Sunday, April 8, 2018

Help Liam Shannon Sing Opera this Summer

Liam Shannon, son of Miranda and John Shannon has an opportunity to study opera this summer in Italy. We love to support our younger generation. He writes: 

My name is Liam Shannon. I am 20 years old, and I study classical voice on a scholarship at Bennington College.

Music has always been my greatest passion. I started violin lessons at the age of six, and I played with the Springfield Youth Orchestra from late middle school through high school.  I added piano lessons at age 12, and subsequently went through a heavy metal band phase, where I played keyboards and sang.

And then I discovered opera at the age of 14! At that time I also learned that I loved theater and began acting in numerous productions.  Over time I realized that theater, singing and music could create opera. I now wanted to study voice, but it took me until I was just shy of 18 to tell my parents. Finances have been a great obstacle, but thanks to the care and kindness of my first voice teacher, Melinda Beasi, I was able to start pursuing my dream. Concurrently, I auditioned for and was accepted into the Springfield Symphony Chorus by chorus director Nikki Stoia who also appointed me the baritone section leader.

Recently I auditioned and was accepted at the Opera Lucca summer program in Lucca, Italy, recommended to me by my amazing classical voice professor, Tom Bogdan.  This program takes place June 11 through July 6, 2018.  It gives young singers the opportunities, or opera-tunities, to go to Tuscany for three weeks, and study opera in depth and simultaneously study Italian in a total immersion language program.

In order to attend the Opera Lucca Summer Program, I need your financial support. I am one of five highly artistic siblings, and my family is of modest means.  I have a work study job, and am saving up to help fund my trip. However, I need your help.

I need to raise $5,000 to help cover tuition, travel expenses, room and board by early June.  

Tuition: $2,800
Lodging: $600
Airfare: $1,200
Transportation: $300
Incidentals: $250

Total: $6,100

Please help me do what I love.
Thank you!

VISIT HIS Gofundme page below:         

He also has several You Tube videos you can see here: 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Lively Weekend at the Tsegyalgar East Schoolhouse Friday, March 9 - Sunday, March 11, 2018

Join us for a lively weekend starting tomorrow:

Friday, March 9 at 7:00pm - Monthly Movie Night Educational Series Presents Digital Dharma, a documentary by Dafna Yachin

Saturday, March 10: Vajra Dance of the Song of the Vajra for Beginners Course with authorized instructor Bodhi Krause. Drop-ins welcome if experienced.

Sunday, March 11: International Vajra Dance Day - full day including Collective Practices, Vajra Dance, and Dakini Day Ganapuja.

For full schedule, please visit: March 9 - March 11 Weekend Schedule
Transmission required for some courses and practices: World Wide Transmission (WWT) Information

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Greetings on Losar from Tsegyalgar East -Year of the Earth Dog

Year of the Earth Dog

Oh you Earth Dog come
Now happiness wagging
Your familial greeting
That cheers us up as I bend to you my lovely
In display of your canine Sagacity
Ever Loyal--
                 Ever Reliable
Follow your keen scent
For sniffing out what’s apparent
Bury the bone of your content
Within our breast
For Safe Keeping
Humanitarian sustenance of justice
With your nose to the grindstone
Bark at shadows wrecking havoc at our door Growl baring teeth to terrify
Cowards who roust our peace
Lift a leg to leave your mark
While yet you enliven our joy lest we forget
The great companion you are
Forever by our side

Text by Jacqueline Gens
Illustration by Ingmar Pema Dechen

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Xitro Practice for Mark Wellens at Tsegyalgar East on February 11, 2018

Collective Practices - Xitro Practice

Led by Paula Barry and Gerry Steinberg
Location: Tsegyalgar East Schoolhouse Gonpa
Time: 9:30am-10:30am
Requires transmission to attend.*
The Sunday practice is Xitro, to benefit the passing of Mark Wellens February 10,  2018, and all our Vajra brothers and sisters who have recently died, and for all those who may be in need.
Practitioners are encouraged to prepare for Sunday practices by reading and/or listening to the following materials:
Shang Shung Institute USA Bookstore, reserved items:*
The Collective Practice will be Webcast:
Stay on the Tsegyalgar East Webcast page, for both computer and mobile devices.
Don't click on the live stream & mobile stream link at the top of the page. If your computer doesn't connect to the webcast try your cell phone. Send us your feedback: email, let us know that you participated in the webcast or if you had any problems connecting.

Donate to Tsegyalgar Webcast: Donate Now

*Some practices & courses require transmission to attend. Worldwide Transmission: more info >>
**Shang Shung Institute Shop Reserved Items: Reserved Items are the material intended for the Dzogchen Community. In order to purchase these items one must have received Direct Introduction from Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, as well as Transmission for the specific practice. In order to purchase Closed Webcasts MP3’s one must also have attended that particular Retreat.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Passing of Mark Wellens on February 10, 2018

Mark Wellens (far left) on Vajra Dance Mandala 

We are sorry to hear of the passing of Mark Wellens on February 10, 2018, practitioner and frequent participant in Tsegyalgar East retreats. Mark was the brother of Rita Kaiser, brother -in-law to Harvey Kaiser and uncle to Tashi Kaiser of the New York Dzogchen Community.

Mark and Rita

Dear All, hello,
Sadly, we announce the passing of our beloved brother,uncle,son, Mark Wellens, 69, earlier today at his home in Acworth, New Hampshire. Please collaborate with us in his Shitro.

Thank you,
Highest regards,
Rita & Harvey

Further details forthcoming.

Tashi and Mark

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pre-Order Lama Tsultrim Allione's Newest Publication - Wisdom Rising - A Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine

Drawing on her experience as a Tibetan Buddhist nun, turned mother, who became a best-selling author and world-renowned Buddhist teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione offers a guide to access a previously forbidden aspect of the feminine: the fierce wise Dakini, whose juicy potency is needed to meet the gale force winds of the current world situation. This is a dynamic spiritual model based on 1000-year-old tradition coming from Tibet. Through the Dakini Mandala, a universal template of wholeness, each of the five Dakinis transforms an emotional pattern into wisdom, giving us a practical method that enables us to find strength and wholeness within, empowering us to become effective agents of transformation and wisdom in our world.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Please Donate to Tsegyalgar East 2017 Year-End Fundraising Campaign!

Your support is vital to helping us meet the costs of general operations, as well as the costs of developing outreach to attract new members, bringing in more international teachers, and updating the facilities where our programs take place.

Thank you and with much gratitude from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Holloween from Tsegyalgar East

photo and flower installation 
by  Adishakti Laila Reiss and company
reprinted from Facebook

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monthly Movie Night: Presents Kundun at Tsegyalgar East

Tsegyagar East invites everyone to join us for a motion picture masterpiece directed  by five-time Academy Award -nominated director Martin Scorsese. 

Free & Open to the public
Delicious Concessions - Donations Welcome 
Date: Thursday, November 9th at 7:00pm.
Location: Tsegyalgar Schoolhouse, 18 Schoolhouse Road, 
Conway, MA 01341

It's the true story of Tibet's leader, the Dalai Lama. and his daring struggle to rule a nation at one of the most challenging times in its history.

Run Time: 134 minutes
Rated: PG-13

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rosa Namkhai to Celebrate her Birthday on Monday, October 23, 2017 in Dzamling Gar

Supreme Mother 
of  Wild Yogins
Heart of Gold 
Vajra Queen 

Thank you for all your years of service
Thank you for bearing with us
rough tiger cubs 
nipping at your heels 
Thank you for
taking care of our

Golden Lady of Luminosity 
We love you!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Malcolm Smith Interview with Wisdom Pubications

Visit Wisdom Publications' lively  and brilliant Podcast with Malcom Smith,  translator of  Buddhahood in This Life.

Malcolm speaks about his early influences; the compelling role Abidharma informed his early studies; his study of the Tibetan language and  numerous topics he discusses in regard to Dzogchen and the art of translation.

Buddhahood in This Life
The Great Commentary by Vimalamitra

Available for the first time in English, Buddhahood in This Life presents the Great Commentary of Vimalamitra—one of the earliest and most influential texts in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It explores the theory and practice of the Great Perfection tradition in detail, shows how Dzogchen meditation relates to the entirety of the Buddhist path, and outlines how we can understand buddhahood—and even achieve it in our lifetime.

- See more at:

Discover a profound text that has influenced Tibetan teachers for generations. Buddhahood in This Life is a complete translation of the earliest Tibetan commentary on the Dzogchen secret instructions.

Malcolm Smith is a graduate of the Shang Shung Institute’s School of Tibetan Medicine (2009) and has been a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu since 1992. He is a veteran of a traditional three-year solitary Tibetan Buddhist retreat, a published translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts (in Treasures of the Sakya Lineage, Shambhala, 2008), and was awarded the Acharya degree by the Sakya Institute in 2004. In addition, he is a licensed massage therapist and has cross-trained in Ayurvedic bodywork at Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda. He lives in Ashfield, Massachusetts.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monthly Movie Night at Tsegyalgar East

Monthly Movie Night Presents: 
Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt
at the Tsegyalgar Schoolhouse, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA
This event is sponsored by the Shang Shung Institute and IDC at Tsegyalgar East.  
Thursday October 12 at 7:00pm
FREE to the Public
Delicious Concession Stand - Donations Welcome.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Review by Jacqueline Gens of Enlightened Vagabond: The Life and Times of Patrul Rinpoche Published in Levekunst

To read the full review visit Levekunst

Enlightened Vagabond
The Life and Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche
Collected and Translated by Matthieu Ricard
Edited by Constance Wilkinson
Shambhala Publications
Boulder, 2017, 282 pages

His (Patrul's) self-deprecating humor and keen intellect combined with a vast heart pierce the human yearning for authenticity amid the sorrows of sentient life. His words go beyond poetic conceits and cultural baggage. In any case, I have remained wildly enthusiastic about the works of Patrul Rinpoche for decades now. The current publication is a much awaited event to carry his mindstream further into the 21st century. If you are unfamiliar with his work, you’re in for a special experience when coming into contact with him. Please read him. If he is an old heart friend, Enlightened Vagabond will not disappoint! -Jacqueline Gens

To purchase this book here is the Amazon link.

An interview with editor Constance Wilkinson is in the works....coming  soon!

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Two-day Workshop to Make Lanterns

Origami Lantern
Photo by Sheryl Jaffee

Khandroling Paper Cooperative located at 18 Schoolhouse Rd. in Conway, MA in the basement of the yellow schoolhouse invites you to join us for a pre-holiday 2-Day Workshop to make a variety of lanterns with your own handmade paper.

Saturday, November 4 - Part 1 with Sheryl Jaffe to make your paper

Saturday, November 18 - Part 2 with Brenda Lilly to make your lamps including an origami vase

In this two-day workshop you will learn how to make beautiful translucent papers with flecks of natural fibers. Then learn how to fold your paper into beautiful origami lanterns that can sit on your window and illuminate your evening with sunlight transformed.

Come and make paper to hold some light. A solar light in your window, make the paper from plants, bring the sun into your living room after dark. The solar lamp will offer warmth and inspiration for the way of light. The paper will hold it. Design your own with our guidance, for fun and light.

A members show on the theme of Light will be on view in the back foyer of the yellow schoolhouse from November 11-December 31, 2017. Opening reception TBA

For further information visit our blog at or call Jacqueline at 413-522-1125 to pre-register or write

Recommended donation $75 for both days or by donation according to your circumstances.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anasuya Weil publishes B is for Buddha: An Enlightened Alphabet Book

Anasuya Weil - a graduate of the first class of Tibetan Medicine from Shang Shung Institute at Tsegyagar East, is a grandmother of five children, biological mother of three and surrogate parent for at least three others.

She lived in India for two years, a Buddhist practitioner since 1971, and experienced the great fortune to study with many amazing Buddhist teachers and lamas. The teachings of the Buddha have been a refuge and support. Her root Guru is Neem Keroli Baba and his kindness towards all has always been an inspiration. Anasuya currently practices Tibetan medicine in Northampton, MA.

She writes: 

The idea of this book came to me while I was sitting a six week silent retreat. It was intended as a Christmas gift to my grandchildren. Although I have practiced Buddhism since I was 19, for many years I did not call myself Buddhist. It seemed that it was enough to be a good person and I wanted my children to have the freedom to choose their own belief or religion. As I got older I became more open to using that terminology because I follow the Buddhist path and because I wanted my children to have clarity about my own choice. It is certainly not necessary to be a "Buddhist." We all want our children to be happy, healthy, caring human beings that contribute to society and find meaning in their lives. How can we help that happen? 

--To read more and hear readings by Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg and Lama Surya Das, go here

Friday, September 15, 2017

3rd Series of Yantra Yoga & The Pranayama of the Secret Breathing for Directing the Prana into the Central Channel or Humkara, at Tsegyalgar East, with Yantra Yoga Instructor Naomi Zeitz

On the weekend of September 23rd and 24th, Yantra Yoga instructor Naomi Zeitz, will be teaching the first of three Yantra Yoga fall weekends starting with the 3rd Series of Yantra Yoga & the Pranayama of the Secret Breathing for Directing the Prana into the Central Channel or Humkara. 

Transmission is required

The course will take place at the Schoolhouse Gonpa, 18 Schoolhouse Rd, Conway, MA 01341.

Saturday: 9:30am-noon; 3:30pm-6pm
Sunday: 9:30am -noon

$75/full course; $30/session

Register and pay online

**All fees are suggested donations only. Those who are able to, please pay the full fee in support of the Teachings and Tsegyalgar East's operational costs. Those unable to pay suggested amount will not be turned away for lack of funds.

This course focuses on the yantras and the pranayama of the third series, the Secret Breathing for Directing the Prana into the Central Channel. We will extensively practice additional breathing techniques along with the preliminaries of Yantra Yoga to prepare for the movements and the pranayama. Simple modifications for the yantras will be offered to those who need it. 

The 3rd series is a wonderful series and is not too physically challenging, and works with the 5 emotions which is very beneficial.

Movements and functions:
  • Bow - To eliminate obstacles related to being dominated by attachment.
  • Half Moon - To eliminate obstacles related to being dominated by hatred.
  • Lion - To eliminate obstacles related to being dominated by ignorance. (Good for students of Santi Maha Sangha)
  • Vulture - To eliminate obstacles related to being dominated by pride.
  • Triangle - To eliminate obstacles related to being dominated by jealousy.
Experience with the preliminary series of Yantra Yoga important. There will not be time to teach the preliminaries and they are essential for working with the later series and pranayamas. 

Naomi is a second level Yantra Yoga instructor authorized in 2008 and again in 2010 by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She has taught throughout the US, in Canada, Italy, Argentina, Spain, Israel and Venezuela. Naomi is known for her gentle and precise methods, her humor and her capacity to transmit the powerful and profoundly beneficial methods of Yantra Yoga. She specializes in breathing training and working with people of all ages and physical conditions. 


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Marilyn McArthur's article, "Times Past: Jittery student floats through meditative traditions of New England learning" appeared in The Greenfield Recorder.

Marilyn McArthur's article, "Times Past: Jittery student floats through meditative traditions of New England learning" appeared in The Greenfield Recorder.   

“Now class, we will sit silently until the bell rings.”
We were suspended on the brink of the weekend, each alone at an immovable desk, and enveloped in a deeply calm and relaxed atmosphere of our mutual creation.
This was how Friday afternoons ended at my new school in second grade. Lately, I wonder how Miss Murphy routinely accomplished that feat of peacefulness with the 30 children in her class at Vernon Street School.
We had cleaned out our desks and filled the wastebasket in the corner with all the scrap paper of the week. Books and notebooks were arranged neatly in our desks and on shelves around the room.  
 Meanwhile, Miss Murphy had washed the blackboards with a big sponge, and someone had stepped outside to clap the erasers free of chalk dust. Inside my desk, my pencil case was clean of shavings, and my eight crayons were lined up in rainbow formation in their little tin box.  To read more, continue here

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Second Annual Tsegyalgar Summer Celebration Pictures July 2017

It was a wonderful week practicing and being together!

Group Photo by John Shannon
Photo by Fred Klarer

Photo by Fred Klarer

Photo by Fred Klarer 

Fireside after Dark by John Shannon

Live Music After Dark by John Shannon

Before Puja on the Last Day by John Shannon