Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mirror Issue 129 September 2015 NOW available for PDF Download

The Mirror, issue 129 September 2015

We are happy to inform you that the September 2015 issue of The Mirror has just been uploaded to and is available for downloading, viewing offline and printing out. This time it is more of a ‘Russian’ edition, with an excerpt from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s teaching on Guruyoga from Kunsangar North this summer, our ‘Focus on Kunsangar’, the Russian-speaking Dzogchen Community, with their numerous Lings spread across Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania, and even our ‘Featured  Artist’, Nick Dudka, a native Russian speaker.

For those interested in travel and adventure combined with Buddhist culture, Jamyang Oliphant takes us on his fascinating travels through Ladakh on behalf of Shang Shung UK’s Insight Tours this summer and then accompanies Rinpoche on his second teaching trip to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan, early in September during which he gave teachings in Paro to more than a thousand students and also inaugurated the first Bhutanese Ling in Thimpu.

A new section called ‘Traveling the World’ illustrates the many places around the globe that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has recently visited and where he has given teachings.

Our editorial for this issue, ‘Working with Others – Finding Balance’ was kindly written by Elio Guarisco. The section devoted to the Shang Shung Foundation presents some important developments for the IDC concerning Khaita Dances, a detailed description of the unique Zikhang Tibetan Library at Merigar West, as well as an account of celebrating the 10th anniversary of Shang Shung Institute’s School of Tibetan Medicine in the USA, directed by Dr. (Menpa) Phuntsog Wangmo.Giovanni Boni, the Dzamling Gar project’s engineer gives a detailed report on how work is progressing at the Global Gar in Tenerife, Spain, and the first Cinerarium in the International Dzogchen Community is inaugurated at Merigar West in August.

In addition, this issue presents three book reviews including Shang Shung Publications’ recent two-volume ‘The Dance of the Vajra’ and ‘Secret Map of the Body’, and two articles - ‘The Long and Enduring Road Home – Revisiting The Precious Vase’ by Jacqueline Gens and Emmanuel Jouan’s ‘Working with Injuries and Physical Challenges in Yantra Yoga’.

We hope you enjoy the issue!

The Mirror Staff

Beginner’s Yantra Yoga Weekend October 17 and 18 at Tsegyalgar East with Martina Kacurova

WHEN: October 17-18, 2015
TIME: 10:00 AM-12:30 PM and 3:00-5:00 PM 
LOCATION: Tsegyaglar East Schoolhouse Gonpa
18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA 01341

COST: $30 per Session or $100 Weekend

Martina is a certified local instructor of the 1st level of Yantra Yoga. She has been a student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu since 2005. She comes from The Czech Republic. Martina lives and works as a Registered Nurse in Western Massachusetts.

Yantra Yoga’s unique series of positions and movements is a superb method to attain optimal health, relaxation, and harmony through the coordination of breath and movement. This course is the foundation for further study and practice of Yantra Yoga.

We will study a system of Complete Breathing, the 9 Purification Breathings, Tsijong or Loosening of the Joints and a focus on the Lungsang, or the Eight Movements.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Join us in Person or Online for the Next Community Meeting on October 3, 2015

The next Community meeting will take place at Tsegyalgar East on 
October 3 at 6pm EST

Please join us either in person or online for our next Community meeting to discuss and vote on new and continuing gakyil members among other important updates.  The meeting in the Gonpa will be webcast to all members.  Technical and agenda details to follow soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the gonpa of the yellow schoolhouse at Tsegyalgar East on Sunday, September 21, 2015. Last year in 2014, also marked the 20th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Shang Shung Institute in October, 1994.

An article in the Greenfield Recorder featured the event.

Participants included: alumni of the Four Year and KuNye programs; invited guests from the Town of Conway; current students in the four-year online and residential programs in session; members of the Dzogchen Community and the extended family of local donors and supporters. Jigmey Sonam Yhesur, Nyima Youdon Namseling, Sangjieban, Tsepak Tsepak, Tsering Youdon - all Tibetan doctors were present to receive certificates in KuNye Therapy from the school. 

Several presentations were made prior to a sumptuous Tibetan meal. Will Shea, longtime board member of the Shang Shung Institute spoke eloquently of the school’s evolution likening the process to one of “David and Goliath” with David being the Tibetan Medicine programs created by Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo and ”Goliath” everything out there in terms of challenges. 

Dr. Anasuya Weil, an alumna of the four-year program spoke about the importance of ATMA in establishing credibility for Tibetan Medicine in the West. Drew McGlathery, a physician’s assistant currently in the four-year online program and student liaison to the Board gave a compelling account of how he came to recognize the efficacy of Tibetan Medicine. One of the most delightful moments was when Tom Hutcheson, Conway Town Administrator. spoke of the healing presence of the school for the town and how not many people really knew the scope of Shang Shung’s activities-- a matter being corrected with more outreach to the local community. A celebratory letter from Dr. Yandron Kelsang was read. Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo, founder of the Tibetan Medicine School, spoke of the acheivments of the graduates of the four-year program and the continuity of education the School of Tibetan Medicine will offer such as the new three-year Graduate program in Tibetan Medicine. 

[Current four-year students, staff and alumni attending]
[Momos, of course]

{The kids in a fortress of webkins}

Photo credits: Jacqueline Gens, 2015

Other News from Shang Shung Institute

The Dewa Fund is a newly organized Fund of the Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine. The Tibetan word Dewa means Happiness, Bliss or Comfort, and the name of the Fund reflects the function of Tibetan Medicine, to help people enjoy longer and healthier lives so that they can benefit their families, communities, and the larger world.

As we look to the future we ask for your help to ensure that the rich cultural heritage of providing Dewa through Tibetan Medicine is protected and continues to flourish. Through the Dewa Fund, you can support the continuing instruction of Tibetan Medicine, the development of the professional field, and the strategic growth of the School. We are asking all who value this ancient treasure to please join us and contribute to support Tibetan Medicine. Give the gift of long life and safeguard Tibetan Medicine by donating to the Dewa Fund.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mark your Calendar for a Fundraising Weekend with Michael Katz on Dream Yoga for Tsegyalgar’s Dzamlingar House and a Community Meeting

Michael Katz is offering a workshop on Dream Yoga as a fundraiser for Dzamlingar House #11 for Tsegyalgar East & West on October 3 & 4, 2015 at Tsegyalgar East in the gonpa. To read more about this project visit the Dzamling Gar website

Dream Yoga Workshop Schedule
Saturday,October 3:  10:00 AM-5:00 PM ***See below 6:00 PM Community Meeting

Sunday, October 4:   10:00 AM-1:30PM


To Register or Donate, click here

“If you are aware in the dream, you can experience many things within the dream state. It is easier to develop your practices in a dream than in the daytime. In the daytime we are limited by our material body, but in a dream our function of mind and our consciousness of the senses are unhindered. We can have more clarity.”
—Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light

Dream yoga refers to a practice for developing the capacity for being more active and intentional within the dream state.

In this workshop we will enhance creativity, self-exploration and spiritual/psychological growth through powerful techniques of lucid dreaming derived principally from the Tibetan dream yoga tradition. Lucidity within the dream state represents exceptional potential, and is a gateway to mastery of the dream process. Participants will join Dr. Michael Katz as he induces lucidity within a dream by combined deep relaxation training and induction. Afterword we will deepen our dream material through a process of psychodrama.

Michael Katz, author of Tibetan Dream Yoga; the Royal Road to Enlightenment, editor of Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, and author of The White Dolphin is a psychologist who has lectured and led workshops internationally on dream yoga and lucidity for personal growth. He has taught in more than 30 countries over two decades and is an SMS instructor authorized to teach Dream Yoga and meditation by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

***The Gakyil is calling a Community Meeting for Saturday Oct 3 at 6 PM to vote on the new Gakyil and to approve the budget for the upcoming year. 

Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha Course Begins

Lynn Newdome, newly appointed Santi Maha Sangha teacher of SMS base in North America inaugurated the first of 30 Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha classes drawn from the profound text, The Precious Vase by 
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. The course is offered in person at Tsegyaglar East from September - May 2016 and via podcast for those who can not attend in person.

On Sunday, September 13, 2015, thirteen individuals attended in person with 63 people signed up world-wide to receive podcasts following the first kick-off class. Tsegyalgar East also created with Lynn’s input a wonderful resource webpage with a number of unique features to assist practitioners while delving into the study of the base of SMS. Whether one is new to the Dzogchen Teachings or wishes to review the text and refresh one’s view and meditation, this is the course to take.

To view the webpage, click here.

Lynn initiated the series of classes with a day-long event which began with a marvelous historical overview of Buddhism including a large scale map tracing the route of the Buddha’s Teaching, Garab Dorje and theoretical locations of Oddiyana. The structure  involved a presentation by Lynn, a Q and A period followed by a lively discussion among the participants. Online participants may submit their questions ahead of time. 

Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha
with Lynn Newdome
Tsegyalgar East, Schoolhouse Gonpa
(also MP3 Recordings available for replay)

Starting Sunday 9/13 and continuing on Monday nights 9/14-10/26, 7:00pm - 8pm (excluding 9/21)

Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha:
the Base in (about) 30 Easy Lessons

The “effortless” state of Dzogchen can be elusive and difficult for practitioners to understand and realize. In Tibetan Buddhism, of which Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is a master, Dzogchen is presented as “Ati,” the pinnacle of all Buddhist views. This approach incorporates the various schools of Buddhism often referred to as Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. By studying and practicing these, one can build a foundation upon which to realize Dzogchen.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu thoroughly and precisely presents these teachings in The Precious Vase, explaining the core realizations of the nine yanas from a Dzogchen perspective, and giving meditation methods for direct experiences of each. Reading, contemplating and meditating, students establish the “Base” of Santi Maha Sangha.

Beginning September 13, 2015, Tsegyalgar East will host, live and via podcast, an ongoing program exploring The Precious Vase cover-to-cover. Organized into sessions of six Monday evenings with a Sunday “mini-retreat”, the course will run through about May of 2016. Classes will be led by SMS instructor Lynn Newdome, a student of 
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu who has followed Tibetan Buddhist teachings for over 40 years. The program is open to anyone who has received basic transmission from Rinpoche.

Classes will be supplemented by a website 
containing both reference materials and MP3 recordings of the talks. Students are encouraged to meet at their local centers to discuss the teachings together.

Cost: $50 per 6 week segment in class/and or MP3 recording;
or $10 per class/and or MP3 recording

Session 1: 6 weeks beginning Sun. 9/13 (Sunday Kick-off No Charge) continuing on Monday Nights for 6 weeks. 

To Register, visit here  or contact the Tsegyalgar secretary, Harold 
at 413-369-4153

Khandroling Paper Cooperative Has Found a Home

[Local teachers making paper prayer flags at Tsegyalgar East for their classroom]

We are pleased to announce that Khandroling Paper Cooperative is now located in the basement of Tsegyalgar East at 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA -- our original home. To read about our mission and see past events visit our website Khandroling Paper Cooperative

The current Open Studio Days thru November are Mondays or by appointment, Local teachers and artists are welcome to use our facility to learn about the papermaking process as well as make paper for special projects by donations. We especially invite Dzogchen Community members from around the world interested in learning how to make paper to take back to their Gars and Lings. To visit or book a session, contact Jacqueline at
or 413-522-1125. 

Special Events/Workshops from “KPC” are forthcoming. Interested individuals can read about our unique mission of recycling sacred texts into vibrant papers for sacred calligraphy, collage, journal covers and artist papers on our website/blog. 

Since 2012, Khandroling Paper Cooperative has conducted annual workshops on our retreat land in Buckland, Khandroling, hosted an international artist from Nepal, and offered many open demos and workshops to the public. In 2013 we had our first member’s gallery show in Shelburne Falls at the Ursa Major Gallery.  

Our hollander beater, fondly nick-named “The Critter” by international papermakers is a sophisticated piece of equipment that allows us to create a variety of pulps from cotton rags and fibers. Here Sheryl and Brenda, both Art Teachers in the Northampton school system are making pulp from plant fibers.

Now what do we do with all the paper we make....... Well, check back and we will show you.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

An Introduction to Yantra Yoga by Naomi Zeitz In Amherst, MA

DATE: September 26. 2015

WHEN: 2:00-4:00 PM

WHERE: 39 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, MA 01002

CONTACT: 413-475-4336 or

COST: $20

The workshop will include the nine purification breaths, series for loosening the joints and the eight movements

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Updates from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Dear Vajra Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings from the Gakyil!
We wanted to update about what's been happening since our retreat with Rinpoche in July.

During our meeting with Rinpoche in July, he emphasized that we need to be self- sustaining without relying completely on income from teachings or membership. This launched an opportunity to review our expenses and to brainstorm about ways to sustain our community and properties over time. We are in the process of developing an overall plan that will address these topics.

The Summer Programs at Khandroling were very successful- there were 3 Vajra Dance courses, a Yantra Yoga intensive and a Karma Yoga/Goma Devi Practice retreat. Many people worked very hard on Khandroling to make these courses happen and also to improve conditions at Khandroling. The Gakyil is deeply grateful for the hard work of participants.

There are many exciting programs coming up in September, October and November. Be sure to visit the website for more details.

We are calling a Community Meeting for Saturday Oct 3 at 6 PM to vote on the new Gakyil and to approve the budget for the upcoming year. More information will be upcoming about the meeting. There is still time to let us know of your interest to join the Gakyil- just send a letter of intention and something about your qualifications.

The IDC affiliation is still in process, although we are close to an agreement for voting. More information will be available at the Community meeting.

See the minutes from our August meeting for a full report of our activities.

Please email the Blue Gakyil with your comments and questions.

With Love,
The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

MunchCo Calling Premier September 20

Yantra Yoga Courses in North America with Naomi Zeitz

Yantra Yoga contains a wide range of movements that can be applied by everyone. It is a super method for attaining optimal health, relaxation, and balance through the coordination of breath and movement.

Naomi Zeitz has been a student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and Yantra Yoga since 1987 and has been an authorized Yantra Yoga instructor since 2008. Naomi specializes in teaching simple yet profound methods of breathing together with movement and working with people of all ages and physical conditions.

For daily workshop schedules and registration links visit, the following Link.

Taos, New Mexico
Introduction to Yantra Yoga
Date: October 9-11, 2015
Location: Shree Yoga Taos Yoga Studio, 112 Cam De La Placita, Taos, New Mexico 87571
Contact: Tizia
Tel. 575.776.2212

Cost: $120 payment in full includes non-refundable deposit
($50 non-refundable deposit)

Boulder, Colorado
ntroduction to Yantra Yoga
Date: October 16-18, 2015
Location: Solstice Center, 302 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Contact: Naomi Zeitz

Cost: $120 payment in full includes non-refundable deposit
($50 non-refundable deposit)

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Introduction to Yantra Yoga
Date: October 23-25, 2015
Location: Maple Street Dance Studio
Contact: Janet Mason or 505-259-7770

This is an introductory course in Yantra Yoga which includes:

  • Training in Complete Breathing
  • Nine Purification Breathings
  • Tsijong – loosening the joints
  • Lunsang – Eight Movements
  • Tsandul – controlling the channels (if there is sufficient time)
  • Vajra Wave
We will primarily focus on the Eight Movements and people can have some practice to take home with them.

Cost: $100 for the weekend, please no drop ins 

Atlanta, Georgia
Introduction to Yantra Yoga
Date: October 29 - November 1, 2015
Location: The Open Mind Center, 1575 Old Alabama Road, Roswell, GA 30076

This course will include training in complete breathing, the Nine Purification Breathings, and the three preliminary series of Yantra Yoga with a focus on Lungsang, the Eight Movements

Cost: $120 with a non-refundable $50 deposit

Contact: Matt Hayat

For local Yantra Yoga Events at Tsegyalgar East, visit the Events calendar at 

For ongoing Yantra Yoga weekly practices at Tsegyalgar East visit the Weekly Practice schedule at:

New Cooperative Business on Traditional Tibetan Medicine Launched

Dear Community,
It is with great pleasure to announce that on October 1st we will be launching a new cooperative business on Traditional Tibetan Medicine and Yantra Yoga named Sowa. Three graduates of the Shang Shung Tibetan Medicine program (Matthew Schmookler, Leela Whitcomb-Hewitt, and Adam Okerblom) are working together to create a professional web resource using standard business and marketing practices to promote our individual and collective services. 
In recognition for the need to greatly increase the exposure of Traditional Tibetan Medicine and related wellness practices such as Yantra Yoga, one of the main features of the site is a blog focused on offering simple and practical health tips based in an easy-to-digest, modern style for the general public. 
The intention of our business model is to follow Rinpoche’s years of advice on creating work cooperatives for the mutual benefit of Community member’s livelihood and the greater Community’s prosperity. To that end, our plans have been initiated in coordination with the International Shang Shung Foundation and Dzogchen Community with the intention to have an official affiliation with both sometime down the road. 
We would like to invite you to sign-up for our newsletter pre-launch at and receive our free PDF on Tibetan Medicine constitutional dietary guidelines. If you feel so inclined, please also spread the news of our coming launch and invite others to sign-up for our newsletter. You can also follow Sowa on our social networks at the buttons below. 
We look forward to being of service,
Matthew Schmookler, on behalf of the Sowa Team

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sunday, September 13 Introduction to 30-class Base SMS Course “Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha”

You're Invited!

Help us launch the introduction to our 30-class SMS Base Course! “Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha” will start with a mini-retreat on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Your presence is welcome, whether you’re a newcomer looking at this material for the first time, or a Level III veteran bringing your experience to the group. Our aim is to clarify and to go into depth with these views and practices.

You may attend in person at Conway or via podcast / MP3 records, available the following day. There’s no charge for this initial event, but you’ll need to register for the course (without paying) to get the MP3’s from Sunday's introduction.

Register Here

Hope to see you,
Lynn Newdome

“Lineage” - Schedule:

9:30 Coffee/Tea, pastries & registration
10:00-12:30 "Where does this all come from?" - Talk & discussion
12:30-2:30 Lunch, library & bookstore
2:30-5:00 "...and what will we do with it?" - Talk, practice & discussion

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Latest News from Near and Far

Interview with Mariano Gil of NYC’s Kundroling
in the Mirror

Mariano Gil was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 27th, 1961. He grew up in an artistic and musical family. He started formal music education at age 15 at the National Conservatory of Music. After High School he enrolled in Medical School graduating in 1986. He was planning to become a psychoanalyst, when after receiving a scholarship to Berklee College of Music move to Boston to study music. At that point he started practicing meditation in the Theravada tradition, studying with Larry Rosenberg and Narayan Liebenson at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and retreat centers. While studying music at Berklee he worked as music instructor, and got some assignments as an illustrator based on his musician’s portraits. In 1993 he met Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and has been a student since. He took his Santi Maha Sangha Base exam in 1995 and in 2015 became an Santi Maha Sangha Base instructor. Mariano continues to write and perform music in the NY area, shows his paintings and started his first weekly SMS courses in Kundrolling, NYC. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his son Sebastian, who plays trumpet. --Reprinted from the Mirror. To continue reading, go here. 

Farewell to our Beloved Mella-Reiss Family who are Moving to Hawaii
 A Community Dinner hosted by Efrem and Marit Marder 
and Paula Barry was offered 

More to come......

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is featured in Faith Matters Column of the Greenfield Recorder

Here is the link for the feature of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in the local newspaper, the Greenfield Recorder.  It seems you may have to register to read the entire article. 

Each Saturday, a different faith leader in Franklin County offers a personal religious perspective in this space. Rinpoche writes:
“I will try to explain what Buddhadharma means. People who are interested in Buddhadharma already know what the term means. However, I think it is very useful and important that we are more mindful of why Buddhadharma exists, what it means and what it is for. These are very important things because in general when people follow Buddhadharma they consider it to be only a religious consideration. Of course, it can be an aspect of religion. It can also be an aspect of philosophy or have a more intellectual aspect, but we must remember how and what Buddha taught and why Buddha transmitted that teaching. It doesn’t mean that Buddha taught his teaching in order to create a kind of school or religion. That is not the main point”.   --click on the link above to continue reading

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil Seeks New Members

"We do not insist that anyone be on the Gakyil, we ask who wants to be..."
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Dear Vajra Brother and Sisters,

Our Community has many opportunities for collaboration
 and evolution and we need your help.

There are openings on all colors of the Gakyil:

The Red Gakyil deals most with the body aspect related to buildings, 
land, coordination of the physical aspectsof our Community.

The Yellow Gakyil work with the energy aspect - mostly organization,
admin, finances and fundraising.

The Blue Gakyil corresponds to the aspect of mind - general communication, 
cultural and educational activities of the teachings

On July 19th at our last Gakyil meeting, Matt Hayat who had applied for the Blue Gakyil position 
was approved by the Gakyil, pending Rinpoche's and Community approval. This was done in accordance with
article II #3 from the current bylaws:

Art. II 3 -- Vacancies
Vacancies on the board will be filled by a majority vote of the board, subject to
confirmation by a majority vote of members present, either physically , or by proxy or
ballot, submitted electronically or in writing, at the next meeting of the community.

We are also accepting applications for friends of the Blue Gakyil as well.
We are inspired by Russia's new Gakyil announcement of a full 9 person Gakyil
 plus 2 assistants for each color! While being on the Gakyil is a serious commitment it is not only a wonderful service to the Master and the Community, it is an excellent practice in itself. We encourage you to apply by sending a letter of intent and something about your qualifications and interests. 
Each applicant is required to have 3 years membership and be current with their 2015 dues. Computer skills (at least willingness to use email and Webex regularly) and a willingness to collaborate are important.

With Love,
The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu at Naropa University

Rinpoche with Naropa officials at a pre public talk tea, from left to right: Charlotte Rotterdam, John Weber, Judith Simmer-Brown, Chuck Lief, President of Naropa University and Tom Hast.

It was extraordinarily fitting and auspicious that this year’s teachings in Colorado by our teacher, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, began with a retreat at Naropa University, and resulted in the creation of a new Dzogchen Community of Colorado. Colorado has been a major center of Tibetan Buddhist teaching and practice for decades. Perhaps best known is Boulder’s history as the center of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s activities, which in many ways set the tone for the widespread practice of Tibetan Buddhism throughout North America. The entire state, though, has been a powerful location for practice, with many important centers such as Tara Mandala, the magnificent stupa at the Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center, and the numerous permanent retreat facilities founded by important Tibetan teachers on the Baca Grande land grant near Crestone. Nonetheless, the open teaching of the essence of Dzogchen for which Rinpoche is famous has not been common, so that his retreat in Boulder had very much the character of a new beginning.  
--Reprinted from the Mirror. To read more, visit here.

Chuck Lief, President of Naropa University introducing Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tseyang’s Art

Tseyang, age 9 and entering the 4th grade this fall lives with her mom Yeshe Tsomo  at the yellow schoolhouse. She loves animals especially dinosaurs which she enjoys drawing.

Here she is on her 7th birthday.

[Tseyang and Adam]

Friday, August 7, 2015

Message from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Dear Vajra Family,

Warm greetings from the entire Gakyil!
We are getting organized for another year of activity and would like to start by asking for your assistance, questions, comments and suggestions.

This year, Rinpoche has charged us with making our Gar financially sustainable (not depending only on teachings and membership) and spreading Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and Khaita Dance to the wider world. Both of these efforts will require intense collaboration and all of our clarity. We have already received a number of excellent ideas for sustaining our Community. And Yantra Yoga (and Naomi Zeitz) are going on a tour of the Southwest United States.

The Blue Gakyil represents the 'cultural and educational activities of the teachings' and is generally dedicated to communicating with the Community.

For our part, the Blue Gakyil will do our best to be excellent communicators and to make Gakyil meeting dates, minutes and Community finances available to you. You can expect an update in this regard within the next two weeks. Also we will discuss the time for our next Community meeting at the upcoming Gakyil meeting Sunday August 16 at 9 am.

For your part, we ask that you contact the Blue Gakyil directly with your concerns, comments or questions and we will make every effort to respond in a timely manner or forward your email to the appropriate Gakyil member. Our email address is

Also, you are invited to join the Gakyil (three positions are open-2 Red and 1 Yellow) for the upcoming year. If you are interested, please send a letter of intent as well as your interests and skills to the Voting for the Gakyil positions will take place at the Community meeting.

This is an exciting time at Tsegyalgar East and your collaboration is important as we move forward together. Let's evolve together.

With Love and Respect, Blue Gakyi

An Article on Yantra Yoga and Tibetan Medicine by Fabio Andrico and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo

In June 2014, an article appeared in The Mirror on the importance Yantra Yoga and breathing for one’s health from the perspective of Yantra Yoga teacher Fabio Andrico and Tibetan Doctor,  Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo.

I would just like to say that Yantra Yoga could be a very important tool for many aspects of the practice and also for those who would like to apply a very powerful system of yoga, because only just the fact that when people do Yantra they have to understand and apply very precisely the aspect of breathing already changes the perception they have. I have been teaching recently some courses where there were also some Hatha Yoga teachers and they were really amazed about this focus on the breathing and how it is harmonized and applied in the practice of Yantra. Seriously, they were incredibly interested. And it was not invented yesterday. It is something with a long lineage of very important masters. The last master who has taught us is Chögyal Namkhai Norbu who received most of his teaching from his uncle, Tobden Urgyen Tenzin. It is also very important to understand that there is a lineage. There is a transmission. There is the substance for hundreds and hundreds of years. --Fabio Andrico

In Tibetan Medicine we say the five sense organs are like the windows of a house. The purpose of the windows is to let in light, and also to see outside from inside or inside from outside. So the sense organs are the place where we’re exchanging information. So now the purpose for which we are doing this is that we want to calm down the body, speech or energy and mind, so for that reason we are like shutting the windows. If we close the sense organs completely then that will make us sleepy, in Tibet they say a bad meditation is leading to sleep. So if we close the eyes then that makes us sleepy, if they’re too open then we become distracted. Then the sixth one is that the back is straight. So the back is straight and the chin is a little down, because in Tibetan Medicine we say is that the central channel is like a golden beam in the body. So it needs to be straight. And then the seventh one is that the body is not too tense and not too relaxed. In the story of the Buddha, one of the Buddha’s younger brothers asked Buddha what would be the best method of meditation to apply. Buddha asked him if he played guitar. He said yes I do, I am a very good guitar player. And then Buddha said, “When does the best sound come from the guitar? If the strings is too tight or too loose, which one?” then he replied, “If it’s too tight it’s not good sound, too loose also there is no sound. So not too tight and not too loose, at that point comes the best sound.” And then Buddha said that is also best to apply to meditation. So that is not too straight, not too loose. So those are the seven positions of the body.--Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo

Tsegyalgar East will present an opportunity to experience such benefits in the

Yantra Yoga Intensive

August 10-15, 2015
 with instructors, Paula Barry, Martina Kacurova and Naomi Zeitz

For further information visit the Tsegyalgar East Events page here.