setting thermostat, lighting, helping manage compost and trash and loading the truck about once a week, shoveling snow away from building as needed.
Stir your creative juices with some painting on the (North) wall, doors here, and touch up spots there. 

Organizing the tool room and rooms in the basement would be a great thing to do.
Cleaning up and fixing up the room Nary was in has been a work in progress. Would you like to be part of this effort? The closet in the Kitchen needs finished and sealed up.
If interested, and we hope you are, please write Jeremy at

Thanks for your support. Please encourage other Vajra Siblings you know of that may be interested in helping...

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Coming Soon Year of the Fire Rooster February 27-March 1, 2017

A preview of our annual Losar poem/image collaboration for 2017 
with original painting by Ingmar Pema Dechen, a visionary artist of
the Dzogchen Community and member of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative.
Visit some of her art here online at:

the annual Losar poem is currently in progress.........

Saturday, December 31, 2016

News from Khandroling Paper Cooperative

In 2016 Khandroling Paper Cooperative presented a  number of workshops and open studios related to papermaking and contemplative arts. To review these past programs in 2016, visit the Khandroling Paper Cooperative Blog. 2017 inaugurates the Year of the Lotus and Khandroling Paper Cooperative's participation in the 250th Anniversary of the town of Conway, MA on June 16, 17, 18, 2017

A link to an article on Khandroling paper Cooperative in the Greenfield Recorder. 

For over 30 years the Dzogchen Community in Conway, MA, which was founded by Tibetan scholar and master Teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has continued to provide a container for his numerous activities in North America including the Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine, Asia and the International Dzogchen Community. Additional retreat facilities known as Khandroling are located in the nearby hill town of Buckland. 

Khandroling Paper Cooperative studios are found in the yellow schoolhouse formerly the Old Conway Grammar School, which has scheduled several events for the 250th Anniversary of Conway, meeting with the Town Committee organizing the three-day event in October of 2016.  These events include:

1)  Making a thousand (1008) origami lotuses for a paper float by local residents at our monthly and weekly origami club to be handed out during the parade featuring our Tibetan inspired Khaita dancers. 

2) An exhibit on the theme of the Lotus as a symbol of perfection through our Buddhist affiliation in the historic former Conway Grammar School featuring our artist members and Master Tibetan calligraphers.

3) An alumni reunion breakfast in the old Conway Grammar school for past graduates of the grammar school including the graduates of the Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine—Thus honoring the anniversary’s theme of past, present and future. 

4) The final project dedicated to the Town’s anniversary is the Conway Rags to Paper initiative for which we are seeking funding from HATCH, a local funding agency for the arts

The Khandroling Lotus Blossom project is an international endeavor to help restore the historic schoolhouse in Conway, MA site of so many Dzogchen retreats, the Shang Shung Tibetan Medicine School, and numerous community functions as the first North American Gar founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Purchased in 1995, the building continues to provide a base for the Dzogchen Community's practice life, numerous SSI educational programs in Tibetan culture, and courses in Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga and Khaita Dance. 

The Lotus is an important symbol through out all the Buddhist lineages. We will be exploring the many facets of this precious symbol of enlightened perfection and goodness which we all possess. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.


5-6:30 PM in the Library at 18 Schoolhouse Rd. Conway, MA 01341. Please join us for our Mindfulness of Origami Club with Brenda Lilly, to meet the second Thursday of every month in the Yellow Schoolhouse Library at Tsegyalgar East. This club is free.

Our newest Lotus Origami incarnation created by Brenda Lilly with the famous six-syllables of the Om Mani Pema Hum Hrih (Th jewel in the Lotus) mantra written on the six petals with the HRIH in the center.

Making Lotuses in the library, December, 2016

The building itself has special meaning to the town of Conway, MA as the first multi-class grammar school which was home to generations of children educated there. As a fitting gesture of goodwill , Khandroling Paper Cooperative on behalf of the Dzogchen Community will participate in the 250th Conway Town Anniversary Celebration to be held in 2017  with a Paper Lotus float and the distribution of thousands of handmade paper lotus blossoms. 

Brenda instructing Francine in the making of a small Lotus, Summer 2016

In dreams
they come with out-stretched hands
the color of malachite

giving, magnetizing
palms formed by leaf and wind,
torrential waters--

As they pass to me the lotus bud
grown up from mud
its stainless bloom


Rita Kaiser, Brenda Lilly and Nancy Paris, Summer Celebration on Khandroling, 2016

ART EXHIBIT - JUNE 2017 (BACKFOYER AND HALLS of the Yellow Schoolhouse) : Works related to the Theme of the Lotus and transformation (Title TBA) by KPC Artist members and workshop participants from the Rags to Paper Project (see below) including noted Tibetan calligraphers.

Calligraphy created by Tashi Mannox on Khnadroling Paper

sponsored by Khandroling Paper Members - More TBA bridging together the main theme of the 250th Anniversary consisting of Past, Present, and Future. 

CONWAY RAGS TO PAPER PROJECT - We are seeking funding from a HATCH grant for this unique project to make paper derived from Conway residents’ 100% recycled cotton rags collected from drop off sites in town FROM JANUARY-MAY, 2017.

Cutting the rag into postage size pieces for processing in the "Critter"

The hand-made paper will be the base for writing stories and poems significant to the personal transformative experiences of participants of all ages in relation to the town of Conway, whether of place, historical, personal, or mythic. This event will take place in two workshop segments led by the lead artists consisting of:

Making pulp from cut-up rags in the "Critter" our Hollander Beater


  1) April 29, 2016 An Introduction to the Art of Handmade Paper with lead artist Madeline Liebling who will direct individuals into creating dynamic sheets of paper for their literary works from the Conway Rags.

Making that first piece of paper-- a magical experience

2) May 1, 2017  Literary Workshop with Jacqueline Gens who will introduce writing exercises to stimulate original writing in a variety of forms onto the previously made paper either via, calligraphy, stamping or digital transfer.

A Poetrymind writing group taught by Jacqueline Gens

Artist members of the cooperative will then assemble in Open Studios, the completed works on scrolls, in accordion books and mounted paper mural to exhibit during the three-day celebration in the yellow schoolhouse and/or another venue in town currently being researched (TBA) during June 16, 17, 18, 2017.  Writers may elect to read their works as part of this exhibit during the three-day event.

This project seeks to bring together the transformative power of place, materials and personal evolution over time through the medium of papermaking and storytelling within the context of an important cultural event. Our presence in the historic yellow schoolhouse at the top of the hill will bridge together past, present and future educational and artistic aspirations for those involved in the making and in the viewing of our final works.

We invite local residents to participate in this collectively transformative event. 
For further information contact Jacqueline at

The famous six syllable mantra Om Mani Pema Hum Hrih executed in Tashi's 2014 workshop at Tsegyalgar

Other featured programs for 2017 in development include: 
  • Return of world famous Tibetan calligrapher Tashi Mannox in collaboration with Shang Shung Institute for the weekend of May 6-7, 2017.
  • Children's programs in origami and mask-making
  • Open Studios in beginning and advanced papermaking, printmaking, and origami meet weekly ( Sundays and Tuesdays). Please call to confirm: 413-522-1125
  • Annual three day paper fest on Khandroling 
  • Participation in local fairs and art shows
Best Wishes and Happy New Year!!!

*Poem by Glen Eddy and Jacqueline Gens, 2008

Year-End Greetings from Shang Shung Institute

Monday, December 26, 2016

Enrico Dell'Angelo of Shang Shung Institute dies Today December 26, 2016

Enrico Dell'Angelo and his partner Isabel Wagner in Bhutan, 2014

Enrico was among the first students of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. He was an early director of The International Shang Shung Institute founded in Italy in 1989 by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and inaugurated in 1990 by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. At the time of his death he was the Director of the newly formed Shang Shung Foundation. 

In recent years Enrico was a leading member of the International Dzogchen Community (IDC) and a member of the International Gakyil on Red. A testimonial of his many years service to the Community may be forthcoming. 

There will be open webcast 

of Shitro practice for Enrico Dell’Angelo 

with Rinpoche from Dzamling Gar
on Wednesday 28th Decemeber at 3:00pm (Tenerife time GMT +0:00). 10am EST


A Message from Jeremy on the Future of Tsegyalgar East

Before it got cold, I went searching for the 15+ trees in pots that Nary had. He built a couple platforms in the basement of the Schoolhouse to store them for the winter to protect them, and he did last winter. So a few of us searched for them one day, only found maybe 3 potted plants. He must have planted them all right before he checked out he he.........

Join us in the great dance of collaboration giving what you can whether energy, your practice, the green stuff or your positive thoughts for the well-being of all. 

A Season's Message from the Tsegyalar East Gakyil

Dear Vajra Brothers and Sisters,

Warm greetings from Tsegyalgar East. We are writing to share an update on end of year happenings and plans for next year.

End of year donations are welcome and very much appreciated. All donations are tax deductible. There are many causes that you can offer to that will greatly help to support Rinpoche’s Vision for our Dzogchen Community and Tsegyalgar East. Some examples include:

· Helping with the development of Dzamling Gar Gompa and our Gar’s House there
· Retreat Cabin development and repairs on Khandroling
· A newly developed fund to support our Community’s Authorized Teachers
· Donating to the planning funds for our 2nd Annual Tsegyalgar East Summer Celebration on Khandroling next year.

You can click here to visit the donation page and select your cause.

Here are some brief updates to share:

· Membership is very important to our Teacher and Community. We’ve made some changes to our 2017 Tsegyalgar East Membership options to accommodate everybody. This includes a new Ordinary Reduced membership tier that is available for people in low income situations, Veterans, and other special cases. Sign-up for 2017 membership will be available on January 1st.

· The grant application for $175,000 to cover the cost of replacing the Schoolhouse roof and constructing an accessibility ramp is nearly finalized and will be submitted soon to the town of Conway, MA for funds they make available as a result of the Community Preservation Act, a special fund to be used for historic preservation. A special thanks for our Vajra Brother Ed Matheny for all his hard work in leading and developing the application.

· The Tsegyalgar East House at Dzamling Gar is coming along beautifully. A special thanks for Kyu Kyuno for helping to furnish and coordinate the final touches on our incredible gift from Rinpoche. It is almost booked for upcoming retreats. If you plan to visit and reside at Dzamling Gar, please read about the view and what it means to reside in Dzamling Gar.

· Earlier this month (December 8-11), a new Museum of Asian Art and Culture opened in Merigar West. Our Vajra Brother Ed Hayes thoughtfully traveled to the event, gave a brief overview presentation about Tsegyalgar East, and presented Rinpoche with a beautiful gift, a ring with Rinpoche’s name engraved in it, on behalf of our Gar.

· If you are interested in learning more about the detailed work of the Gakyil, we invite you to download meeting minutes and read about the many happenings at Tsegyalgar East. Gakyil meeting minutes are available here.

The 2017 Tsegyalgar East Program of courses and retreat offerings is not yet finalized. Here is a tentative incomplete schedule for events we’ve confirmed thus far for 2017:

· January 9-February 27th: 8 week Yantra Yoga Monday evening class, 5-6:30pm

· January 28-May 20th: Yantra Yoga, Pranayama and Yantras of one of the Five Series beginning with the First Series and moving sequentially through the series (5 Saturdays: 
January 28, February 11, March 18, April 29, May 20)

· January 11th-ongoing: Yantra Yoga, 2nd Wednesday of each month, 4:30-6:30pm

· February 25-26th: Purification of 6 Lokas Practice Weekend

· March 12th: Worldwide Transmission of Guru Garab Dorje

· March 25-26th: Irregular Dance of the 3 Vajras Practice Weekend

· April 21-23rd: The Vajra Dance that Benefits Beings Course

· May 26-29th: Vajra Dance of the Song of the Vajra Course Part 1

· June 17-20th: Vajra Dance of the Song of the Vajra Course Part 2

· July 1-4th: Vajra Dance of the Song of the Vajra Course Part 3

· July 17- 23 2nd Annual Tsegyalgar East Summer Celebration

· July 24-August 6th: International Yantra Yoga Teacher Laura Evangelisti teaching at Tsegyalgar East (details will be announced soon)

· August 7-21st: International Vajra Dance Teaching Prima Maya teaching at Tsegyalgar East (details will be announced soon)

More programs are planned, including for fall 2017. Details will be announced as soon as we have them.

Warm wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season and New Year.
Love,Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sason's Greetings 2016 from Tsegyalgar East

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.... -Chögyal Namkhai Norbu 
Reprinted from "Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State" (Part 1.1)
SEASON’S GREETINGS and Love to all From Tsegyalgar East
[Photo credit: Dharamsala candle by  Rosemary Rawcliff]
*Poem by Mark Strand Reprinted from the Academy of American Poets website

Ram's Horn, A Winter Letter: 21 December from Margaret Jasinski

To be in touch with our own humanity is a simple celebration of life.We are alive every the day of our lives.But we are easily distracted and looking in many directions; as a result contact with being alive is not easy.

And we want something very much. We are very hungry, and though this hunger is deep within in us we are at a loss to name it. So we provide secret names and turn it into a myriad of substitutes: each one holds our hunger for a while and we are sated until the hunger seizes upon us again.

We must have food. As human beings we cannot get along without it. The staff of life is bread, as the saying goes, yet once we have taken bread our hunger does not disappear. Because is it not only hunger. We feed upon more than bread, we demand much more: if hunger were as simple as bread, then I would become a lady and bake loaves.

We are hungry for contact which means that our aliveness can be alive, sprung into existence by touch in many forms. We are fed by the nourishment of humanity each to each. As such we create holding, an invisible nexus from which to enact and maintain. We provide holding for others and ourselves: it is an exchange of giving and receiving.

Holding enmeshes into itself, producing a subtle environment so we do not disappear, so we do not take our hunger to the streets, so it is not preyed upon by strangers, so it is not displaced by intoxicants or yummy foods to gobble, so it not twisted into the many forms of escape like dullness, obsession, aversion, resistance, games of inferiority and superiority, big and small. So it is not hated, or derided or turned into a pet or enslaved or put into the service of appearance or stuck in a pantheon.

Hunger has more than one hundred and eight variations. It spans into every cell of the body as it inhabits our minds unceasingly. I am hungry and therefore I know something of the human condition. How I am conditioned to respond to hunger is another matter, and here the story of hunger turns inside, it comes from within itself like the the very first curl of a ram’s horn making a spiral of its own volition. The potentiality of this horn is enfolded into the intelligence of aliveness from before birth; this potentiality is hidden at birth: he is a darling baby, a lamb, and while he is this outwardly, nature works from the inside, starting the course of the spiral which grows all by itself.( though in recent years this ubiquitous biological phenomena has a mathematical name, Fibonacci). This name marks the spiral of aliveness which began in the folds of nature, in the mystery of birth. Birth gives rise to becoming. Life feeds upon that from which it is made: this is how it functions. On this earth we are born, it is our nature, our nativity. All beings are born- to be on contact with humanity. To be in contact with humanity liberates human hunger and its conditioning. So that life is life, what we are made of, enfolded with the unknown.

Coming from Cape Breton,Nova Scotia, Margaret has experienced many happy moments with a pencil in hand. She penciled two novels for children and more essays than "you can shake a stick at," as they say on the island. She has been a dedicated student of Rinpoche for six years.