Kunselling – ‘place of uninterrupted clarity’ – is a retreat centre located in the wilds of Wales, dedicated to to the practice of Dzogchen both in collective retreats and personal practice.
Photographs courtesy of Raf Portas @ Kunselling
In the early 1980’s, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu made it clear to his students throughout the world that if the Dzogchen teachings were to survive, the community of practitioners must have a physical base: a place of retreat for groups and individual practice, as well as a resource centre. Thus, in 1997, the Dzogchen Community U.K. bought ‘Kunselling’, an old stone farmhouse with a sunny courtyard and outbuildings in an idyllic Welsh valley, not far from Hay-on-Wye. Rinpoche first stayed at Kunselling in November 1998 and consecrated it as an authentic, sacred site for the practice and continuation of the Dzogchen teachings, naming it ‘Kunsel Ling’, meaning ‘The Place of Total Luminosity’.
Today, the facilities at Kunselling include a comfortable four-bedroom farm-house with shrine room, a practice hall or ‘gompa’ converted from the barn, a dance mandala with protective dome covering in the courtyard and four modern retreat cabins, including a self-contained, warm dark-retreat cabin. Kunselling also owns the surrounding south-facing land of about ten acres, which directly adjoins thousands of acres of wild and deserted common land, providing an idyllic location for both walking and practice. There is a constant presence of the elements and only the surrounding sheep and the occasional mewing of red kites disturb the sense of peace and tranquillity.