Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Making of a Divination Soup by Chez Yeshe

Yeshe and Mira 

Our beautiful Yeshe Tsomo every year works her culinary magic at Tsegyalgar East for Losar and many other special events. Divination soup is one of the marvels of Losar festivities in the Tibetan tradition where everyone receives a dumpling with a message for the New Year.

Here are some of the symbols of divination soup as told to us by Dr Phuntsog Wangmo several years ago. For example, if there is a piece of wool in your dumpling, it means that one is calm, soft and smooth. If there is a bone, it means that one is very strong. Chili pepper means that one has intense energy and speech, sometime harsh. There are many more interesting divinations!

Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo

Making the dumplings

All photos by Anasuya Weil

Monday, February 27, 2017

May 5-7, 2017 - A Meditative Approach to Creativity with Tibetan Calligraphy Artist Tashi Mannox

Renowned calligrapher and artist Tashi Mannox will present an interactive workshop where participants bring their hand and heart of awareness while creating an ensō* and selected seed syllables**. Tashi will explain the historical and contemporary sacred integrity of Tibetan calligraphy and mark-making, and how to unite heaven and earth though the creative process of spiritual practice in art - as a means of liberating the mind.

The unique nature of this weekend workshop which is co-sponsored by Shang Shung Institute and Khandroling Paper Cooperative, is to realize the perfection in the imperfection, with an attitude of non expectation and fearlessness through creativity. Anybody can attend and does not need previous artistic experience as a calligrapher. 

Some paper, ink and brushes provided.

*an ensō is a disciplined-creative practice of traditional Japanese Zen ink painting, a circle that is hand-drawn in one uninhibited brushstroke to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

**Seed Syllables Link

Wrathful HUM by Tashi Mannox

Dormitory option at $30 a night in the Yellow Schoolhouse
***Some work exchanges may be possible for teacher care, set-up and clean-up, registration, Airport pick and departure for Tashi, and cooking.

Tsegyalgar East all events in the Yellow Schoolhouse
18 Schoolhouse Road
Conway, MA 01341

Friday Night, May 5th, 2017-- Book Signing and Reception-- 5:30-7:30 PM
On the evening of Friday, May 5th, a public reception and book signing of Tashi’s new publication 'Sacred Scripts' - A Meditative Journey through Tibetan Calligraphy - illuminating the beauty of the various and endangered Tibetan scripts, through inspiring, if not thought provoking Buddhist quotes and Buddha images. Endorsed by H.H Dalai Lama. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017 --
Class 9:30 -12:30 PM (tea break)
Lunch Break 12:30 PM--1:30 PM (usually pot luck)
Class 1:30-5 PM (Tea Break)Dinner -Catered Tibetan style (donation requested) at the schoolhouse 

Optional: for those interested Khandroling Paper Cooperative will give a hands on introduction to papermaking after dinner.

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Same as Saturday through 5:00 PM
Dinner TBA local restaurant

SPECIAL EVENT: Monday, May 8, 2017
In the Khandroling Paper Studio with Tashi to make calligraphy PAPER using sacred texts and substances added to traditional Asian fibers. Limited to 6 people. This is a very special event. Please apply early. By donation. 

For further information about work exchanges and papermaking option contact, Jacqueline at jacqueline.gens@gmail.com or 413-522-1125

REGISTRATION: http://www.shangshung.org/home/tashimannox/ For more information or contact secretary @ shangshung.org or (413) 369-4928 for more information.

To reserve space in the Tsegyalgar East dormitory, contact Jeremy at geko@tsegyalgar.org

To view a slide show of Tsshi's 2015 workshop at co-sponsored by Shang Shung Institute and Khandroling Paper Cooperative, visit here.

For an interview with Tashi, visit the Mirror. 

Losar Greetings from Tsegyalgar East

More Losar Greetings - from our Outliers and to our Outliers

Diana and Michael Sullivan are among our many outlier practitioners who practice in small groups through out the US. They recently participated in Tsegyalgar East's webinar for Strategic Planning. Last summer a number of practitioners from Milwaukee participated in our Summer Celebration. Hello Milwaukee!!!!


Here's a message from Elise Gonzales from San Antonio, Texas

A Happy and Prosperous Losar
For Our Precious Teacher, His Whole Family,
Our Precious Vajra Family,
The Dzogchen Community!!!

With Love and Best Wishes from Texas,
Allan, Anne, Brad, Cristal, Elisa, Gabriela,
Kris, Laura, Linda, Shiva, Susan, Suzi, Tashi


Another Message from  Dianeah Wanicek from Yellow Springs, Ohio

This is a short description of the Dzogchen practice group in Yellow Springs,Ohio and a bit of history about the Yellow Springs Dharma Center where group practice happens. It is my wish that this gives you some context for this dedicated, little group in this village of 4000.

In 1988 I met with the teachings for the first time when I discovered the book,
The Crystal and the Way of Light, in the library of the Antioch College Buddhist Studies Program at the Burmese Vihar, Bodh Gaya India. It was the first year that I joined the program that my husband had begun in 1979. Reading that book set me on the path to meeting the Master.

A few months after returning home that year we visited old friends in Berkeley, Margaret and Ken Bradford (then still married). She told me about Yantra Yoga and all things Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. I was elated! I shall always be grateful to her. That stream of very exciting info along with lasting impression of the book sealed the quest for me. I went to my first retreat in 1990 and two years later to the 1992 retreat and every one since then. A few other local friends that had also been on those retreats wanted to continue practicing Yantra and the Short and Medium Tuns together back home at the Yellow Springs DharmaCenter. ( The Yellow Springs Dharma Center was founded by my husband and myself with a group of friends in the mid 80’s.) I practiced on my own too and studied for and passed the base exam in 1996.

Through time those that practiced together came and went. I practiced alone most of the time but missed not being able to manifest a larger community of Dzogchen practitioners.

(It is not so easy to do the Dance of the Vajra by yourself) I hosted the Webcasts and before that Video “casts.” Slowly things moved but often they seemed to stall. In the last 3 to 4 years however there has been an upsurge in interest and now we have around 5 to 8 people attending Ganapujas twice a month. Some of them are long time Dzogchen practitioners and everyone in this group is dedicated to Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and the teachings. Shitro practice has been done for those who have died. We still attempt Yantra Yoga twice a month, though arthritis has cramped some of us in our moves. Lynn Sutherland has been here to teach Yantra Yoga twice since 2009. The group that formed for those retreats does not always come for the Yantra practice and most were not students of Rinpoche’s. Some of them were yogi’s and some were Zen and Vipassnana Practitioners. The rest were Dzogchen practitioners and they do participate in the other Dzogchen practices at the Center. All of those that attend Ganapujas and Shitro have been to Rinpoche’s retreats and received transmission. To have 5 people from our group travel to Tsegyalgar together in 2015 for the first time seemed like a great victory.

A little on the Yellow Springs Dharma Center. We are a center that holds all three traditions together in Rime’ fashion. Vipassana, Zen and Dzogchen practitioners work together on the various committees that keep the center running. We are completely donation based. We have had Vipassna teachers, Zen Roshi’s, and other Dzogchen master teachers visit throughout the years, especially those that have been connected to the Antioch Buddhist Studies Program which has had a strong link to our center.

Tsultrim Allione led the Mandarava Retreat here in June 1999. (Subsequently I organized her Pilgrimages to Maratika and another to Bhutan and helped lead the logistical side of things in-country.) It is the teachings of our Master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche that the group is dedicated to, connects with on Retreats and Webcasts and continues to practice collectively at the center. It keeps us linked together in a very earnest and very joyful way (…Im thinking now about our Losar Celebration last night).

Please let me know if you have any questions, there is of course lots more information but I have tried to be as brief as possible. We would like to let others know what is happening here as so few of Rinpoche’s students in this middle land are connected to each other. What do you think?

Thank you Jacqueline
Dianeah Wanicek
Yellow Springs Dharma Center Board Member
Dzogchen practice organizer and Tsegyalgar Member


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Barbara Paparazzo's Poem "A Praise for Ayu Khandro" Published in Levekunst

Ayu Khandro (1839-1953) spent much of her life wandering Tibet’s charnel grounds and practicing Chod, to cut. In this practice, the practitioner cuts attachment by offering her own body to all those to whom she has a debt, including demons. This practice is done primarily in desolate places such as graveyards at night where the energy can be terrifying. In the charnel grounds of Tibet, bodies were left in the open to the elements to be eaten by vultures and other scavengers in what was known as a sky burial. After Ayu Khandro had been wandering as a Chodpa for many years, she had a dream of a stone hut by a river with no windows and multi-colored light streaming out. She built herself such a hut and lived for more than 50 years in total darkness practicing Yangtig. This practice is part of the Upadesha series of Dzogchen teachings.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu met her when he was 14 years old. His biography of Ayu Khandro begins, “This biography is only a drop in the nectar of Ayu Kandro’s life.” The complete biography of Ayu Khandro as written by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu is included in Women of Wisdom by Tsultrim Allione. Here follows Barbara's poem:

Praise for Ayu Khandro

In bed sick, tea cold,
listening to crows,

why haven’t I practiced more?
I think of you in your hut.....

to continue reading visit Levekunst

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).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nicole Bini-Hadfield 15/12/1949 - 24/02/2017

Our Vajra sister Nicole Bini Hadfield passed away on February 24, 2017 in France. She had decided not to cure a cancer that was already too advanced, preferring to stop eating. She passed away in her sleep in hospital.

She will be buried on Monday February 27 at 3:00 pm in her small village, Douville in the Perigord area, with her husband Royal and very close to her parents Solange and Angiolo.

Reprinted from the Mirror

Nicole served as Geko for Tsegyalgar in the late nineties regaling us with her exquisite culinary skills and lively personality while here. She was an excellent fine arts painter and deeply dedicated to serving others.  Please leave your comments. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Losar Poem for the Year of the Yin Fire Rooster/Bird

Original art by Ingmar Pema Dechen, 2017

Year of the Fire Rooster/Bird

Ever awake among the slumbering
Lively harbinger of whatever awaits
Each day no task too daunting
For just as the sun rises
You’re always ready for any occasion
Reliable, precise, and to the point
No poison too toxic nor lethal
For that bright display which cheers us on
O great Fire Bird who arises from ashes
To transport us beyond our limits
In shining iridescence to meet our purpose
We welcome your daily summons
Into the fray at day’s break

Jacqueline Gens
Tsegyalgar East
Dakini Day, 2.21.17


Please credit Jacqueline and Ingmar if you you forward their image and poem. They are currently collaborating on rendering all sixty animal/element combinations into illustrated/poems. To read more about this project called "The Mansion of Elements" visit here.  There you will also find poems from 2007 to the present. 

Losar Schedule at Tsegyalgar East

February 25th to March 1st, 2017.
Losar Weekend: Purification of 6 Lokas & Vajra Dance
Losar, the Tibetan New Year by Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo

Special Karma Yoga Day for Cleaning
  • Saturday, February 25th between learning to make the soup and culmination of the soup.

Saturday, February 25th
  • 10am Review of Vajra Dance That Benefits Beings
  • 11:30am Learn to Make Tibetan Soup with Yeshe Tsomo!
  • 2:30pm - Divination Soup and Celebration!
    ** Please RSVP to secretary@shangshung.org by February 23rd if you are planning to attend so we know how many dumplings to make.** 
    Please note this year we are having a daytime event to make sure everyone can attend

Sunday, February 26th
  • 10am Practice of Purification of Six Lokas
  • 2:30 to 3:30pm Review of Vajra Dance That Benefits Beings
  • 3:30 to 4:30pm Practice of Vajra Dance That Benefits Beings
  • 5pm New Moon Ganapuja - will be webcast!

Tsegyalgar Webcast Link 
Password: TORMA (all capital letters)

Monday, February 27th - 1st Day of Losar - Fire Bird Year
  • 7:00am Decorate Shrine
  • 7:00am Long Life Mandarava Practice
  • 8:00am Breakfast
  • 4:00pm Pagchen Day, Khaita and Potluck Dinner

Wednesday, March 1st
  • 10:00am - Lungta Raising

Tsegyalgar East Invites You to Attend Our Second Summer Celebration on Khandroling - Monday, July 17 – Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dear Vajra Brothers and Sisters,

Warm winter greetings from Tsegyalgar East. We are happy to announce the Second Tsegyalgar Summer Celebration on Khandroling, the Land of the Dakinis. Our practice and celebration together will be held from Monday, July 17 thru Sunday, July 23, 2017.

We aim to build on the momentum and success of our first summer celebration that took place last summer (July/August, 2016). It was well attended and we have received much expressed interested in doing this again.

As many of you know, our 2016 retreat coordinator, Anastasia Ezequelle, did a remarkable job with organizing and managing the planning and details for last year’s celebration. We are fortunate to have Sarale Lizdas as the 2017 retreat coordinator. Welcome, Sarale!

This second annual gathering on the land will be an intensive 7-day retreat offering collective practice, community collaboration, dancing, music, food, and more. Authorized Community Teachers have been invited, for teaching and practice of Santi Maha Sangha, Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga and Khaita.

Organizing such an event requires time, resources, and financial investment. To develop and organize well, we need to achieve at least fifty pre-registration $50 donations/deposits. We invite you to express your intent to help Tsegyalgar East achieve its goal of self-sustainability and support the planning and fruition of the summer retreat.

We hope that you will join us--making your commitment to the Gar’s self-sustainability and ensuring a space in the 2017 Tsegyalgar Celebration summer retreat with your $50 donation/deposit. You can make your donation by clicking HERE.

Please take a moment and complete a survey to help us plan well. It is only 9 questions. The survey is anonymous, so if you are willing to lend a hand during the celebration please email Sarale at: slizdas@gmail.com


Many tashi delegs,
Tsegyalgar East Gakyil

For a recap of last summer's 2016 Celebration, visit here

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tsegyalgar West invites you to participate in a unique Karma Yoga and Practice Event

Paint and Decoration of the Gompa
Collective practices / karma yoga / workshops
March 21 / April 28 - 2017

with special guests: Migmar Tsering and Yushan Zhong, experts on traditional Tibetan painting

Collective Practices: Presence, Karma Yoga, Vajra Dance, Khaita Joyful Dances, Yantra Yoga, Green Tara

Karma yoga: Painting and decoration of the Gompa, fences, wood maintenance, cooking.

Tsegyalgar West invites you to join in a unique and great opportunity to participate in the painting decoration of the Gompa ….. An historical moment! We will practice presence, karma yoga, collaboration, learn about Tibetan Art……a taste of Tibet in our Gar.

The work will be organized and directed by Migmar Tsering, a well know Tibetan artist that has collaborated since almost 20 years in many important projects of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu for the Dzogchen Community.

Migmar is asking for 3 volunteers qualified with some painting skills or interest in learning traditional Tibetan painting, agile, available to work at full time, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, from April 1 to 28th. Thee 3 people will can receive lodging and food from the Gar.

We are also open to receive a limited number of people willing to collaborate for shorter period on the painting of the Gompa or just gather together to perform the different activities at a special price for this season.

Special prices for this seasons per person
• Camping or dormitory 20 dls
• Casita 30 dls (in shared house)
• Casita 40 dls (individual, according to availability)
The price includes 3 meals a day

At the end of the day we will practice Khaita Joyful Dances together to relax in harmony

For more information:
tsegyalgarw...@gmail.com / 2000.g...@gmail.com

Migmar Tsering
From young age he studied Tibetan painting and decoration in Lhasa. From his seventeen to twenty-three years he was living and working at Zangdogpalri monastery, in Kongpo, east Tibet, the monastery of Dudjom Rinpoche, where Chod Nyid Rinpoche and his wife, Khadro Dechen Rinpoche, the daughter of Dudjom Rinpoche, started to rebuild the monastery and in that period was looking for artist to decorate the monastery. In the same period he studied thanka painting.

Then he went to Galenteng Monastery, in Derge county, Sichuan Province where he painted and decorated the la-brang, the old house of the Abbot Khyentse Chökyi Wangchuk, uncle of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. When he finished Namkhai Norbu invited him to Merigar where he is living since that time.

From his arrival to Italy he directed and executed, between other projects, the decorations of the Gompas of Merigar West - Italy, Tashigar Norte – Venezuela, Merigar East - Romania, Kunsangar South - Ukraina, the M.A.C.O. “Museum of Art and Oriental Culture” in Arcidisso, Italy, the chӧrten of Kunsangar South. His most recent work was the construction of the “Palbar Chörten” the Victory Stupa at Merigar West in January 2017.

Eulogy To a Transparency: A Eulogy for Enrico Dell' Angelo by Louise Landes Levi

Eulogy To a Transparency

of Enrico Dell' Angelo
is no easy task especially when I somehow
can not believe he is ‘dead’/ or no more or gone:
                                           gate gate parama gate parasamgate bodhi swaha.

I was not a personal friend of E. Dell A.,
not at all, but he was an intermediary, not just for me.
In the 1980s, he was THE catch, believe me
I was washing dishes, yes, in Merigar,
each day 3 or 4 sometimes 5 girls
wld. come to tell me about
their special connection
to Enrico Dell'Angelo.

They wld. describe,
for example, a glance, a confirmation
(of hidden interest) a hint  (of hidden passion) –
it was a veritable fever. I never disclosed the one to the other.
Later I understood… what if all that energy projected onto NN,
no, Enrico was doing a service.
For a day or two I had the fever myself,
some people went through the entire decade
stricken w. love for

In fact,
we all LOVED him -
. Enrico: auctioning his beautiful damaru to help Rimpoche
who was raising money for Merigar by selling cloths, draped across his arm,
tales of Enrico, X & Rimpoche caught for a night in a mountain refuge,
drinking urine to keep warm,
Rosa not even worried, particularly.
I  later heard/

Enrico & Andrea
buying a house
in Tirana,
not far fr. Merigar,
Enrico raising horses & peacocks.
Enrico was a great, really flawless translator,
I used to love to read his translation of the story of the birds,
translated so poetically into a perfect Italian that even I,
whose Italian was imperfect cld. read it.
I wondered how that
was possible?

I am going to Milano  –  by train, but have no $.
Enrico buys a book which I am sure he will never read,
AMIATA, an early poetry collection, modeled after the Japanese, in format.
O, it’s my birthday, Enrico, is passing
around a cake, saying, this is how we celebrate.
& then Enrico & Isabel, everywhere,
on the dance mandala, in the new
Shang Shung office.Arcidosso,
later in NYC.

Enrico & Andrea,
early on, with Clemente & Fabio,
the arms of NN. I remember seeing Enrico
Jacomela & Andrea sitting w. Rimpoche,
in local pizza  place & thinking  they,
the 3 of them w. blue eyes & dark hair
had come fr. some other planet
to assist the master.

what he’s dong now,
I am sure he is still assisting.
Enrico in NYC, working for Soros, very dignified,
by this time I shook his hands when he we met,
he found that very funny, but I really considered
him to be a gentleman whose hand I shld.
shake, in a formal & dignified manner.

I heard, fr. his in laws,
worked tirelessly  in Tibet. He was
so clever so kind & so determined
that, I heard fr. a practitioner,
the Chinese after some time,
forbid him entry.
forbidhim to

He was famous among
the nomads & the opera singers
& I am sure in many hidden places of the vast land.
But in NYC, he was a New Yorker, somehow slightly
more dignified, especially when he’d show up at
Khandro Ling.
There was something
in Enrico’s presence that authenticated,
even for someone like me,

In France one time,
we were in some kind of forest retreat,
I had a big reading in Rome to which I was more or less indifferent.
NN insisted I go – traveling by auto stop –
(in fact he was there, when I finally arrived).
Enrico said to me
the transmission develops
according to the potential of the individual
I never forgot those words.

Another time,
faced w. what seemed to be an
insurmountable problem, something
that had manifested in
the Mandarava practice,
I didn’t know anyone in whom I could confide,
I chose Enrico for some reason & wrote him a very long letter.
He never responded – in kind -but I got the sure answer,
which was: do nothing & sure enough
on the 8th of December NNs birthday
& my grand mother’s death day,
fr. an unknown source, a letter arrived w. the document
I suspected existed. & which totally clarified the situation.
I never knew who sent that document

Enrico for all his accomplishments was very funny,
he had so many sides like a well-polished crystal,
& I say this without ever having a personal
relation to him, just observation.

New Year’s Eve,
we are playing in the gompa, then
in the ‘Yellow House’ now the serkhang
I think we are devising an absurd game,
based on certain respectful Tibetan practices -,
which some of those present had done, prostrations etc.
These games are so absurd – Laura Albini , Mario Maglietti, 
all are absorbed in the mirthful atmosphere or has Rimpoche invented the games?.., 
Suddenly it’s mid night. The sanga at that precise moment sits down & simultaneously intones


I always remember Enrico, sitting so straight, somehow perfectly manifesting,
presence - manifesting out of nowhere, out of all the mirth,
out of his own heart, a perfect
practice ofAti yoga.
The year is I think 1985/
fr. these early years to now,
Enrico manifested these qualities.
Mysterious qualities.

A kind of presence a kind of transparency,
a kind of spontaneity that was also exceedingly formal
when necessary O, almost forgot,
the haircut.

one point
Enrico seems to
prefer horses & peacocks
to the challenges at Merigar,
so we didn’t see him too much tho
he was always somehow present.
It was toward the end of this period
that the master, for one reason or another,
decided upon a hair cutting ceremony. Everyone was getting their hair cut,
again in the yellow house, on the balcony, where an official kind of meeting
place now exists. Enrico too, he suddenly arrived & lo the scissors. 
It was so charming to observe the master w. Enrico,
now all those hairs are gone
as is he.

I really felt
(& feel) most of the time
quite awkward around the students of NN, the ‘community’,
partly  due to the outrage I seem to inspire (or mistrust). Enrico by
contrast & rightfully so, inspired trust -  partly
due to my natural reticence & inability to conform.
NN never had any problem
w. these characteristics.

I followed
& follow faithful for more
than half my life, a life which I consider
NN to have saved, so I gladly offer it to him.
But back to Enrico. I wld. devise, due to the above,
‘hiding places’, in Italy, in NYC - invariably
Enrico wld. show up or even LIVE  exactly in these areas,
The Piazza Navrona, a particular café, I am feeling 
so good to be ‘free’ at last, & suddenly Enrico 
w. another of his girls - at a beautiful concert 
in Rome, for connoisseurs, suddenly,
Enrico -1980s.
later, hidden on Ave.. A &e  9th street,
the Alt. Dot, the Café Pick Me Up,
where does E. move,
exactly there to my astonishment.
Enrico was immensely present.
He gave me instructions
which I knew came fr.
the master’s heart.
He knew about things without being told,
resolved various conflicts as I wondered how
he even knew about them. It is incomprehensible
to me that  Enrico is no longer here.

Maria & I sat in Tokyo,
talking, trying to understand
Enrico is not here
a big white bird,
a gull of some sort, sat on the rail
overlooking the river the entire time,
until we fished our séance.
I was sure it was

Eulogy for an Insider so Transparent he was Everywhere

-NN   Choegyal Namkhai Norbu
-The bird story  L’Insegnamento degli uccelli
Traduzione dal tibetano e cura di E. Dell Angelo,
 ed. Shang Shung ed.
-Soros – George Soros, TRACE Foundation, NYC.
-X   Jampel Dell’Angelo who informs me that, in fact, no urine was imbibed when the 3 were stranded. It was instead suggested by Enrico that by urinating on their clothing, the 3 might stay warm, a suggestion subsequently vetoed by the master. I have left the original version, however. In India, both whimsical & literal interpretation of text is permitted. The retelling of a noble or saintly person’s life is called hagiography in the same tradition, namtar in Tibetan. As text exits in memory, as well as on paper, I leave the original, a reminder of the mythic quality of memory & of certain individuals whose actions transform into myth.

               This insufficient eulogy
             was completed, on 13.2.2017-
       the final day of the xitro practice for Enrico/ as if by chance
I always felt he might, fr. among us, accompany the master to the end, as is described in the teaching of the  
    birds. He has, helas, preceded the master in his departure to the realm / indeed realms beyond this one.