Monday, January 27, 2014

Update Next Practicing Together Webcast Scheduled for 6:00 PM , February 14, 2014 at Tsegyalgar East

Here is an updated  communication about the practicing together webcast. 

On February 14th at 18:00h, 6:00pm (GMT-5) there will be an open webcast ( from Tsegyalgar East (USA) of the Mandarava Ganapuja specially dedicated to the health of our beloved Master and all those in need of healing.

Tsegyalgar East is five hours behind Tenerife. Therefore GMT-5 is the same as  EST with  the Mandarava practice scheduled for  6:00 PM on the East Coast. Check your world time converter for precise times in your location or to confirm the times here.
We will dance the Song of Vajra during Ganapuja as well as potentiate Namkha  and Lungta. 
We hope that all of you can follow it, wherever you are, so that we can do the practice together, increasing its potentiality and our capacity for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Long Life to our Master!!!
The Team.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Interview with Yuchen Namkhai by Joe Zurylo

The following interview with Yuchen Namkhai by Joe Zurylo is reprinted courtesy of the Mirror.

[photo by Jacqueline Gens, spring 2013 preparing the soil for planting
with Joe Zurylo, Yuchen Namkhai and Nary Mitchell]

Joe Zurylo: What made you leave your home in Italy and move to the States? 

Yuchen Namkhai: Luigi and I lived in Castel del Piano, a small village close to Merigar West, for over three years. Luigi had been working as a director for Shang Shung Institute/Italy for five years and in 2009 we realized we had to leave Italy in order to fulfill one of our own priorities: our family. It was time to make important decisions about our daughters’ future education and how to provide the best care for them. We always valued an English based education and the possibility of living abroad to expand our horizons. Initially we looked into moving to Australia, since it is a great place for young ones, as it still seems to provide a sense of ‘future’. Pretty soon some coincidences and favorable conditions showed us a different path. At that time we realized we could help SSI USA and give our girls an English based education at the same time! What more could we ask for? As we began to consider moving, I started to remember my first visits to the US in the ‘80s. The very first time in Conway was my first experience of the dark retreat, of truly vegan food, amusement parks, and even West Coast nudism. I was amazed how different this country could be from Italy! This is one of the reasons why I considered traveling with Rinpoche, the greatest opportunity of my life; there was always a lot to learn, understand and assimilate wherever we headed for! We chose to move specifically to the Tsegyalgar East area because we wanted to leave close to Community people in a rural area. It is also very important for us to be able to raise our family in the countryside in close contact with nature. Some aspects I always respected and much valued about this area are the pioneering spirit and the work ethic. I think these aspects, along with the closeness to nature, provide us the lifestyle we’re enjoying up to now. Living in touch with nature can be a little hard at first, especially at our latitude and for Mediterranean people, but it teaches us to rethink how we live our ‘modern’ lives and to be more responsible in how we 

manage our natural resources. Following the seasons and dealing with the natural elements teaches us how to endure and appreciate the good time, the need for enduring and collaboration. And most of all, the gift of connection! 

Joe Zurylo: Now that you’re here, what do you see as the biggest difference between the USA and Europe? 

Yuchen Namkhai: There are many differences… maybe the very first difference that strikes me is open space. There is a lot of open space here! Space means less tension, less crowding and less pressure. It is not as secondary as many people might think, since even if we humans are a social breed, we don’t cope very well with tight quarters and crowds. That is because we also are a predatory species. And the more I age, the more I appreciate open space and silence. The second big difference I see is the sense of community up here in the hill towns. It’s a kind of culture I never experienced in Italy. Because nature is strong, every year I witness this community’s resilience in action in finding solutions and collaboration when and where it’s needed. Whenever there is an emergency, someone in need, a threat for the population, people and entire villages here activate in many different ways… The schools act as a magnet in every village; it provides information, education, socialization, outreach and good memories. The collaboration in every neighborhood is also another local example of this. The third difference I see here is about law and politics; it is very straightforward, anyone can understand and navigate it easily. There is a high level of respect for the law and the legislation system is very fast and efficient compared to Europe. American politics looks easier to me compared to European; especially less complicated to reach agreements. Europeans tend to be more liberal regarding soft drugs, prostitution, alcohol, abortion, or cloning (but not so for GM food). Americans grant greater freedoms when it comes to gun possession, driving a car from a relatively young age (the norm is eighteen years old in Europe). Though the laws differ in each state, American teenagers can start driving with an adult as early as fourteen years and nine months old!! 

Joe Zurylo: What do you see as the difference between Merigar West and Tsegyalgar East? 

Yuchen Namkhai: Merigar West plays a very institutional role in the IDC context. It is the very first Gar Rinpoche founded and since then it connected thousands of practitioners at different levels. Over the years Merigar West has hosted hundreds of practice retreats and initiations, many guests and many events. We can easily say that the place has been empowered for over thirty years! Tsegyalgar East resembles Merigar West at the beginning in some ways, but the culture here is different and so are the people. Like Merigar West there are sacred locations and retreat cabins for personal retreats, but there are less people and we lack Rinpoche’s presence. Tsegyalgar East is still defining itself as a Gar and Community, I think. I find this aspect very inspiring and enjoyable as people can contribute in many different ways. When you see few people and lots of development to do, it can be discouraging at first. But consider this: the small number of members allows individual participation to have greater impact!  

Joe Zurylo: Last year you decided to reopen the old farm, which we know as Lower Khandroling. Why did you decide to do this? 

Yuchen Namkhai: The main reason is to give people access to positive energy and support to the Gar for the long term. A place like a Gar needs human presence, so that it doesn’t turn into a museum, and constant maintenance. A place like a community needs skills to foster connections and a certain level of trust to be at peace. Apparently, people too need a constant ‘maintenance’ in order to experience connection, compassion and peace. So I simply thought that the old farm could bring benefit in both these aspects; we can learn how to 

relate ourselves in a respectful and nurturing way, meet our human needs for connection and, in the meantime, work sustainable solutions for the Gar. As human beings, we inherently enjoy contributing to others when we have connected with our own and others’ needs and can experience our giving as coming from choice. In order to live in a flow of authentic self-connection, and deep connection with others, self-responsibility is the key. I am responsible for my intentions, my actions, my ability to stay connected to others and myself, and for the choices I make. When we’re not ‘aligned’ internally so, we feel depressed, angry and unsatisfied. We all have the same needs; although the strategies we use to meet these needs may differ. Conflict occurs at the level of strategies, not at the level of needs. We all have an innate capacity for compassion, though not always the knowledge of how to access it. Growing compassion contributes directly to our capacity to meet needs peacefully. I consider myself very lucky to live close to Khandroling, a very special place for many reasons; not only we have upper Khandroling with its sacred sites and cabins, which is already in itself a very empowered and terma place. On the lower part stands a cute little farm in need of restoration that’s been successfully run in the past. That means there is enough space for practicing, hosting retreats and events, growing our own food and making specialty products, while experiencing the connection with the Land of the Dakinis. 

Joe Zurylo: Since then Lower Khandroling has been referred to as the farm or the coop. Why did you choose the organizational structure of a workers cooperative to run the farm? 

Yuchen Namkhai: When you think about it, the very idea of community comes into being because people like to cooperate with each other. The sense of cooperation begins at home and it leads to a strong feeling of international brotherhood. Knowing that, what I tried to do was simply to turn it into a strategy. Let me share personal considerations about this cooperative project: 

1. I think we need the simplest and more efficient form of organization to run the farm. Workers cooperatives have been around for decades and proved to be efficient organizational structures. 
2. We need to work with what we have now, not in twenty years, and with the first generation of Rinpoche’ s students so that we’ll build a bridge for future generations and a true legacy. 

3. We need to support a culture of commitment and service. I truly believe the most unexpected joys come in serving others and the greater good. A worker cooperative simply gives access to those people willing to commit to some projects aimed to sustain the Gar in the long term. It is a way to organize ourselves as an independent team from the DCA in our own decisions and responsibilities, yet still being part of the same Mandala. To the public it is a practical organizational structure that dignifies human work, allows self-management and promotes community and local development. I believe that would be a great presentation and integration for our Community! 
Joe Zurylo: At present, the coop is agricultural. Will it remain so or do you plan on incorporating other activities under the coop structure? 

Yuchen Namkhai: I have no particular attachment to the coop structure in itself, but I do care about the team members and what we are accomplishing. That is because I see commitment and teamwork heading in the right direction. Even if we change the term and the activities, I believe the substance would remain the same. Agricultural activities are at the core of the cooperative because we need to preserve our natural resources if we want to be sustainable in the long term. Activities that are not harmful for the environment and don’t unbalance the relationship between man and nature are all welcome. We need profits, but we also have a land to protect and steward responsibly. Activities I planned to incorporate in the future, if possible, are to include informal education and workshops. It is important to offer education and hands on workshops to interested people and local people before we lose our existing knowledge and life skills. We need mentors for the young ones, we need to be the living examples of what we learned and walk the walk together. A community is not a solitary path. I think soon enough all Gars will need to become more self-sustainable by promoting small working groups and activities that bring benefit and profits to the Gars and local people. I don’t see big numbers in the future, but rather small local resilient communities. The education I see is towards a slower, more sustainable (frugal), and more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s focused on the home. The home represents our own authenticity, our spiritual life dimension. It is where we practice with an open hearted and minded attitude self discovery and self-connection. I believe the future is in pushing small communities to become units of production (raising/growing/making their own food, sewing their own clothes, trading skills and homemade goods with other people, etc.) instead of units of consumption. It all depends on what will manifest in the near future. 

Joe Zurylo: Your statement that community is not a solitary path is very interesting, sometimes it seems that we behave as if it was a solitary path, can you comment on that? 

Yuchen Namkhai: Generally speaking, we humans couldn’t evolve that far simply on a solitary path. A solitary path has a short lifespan by definition. We live in a very limited condition. Not only our time is limited, also our capacities and resources are, too. No wonder in Eastern Buddhist traditions you find one of the three jewels be the Sangha, and in Western cultures one of the foundation of civilization be the community. A community is the combination of ‘common’ and ‘unity’, and it represents a social unit that shares common values. We know that we consider ourselves not an ordinary community nor a traditional Dharma sangha (monastic community of Buddhist monks or nuns). We claim we don’t need ‘formal’ definition since we consider ourselves connected to each other and to the Master by having received His Transmission. But what does that mean? It means we are in a relationship. And, as in all relationships, it requires from our part to work on different levels at the same time (we may be spouses, fathers, brothers, teachers, friends, and neighbors). In our case, we are individuals and community members at the same time. As individuals we’re in a lifelong journey to discover ourselves, our limits, our potentialities, to develop clarity and cultivate compassion. As human beings we try to meet our basic 

needs: a sense of security, a sense of connection, and a sense of meaning. Sometimes we like to skip the basic and wish to jump directly to transcendence. But then our actions reflect this solitary path pattern. No chance we can meet these needs on a solitary path. As Community members we stand to serve our Vajra brothers and sisters and the Community needs, since that is foundation for the continuation of the Transmission. There is no continuation of the Transmission without a Sangha. Today, as a Community, we face some challenges since intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and other important aspects are not clear enough to people. Unfortunately these aspects not only affect the identity of ANY community members but above all their degree of belonging and cohesiveness. If sometimes it seems that we behave as if community means solitary path, I think that is because we need to better clarify our culture of values and have it become alive and shared. I believe our very own human nature is a communitarian nature, not a solitary one. A sense of community is not defined by membership (sense of loyalty), influence (a reactive performance), or fulfillment of individuals’ goals, but by sharing quality time (stories of events) with emotional connections. In other words, it is not like being part of a club, rather being part of a family, a Vajra family. For years we heard the terms Vajra brothers and sisters not accidentally. For years we‘ve been practicing good intention for others; let’s not forget an intention is an action statement, not a ritual. An organization doesn’t replace a community; all it does is setting a system of accountability in place in a leaderless group. The more we learn, accept and share the same culture of values, the higher our sense of belonging will be. We’ve been requested many times to collaborate between each other…and amazingly enough one of the most basic values of ANY community is cooperation! And one of the very first forms of community we experience is family; so it should be easy enough for us to get the picture… all we need is to care enough. If we wish to continue collectively as a community, we need to accept and serve as a community. Not only it will bring benefits for us as individuals, but also it will put a seed for next generations. 

Joe Zurylo: What is you motivation for starting this enterprise? 

Yuchen Namkhai: The motivation is to help people realize their potential. As soon as we realize our potential, we feel empowered and willing to participate and contribute. Hopefully and eventually, a culture of self-less service might emerge and spread worldwide. To get there I think someone needs to set up an example; a simple organization that can be replicated in any Gar to help sustain the local Community. I think it’s important to give a concrete example on what can be accomplished, at a material level. It is my little contribution to the DCA. I saw a potential and I decided to commit. 

Joe Zurylo: To become a member of the coop requires that one puts in 12 hours of work a month. Why did you set it up that way? 

Yuchen Namkhai: I believe if you start a cooperative and set it well, the rest will follow naturally. Knowing our core beliefs (responsibility 
 self-management) and values, (common 
purpose, integrity, respect
self-responsibility), our actions will follow naturally. Perceiving the 12 hours like a duty or a fixed rule, it means we still didn’t get the right spirit of the cooperative. It’s not a matter of the amount of hours, but rather to show real commitment through actions, not just in words. We look for team players. Teams can accomplish tasks that individuals alone cannot, which is why teamwork is so valued in many communities. Teamwork requires actual work, shared experience and personal commitment. The reward that will naturally flourish is patience, compassion and understanding. If we wish to bring actual benefit to our Community we need, as The King (Elvis Presley) sang: “a little less conversation, a little more action” (1968, by Mac Davis and Billy Strange - A Little Less Conversation).

[all photos by Jacqueline Gens, 2013/14]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sunday Around the Gar

While Jim Valby presented a SMS Level II weekend at the yellow schoolhouse, members of the growing Khandroling Coop team (below) met to discuss the coming season at Rinpoche's house on Lower Khandroling. 

For those who would like to enter into the SMS training, each Tuesday Tsegyalgar East hosts a Santi Maha Sangha Base Level Study Group online via Webex at 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM. The study group primarily reviews, The Precious Vase and base practices with some opportunity for discussion among the participants. Collaborations with various authorized SMS teachers occurs whenever possible. The study group is limited to 25 participants from the US.

[SMS level 2 participants with  Rinpoche summer 2013 at the farmhouse on lower Khandroling]

If you would like to participate, please register online so that you can receive an invitation to join the Webex meeting each week. 

For further information about the study group, contact Elisa Gonzales at

[Team present left to right: Nary, Paula (hidden), Jess, Vern, Sean, Yuchen and Joe]

The Khandroling Coop team meets periodically. The Coop is open to all members of the DCA, eveyone is invited to participate or present a new project for consideration. 

Even though our activities at present are agricultural that does not mean that other activities can not be accepted, such as trades, crafts, husbandry etc.

All projects which can be pursued in a cooperative environment have the possibility of bringing benefit to the DCA are welcome. 

For further information visit the Khandroling Coop webpage

[Photos by Jacqueline Gens]

News from Khandroling Paper Cooperative

While in search for a permanent home, for now Khandroling Paper Cooperative will winter over in Turners Falls, MASS where KPC members will host monthly open studios for the next few months. 

Once a thriving industrial town specializing in paper making, we were heartened to see the 19th century 
paper mill logo matched our own KPC logo (see stack above)--an auspicious and inviting coincidence. This summer in 2014 we will return to our outdoor fun demonstrations and at least a couple of workshops at the yellow schoolhouse or on Khandroling.  Turners Falls is an artist friendly town not far from our Community centers. 


Following Prima Mai's message to the International Dzogchen community in support of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative's FESTSCHRIFT project as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration and Mandala Inauguration on Khandroling, we received many excellent submissions.  Please continue to send jpegs of your art work and word documents of your poems, prose, writings. Just email to  including a small biography along with your attachments. It's quite simple. Limit 1-2 pages per person. However, if you need more pages, let us know how many and we can discuss if there is room. If you are writing in your native language, please include an English language translation so Rinpoche can read your offering. We've received some amazing images and poems. Please join the dance and continue to send in work for this worthy project.  


Papermaking is not everyone's idea of meaningful and fun activity (messy, wet, cold). If you've tried it and fallen in love with it or love handmade papers, we invite you to participate in a Three-day Master Workshop this summer (July 2014) with our main instructor Sheryl Jaffe especially designed for international community members who are interested in permaculture and the arts and/or wish to acquire knowledge how to start their own paper cooperative using the native plants of their region as well as recycling papers and rags. Here at Tsegyalgar East, we are interested in using recycled sacred texts and substances in our line of calligraphy papers. But one can develop numerous other products. PAPERMAKING is an outstanding activity for many special populations and is  universally present in many cultures. Sheryl has collected samples from all over the world that she uses in her classes with us. DATES TBA DURING THE SUMMER EVENTS in July 2014. This would be nice even for kids or people just wanting to make some paper but we wanted to also offer it as a professional development for community members. There is no cost for this workshop. If interested please let us know.

The Tibetan people used handmade paper in a variety ways including block printing of texts, door way mantras, edible mantras and for an amazing array of calligraphic fonts for written compositions. Many great masters often execute sacred mantras and seed syllables as a secondary cause for liberation through seeing. Here at Khandroling Paper Cooperative we like to celebrate the Tibetan culture of paper arts and calligraphy. One of our unique qualities is that we recycle sacred texts into paper used for sacred purposes, thus strengthening our intention. 


This year we are happy to have master artist and calligrapher Tashi Mannox join us at the Shang Shung Institute in a co-sponsored event with Khandroling Paper Cooperative to introduce us to the art of Tibetan Calligraphy. We invite you to join us April 4,5,6 in Conway MA for his workshop. He is also scheduled to give a lecture/demonstration at the Rubin Museum on April 2 as part of their exhibit on Tibetan medicine. Visit Khandroling Paper Cooperative here for a full description of the workshop and link to Tashi's amazing biography. Visit his website here


[our Dragon Song ink, Turkey feather quill and tiny scroll with KPC chop]

Last my not least, we've made our first batch of handmade black walnut ink (thanks to Diane Sievers and her sister). We've asked a young Zen practitioner Erin Riorden, at Tassajara Zen to test it out in one of  her marvelous ink washes.
KPC member, Margherita in Toronto will design the labels.

We are calling this batch of ink "Dragon Song" after Zen master's Dogon's famous sutra, which Erin sent to us. 

WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS for 2014--Coming soon as we finalize some dates. 
Visit our main blog at for further information and contacts. 

[our beloved critter making pulp]

Webcast of Tibetan Singing and Dancing LIve from Dzamlingar

Ludroi Tshogschen: A Gathering to Sing and Dance
January 24th-28th, 2014
Open webcast, Dzamlingar (GMT+0) Canary Islands, Spain
Be sure to link below to determine your local time as the times below are for the Canary Islands in Spain.
January 24 5:00 PM Introduction
January 25 5:00 PM Performances from singers and dancers from all over the world
January 26 3-4:30 PM Workshop of modern Tibetan dances led by local community experts followed at 5:00 PM by Rinpoche talking about Tibetan songs and dance.
January 27 (same as January 26)
January 28 3-4:30 PM same as January 26 & 27. Performance at 5:00 PM  of traditional Tibetan Song and Dance by Topgyal, Tsering, and Sithar.
For further information and connection to a world clock converter,  visit

Click here to watch a video on Dzogchen TV

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Few News Briefs from Tara Mandala our Dam Trog Sister Organization

Carol Baily, a divorce mediator and long time Tara Mandala member was recently interviewed by CNN when presenting her manual on conflict resolution GRIDLOCK to members of US Congress. View here.

The Magyu lineage webcast with Lama Tsultrim is now online

Lama Tsultrim Allione will be presenting an overview of Tibetan Buddhism along with Menpa Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo presenting on Tibetan Healing Arts during Fabio Andrico's course on  Yantra Yoga Teacher Training at Kripaulu in March 2014. For their events schedule visit the Tara Mandala website.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Invitation from the Khandroling Coop to a Meeting on Sunday, January 19, 2014

The meeting will be at the farmhouse on Lower Khandroling, 160 East Buckland Road, Buckland on Sunday, January 19 at 1:00 PM

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Obituary for Tom Kehoe who died January 14, 2014

Tom Kehoe, a member of the Tsegyalgar East community, died peacefully this morning, Tuesday, January 14. 

Joyce, his loving wife, said,  "He silently and peacefully took his great leap to love at 3:35 AM this morning." 

We send the family our love and wish for the kind hearted and loving Tom all the best in his travel in the bardo. May he realize quickly and with ease. Please do Shitro for him.  -- Naomi Zeitz

There will be a full moon ganapuja and Shitro for Tom at the yellow schoolhouse in Conway at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, Januaury 15, 2014.

Official Obituary of Tom Kehoe from the Greenfield Recorder

SHELBURNE FALLS, MA - Thomas P. "Tom" Kehoe, 61, of Severance St., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at the Buckley HealthCare Center in Greenfield. Tom was born in Boston, MA, on Oct. 8, 1952, son of Thomas P. Jr. and Catherine G. (Fitzgerald) Kehoe. Tom was a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono with a B.A. in Sociology. 

Tom spent most of life as a talented woodworker in the Shelburne Falls area; his hands and heart crafted countless beautiful pieces featured around Western Massachusetts, including renovation of the Shelburne Falls Trolley, the Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant, and many fine homes and cabinetry. His work will continue to be treasured by those who live and work amongst it, and his friends - local carpenters, painters, and more - are admired immensely by Tom's wife and children. 

Tom was a member of the Dzogchen Community of Conway and was a lover of nature, including the ocean, walks in the woods, birding and traveling to visit his children and partake in their adventures, such as trips to Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica and Alaska. In addition to the great outdoors, Tom's humble, kind, and spirited personality was always reflected in the books and poetry he read, the music he sang, and the amazing friends he kept in close company. Tom, his wife, and his children enjoyed good food, laughter, games, hiking and camping, dance parties in the kitchen, and philosophical conversations throughout all the wonderful years they had together. 

Tom's pride and joy was his wife and children; as a father, he made sure to attend sporting events, edit homework, and tell amazing bedtime stories. As his children grew up, he encouraged them to be students of life during their years at UMass Amherst and the journeys they embarked upon thereafter. As a husband, Tom was always in awe of the strength and beauty of his wife. As a young couple, they lived in India and in most recent years enjoyed relaxing on their porch with views of the mountains surrounding Shelburne Falls. 

Tom is survived by his wife, Joyce A. (Mazanek) Kehoe, whom he married on July 16, 1983 at St. Patrick's Church in Kent, Ohio; a son, Nathan Thomas Kehoe of Avon, CO; a daughter, Jennifer Rose Kehoe of Anchorage, Alaska and her fiancé Silas Tikaan Galbreath; his parents of Scituate, MA; four brothers, Paul (Rosalie, M) Kehoe of LaGrange Park, IL, Gerald (Donna) Kehoe of Milton, MA, James (Terri) Kehoe of Westborough, MA, Philip Kehoe of Scituate, MA; a sister, Elizabeth Finkenstaedt of Norwell, MA; brother and sisters-in-law, Steve and Trish Mazanek of South Fallsburg, NY, Alan and Trisha Mazanek of Ravenna, OH, and June and Bob Sitler of Deland, FL; mother-in-law, Rosemary Mazanek of Kent, OH, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

The family will be having a private service. An informal and celebratory gathering for family and all friends in the community will be held at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center at the corner of Main and Church Streets in Shelburne Falls from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. Light refreshments will be served and attendees are welcome to bring a potluck dish to share and byob.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom's name may be made to the Kehoe Family through:
transfer feature to
Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Shelburne Falls is assisting the family. To send a message of condolence to the family, please visit: -

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Passages - The Mirror

The Mirror, International Newspaper of the Dzogchen Community recently sent out the following announcement. Thank you Liz and Naomi for your many years dedication and service to deliver the paper edition. We wish the Mirror the best of luck in its new transitions and future manifestation. -  Tsegyalgar East

Passages - The Mirror
We sadly announce the imminent passing of the paper form of TheMirror. The issue currently being published and shortly being mailed, number 125, will be the last in an ongoing series that have been published regularly since 1991.

The decision to stop printing the paper version of the newspaper, at least for an interim period, was taken only after much deliberation and taking into account the considerable costs related to printing and mailing which we are no longer able to cover. If circumstances permit, we may try to produce some print-on-demand issues in the coming year if there is sufficient request and support.

Our online website – – will soon become a blog style format in which we will continue to do our best to bring you the most recent news from our global Community, keep you updated on Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s latest schedule and publish feature articles, videos and photos from our worldwide sangha. Other new features we intend to incorporate in the blog include the possibility to print out material and readers will no longer need to login to access articles. We are planning to present the new blog in late January. The new blog will be open to all members of the Dzogchen Community and the general public since there will be no login required.

For now we would like to thank everybody who has supported us over the years to continue to publish The Mirror.
Best wishes,

Naomi Zeitz
Liz Granger

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tashi Mannox Shang Shung Tibetan Calligraphy Workshop Dates Confirmed for April 4-6, 2014

Shang Shung Institute and Khandroling Paper Cooperative will co-sponsor a Calligraphy weekend with renowned calligrapher and artist Tashi Mannox in Conway April 4,5,6,  2014 at the Shang Shung Institute. The dates have now been confirmed. Tashi will also deliver a presentation at the Rubin Museum in NYC on the evening of April 2 as part of their exhibit on Tibetan Medicine. More details coming soon.  For now reserve the dates for these marvelous events. 

To read more about the actual calligraphy workshop, click here

Andrea, Ayana, and Damien Wintering In Guatemala

Andrea and Ayana

Andrea Nasca and Damien Schwartz long time members of the Dzogchen Community, recently traveled to Guatemala for a four month stay in the region of Lake Atitlan - considered one of the most beautiful places in South America. They traveled as an entourage of seven people in two wheelchairs with two dogs into the heart of Mayan civilization. 

Together as a family they served as secretary and geko at Tsegyalgar East with their baby daughter Ayana, in tow for many years. Andrea is the US secretary for A.S.I.A. Originally from New Orleans, I have lots of memories of their great outdoor BBQs on Khandroling and at the yellow shcoolhouse--New Orleans style hospitality. 


Ruby Fayard

Fred Stubbs and Andrea

[all photos by Damien Schwartz reprinted from Facebook]

Stay tuned for more to come about their explorations.

Next Shitro on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The next Shitro for Kathy McGrane and Roger Levin is scheduled for Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM in the Yellow Schoolhouse, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA

To purchase support practice materials, visit the Shang Shung Bookstore

Robert Levin died January 3, 2014

We received word from Tom Garnett that Roger Levin passed away on last Friday Jan 3 in the evening. As many of you recall, Roger was very active here in the early years. He served on the gakyil and remained involved for a long time, bringing his skills as a psychologist to bear in various ways. Roger passed away from the effects of cancer, cancer treatment, and massive heart failure. He remained a practitioner to the end.  He will be remembered with love and appreciation.

Roger Levin was one of the people who came to Tsegyalgar with Rinpoche in 1982.  Roger was a very warm-hearted and intelligent man who helped at a time when we were transforming ourselves from a Gurdjieff group that practiced Buddhism into the Dzogchen Community. He had a good and open rapport with Rinpoche and used his skills as a psychologist to help others to process the changes taking place in the community and individuals. He served on the gakyil and participated in group activities for years, though in the last period he only came occasionally to retreats though he continued to practice. He had had a form of cancer when young that was predicted to return, and it did. His health had not been stable for some time when he died. He was attended at his death by his wife Mary Anne.

 "He was a brilliant, deep, skillful, loving man and every mental image of him I can bring to my weak memory is bathed in light. " Tom Garnett

Further communications from Tom Garnett

Roger Levin died on January 3, 2014. In the early days of Tsegyalgar he served twice on the Gaykhil. His quiet, calm presence during a time of growth and consolidation was steadying and reassuring to the new Community. Without putting himself in front, he skillfully facilitated the working together of the rag-tag, disparate group of CNNR students in the 80s.

Roger was no stranger to suffering and death. He survived cancer and high dosage cobalt 60 radiation treatment in his mid-20s, only to have a heart attack in 2000 and to come down with B-cell lymphoma in 200, treated with near-death dosages of chemotherapy. A few years later, crippled by the chemotherapy, he came down with congestive heart failure. Many who knew Roger had little idea of the suffering he had undergone because his whole manner of being was focused on others well-being, not his own saga.
Though we have been friends since 1982, I only saw slices of Roger's life. 

Here are a few.
He was a good builder with an excellent design sense. For several years he ran a contracting business for home renovation and building. His house on the lake in New Preston, Connecticut, an old boat house that he renovated, was elegant and earthy.

He was a deep thinker and a profound therapist free from cant and hype. His work on Focusing, refined it and helped establish it as an sane option for therapy and self-understanding.

His dharma eye saw what was essential and was not distracted by methods, historical trappings, or personalities.

He lived in multiple worlds yet was as grounded a man as ever I knew - a Bodhisattva Shaman working with and for others.

There will be a memorial service for Roger at the Green Funeral Home, 57 Main St., Danbury, Connecticut on January 9 at noon.

Many Thanks to Lauri Denyer Marder and Tom Garnett.