Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Levenkunst Publishes Article by Malcom Smith on a Historical Overview of Chod

The following article  by Malcolm Smith appears in 
Erik Pema Kunsang and Tara Trinley Wangmo's 
Stellar online publication Levenkunst

Widely regarded as an emanation of Prajnaparamita the Great Mother of all the Buddhas, Aryatara, and Kharchen Yeshe Tsogyal, Machig Labdrön rightly takes her place in history beside eleventh and twelfth century Tibetan patriarchs such as Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, Milarepa, Desheg Dampa, Gampopa, and so on. However, she alone is credited with being the mother of an independent stream of Dharma in Tibet inspired by her visions of Tara and other deities. For this reason, Machig Labdrön’s teachings are considered to be unique amongst the eight practice lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. While never forming an independent school, the principles of Machig’s teachings were widely and enthusiastically adopted, especially amongst the Kagyu and Nyingma sects. Colleges for studying Chöd existed in Tibet until 1959, where students would gradually, over many years, first learn the liturgical melodies of Chöd by heart and later learn the instrumentation, dances, and ancillary rites. ---to read more from Malcolm's article, continue to the Levenkunst  here.

This article, written for the First International Chöd-Zhije Conference, initiated by Lama Tsultrim Allione and hosted by Tara Mandala in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, July 12-16th, 2017 by Ācārya Malcolm Smith is ©2017 Malcolm Smith.

Malcolm Smith has been a student of the Great Perfection teachings since 1992. His main Dzogchen teachers are Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and the late Kunzang Dechen Lingpa. He is a veteran of a traditional three-year solitary Tibetan Buddhist retreat, a published translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts, and was awarded the Acharya degree by the Sakya Institute in 2004. He graduated in 2009 from Shang Shung Institute’s School of Tibetan Medicine. He has worked on translations for renowned lamas since 1992, including His Holiness Sakya Trizin, Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche, Kunzang Dechen Lingpa, Khenpo Migmar Tseten, Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche, Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche and many others.

A Video of Uma Shannon Dancing at Nary Mitchell's Memorial in California on Nov. 19, 2016

Uma Shannon dancing to Amazing Grace at John / Nary Mitchell Memorial with Lynn Mitchell (Nary's sister)  singing and a friend playing flute. 

Nary died on September 29, 2016 while working on Khandroling. He lived at Tsegyalgar East for a number of years where he undertook many projects to benefit our community. To read more tributes visit the Mirror at http://melong.com/died-john-nary-mitchell/

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Message from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil about Renewing Membership for 2017

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 last year’s  Membership.

Our 2017 MEMBERSHIP Registration is Now Open

Renew 2017 / or become a Member at https://dzogchen.net

Our Membership is one of the fundamental commitment toward Rinpoche and his Dzogchen Teachings and represents Tsegyalgar's lifeblood allowing us to sustain his Teachings in North America. 

A certain portion of everyone’s Membership fee helps cover our annual operating expenses, as well as the cost of organizing programs and the creation and hosting of a whole schedule of events.

You Membership also supports maintaining our Community properties and helps toward developing our Global Dzogchen Center in Dzamling Gar. 

We are asking you to PLEASE renew your Membership today, 
as we are in a budget tightening period. 

2017 membership tiers are adapted as issued by the International Gakyil: 

            • Ordinary: $260 / $21 monthly
            • Global Sustaining: $550 /$45 monthly
            • Global Meritorious: $1650 / $137 monthly

Whenever possible please make full membership payment -
The monthly installment payment are meant to help those of you in financial hardship. 
For Special Case Memberships for those in extreme financial hardship, please apply to the Yellow Gakyil. 

All Members have access to our Retreat Cabins, Dzamling Gar House, Restricted Webcast and  replays, access to restricted files and FREE download of Mirror Newsletter. 

 To renew tour membership visit: https://dzogchen.net

Soon you will be sent a request to sign up to attend an online Webex session for the presentation of our new 5-Year Strategic Plan. We are looking for members to give feedback and to collaborate in many community projects. Please sign up.

With Many Thanks and Gratitude, 

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Latest Announcement from Tara Mandala about the Historic Chod-Zhiji Conference and Reduced Rates

Chöd Conference

This historic conference will bring together leading scholars and teachers of the unique Tibetan Buddhist lineages of Chöd and Zhijé in their various forms. Practice retreats to follow July 18-23, 2017. The conference is designed for Dharma practitioners as well as those with scholarly interests ... Read more.

We are happy to announce additional housing options and reduced camping/commuting rates.*
Camping/Commuting: $492 Reduced!
Dorm Yurt: $660 Reduced!
Student rate: $342 Reduced!
Price includes full conference access, camping/commuting, and three meals per day, from dinner on 7/12/17 to lunch on 7/16/17. *Early bird pricing ends March 31, 2017.
Confirmed Follow-up Retreats July 18-23, 2017
Registration Coming soon

  • Chöd Retreat: The Ear-Whispered Lineage of Ganden with Kunze Chimed (Mongolian scholar, writer and singer) & Chöying Khandro. Click for more
  • Tibetan Healing Chöd with Drüpon Lama Karma. Click for more

With speakers: Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Drüpon Lama Karma, Lama Sarah Harding, Sangye Khandro, Dan Martin PhD, Michael Sheehy PhD, Kunze Chimed, Amelia Hall PhD, Karma Lekshe Tsomo PhD, Michelle Sorensen PhD, Alejandro Chaoul PhD, Naksang Rinpoche, Chöying Khandro, Padma Tsho, Sarah Jacoby PhD, Tina Lang, Ācārya Malcolm Smith and others.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Shambhala Publications, Tsadra Foundation and Wisdom Publications.
For more information, please visit:
or email info@taramandala.org

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Message from the Tsegyalgar East Gakyil on Losar Preparations at Tsegyalgar East

Lungta/Prayer Flags on Khandroling

Warm greetings from Tsegyalgar East.  We are nearing the end of the year of the Fire Monkey and beginning to prepare for Tibetan New Year, Losar. Here is a link to a wonderful article by Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo about Losar

Preparing Lungta this weekend
Help prepare the prayer flags we hang at the School house and Khandroling 

The Schoolhouse Lungta

Karma Yoga to prepare for Losar
The following days are auspicious for cleaning. Note the dates we will have organized karma yoga opportunities at the Gar. Please write to Jeremy to coordinate  geko@tsegyalgar.org  on the following dates:
  • Sunday, Feb 5 
  • Tuesday, Feb 14 and 
  • Saturday, Feb 25 cleaning between preparation and eating divination soup
Raising Lungta

The hanging of Lungta/prayer flags is a ver special part of our New Year practice and adds to the beauty and and good fortune of our Gar both at the Schoolhouse and on Khandroling.  We need a few strong people who can help with this action.
Click here for the complete Losar schedule

with Love,

The Tsegyalgar East Gakyil and Geko 

Traditional Tibetan Divination Soup

Monday, January 23, 2017

A PDF Download of The Mirror No.134 is Now Available

This December issue of The Mirror brings 2016 in the International Dzogchen Community to a close. It is with great sadness that we publish a tribute to one of the founding members of the IDC and member of the International Gakyil, Enrico Dell’Angelo, who passed away at the end of the year.

The issue is rich with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s recent Santi Maha Sangha teachings at Dzamling Gar, his talk on his 27 personal commitments as a Teacher, and his advice to SMS instructors at the end of the Training.

The section on the Global Gar in Tenerife gives an update on the Gönpa project as well as the experiences of two of the SMS teachers during the Training.

Issue 134 also focuses on Merigar West in Italy where the long awaited Museum of Asian Art and Culture in the nearby village of Arcidosso was opened by Prof. Namkhai Norbu and celebrated by the authorities of Mt. Amiata and a host of international guests. During the same period, Merigar West celebrated it 35th Anniversary, during which a Festschrift, a publication honoring Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was presented to him. During Rinpoche’s stay at Merigar a street in Arcidosso was named ‘Via Tibet’ in his honor, and the marble Stupa of Complete Victory was consecrated. This issue brings you accounts of all these events, together with many great photos.

This December issue also presents two book reviews of three books, The Holy Madmen of Tibet and The Guru Drinks Bourbon by Alex Studholme, and Buddhahood in This Life by Jacqueline Gens. Diane Kramer and Elio Guarisco have contributed articles on Collaboration, and we have interviewed Fabio Andrico about Harmonious Breathing.

Our Dzogchen artist for this issue is Federico Herrero from Costa Rica while the Dzamling Gar Gekö, Rabjyi, tells a fascinating story of "How He Met Chögyal Namkhai Norbu".
We hope you enjoy the issue!

To read the newest issue visit www.melong.com

Shang Shung Institute Presents UNPLUG Meditation Mondays in Northampton with Lynn Newdome

Join Us on the

First and Third Monday Evening of the Month for
Unplug: Meditation Mondays
with Lynn Newdome

At the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, MAStarting February 6th, 2017 7:00 - 8:00 P.M.

About the Series:The unplug: Meditation Mondays series with Lynn Newdome is an ongoing exploration of meditation and sitting meditation techniques.

Time:Every First and Third Monday of the Month Starting February 6th, 20177:00 - 8:00 P.M.

Location:Sojourner Truth RoomUnitarian Society of Northampton and Florence220 Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060


Cost:By Donation

About the Instructor:Lynn Newdome has been exploring the path of meditation for over 40 years, practicing and studying Tibet’s Buddhist traditions. She is authorized to teach meditation by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. Lynn works professionally as a violinist, teaching from her studio near Northampton and performing with the Chameleon String Quartet.

To register, or for more information, please contact:

Phone: +1 413-369-4928

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's Lungta Time

Lungta Prep for Losar

Date:January 21st-22nd, 2017.
Lungta Prep for Losar
This weekend at the Schoolhouse: Lungta Prep for Losar
Saturday and Sunday 1pm-3pm

Please let Jeremy know you are planning to be there:geko@tsegyalgar.org

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

George Quasha Featured by the Poetry Foundation

--from the Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog

We’ve been going back and taking a deeper look into the new issue of Talisman (we made mention of Joel Lewis’s essay on Baraka last week), and appreciating the generous portfolio of writing by and about George Quasha. The special section is edited by Burt Kimmelman, who providesan introduction. Kimmelman writes:

George Quasha’s presence in the life and work of a great many poets, artists, musicians and filmmakers is most remarkable. And so nearly a dozen critical appreciations of his achievements in the arts have been assembled here. Written by luminaries in their own right, they are meant to broaden awareness of Quasha’s unique contributions in a number of fields of endeavor. George and Susan Quasha (a marvelous artist herself) have been mainstays in a community located close enough to New York City to be an instrumental force in the city’s artistic and intellectual goings on, yet far enough north of the city to have developed a collective character and outlook that may owe something to the bucolic experience possible there. The Quashas put down roots, specifically in Barrytown, New York, having already become a part of the avant garde that was taking shape during the 1960s and ‘70s in the city and its environs.

To continue reading, visit here

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Khandroling Paper Cooperative's Conway Rags to Paper Project Receives a Greater Shelburne Falls Business Association Grant and Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant

Our winning proposal was accepted with an award of $400 towards the lead artists Jacqueline Gens and Madeleine Liebling (KPC Members) who will oversee the Rags to Paper Project at Khandroling Paper Cooperative, as part of Tsegyalgar East's participation in the 250th Anniversary of the Town of Conway, MA. 

This unique project invites residents of the town to make paper from their 100% recycled cotton rags collected from drop off sites in town FROM JANUARY-MAY, 2017 and processed in our hollander beater, affectionately called the "Critter" among international handmade papermakers.

{Jennifer, from the Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine making speciality pulp}

The hand-made paper will be the base for writing stories and poems significant to the personal transformative experiences of participants of all ages in relation to the town of Conway, whether of place, historical, personal, or mythic. This event will take place in two workshop segments led by the lead artists consisting of:

1) April 29, 2016 An Introduction to the Art of Handmade Paper with lead artist Madeline Liebling who will direct individuals into creating dynamic sheets of paper for their literary works from the Conway Rags.

2) May 1, 2017 Literary Workshop with Jacqueline Gens who will introduce writing exercises to stimulate original writing in a variety of forms onto the previously made paper either via, calligraphy, stamping or digital transfer.

Artist members of the cooperative will then assemble in Open Studios, the completed works on scrolls, in accordion books and mounted paper mural to exhibit during the three-day celebration in the yellow schoolhouse and/or another venue in town currently being researched (TBA) during the June 16, 17, 18, 2017 Conway event. Writers may elect to read their works as part of this exhibit during the three-day event.

This project seeks to bring together the transformative power of place, materials and personal evolution over time through the medium of papermaking and storytelling within the context of an important cultural event. Our presence in the historic yellow schoolhouse at the top of the hill will bridge together past, present and future educational and artistic aspirations for those involved in the making and in the viewing of our final works.

We invite local residents to participate in this collectively transformative event.
For further information contact Jacqueline at jacqueline.gens@gmail.com

To experience a preview, the Greater Shelburne Falls H.A.T.C.H. Program will host a public celebration on February 11, 2017 at the Shelburne Falls Community Center to present the creativity of the winning proposals. (Time TBA).

For further information about Tsegyalgar East's participation in the town of Conway's 250th Anniversary, visit here.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Breath and Kumbhaka 8 Week Course with Paula Barry Beginning Monday, January 9, 2017

Breath/Kumbhaka 8 week course

Date:January 9th to February 27th, 2017.
Category:Yantra Yoga Course
Location:Tsegyalgar East Schoolhouse Gonpa
Breath/Kumbhaka 8 week course
Mondays: 5pm-6:30pm with Paula Barry

Suggested Donation of $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds).

In this 8 week series of classes we will begin with breathing exercises and demonstrative yet simple movements that will facilitate the 'unlocking' of the complete breathing so that we will be able to then work with the breath in order to discover and experience the different kinds of inhalation, exhalation, and holds that are necessary for working with and controlling the breath. Once we have begun to establish this knowledge (in the first class) we will continue to develop this with the application of the kumbhaka hold. Over the series of 8 weeks we will apply this knowledge adding visualization, in order to practice of the Seventh Lojong, and some of the profound Pranayamas of the 5 Series of Yantra Yoga. This should be a fun class suitable to all practitioners with transmission and a desire to master and practice the profound methods of Pranayama. It does not require flexibility or strength, merely the ability or the desire to sit in any position with a straight back.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tashi Mannox To return to the US for a Collaborative Workshop Sponsored by Shang Shung Institute and Khandrolng Paper Cooperative.

I bow down to the tradition, I don’t wish to compromise the tradition in the contemporary art I create, I don’t want to water anything down, if anything I want to promote the tradition of Tibetan Calligraphy in a contemporary way. I was trained that way -- Tashi Mannox

Tashi at Tsegyalgar East, teaching Tibetan Calligraphy, 2014, photo by Jacqueline Gens

Shang Shung Institute and Khandroling Paper Cooperative are pleased to announce that Tashi Mannox is scheduled to teach another Tibetan Calligraphy Workshop at Tsegyalgar East the Weekend of May 6 & 7, 2017. Further program information and schedule TBA.

The following link is to an in depth interview with Tashi Mannox by Jacqueline Gens reprinted from the Mirror in April, 2014 following his amazing 2014 workshop. 

To read about Tashi's previous workshop visit Khandroling Paper Cooperative page from 2014 with a slide show and review. 

Participants traveling from out of town may stay in the dormitory onsite for a modest fee or may select other lodging options from Tsegyalgar East's lodging page here. For directions, visit Tsegyalgar East information here [scroll past the 2015 Mohawk School venue info].

To reserve limited space in the dorm, please contact Jeremy, at geko@tsegyalgar.org 

Pamela traveled from California to attend the 2014 workshop, photo by Jacqueline Gens

For further information about Tashi Mannox and his work, visit his website at 

Birth Announcement for Atlas Samten Dorje

 Atlas Samten Dorje was born to Sydney Maresca and Tashi Kaiser (Kundrolling, NYC) on November 19th, 2016, in Kingston, NY. Mama, baby and Papa are healthy and happy.*

*Reprinted from the Mirror

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An Invitation to Visit Tsegyalgar East

Photo of Nancy Paris, Tsegyalgar East Webmaster by Jacqueline Gens, 2016

Dear Vajra Sisters and Brothers,

We'd like to invite any and all volunteers interested in helping with the maintenance of our Gar. You can come and stay for a week, a month, or even three. Motivated self-starters are especially welcome!

Some things to do include:

Cleaning is a steady need, including sweeping the main hall floors as needed and spot mopping as needed, setting up and breaking down/cleaning for Ganapujas.
If somebody is interested in collaborating with our Geko, Jeremy to manage the Gonpa, this would be fabulous.

Other things to do include setting up/breaking down and cleaning for any practices or courses as needed, setting thermostat, lighting, helping manage compost and trash and loading the truck about once a week, shoveling snow away from building as needed.
Stir your creative juices with some painting on the (North) wall, doors here, and touch up spots there. 

Organizing the tool room and rooms in the basement would be a great thing to do.
Cleaning up and fixing up the room Nary was in has been a work in progress. Would you like to be part of this effort? The closet in the Kitchen needs finished and sealed up.
If interested, and we hope you are, please write Jeremy at geko@tsegyalgar.org.

Thanks for your support. Please encourage other Vajra Siblings you know of that may be interested in helping...

Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Coming Soon Year of the Fire Rooster/Bird February 27-March 1, 2017

A preview of our annual Losar poem/image collaboration for 2017 
with original painting by Ingmar Pema Dechen, a visionary artist of
the Dzogchen Community and member of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative.
Visit some of her art here online at:

The annual Losar poem by Jacqueline Gens is currently in progress.........
but here's a taste with more to come:

Year of the Firebird

Ever awake among the slumbering
Lively harbinger of whatever awaits
Each day no task too daunting

For just as the sun rises........