Sunday, February 28, 2016

The News from Tsegyalgar East & Beyond

Praise for Ayukhandro, a Poem by Barbara Paparazzo Is Published in Leveskundst

Barbara Paparazzo's poem was published in Leveskundst The Art of Living, an Ezine founded by Erik Pema Kunsung and Tara Thrinley Wangmo.


In bed sick, tea cold,
listening to crows,
why haven’t I practiced more?

To continue reading her poem, visit here 

Barbara Paparazzo is a poet and practitioner from Conway, Massachusetts. She has published poetry in numerous literary journals as well as a chapbook about her journey to Bodhgaya, The Red Silk Scarf (Shivastan Press).



Morning Pilgrimage and Evening Ganapuja

We celebrate Ayu Khandro, Traveling Yogini of Kham, from whom our beloved Rinpoche received many precious Teachings, including the complete practice of Yangtig.

We honor her with our practice of Traveling and Ganapuja.

Morning Pilgrimage Schedule
7:15AM Gather together at lower Khandroling for Hot Butter Tea or Hot Water
147 Block of East Buckland Rd.
7:30AM Pilgrimage from Rinpoche's House to Rinpoche's Cabin at Upper Khandroling
8:30AM (or upon arrival)
Light the Butter Lamp
Nine Breathings
Kalongdorjikar (Dance of the 12 A)
Medium Tun with extended Vajra Breathing
Relaxing and Enjoying. Please bring something light to share for breakfast as desired.
10:00AM (or upon completion) Parting
Evening Ganapuja at Tsegyalgar Gonpa
Vajra Dance Tun: 6-7pm
Arrive 7pm for 7:30pm Ganapuja - will be webcast
We will Dance the Song of the Vajra (in Costume)



[First monoprint titled DRUK (Tibetan for Dragon) by Madeline printed on the press ]

Khandroling Paper Cooperative
initiated its first printmaking on the recently acquired kelton etching press. Using carved woodblocks, they made prints of Lotus and AHs as well as monoprints using non-toxic inks. The results were well received by happy members:Tatianna Shannon, Madeline Leibling, Brenda Lilly and Sheryl Jaffe. The next Open Studio workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 12 to make an edition of Lotus cards for the Khandroling Lotus Project in progress and to create new origami forms with Brenda Lilly.

To stay updated SIGN UP or visit their blog at Http://

[KPC members: Tatianna, Madeline, Brenda, and Sheryl]


Friday, February 19, 2016

We're Back!!! Khandroling Farm Co-op Meeting


Bottom LEFT TO RIGHT: Tim, Vladimir, Jeremy, Amanda, Martin, 
2nd ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: Bret, Mickayla, Nary
                                               (absent from Photo --Lauri Marder & Jacqueline Gens)                                                                                                                     
On Thursday, February 18, 2016 several Dzogchen Community members from Tsegyalgar East met at Lauri and Brett's Ox and Rabbit B & B  in Shelburne Falls for a pot-luck dinner /meeting to explore reviving the Lower Khandroling Farm Co-op for 2016. Among those present were our gekod, Jeremy Keaton; Community secretary Tim Fisher; Nary Mitchell, an orIginal member of the Farm Co-op; Tim's housemates, Vladimir Zaitsey and Mickyala Dilorenzo; Red Gakyil member Amanda Pollock; SSI Bookstore co-manager, Martin Bobak; SSI secretary, Bret Bourman and Lauri Marder; and Jacqueline Gens, founder of Khandroling Paper Cooperative in 2012 whose idea it was to meet together. 

The purpose of the meeting was to "meet and greet" newer members of the community who have shown interest in the Farm Co-op and to focus on their personal experiences, ideas and skills they have for the revival of the farm on Lower Khandroling. 

To facilitate this Community building process with its emphasis on collaboration and create the necessary infrastructure to run the Farm Co-op efficiently, the group will meet every three weeks for a pot-luck dinner meeting. Anyone interested in attending, please contact the secretary Tim Fisher at

The NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING is Thursday, March 10, 2016  at 6:00 PM

The current assignment is for everyone to bring 1 package of starter seeds to the March 10 meeting. Our agenda will cover a combination of sharing resources, scheduling of necessary activities and priorities, as well as other agenda items introduced by the participants. If anyone is interested in the development of an agricultural cooperative, now is the time to get on board where numerous skills and talents are required, not just an agricultural background. 

By March 10,  Spring will be around the corner. So come join us as we inaugurate a new season. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gekod's Report of 2015 Improvements at Tsegyalgar East PART 1

[Divination Soups Photo by Paula Barry]

Despite some financial challenges, 2015 proved a productive year for making many improvements to Tsegyalgar East including both the Yellow Schoolhouse and Khandroling properties. These are summarized in Jeremy Keaton's, the Gekod at TE, in a report below.

In addition to the following improvements, new initiatives for practice and online resources such as webcasting all monthly pujas began in 2015. In keeping with Losar, we  bring to a close the past year and look forward to an active Year of the Fire Monkey. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our report for activities scheduled for 2016. 

2015 RECAP from the Gekod:


My primary focus for the Schoolhouse in 2015 was to focus on energy efficiency improvements in the most optimal way possible by using primarily any materials we already have in order to have the largest impact on saving money in the long term, to make sustainability of our community more possible. Many of these things didn't cost us anything and others very little.

• Attic: Everything stored in the attic has been taken out. Removed the old cistern and dismantled the chimney to a few feet below the attic floor. Built a frame to seal off the chimney to prevent air leakage and heat loss. Floor was sealed off from the chimney to the back of the building above the crawlspace to stop heat loss and so it can hold insulation. Improved the ventilation of the attic. Finally, inside the attic floor was insulated and the insulation in the walls of the second floor were topped off. These things will make huge differences in our heating bill and reduce stress on the heating system here. It will also help to prevent future ice damage and leakage. The bricks will be sold.

• Replaced all 9 thermostats in the building with programmable thermostats. They cost nearly nothing. This was primarily done to ensure that the heat is turned back down to 50 degrees automatically, since it is common that people forget to do this, even though there are signs. Please continue to remember to turn the heat down when you leave by pressing the down buttons to set the heat back to 50 degrees.

• Added a large amount of pipe insulation to the heating system, which reduces our heating bill, protects pipes from freezing and stops condensation from cold pipes in the summer which mitigates some mold formation.

• Dormitory ceiling was repaired. The dorm closet was repaired and finished, making it air tight to prevent heat loss into the attic, insulated and hid the pipes behind a wall and a dropped ceiling to keep heat where we want it to be. The closet in one of the bedrooms was finished and sealed as well for the same purpose.

• All new energy efficient LED lighting was installed in the entire Schoolhouse. All brand new LED tube lights replaces the fluorescent light bulbs, new fixtures and covers were installed and dimmer switches installed in the Gonpa to reduce brightness and save money. Here are a little bit of statistics involving the lighting in the Gonpa:

1. - There are 144 bulbs in the Gonpa. Changing them from fluorescent (if 144 bulbs were on) to LED bulbs cut the power usage cost of lighting in half in the Gonpa when at full brightness.

2. - If all 144 bulbs are on and dimmed to the lowest setting of 30%, they use less power than 7 incandescent 100 watt screw-in bulbs. That is an 85% reduction in costs of electricity for lighting in the Gonpa.

• Much thicker vinyl was cut for all of the windows in the Schoolhouse. This vinyl is now being used for its second year and will likely last a few more years. This saves costs in covering the windows each year, costing only tape and staples, and acts as a thicker insulating and air leakage sealer. This saves money on our heating bill, and reduces drafts.

• Many of the windows leak air primarily due to the tops of the windows sagging down. Some descend faster, some slower. Strong wooden dowels were primed and installed in these windows to prop up the top parts of the windows to prevent sagging. In 2015, 3 different times I had to push many of the windows up so they would seal properly. Many people who are familiar with working on the building know what I am talking about. This problem is essentially solved and simplifies the Geko position with the dowels installed.

• Other many more smaller air leakage blockage and energy efficiency related work has been done as well.  As a result of all of the above, costs have been reduced and we burn less propane for eating, even with increasing activity. The Schoolhouse holds heat significantly better than in the past, is more comfortable for visitors, and there is less stress on the heating systems, effectively extending the life of the systems and likely reducing the cost of maintenance and repairs over the life of the system.

Other Schoolhouse work in 2015:
• Switches were installed for the string lights in the Gonpa, making available softer lighting.

• New shelving was installed in the library, as well as LED lights for the work stations, a tea station, new curtains, and a computer. Cataloging, archiving and digitizing library materials is ongoing and much progress was made in the library in 2015.

• A reception area was created in the building foyer with a couch and some comfortable seating along with small tables were moved into the main hall of the Schoolhouse for anyone who comes to visit.

• Repointing of the foundation brick around the Schoolhouse was finished as well as some patching of the parking lot around the edge of the Schoolhouse.

• Nary built and tested a Hugelkulture bed to grow lettuce and vegetables for anyone staying at the Schoolhouse to eat, as well as the lettuce and food planted in any of the flower beds around the Schoolhouse. This design has been begun on Khandroling.

• The most used mandala on the floor of the Gonpa was repaired and repainted.

Archivist/Librarian, Marit Cranmer for many months has worked to develop storage systems for the library holdings developed over thirty years and to create an inviting environment to study in. The library was outfitted with drapes, new bookshelves and repairs as needed.  She is currently digitizing many practice and teaching tapes onto the Library computer as a resource for listening to Teachings in the library. Collections of dharma publications have grown significantly. Today there is a "Reserve" shelf for SMS related texts quoted in The Precious Vase.                                                                                                                             
I rebuilt essentially the entire computer network system here in the Schoolhouse. When I first came, there were many problems. As time went on, more problems manifested and the network started collapsing in large sections, one after the other. In summary, I hard wired everything I could, ran new wires to replace old wires that were faulty or damaged, threw away all 3 old routers and bought 1 new, secure, strong router to replace them all, installed switches where there were old routers (switches are very cheap and generally are more durable). We also got a new gateway. In brief, approximately 90% of the networking in the building is brand new, save a few wires.

Dark Retreat Cabin:
• Thoroughly cleaned and restored to good working condition so that people can do retreat in the cabin again. New door installed. Blockage of some mice entry and air leakage.



• A new section of road was built between the pond and the Vajra Hall.

• Siding on the bathhouse was finished.

• Togal cabin foundation partially stabilized.

• Wood finish applied to the inside walls and ceiling of the Togal cabin to prevent further mildew formation.

• Wood chip piles were spread around to create a path to the Guardian cabin from Bathhouse, to Rinpoche's cabin from the new section of the road, and to create a new walking scenic path from the Pond cabin to the Vajra Hall.

• Repainting of the Guardian cabin steps and the Endless Knots.

• We cleaned out underneath and around all of the cabins. There was very much extra wood and materials underneath the cabins that were relocated to one spot so we can see clearly what materials we have for future development. T=

-Jeremy Keaton

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Shang Shung Institute to Offer Weekly Meditation Practice to the Public

Open to All. No registration required.

Thursdays 8:00-9:00AM

Tsegyalgar East, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA 01341

Please arrive a little bit early to be seated by the beginning of the session.
Stay and visit afterward. SSI Bookstore opens at 9:30AM.

The practice of the Yoga of the calm state (Tib. ཞི་གནས་ zhi gnas) is an essential practice for living a harmonious, healthy and happy life. It brings into balance body, energy and mind.
A daily meditation practice can help to stabilize and clarify emotions and freshen life. The benefits of meditation have been scientifically established. Meditation can reduce stress and relieve physical, mental and emotional imbalances. Meditation can improve concentration, as well as improving the health of our cardiovascular and immune systems.

All are welcome to sit together in the practice of the yoga of the calm state. These practice sessions are open to people of all levels and capacities. No registration is required.

Please feel free to contact the coordinator at with any questions about this activity.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Losar, Tibetan New Year Traditions by Dr.Phuntsog Wangmo

Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo has written an article in The Mirror on Losar, the Tibetan New Year . The article is rich in detail regarding the many traditions and customs of Losar. To continue reading, click on the link below.

Losar celebration with horses. Photo L. Ottaviani

Tibetan New Year is called Losar and is celebrated to welcome in the New Year. New Year is a festival common to the whole world and celebrated at different times, according to the way the beginning of a new year is calculated. There are, however, great differences within Tibet re­garding the preparations for the auspicious ceremonies of the New Year determined by the cus­toms of certain regions. Tibetan people who live in high, snowy regions have many traditional festivals, the New Year being the most elaborate.

To read more, visit the Mirror

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Membership Renewal at Tsegyalgar East

Dear Tsegyalgar East Members,

On behalf of the TSEGYALGAR East Gakyil and in the spirit of the coming Losar, we want to thank you all for your last year Membership and announce that our 2016 MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

Renew 2016 / Become a member

This year our membership tiers are adapted to the guidelines issued by the International Gakyil and you can choose between the 3 tiers

  • Ordinary: $260 / $21 monthly
  • Global Sustaining: $550 /$45 monthly
  • Global Meritorious: $1650 / $137 monthly
*The monthly installment payment are meant to help those of you in financial hardship - (whenever possible please make full membership payment)

PAID Members have FULL access to Closed Webcasts, replays and associated restricted files also FREE download of Mirror Newsletter. For more benefits visit


Through Membership fee sharing, you contribute to the life of your Gar, your Ling, and the International Dzogchen Community. A certain portion of everyone’s Membership fee helps cover these annual expenses, as well as the cost of organizing programs and the creation and hosting of a whole schedule of events.

Our Membership is still the fundamental commitment of “taking responsibility” and represents Tsegyalgar's lifeblood, allowing us to sustain Rinpoche's Dzogchen Teachings in North America.

With many thanks,
Tsegyalgar East Gakyil