Santi Maha Sangha training is a unique course of study and practice compiled by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, in order for individuals to deepen their understanding of Dzogchen.
The overall purpose of the Santi Maha Sangha training is not to develop intellectual knowledge but to deepen ones direct and experiential understanding of Dzogchen. The Base Level training is open to all and the study of the ‘Precious Vase’ is recommended to anyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge of the Dzogchen teachings.
The Santi Maha Sangha, which means ‘Dzogchen Community’, is a course of study and practice in nine levels initiated in 1994 by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. The aim of the Santi Maha Sangha programme is to guarantee the continuation of the Dzogchen teaching in a pure way, just as it was originally transmitted by Garab Dorje.
The Base level as outlined in ‘The Precious Vase’, constitutes an essential training in the fundamentals of Sutra and Tantra (theory & practice), providing a solid foundation for the study of Dzogchen. After the ‘Base’ level, there are three levels dedicated to Semde, three to Longde and the final three to Mennagde or Upadesha. Practitioners interested in taking the Base exam should extensively study and practice according to all the instructions presented in the ‘Precious Vase.’ There are various opportunities throughout the year to take SMS Base courses with certified instructors, including our UK instructor, Julia Lawless. Please visit the Kunselling or Lekdanling Events calendar for detailed information
Those who wish to follow the Santi Maha Sangha programme further than the Base level, are required to take an oral examination at each level in order to progress to the next level. Practitioners must also engage in karma yoga (volunteer work for the Community) in the year prior to the examination. This is not a last minute requirement but reflects one’s ongoing commitment to collaborate with ones vajra sisters and brothers. Likewise practitioners must also be a member of the Community for two years years prior to the examination. In order to learn about Karma Yoga opportunities please contact the gakyil (see contact information). For those who live in more remote areas, there are also ways to participate in Karma Yoga from afar.
The Santi Maha Sangha Teacher Training is aimed at those students with an aptitude for teaching in the future. Some students are already accredited teachers of the Base, First & Second Level training.
Our Santi Maha Sangha local Teacher is Julia Lawless:
To make contact regarding interest in the UK Santi Maha Sangha programme please contact Julia Lawless