Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Message from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Tsegyalgar: End of Year Donation

Dear Tsegyalgar East Members & Friends,

On behalf of the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil, we Thank You for your generosity and collaboration during and throughout 2015!

In the spirit of the coming holidays, we are also writing to encourage your continued generosity. Your participation was, and still is, the lifeline of our precious Gar. It is your participation that allows us all to continue and sustain Rinpoche's Dzogchen Teachings in North America.

It’s been an incredible and awesome year! Here are some of the events we’ve held in 2015 at Tsegyalgar East:
  • July 2015 Retreat with Chogyal Namkhai Norbu; more than 300 practitioners participated in person, and more than 1,750 globally joined Rinpoche’s Teaching via webcast!
  • More than 75 practitioners participated in advanced Vajra Dance courses with Prima Mai, Bodhi Krause, Kyu Kyuno, Carisa Kelly.
  • Many Yantra Yoga courses have been held, at the Gar, and in other locations, including a series of open courses with Naomi Zeitz in New Mexico and Colorado.
  • Many SMS courses, including level base, level 1, and level 2 courses with Jim Valby; and the recent Demystifying Santi Maha Sangha course of study with Lynn Newdome (which was also made available via podcast).
  • Continued concentrated work and progress on alignment with the International Dzogchen Community (IDC).
  • Major overhauls and improvements with our internal accounting and financial bookkeeping, which has allowed for more transparency and clarity on our money situation.
  • With the help of our wonderful Geko and other local practitioners near and at the Gar, we’ve been able to make some essential and efficient Schoolhouse repairs, which have dramatically reduced operating expenses.
  • We had the good fortune of Nina Robinson’s very recent presence and leading of a well attended Mandarava teaching and practice retreat at the Gar.
Anticipation, enthusiasm, & excitement is growing as we actively plan for an awesome summer 2016 Summer Celebration on the Land of the Dakinis! More to come soon about this and many other exciting courses to be offered....
Any donation is not too small and incredibly welcome and appreciated. Forgo that holiday drink at Starbucks and donate $5! Rejoice in our continued presence and offer a donation as substantial as you can muster!
All is welcome, no amount is too small, your generosity is helpful, appreciated, and needed for our continued livelihood and presence and continuation.

Click here to let your generosity shine bright and far!

Donate Online

Make a Pledge

Renew your 2016 Membership

or mail your check to: 
DCA -  Dzogchen Community in America
P.O. Box 479 - 
18 Schoolhouse Rd. Conway, MA 01341
With much love, to you and all of your loved ones
and all of our extended Vajra Family,

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

All your donations are 100% tax deductible and will receive a tax acknowledgment from The Dzogchen Community in America, Inc. The Dzogchen Community in America, Inc. is a legal non-profit 501c3 organization.

A Poem by Louise Landes Levi from Japan

If I had Answered

What good wld. fame
have meant, in this ruined
world./ love might have

been a nice reward,
for having taken the trouble
to come, but in these
streets & alleys, I
didn't find/ you.

To Read More

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks GIving

[View outside Tsegyagar East door during Mandarava Retreat by C. Hotaling]

Each year in the US, Thanksgiving is celebrated in honor of the generous spirit of sharing food among the early pilgrims and indiginous people who offered their sustenance. Through out the world traditional harvest meals are served to celebrate the bounty of the season. We give thanks for these gifts.

Generally, non-profit organizations and practice communities at this time remind      people to make end-of-year tax deductible donations. There are so many ways that you can help Tsegyalgar East continue to grow. Whether you offer your energy with the gold of karma yoga or financial support, your contributions are the life blood of our community. We deeply appreciate your participation in making the Gar a lasting presence to contain the precious Teachings of Dzogchen.

Among the recent milestones happening at Tsegyalgar East you might have noticed are the ongoing webcasts of all pujas via webcast. In fact, Tsegyalgar East hosted the first series of live audio webcasts beginning in 2001. This legacy continues today in providing the International community with virtual opportunities to practice together as Vajra sisters and brothers- especially important for those who do not live near practice groups. The Tibetan Medicine School continues to provide unique opportunities to train in English both in residence or online with brief residencies.  Another unique feature of Tsegyalgar East is the manifestation of the Mandala Hall that houses the only Universal Mandala in the world. 

As Nina Robinson pointed out during her week long Mandarava retreat, Tsegyalgar East has long been the site of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s 
terma including - the Cycle of Night and Day, The Vajra Dance, and numerous dreams relating to his special Longsal cycle of Teachings.  

In recent years, Tsegyalgar East has faced a number of financial challenges. Major renovations of the yellow schoolhouse need repairing as well as many of the retreat cabins on Khandroling.  Road installations and water systems need to be upgraded o Khandroling.  It is important that we all do what we can to preserve the infrastructure. 

Please consider making a timely donation online  to further these projects by visiting here.  Select the “General Donation” button for projects relating to the yellow schoolhouse.  You can also contact the secretary at

Over the coming year there will be many opportunities for karma yoga. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Job Position Open at Tsegyalgar East

Tsegyalgar East is in search of a practitioner in our community interested in the Secretary position at Tsegyalgar East. The Secretary position is physically located in the Gar’s Schoolhouse in Conway, Massachusetts. This is a paid position of up to 30 hours per week at a gross hourly rate of $13. The position appointment is for up to 3 years, with renewal possible on Gakyil approval.

During Rinpoche’s visit to the Gar this past summer, 2015, He communicated His wishes for us to grow and develop our North American Dzogchen Community. For this reason, our intention is for the new incoming Secretary to spend up to half of these 30 hours working with the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil and North American community to create a foundation, centered on human connection and proactive communication, for persons newly interested in Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s Teachings.

Responsibilities also include working with the Gakyil and local community in the daily operations of the Gar. In addition to a substantial focus on welcoming and serving as a connective and informative base for newly interested persons, specific tasks will also include:

·         Working with the Blue Gakyil on:
o   Managing Gakyil meeting agendas and taking minutes
o   Providing logistical support for local programs, courses, & practices
o   Communicating with community teachers and assisting with travel logistics and teacher care
o   Promoting open communication with the public and DCA practitioners and members
·         Working with the Red Gakyil on:
o   Documentation of scheduled inspections
o   Communicating with and keeping the Geko informed
o   Keeping list of contracts for contractors and maintenance persons
·         Working with the Yellow Gakyil on:
o   Handling Dzogchen Community of America membership
o   Collaborating with the bookkeeper/financial administrator
o   Answering questions about membership
o   Handling course registration monies

Communication, oral and written, is essential for success. The Secretary serves as a central figure and presence of Tsegyalgar East. Comfort and general knowledge of our Dzogchen Community is needed. Experienced practitioners are encouraged to apply.

Interested persons can send a letter of interest and resume to Applications are now being accepted.

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Monday, November 2, 2015

It’s That Time of Year Again

All over the Northern Hemisphere through many cultures, this time of year signifies a shift in time and space. Some call it the “Thin Veil” indicating the suspension of division between realms; others call it “All Hollows.”  In ancient times, beginning  with the Druidic period in Ireland (5th century BC), the end of summer and Harvest was celebrated with bonfires and the renewal of light for the coming New Year. 

Given the "thinness of the veil" between the worlds of the living and the dead, it is a time that suggests divination (seeing into the future, dreaming, prophecy, and the occurrence of visions). In Mexico and parts of Latin America, "The Day of the Dead” honors those who have passed. 

As we enter this brief magical time, it is useful to consider the present moment of not only our own Tsegyalgar East Community in the continuity of past and future. So much energy and resources have gone into manifesting the vision of our Guide and Teacher Choegyal Namkhai Norbu worldwide. If we have challenges in the present, we must find a way to rekindle the fire of our ardor and create new solutions to carry us into the future both locally according to our own cultures but also globally in developing our international center, Dzamling Gar.

While we know that the  Dzogchen Teachings are not a tradition, the preservation of these Teachings in human society requires a perfect container for their continuity into the next generation.  Let’s all work together to create a harmonious community presence wherever we are--overflowing with a culture of generosity and mutual appreciation. Let us take care of each other with loving kindness in our big and lively family bursting with such talent and diversity so that we grow and prosper in this sorry kali yuga world of suffering and hardship. For we are mothers and fathers of the future generations of Dzogchen practitioners. 

Needless to say, there are may ways to manifest according to our interests and circumstances. For some it will be financial contributions; for others collaboration and karma yoga; still others practice and study. Spread the joy! Whatever course you choose, know that you are appreciated for all that you do and more. 

Samhain By Annie Finch
(The Celtic Halloween)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

[Annie Finch, "Samhain" from Eve, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Copyright © 1997 by Annie Finch].  Reprinted from the  Poetry Foundation.

On a more personal note, for those of you not on Facebook, check out the Reiss/Mella family Halloween pics from Hawaii.

[Ati,Laila holding Veda, Goma and big bad woolf Joey]

Then there is Goma’s awesome rendition of Krishna, which according to her mother,  she herself thought of and then created. A true Indigo kid!