Monday, June 30, 2014

Khandroling Paper Cooperative to Participate in the Rags to Riches: Franklin County’s Paper Industry Exhibit July 6, 2014

We will demonstrate our papermaking process at the Rags to Riches: Franklin County’s Paper Industry at Greenfield’s Industrial Museum. Join us for lots of old time music and fun on the Green River. 

Our second Annual Workshop on Lower Khandroling Farm is scheduled August 9 & 10, 2014 (read below) 
For the latest news visit us online at

On July 6, the Critter will be there  to demonstrate the magical transformation of turning rags into pulp for making paper. We will also have our long scroll for you to leave your mark with our handmade Dragon’s Song Black Walnut Ink we made last fall. 

[Bret Bourman our first Critter fiber beating October 2011]

[Our first large scroll made summer 2013]

Come make some paper that you can take home with you. Khandroling Paper Cooperative is closely associated the Dzogchen Community here in Western Massachusetts, founded by Tibetan Teacher Choegyal Namkhai Norbu.
Papermaking’s  ancient history has a long association with spiritual practices and the wisdom traditions of many cultures. Each cooperative member has their own passionate connection to papermaking. 

We specialize in recycling sacred texts and finding recycling solutions for analog tapes. Our papers can be used for sacred calligraphy practice by incorporating sacred substances. KPC instructors, Sheryl Jaffee (master papermaker/artist) and Brenda Lee (Origami) and Madeline Leibling (Art Therapist) share their skills with us several times a year making a variety of fantastic papers for multiple uses in bookmaking, masks/sculptures, wallets, wall hangings, scrolls, embossed etc.

[Brenda at the Hadley Asparagus Festival]

[Sheryl’s joyful exuberance for all things paper is infectious. She is probably saying “perfect” to this young woman’s first piece of handmade paper]

Join us for our Second Annual Workshop on Lower Khandroling Farm
Fiber to Fiber Holding Together with Sheryl Jaffee & Company

August 9 & 10, 2014
10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Box 160 East Buckland Road, Buckland MA

visit for more details and a slide show of last years workshop on Lower Khandroling Coop  Farm

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What is Dzogchen and How do you Say it?

[Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Today, the Founder of the Dzogchen Community}

You can read his biography here

If you are new to the Dzogchen Community or just curious you can visit our FAQ page which outlines many key aspects of our Community. Click here for answers to such questions as What is the Vajra Dance? What is Yantra Yoga?

Here’s a good place to start -- 
What is Dzogchen? 
Pronounced “Zok-chen" (the D is silent, the O long, the G sounds like K) . Pretty close

What is Dzogchen? 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 that the mind creates. The very meaning of the Tibetan term, Dzogchen, “Great Perfection,” refers to the true primordial state of every individual, and not to any particular doctrine.

This spiritual teaching developed in Tibet within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since ancient times. 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 unelaborate approach, it transcends cultural boundaries making it accessible to all nationalities alike, regardless of the spiritual background.  

--Reprinted from our FAQ page

[Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Yesterday]

Buckland’s Dawn by Bret Bourman


Buckland's Dawn

Whorls of Buckland’s darkening 
Beds to rest in streams 
Of emerald currents searching out a low.
Dreaming of an ocean 
Hemmed along her shore, 
Reflection stands the stars upon her floor.

Drawn, the breath of mountain 
Catches dew and sows 
A kiss of mist into the shadowed air. 
Sweet, the heather raises 
Beauty’s evening smile 
To glistening sigh from daylight’s turn, let go.

Followed, whispering echoes, 
Cast upon the stones, 
Fall disappeared into her caverns’ arms, 
Settling in the stillness, 
Embedding hallowed walls 
Of midnight’s womb, securing Buckland’s dawn.

Bret Bourman

[Photo by Adhishakti Laila Reiss]

Parking and Transportation to Khandroling for the Mandala Hall Inauguration Days July 11 and 12

For the inaugurations (see program brochure or sidebar)  on Friday afternoon (July 11) and the morning of July 12 scheduled on Khandroling in Buckland, we ask that you follow these instructions: 

Parking &Transportion


On Friday July 11 because parking is very limited, we ask that you come to the parking lot of the Mohawk Regional School and take a free shuttle bus to the site. The school is located at 24 Ashfield Road (Rt. 112) in Shelburne Falls. Before and after the event July 11, shuttle transportation will be provided continuously between the hours of 12 noon and 6pm. The last shuttle to the event will depart from the school at 2:30pm.

On Saturday, July 12 please park your car in the parking lot at the Mohawk Regional High School and take the free shuttle service up to the land. The first shuttle bus leaves at 7:30am. Please note that the last shuttle before the Consecration will depart from the school parking lot at 9:15 am.

(If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and would like to help, please meet at the Mohawk Regional School parking lot to coordinate.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Amazing Video of the Dance of Six Liberations

Watch this amazing video of the Dance of the Six Liberations 
filmed from above the mandala on Dzogchen TV.

See the full schedule of local demonstrations of the Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga on the sidebar or below

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga Demonstration
Time: 4pm
Location: Parking lot in front of Mole Hollow and the Potholes in Shelburne Falls, MA

Wednesday, July 9 2014
Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga DemonstrationTime: 4-6pmLocation: Town Common in Front of the LibraryConway, MA

Thursday, July 10, 2014 6:00 PM
Demonstration of Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga
Pulaski Park, Northampton, MA

Big Sky View

[Photo of view from Thogal cabin by Marit Cranmer] 

For most people familiar with Khandroling, seeing the naked swathes of newly cleared land for the first time is a shock -- especially for you “Tree Huggers” used to the forested areas on Khandroling for camping and shade. It’s a big change to take in. Thanks to many donors, most of the clear cut debris has been chipped and will “cure” for a year before spreading out. 

On the other hand, the co-emergent response is often a huge WOW factor as you see views hitherto never seen before in our generation open up for the first time. These are most apparent from the Thogal cabin looking down at the Mandala Hall as seen in the photo above or from the vantage of the Mandala Hall looking down to the valley below. A hundred years ago, the entire mountain was cleared. 

One has to take the long view here (no pun intended) to envision the future as the land creates new wildlife habitat and new growth hardwoods to replace the old growth of scrubby white pine that had taken over. This is a work-in-progress for the next 50 years or so that will achieve full potential long after most of us are gone.  For your information, a reforestation sign showing the timeline is located on the land. We are working with the state forester to create a wildlife habitat timeline as well. 

To read more about the reforestation project of Khandroling, visit here. Such land management is commonly implemented in the overgrowth forests of Western Massachusetts to rejuvenate the forests and reestablish wildlife habitat slowly dying out for lack of suitable food sources to forage. 

[Photo by Sean Quinn, chipped debris/wood from the clear cut on Khandroling awaits magical’ll see]

AH the Dakinis are at play or Is it OZ?  Come Join the Dance and experience first hand the magic of Khandroling

[Both photos by Kathleen Fekete]

How do you say Tsegyalgar and what does it Mean?

(From the Tibetan -- (Tse/gyal/gar spoken with soft Gs) .....say/gal/gar is close


To read more, go to Jim Valby’s fuller explanation.

At the place of the Mandala Hall, a poignant “coincidence” from 19th century educator Mary Lyon who was born at the foot of the hill. Sounds like a Victorious Peak of sorts 
"Then just beyond the precincts of the family domain was the 'top of the hill,' crowned with its high rolling rock, ever inviting the enterprise of each aspiring heart. Everyone was ambly repaid who would climb tha steep hill, and ascend that high rock."
(a letter from Mary Lyon quoted in a her 1864 biography, A Life of Christian Benevolence whose birthplace is at the bottom of the hiil)

Thus, Tsegyalgar aka Victorious Peak Encampment is the umbrella for the Dzogchen Community in America, Shang Shang School of Tibetan Medicine and ASIA-all non-profit 501 (c) 3 educational organizations incorporated in Massachusetts dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture founded by Tibetan teacher, Choegyal Namkhai Norbu. 

Traditionally, in Tibet, “Gars” were seasonal encampments where people gathered together to receive Teaching. Tsegyalgar East is the Summer Gar for North America while Tsegyalgar West in Baja is the Winter Gar. 

Around the Gar at the 11th Hour

These days as Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s arrival is imminent, the Gar is abuzz with activity from all the various groups and committees preparing for our 30th Anniversary and the long awaited Inauguration of the Mandala Hall followed by our Retreat with Rinpoche on the Four Dharmas of Longchenpa. Here are a few photos featuring the multifaceted aspects of our community

[Photo by Laila Reiss of dance rehersal with children for the Tsegyalgar/Namgyalgar competition]

Miranda Shannon and Leela Whitcomb-Hewitt were interviewed on local cable access TV you can view here.


[Photo by Kathleen Fekete of Francine and Nary unloading banners from the AV with Marit, head of the Design Team in the background]

[Photo by Kathleen Fekete, Marit planting the first banner of many banners (she made by hand) on the road next to the pond]

[Photo by Sean Quinn, the finished installation of the banners]

[Photo by Yuchen Namkhai of test Blueberry patch next to the Mandala Hall]

[Photo by Kathleen Fekete, another view of the banners handmade by Marit across from the pond]

[Photo by Kathleen Fekete of Steve Landsberg in Rinpoche’s cabin]

Derge Tibetan Dancers from NYC and Classical Tibetan Singer Tsering Lodoe to be featured in July 12, 2014 Concert

Tibetan Dance Concert featuring Classical Tibetan Singer Tsering Lodoe

Derge Dancers derghe gro chen
from NYC
Modern Tibetan Dancing from Tsegyalgar East 
Featuring Classical Tibetan Singer, Tsering Lodoe

Saturday Night, July 12, 2014
7:00 PM in the Mohawk High School Auditorium
 Co-Sponsored by the Shang Shung Institute 
and IMA (Institute for the Musical Arts

Tsering Lodoe was born in India and studied at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), in Dharamsala. TIPA was established under His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s guidance in 1959, and is the foremost center for the study of Tibetan traditional art and music. Lodoe continued his affiliation with TIPA for over 23 years earning advanced degrees in all aspects of traditional Tibetan music and performing arts. In addition to his studies, he toured throughout the globe performing for TIPA. Lodoe is now living in Bozeman, Montana, USA.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Part 1 of 2 ASIA Announcement of New Projects - The Derge Primary School

“The last time I went to Tibet for example, a few years ago, I saw some Tibetan children who had just finished school and were walking on the street. I stopped for a while there and gave the children some pens and I spoke to them asking them which class they were in, what they were studying etc. When I spoke I used the east Tibetan dialect, which they could still understand, but they replied to me in Chinese. After a little I told them that it was very useful for them to study Chinese but that they should understand that Chinese and Tibetan are two different languages. I told them that I was talking to them in Tibetan and they were replying in Chinese, but that they should reply in Tibetan. Then they answered saying a word which meant ‘it’s true, it’s correct’ but in Chinese! “

-- Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

In 2011 ASIA started the long distance sponsorship project. 
The aim of ASIA’s Long Distance Sponsorship project is to safeguard the cultural identity of Tibetan people and to empower them providing the skills needed to face present social and economic challenges. It is one of the first ASIA projects, started in 1994. In these years, thanks to the participation of many sponsors, we have been able to support at distance:

• 3000 children
• 400 monks
• 140 eldest
• 250 students at High school and University
• Long distance support is also a strong intense relationship that connects two people who are very distant.
• To cement this union – the letters, drawings, and photographs that ASIA local staff delivers and gathers during his travels.

Obituary for BOB BEDNARZ of the Atlanta, Georgia Community

Our dear vajra brother Bob Bednarz passed away on Jun 24th at 6:45PM with his wife Carol and his friends by his side.

Since he met Choegyal Namkhai Norbu in 2000 in New York, Bob was deeply dedicated to the Dzogchen teachings and strived to integrate it in his everyday life. With great enthusiasm he introduced many to Rinpoche’s teachings. Countless times him and his wife Carol kindly opened their home for practice to the Atlanta Dzogchen Group.

Please, include Bob and his wife Carol in your practice to help them in this time of a great transition.

Bob was also a longtime student of Chogyam Trungpa attending Trungpa Rinpoche’s last Three month Seminary in 1986. He began teaching the Buddhist classes portion of the Way of Shambhala training and then the weekend level programs. In recent years Bob "specialized" in directing Level I. He was also a teacher for Open Houses and Learn to Meditate programs. For many years, he served as the audio technician for all Atlanta Shambhala Center programs.

A funeral service is scheduled at the Atlanta Shambahla Center on Friday, June 27, 2014 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Monday, June 23, 2014

Almost There!

Two Documents in PDF Format: The 30th Anniversary Program/Brochure and the Collected Tibetan Songs we will Sing and Dance to

To view and print out two important documents relating to our upcoming events at Tsegyalgar East, visit the following link at

Here you will find the complete program for the 30th Anniversary in  pdf form that you can download and forward to friends. You will also find the pdf file of all the Tibetan songs we will sing and dance to during Rinpoche’s visit.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Breaking News: Most All Fundraising Campaigns Meet Their Goals but More to Go

Thanks to everyone’s generosity, most of the independent fundraising efforts we featured have met their goals. These include the Gurdjieff Kickstarter by Margit Martinu to help bring the Gurdjieff Sacred Movements performers to Tsegyalgar for the 30th Anniversary.

Jeremy  Keaton, the young man from Ohio wanting to meet Rinpoche also met his goal,  writing the following:
"I noticed that you included my donation page for the retreat at the bottom of one of the blog posts and then again in a dedicated blog post for my page. I wanted to express my deep gratitude for you assisting me in this. I think the blog posts had the biggest impact on my page and I was wondering why there was a sudden spike in donations for a few days.  Thanks so much!!! :)"

Uma Shannon who appealed to us to help her raise money to attend the Hartt summer dance intensive From Studio to Stage also achieved her goal 100%

Australian writer Jan Cornall met her goal to hold a book signing in New York and help pay for her trip. 

The two remaining fundraising campaigns in need of attention are the ATMA/Shang Shung Institute in need of financial support for the Second Annual Tibetan medicine conference at the Rubin in NYC and Olympia Shannon with 52 hours remaining. 

The Second Annual Tibetan Medicine Conference at the Rubin Museum is  especially in need to attention. Enormous efforts have gone into creating this conference by bringing together some of the leading Tibetan doctors.  Choegyal Namkhai Norbu is the keynote speaker.  See the following: 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rare Photo of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu with Melong

Choegyal Namkhai Norbu with Melong circa 1985 - another facebook find without reference to photograher or location.

News from the Khandroling Coop Farm

[Yuchen with beautiful sign designed by Dominik]

In recent months the Khandroling Coop under the direction of Yuchen Namkhai has worked hard to develop the lower Khandroling property abutting Rinpoche;s house into a vibrant production farm. To read about all the wonderful projects and products in the works, visit their website at where Yuchen has uploaded hundreds of photos. There’s even a spectacular short video of one of the Russian Queen bees with her retinue of workers. 

If work up at the  Mandala Hall isn’t for you consider helping out at the farm or in the preparations going on at Rinpoche’s house for his visit in three weeks. 

Authorized SMS Teacher Steve Landsberg to Lead Jnana Dakini Practice Retreat on Khandroling

Jnana Dakini Practice Retreat with Steve Landsberg
June 27-29, 2014 on Khandroling

During this course we will learn about the various visualizations and mantra recitation. We will also talk about the history of the practice and its relation with the view of Anuyoga and Dzogchen as well as how it fits into the whole context of the nine yanas. Once we have gone over the details of the practice we will do a thun of practice during each session.

Participants in this course should have received the transmission of the Jnana Dakini Thugthig teaching when Rinpoche gave it in Tsegyalgar East (2012), Australia, Merigar West, or Merigar East. Otherwise, it can suffice to have received the lung of the Jnana Dakini Thugthing or the Goma Devi Longsal Root initiation. Please contact the Blue Gakyil at if you have questions.


Friday evening, June 27, 5pm-7pm:
Introduction to Jnana Dakini and Anuyoga

Saturday morning, June 28, 10am-12pm:
Complete description of the practice

Saturday afternoon June 28, 4pm-6pm:
Tun of practice, answer any questions, and SMS topic regarding 9 yanas

 Sunday morning, June 29, 10am-12pm:
Rinpoche's dreams regarding this practice,
SMS topic regarding Dzogchen
Tun of Jnana Dakini practice

Sunday afternoon, June 29, 4pm-6pm:

Discussion of Padma Sambhava's Garland of views in relation to Dzogchen Conduct according to Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen
Thun of Jnana Dakini practice
Location: Rinpoche's Cabin on Khandroling, Buckland, MA
Cost: $125 for the full retreat or $25 per session
Click here to Register and Pay Online

Meritorious Members no charge. You can register for the course by contacting Harold, the Tsegyalgar East Secretary at 413-369-4153 or by emailing him 

News About Meg Wheatley from Here and There

Dzogchen Community member and SMS student, Meg Wheatley will lead a workshop - Leaders as Warriors for the Human Spirit August 4-8, 2014 at the Cape Cod Institute

This seminar is based on her most recent book, So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World (Berrett-Koehler), which describes how we ended up in a world no one wants, a harsh, destructive world that's emerged in spite of our best efforts to change it. Facing our current reality free from denial, she invites us to take on a new role for ourselves, as warriors for the human spirit. (Reprinted from the Cape Cod Institute website)  Sound familiar?  

Last year, Dr. Margaret (AKA Meg) Wheatley  was invited to participate in a public conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Orleans on May 17, 2013.  The theme was "Resilience through Compassion and Connection." The event was sponsored by Tulane University and, because of her work in New Orleans post-Katrina,  Meg was invited to speak about the power of community in times of difficulty with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and neuroscientist, Richie Davidson.

She writes, “"We had a lively conversation that included neuroscientist Richie Davidson.  This was a sublime experience for me, one that continues to ground and inspire me”.

Meg who is a member of the Dzogchen Community and 2nd Level SMS practitioner is an internationally recognized author who writes on the importance of Community in sustaining organizations and the emergence of new models of leadership including the role of women globally. Her work often takes her into deep conversation with the foremost spiritual and political teachers of our times such as Pema Chodron and HHDL

(Photo taken at the conclusion of SMS II in Rinpoche’s house Summer 2013. Meg second on the right of Rinpoche in the picture after Malcolm} 
I've been exploring the question: "How might we organize differently if we understood how Life organizes?" It's been an exploration that has helped me look into old patterns and problems and develop new and hopeful insights and practices. It has also increased my sense of wonder for life, and for the great capacity of the human spirit
Ever since meeing Meg at the 2013  SMS level II with Choegyal Namkhai Norbu where i randomly sat next to her, I regard her books, interviews and articles as deeply inspiring with creative insight into how to navigate the variable prisims of Community life whether in my spiritual communities or out in the secular world. If you have a favorite Community resource to share, please let us know. 

Jacqueline Gens
Editor, Tsegyalgar East Community Newsletter


Lama Tsultrim Allione Retreat of Explanation and Practices of the Song of the Vajra

Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala will lead a retreat of Explanation and Practices of the Song of the Vajra November 14-16, 2014 at Merigar West. For further information contact or visit the Merigar West website

Tara Mandala and the Dzogchen Community share a Dam Trog “”Samaya fellowship" officially endorsed in 2013 by Choegyal Namkhai Norbu and Lama Tsultrim Allione. Thus both oganizations are separate but share in transmissions and teachers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Newly Painted Universal Mandala - Almost Done!

Jim Smith and Company have patiently with noses literally to the grindstone repainted the entire Universal Mandala including the six additional black Thigles. Next will be the surround of flames. Many thanks to all the volunteers and steadfast workers. The results are brilliant. Special thanks to Nary, Jono, John & Miranda, Kyu & Will, Max, Uma, Francine -  among others.......  


If you have the time and means, come join us for an afternoon, a day, a week, a month for some serious karma yoga. 

[photo courtesy of Jonathan Shaeffer]

Thursday, June 19, 2014

News from the Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine Medicine Alumni

[Left --Class of 2009: Nashalla, Mira, Anasuya, Dr,. Phuntsog, Matt, Malcolm. Joey and S]

Nashalla Nyinda, a graduate of the first Four Year class in Tibetan Medicine at Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine will teach an introductory workshop at Shambhala Mountain Center on December 12-14, 2014.

Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda TMD, LMT has over 14 years of experience in Tibetan Medicine. She earned her Menpa degree (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) from Qinghai Tibetan Medical College, Tibet and The Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Medicine. She also has an Interdisciplinary Studies BA from Naropa University with a focus on Asian Medicines and Buddhist Psychology. She has taught these techniques worldwide to Tibetan doctors as well as Western health practitioners. Nashalla and husband, Dr. Tsundu S. Nyinda, are co-directors of the Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic in Boulder, Colorado.

Matt Schmookler, another graduate of the first class,  recently married Katya Borisenko of Moscow. Matt is an authorized Yantra Yoga teacher and instructor in modern Tibetan dance.  Matt was one of the of the founders of the Tibetan Healing Center in Northampton where he practiced Kunye Massage and other Tibetan medicine therapies. 

Malcolm Smith and Osa Karen Manell founded Sudarshana Mandala clinic integratigng Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda. Macolm is also the primary Tibetan medicine consultant for Northampton’s Clinic for Alternative Medicines

Malcolm and Osa began their studies of Tibetan Medicine at Shang Shung Institute’s School of Tibetan Medicine founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in Conway, Massachusetts. Under Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo, they studied a traditional four year curriculum in Tibetan language covering the Four Medical Tantras as well as participating in practicums in a wide range of external treatments. They received their massage license in Kunye Tibetan Massage from the state of Massachusetts. After completing their program at Shang Shung, Osa and Malcolm attended a three month internship at Tso-ngon Tibetan Medical Hospital in the Amdo region of Northeastern Tibet and received the traditional oral transmission of the Four Medical Tantras from Tibet’s most senior doctor, Aku Nyima. During this time they also studied with prominent doctors at Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College. They took final exams both in the United States and in Tibet. Malcolm graduated from his program in 2009 and Osa graduated from her program in 2012.

[Class of 2012: Bottom leftL Leela, Beata, Osa, Laila, Eva, Yeshe, 2nd Row standing left: Darlene, Adam, Monica, Asurah, Karen, Todd, Dr. Phuntsog]

Adam Okerblom is currently enrolled in the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley, CA

Other Alumni of the Four Year Tibetan Medicine progrma at Shang Shung, please send in your latest news.