Thursday, May 29, 2014

An Exquisite Sampling from our Festschrift Poetry Offerings

Up at Khandroling

I’d heard about the sacred land, about Buckland,
and heard about the Master’s dreams,
Dakinis dancing, something about a treasure
he’d received right there, right where the teachings
were to happen, up on a mountain, under a big tent --
not so easy for my wife whose back was hurt
though she was set on going and said she needed me.  

I wasn’t looking for another teacher. 
I was curious but hesitant -- then Rinpoche
appeared in a dream, singing the Song of the Vajra. 
His eyes were my father’s eyes, his voice
held me firmly while I stood with him  
outside my home at the foot of a garden.

I remember on the shuttle bus to teachings every day
reciting silently, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.
I remember watching in a meadow, grazing in the hock-high grass
a single horse, and holding to my practice, the light
I trusted to illuminate my way.

At the end, in mud I found a jewel: 
asking from the spirits of the place
a token for remembrance, in the dark
I picked up from the road a stone,
a slice of granite larger than I would have thought,
half a moon, hand-size, glittering.

Years later, I dreamt of riding bareback
to the top of Khandroling, told Rinpoche about
a garden where a fruit was given me:
“It’s a good dream,” he said, smiling. 
At home, I put that piece of granite near the Buddha
Amitayus on an altar -- the first I saw its edge
was sharply knapped just like a Vajra chopper.

Peter Fortunato, 2014

Peter Fortunato, poet and artist, lives in Ithaca, New York. A member of Tsegyalgar East, he has been a student of Rinpoche’s for many years. His most recent book is Late Morning: New and Selected Poems.

Khandroling Paper Cooperative in honor of Tsegyalgar’s 30th Anniversary and the presence of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu in North America is creating a “Festschrift”  or “Celebration Writing” with original art, photography and writings from the International Dzogchen Community.  To view more about this project, visit here

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seize The Moment – A Meditative Writing Workshop with Jan Cornall, July 15, 2014

Seize The Moment – A Meditative Writing Workshop
with Jan Cornall
Tuesday, July 15th
9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: Mohawk High School, Buckland, MA  Cost: $30
Please contact Harold Graves, Tsegyalgar East Secretary at with questions or to register.

Jan Cornall has been teaching writing since 1998. Drawing on over thirty years experience in the creative arts industry and twenty-five years in meditation, Jan has created a unique meditative writing technique for working with authors of all genres.

Her techniques have been used by hundreds of writers who have joined her writing retreats and workshops in Bali, Java, Laos, Cambodia, Fiji, Burma, Morocco, Paris, Hong Kong, as well as Sydney, Melbourne, and regional Australia.

In this workshop Jan will introduce you to techniques you can use in any genre at any stage of your writing. Observation methods, sense memory explorations, word play, voice and character experiments, intuitive structure and story mapping, are just some of the exercises Jan will use to take you deep into the creative source of your writing.

By taking the struggle out of the writing process and providing expert guidance, support and motivation Jan’s techniques produce startling results. Whether you use the present moment to take you into your writing or your writing to take you into the present moment, you are already on the way to enlightenment!

Bring your writing implements and a playful mind.

About Jan
Jan Cornall is a writer and performer based in Sydney, Australia. Awarded a number of grants and fellowships, she has written fifteen produced plays and musicals, a feature film, a novel, poetry collection, short stories and three CD’s of songs. With a strong interest in Asia, Jan has collaborated with Indonesian writers, musicians and artists since being awarded an Asialink residency in 2006, and taken part in festivals in the region including: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (Bali), Utan Kayu Biennale (Jakarta), Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Irrawaddy Literary Festival( Burma). Jan teaches writing at University of Western Sydney and leads international writer's retreats and workshops with her company Writers Journey.

 Every year a number of writers working with Jan go on to publish with major publishing houses. They include: Marguerite Van Geldermalsen, Married To A Bedouin (Virago), Margaret Wilcox, Gone (Penguin), Catherine Therese, The Weight Of Silence (Hachette Livre), Margaret Stevenson Meere, The Child in The Lotus (Rockpool), Walter Mason, Destination Saigon (Allen & Unwin), Yvonne Louis,  A Brush with Mondrian (Murdoch), Public Life Private Grief, Mary Delahunty (Hardie Grant), Niromi de Soyza, Tamil Tigress (Allen& Unwin), Jennifer Smart, The Wardrobe Girl (Random House): Biff Ward, In My Mothers Hands (Allen& Unwin). Established writers like Margo Lanagan also receive support from Jan’s workshops.  Her more recent fantasy novels, Tender Morsels and Sea Hearts, are published by Allen & Unwin in Australia, Knopf - USA, David Fickling Books, UK. Murder mystery writer AD Scott (Simon &Schuster, USA) has received Jan’s support for Beneath The Abbey Wall and her upcoming novel The Low Road.

Visit Jan’s wesbsite at  about her exciting writing journeys.

A Letter from Jan to Tsegyalgarnet

Dear Vajra Family,

I love how Dzogchen provides everything we need and desire.

You may not know it, but it has long been my dream to perform my work in New York City. 
I knew I would be passing through NYC as part of the Namgyalgar Dance Team set to compete in Dancing Under the Stars in Tsegyalgar in July. I was also wondering how I could afford to get there.I've materialised my NY dream and on July 7 will launch and perform my latest book, Archipelagogo, at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York (the day after Rinpoche's NY teaching retreat ends). 

I've also just launched a crowd funding campaign with a target of $3500 (which ends on June 26), to help raise money for my air fare, accom and NY travel expenses.

If successful, it will not only help me get to NYC but on to Tsegyalgar to perform with the Namgyalgar Dance Team and to be present at the inauguration of the Universla Dance Mandala.

If you are able, any contribution will be greatly appreciated and rewarded with a special gift.  
You can find out all about it here: Jan's Indiegogo NYC Appeal

Or use this url:

Many thanks in advance!
Please pass on to other DC members as I don't have everyone's addresses.


PS. We launched last night and already have 17 percent of our goal!
Jan Cornall

Archipelagogo - Love Songs to Indonesia

Poems, songs and stories from a decade of Indo-travel.

Take Me to Paradise
Part travel journal, part diary, a gem of a novella set in Ubud, Bali.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Living and Dreaming Lucidly : A Benefit for the Dzogchen Community and the Universal Peace Mandala

[Krishna Das photo from his website]

with  Grammy Nominated Recording Artist Krisna Das 
and Dr. Michael Katz

WHERE: Dharma Yoga Center, 61 23rd Street, NYC 6th Floor
WHEN: June 8, 3-6:30 PM

Ticket Price:
advance $40 + $2 ticketing fee / $50 door

For information and tickets -
Telephone: 212-889-8160

Remarks: This event is in benefit of the Dzogchen Community and the Universal Peace Mandala. Dr. Michael Katz ( is a meditation teacher and author of "Tibetan Dream Yoga". Michael will present exercises from the dream yoga / yoga nidra retreats he conducts internationally. Krishna Das will lead chanting, share stories, and there will be a Q&A forum as well.

To listen to a selection fo Krishna Das’ exquisite chanting, visit his webpage here

Tracy Grammer to Join Evelyn Harris, June Millington and Harvey Kaiser and Band for Friday Night Concert on July 11, 2014

Tracy Grammer wiil join Evelyn Harris, June Millington and Harvey Kaiser and Band for our July 11, 2014 Friday Night 30th Celebration Concert at Mohawk Regional High School Auditorium.

Tracy recently returned to Greenfield, MA . We are honored she will join our celebration. She rose to acclaim as half of the "postmodern, mythic American folk" duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, folk chart-topping albums featuring Carter's mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez's band members. Called “the new voice of modern folk music,” the duo was clearly in its ascendancy when in July 2002, Carter suffered a fatal heart attack while the duo was on tour. He was 49; Grammer, 34.  To read more, visit Tracy’s website 

Below is a montage of songs. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New York City Retreat with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu July 4-6, 2014 Now Open for Registration

Hello Vajra brothers and sisters!

Registration is open for the 2014 New York City retreat with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu on Dzogchen Longsal Essential Man-ngag “Khorva Yedal." For complete pricing information and registration, please visit us at

 Dzogchen Longsal Essential Man-ngag “Khorva Yedal”

Friday, July 4: Teaching from 4-6pm
Saturday, July 5: Teaching from 10am-12pm & 4-6pm
Sunday, July 6: Teaching from 10am-12pm


The Dzogchen teachings are neither a philosophy, nor a religious doctrine, nor a cultural tradition. Understanding the message of the teachings means discovering one’s own true condition stripped of all the self-deceptions and falsifications which the mind creates. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

The Master

Born in Tibet in 1938, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is one of the foremost living masters of Dzogchen. After having taught for almost thirty years at the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples, Italy, he is at present fully dedicating his time to the transmission and preservation of the Dzogchen Teachings and Tibetan culture at large.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is the author of many books and scholarly articles on Dzogchen, Tibetan medicine, history, and astrology. He is also the founder of the Dzogchen Community, whose centers of study and practice are found all around the world.

The Teaching

Dzogchen is an ancient spiritual teaching developed in Tibet within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It does not belong to a school or religious system. Rather, it is knowledge that Tibetan masters have transmitted without being limited by sectarianism. The word ‘Dzogchen’, meaning ‘total perfection’, actually refers to the true inherent nature of all beings, their primordial state, which is free from all limitations and conditioning. The master’s transmission of this state of knowledge lies at the very heart of the Dzogchen teachings.

The Dzogchen tradition has been passed from master to student in an unbroken lineage over the centuries, right up to the present day. Due to its direct and unelaborated approach, it transcends cultural boundaries making it accessible to all nationalities regardless of their spiritual background.

Please visit for more information. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gurdjieff Movements Kickstarter Campaign

[Early Dzogchen Community members performing the Gurdjieff Movements}

Margit Martinu, an authorized Gurdjieff Movements teacher as well as Vajra Dance instructor has initiated a Kickstarter campaign to help fund participants travel to the 30th Anniversary Celebration where they will perform on the evening of Sunday, July 13, 2014 at the Mohawk School :

A Presentation of Sacred Dance and Music Featuring Dzogchen Community Dances -Harmony in Space - Vajra Dance and Modern Tibetan Dance; also featuring Gurdjieff Movements and and de Hartmann Solo Piano with Elan Sicroff in the Mohawk Regional High School Auditorium at 7:00 PM

See our previous post about the performance and Gurdjieff Movements here on the Tsegyalgar Community Blog as well as visit the Kickstarter webpage  prepared by Margit where there is a great video of the Movements and other historical information.  Let’s make this Happen!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Universal Mandala on Khandroling

[Moving photo of the Longsal Tree on Khandroling]

The other day I rode up to the top of the hill on Khandroling with Marit Cranmer to visit the work being done by Jim Smith wih help from Nary Mitchell on the Universal Mandala. 

The weather was perfect with a brilliant sky, gentle breeze, and warming sun. Everywhere grasses were in the first green of the season. All up and down the road from the pond to Rinpoche’s cabin, white narcissus planted last year by Marit, were out in full force having for the most part survived the heavy machinery of the tree cutting in the late fall of 2013.  Many views of the valley below and the land are now open. Amazingly, one can see the roof of the Mandarava cabin from the front steps of the Mandala Hall--presumably vice versa. In preparation for our Inauguration this summer, the immediate area surrounding the Mandala Hall itself was cleared of all tree stumps and planted with grass and wild flowers. A hint of the future park-like environment can easily be ascertained, at least at the top of the mountain. Thanks to our many donors, we are now awaiting the giant “chipper’ to transform all the piles of debris from last fall’s tree cutting into ground cover. High above it all, the gold Longsal floats against the vast open sky as clouds pass to and fro--a magnificent contrast to the density of the Mandala Hall like an ethereal arm reaching from solid earth below to the spacious dimensions above.

When we arrived, Jim Smith was working on the Universal Mandala trying to reconcile the current design already indelibly painted on the concrete floor of the Universal Mandala to the new specifications just released after further clarifications in Rinpoche’s text.  [A reminder here that this is the ONLY Universal Mandala on earth]. Jim, like most of us, is a veteran of change and well trained in meeting a good challenge without fail.  A man of few words, Jim nodded that the task at hand was workable. 

In the photo above Jim is holding a scaled version of the previous Universal Mandala template rendered in a quarter size sample with a ring of unbroken flames above the six black thigle. This is the area that needs to be adapted to changes recently clarified in Rinpoche’s original text. The newly redesigned version, as you can see below has 12 Black thigle with a surround of flames in clusters. [The version below is the web version].

More work is needed to help Jim Smith and Nary Mitchell manifest what needs to be done on the Universal Mandala to make it ready ---especially now that the warm weather has arrived and the usual spring mud season past. We need you......come for a few hours, week-end, a week, or a whole month. Your presence will be much appreciated! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Uma Shannon Ballet Performance May 23 & 24 at Bowker Auditorium UMass

[photo by Oly Shannon]

Uma Shannon will be performing along with her fellow advanced dancers in East Street Ballet's Spring Showcase 2014 at the Bowker Auditorium at UMass on Friday and Saturday, May 23 & 24 at 7:30pm.

This is part of Uma's senior work, along with the performances she did with The Movery this past week. Uma graduates high school this summer and plans to take a gap year dedicated to dance and her various passions: textile arts, pottery and music. She also plans to take a few college courses.

The performances will include a mixed repertory program featuring excerpts from Swan Lake, arranged by Carlos Molina, and original works by Uma's teachers Carlos Molina, George Birkadze, Claire Maurey, and Tekla Kostek.

Tickets are for sale at the box office on both performance nights. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors & students, $10 for children (12 and under.).

You can also help Uma further her dance studies by donating to her Indiegogo fundraiser to help supplement her scholarship to the Hartt Summer Ballet Intensive . For further information, visit her Facebook and Indiegogo pages at :

Uma is the daughter of John and Miranda Shannon and grand-daughter of Nancy Simmons and the late Barrie Simmons, among the earliest students of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Message from the SSI-USA Bookstore About Ordering Four Methods of Development T-Shirts

If you will be attending one of the upcoming Dzogchen retreats in the Northeastern USA with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and would like to order Four Methods of Development * T-shirts, please let us know as we will be pre-preparing these for you to pick up at the retreats. This year, to make the process easier, we have created an online request form, which you can find here:

Please place your order by Monday, June 22nd in order for us to be able to prepare your T-shirt(s) in time.  The retreats in question are:

Kundrolling: New York City, USA July 4-6, 2014
Tsegyalgar East: Conway, MA, USA July 16-20, 201

If you have any questions, you can contact us at

Best wishes,
Anna & Martin
SSI-USA Bookstore

*The Four Methods of Development
by Choegyal Namkhai Norbu 

The way to identify the birth year elements of an individual and the elements of the current year. Buddha has clearly explained the turning of the wheel of existence by means of the twelve links of interdependence: ignorance, volition, consciousness, name and form, sense bases, contact, sensation, desire, attachment, becoming, birth, old age, and death. Accordingly, in the astrology of the elements taught by Arya Manjushri, all the aspects of the year, month, day, and time, are determined on the basis of the twelve-year cycle of mouse, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, and pig. This twelve-year cycle is also combined with the five elements, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, with alternate female and male years. On the basis of these astrological periods, one can ascertain both the elemental condition of the present year and the elemental condition of the birth year. When, on the basis of the mother-son-enemy-friend relationship, conflict exists between the elements of life, body, capacity, and fortune of the year of birth, and the corresponding elements of the current year, it is important to eliminate the negative factors by means of the fourfold method which increase one's life, body, capacity, and fortune.

Susan Schroder Booksigning at Boswell Books in Shelburne Falls May 22 at 6:30 PM

Susan Schroder of Conway, MA will discuss her new work, You Come Too: A Tribute to a Beloved Horse at Boswell’s Books on May 22 at 6:30 PM. There will be a book signing.

10 Bridge Street
Shelburne Falls, MA

You Come Too: A Tribute to a Beloved Horse
Susan Claire Schroder

Anger, fear, and uncertainty power the first day this horse and woman meet. The horse, six-months old, the woman, barely out of her teens, are to bond for life. But how is this going to happen? You Come Too is a compelling invitation to all animal lovers who appreciate the depth of feeling and meaning pets bring into our lives 
The author of this true story, Susan Schroder, artfully describes behaviors her equine heroine exhibits, giving the reader an intimate view of their relationship. This unique story focuses on the horse and her adaptation to the human world including her strong need to belong, to learn, to love, to heal, to play, and to get what she wants. It is heartwarming and inspirational. Beware. It may even change the reader’s idea about how this majestic species interplays with life. 
New York Times bestselling author (The Good Good Pig) and naturalist Sy Montgomery writes, “You Come Too is riveting, beautifully crafted, full of love and insight, and has a powerful narrative arc. Everyone who has ever loved an animal will relate to this book – and even those who have known horses for years will learn something new from it.”
Best Selling author (The Dog Who Loved Too Much), world renown animal behaviorist, and founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare Nicholas Dodman, DVM writes; “You Come Too is a beautifully written saga of a 28-year relationship between the author and her horse in which both came to deeply understand and trust the other. The connection between them was almost spiritual. The end of the story is very moving and testifies to the powerful and eternal bond of love that a person can have with an animal.”
from the publisher’s page


Buy it Now

Andrea Lawrence on Prince Edward Island

We miss you Andrea!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Practicing Together Schedule - June 3 Green Tara

Visit the Practicing Together website for the full schedule. Help create a global chain of practice to benefit AISA onlus and the Tibetan people.

Second Annual Tibetan Medicine Conference at the Rubin Museum - Ancient Medicine for Modern Life: Tibetan Solutions for Stress Management, Chronic Illness, and Mental Health

The Second International Conference on Tibetan Medicine
Presented by the American Tibetan Medical Association (ATMA), the International Shang Shung Institute, and Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine at the Rubin Museum of Art.
Saturday, July 26 & Sunday, July 27, 2014
Registration for the weekend: $200 | Register Online Now

Visit the Rubin for a full schedule of events including the keynote address by Choegyal Namkhai Norbu on Sunday, July 27 at 8:30 AM

Please join the ATMA Indiegogo campaign to help with the funding of this by visiting here

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Day of Yoga at the Asparagus Festival in Hadley, MA on June 1, 2014

A Day of Yoga!
Sponsored by WGBY
At the Asparagus Festival in Hadley MA
June 1, 2014

The Dzogchen Community and the Khandroling Paper Cooperative will be participating in the Asparagus Festival in Hadley on Sunday June 1 at the Hadley Commons starting at around 10am. The Community will be presenting Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and Modern Tibetan Dances. We are not sure of the exact time yet. The Khandroling Paper Cooperative will be selling their Asparagus paper and other products. 

At 10 am there will be a Yoga Fundraiser

Come join us for Morning Spearit Gentle Yoga and Let your Yoga Dance with Peggy Cappy and Megha Nancy Buttenheim. Together they’ll be teaching a Master Class at the Pilates Studio near the common. Come for the yoga and stay for the Festival!

Other events include craft beer and restaurant tastings, Festival market, music all day, children’s entertainment including Curious George and the Spearit Gala, an outdoor farm to table feast.
Buy tickets at event or pre register on line at:

Harvey Kaiser to Perform with Evelyn Harris and June Millington, Saturday, July 12, 2014

NY Performer, Harvey Kaiser and his Band KC Four & More Blues and Jazz Band will join local performers Evelyn Harris and June Millington for an outstanding evening of entertainment on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM in the Mohawk School Auditorium

Biography of Harvey Kaiser

Began to play the saxophone in 1956; Played blues & r&r in high school (1960-64) liked O.Coleman. Heard Ben Webster in 1964 & decided to play the tenor saxophone. Taught reading @ IS88 NYC & studied w/ Joe Henderson; Met Dexter Gordon in Copenhagen in 1970 & thanked him; Met Sonny Stitt in NYC in 1975, thanked him, and played for him until he passed ( see Downbeat: Caught in The Act Feb '75 ) Met Bobby Johnson Jr. in 1978 and worked with him until his passing June '01. Co-founded the Kansas City Sound in 1995 with Bill Crow and included all my friends: Ed Diehl, Gene Randolph, Marvin B. Smith, Taro Okamoto,Ray Mosca, Joel Bishop O'Brien , Billy Alfred, Mike Kull, Marty Napoleon, Roswell Rudd, Eddie Bert,Fred Jacobs, Fred Smith, Bobby Johnson Jr,Ron Finck, Hugh Brodie,Walter Booker, Allen Murphy,Matt Finck,Larry Packer,Kitt Potter,Glenda Davenport,Rita Kaiser,Josh Schneider,Gary Sloane,Rob Blumenthal,Tootsie Bean,Larry Moses,Dennis Makrell,Ira Coleman,Thurman Barker, Bubba Brooks,Cameron Brown. ( That's a lot of friends who like to swing !) Some have passed on ; the music keeps living on. It's visited by greatness. Current sub-set is called “The KC Four & More”.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Poem by Louise Landes Levi

             sheds his raiment, you
           look into the mirror  but no 

          & the leaves are greener ..

       extinguishes the darkness of, dawn
           in a mudra you have learned
                         dance, O

                 of extinction, the melody is
                    distinct, yet you sing, 

new moon 29.

   dharmadaya:: ( sanskrit) 6 pointed star 

[Photo by Jacqueline Gens of Louise at Merigar circa 2008 SMS Level III]