We held two Vajra Dance events in Kunselling this summer. Both were well attended. For the first one, a Deepening Course of the Song of the Vajra in July and e returned to Kunselling in August for the Annual Vajra Dance Retreat Week.
There are a number of methods & platforms which the Dzogchen Community UK uses for communication, co-ordination & socialising on the net. It can seem complicated & it might seem that there is unnecessary duplication, but since I have been in this role I have realised that this is a strength; our sangha members prefer a variety of media & it is good to be able to provide them. It can also be said that some media are better suited to certain functions than others. So in this blog I'm going to list them all so that you can get an overview & make informed choices about which you'd like to use. 1. The Web Pages You're reading them! Our web pages at https://dzogchencommunityuk.org/ include the blog for which this article was written. They were designed by Peter White & they run on Wordpress. I am currently the web master of the site. They comprise mostly what are called "static pages," that is pages which the reader does not really interact with, providing information [...]
The last global mantra chain, just over a week ago at the time of writing, was a mantra chain of Guru Dragphur.
Dear Vajra Family, I am finding this so hard to write, but I decided that it was very important to me to do it. So I have decided to follow the advice I have sometimes given others: just blurt it out, there's no right way to say it. So here goes…. I have got a type of motor neurone disease - bulbar-onset motor neurone disease to be precise, not your common or garden variety. I can't pronounce Ahhh. I can't sing the Song of the Vajra. In fact I can't speak at all anymore, though I can make sounds - vocalisations, they call them - which even my nearest and dearest can rarely make out. It's very hard to swallow as well. But I can walk along the lane and still climb the stairs. And I'm still able to type. For a while, long before I was aware of any symptoms, when I was quietly singing the Song of the Vajra in the early morning, sadness would arise in me and tears would flow. I [...]
To anyone who has followed the Dzogchen Teachings - as transmitted by the late Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, the centrality of Guru Yoga practice will have come across in no uncertain terms. Repeatedly, Rinpoche would emphasise just how important Guru Yoga practice is. As aspiring practitioners, Rinpoche would outline three key capacities for followers to cultivate: the first being Guru Yoga (followed by developing presence in everyday life and working with circumstances). Indeed, as he would say, his single ask of all of us - as students - was that we do Guru Yoga practice; it being the very essence of the Dzogchen Teachings as the means to reconnect with our primordial state of Ati, as introduced by the Master. With the year’s anniversary of Rinpoche’s passing having recently elapsed as we assembled for five days in Kunselling, the opportunity to study and practice Guru Yoga felt particularly apposite. The retreat was taught by Santi Maha Sangha Instructor, Steve Landsberg who was visiting Kunselling for the third time in recent years, having taught [...]
Magic Circle Feels like it’s time to pull out the notes from my pilgrimage last year to say farewell to our precious Master. Our collective year of mourning and reflection following Rinpoche's passing has now ended: in the random personal reflections offered below I have no wish to intrude upon that nor to speak for anyone but myself. How intense these past few months have been. Losing our Master, the great force of enlightened realisation who brought us all together, has no doubt been challenging for each of us in different ways, and obviously it will continue to play out in the years ahead in our community. I've been pondering how he did it... How did he bring us all together and magnetise us in all our endless diversity, across five continents? My own - inadequate - response to that question is one that will keep me in his transmission for ever: he does it through the sheer magic of his presence and of what he has given us. Magic. Watching and doing the [...]
Jane Weston is stepping down from the Gakyil at the next AGM and we need someone to replace her on Blue. The following Job Description outlines what she has been doing for the last three years but of course there is room for flexibility to reflect the skills any new person could bring to Blue so it is just for guidance. Blue Gakyil Job Description Blog Editor The DzogBlog is now the main outlet for articles for and about the Dzogchen Community in the UK. Commission content from Community Members and encourage participation. Liaise with Mirror staff who often want suggestions and contributions for the Mirror. Moderate, edit and proof read all content for the Blog. Post on the website. Source relevant images from contributors and wider sources. Alert the UK Community about posts on the Blog via UKDzogcom and the International Community via Norbunet. Co-operate with the Blog Master who controls the technical aspects of the Blog. Skills required: accurate proof reading of English for spelling, grammar and idiom. Persistence and enthusiasm [...]
Dance of the Song of the Vajra at Kunselling Our retreat in June was a perfect opportunity to join together as a group to dance the Song of the Vajra and practise the Long Mandarava and Short Mandarava and Mandarava Ganapuja rites. These photographs give just a flavour of the experience... Nine Breathings AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA EMAKIRIKIRI MASHTAVALIVALI KUTALIMASUMASU EKARASULIBHATAYAI CIKIRABHULIBHATAYAI SAMUNTACHARYASUGHAYAI SIRNASIRNABHESARASPALAM ... BHUNDABHUNDACHISHASAKELAM RA RA RA A relaxed dancer A relaxed group...
REFRESHING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SANTI MAHA SANGHA Now that spring has arrived, it feels like a good time to refresh in our minds the importance of theSanti Maha Sangha. The Santi Maha Sangha training is a programme of study and practice created by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1992. The words: ‘Santi Maha Sangha’ literally means ‘Dzogchen Community’ in the ancient language of Oddiyana. Its goal is to train practitioners so they are able to attain a real, in-depth knowledge of the Dzogchen teachings based on personal experience. The Santi Maha Sangha is something unique, as Rinpoche personally created this course for his own students by collecting together significant quotations from the works of great masters, together with his own comments and advice. Rinpoche considered it important that all his students have direct access to the insights and advice of these enlightened teachers so he dedicated much of his precious life to creating this special programme. Overall, it took Rinpoche many years to research and write the Santi Maha Sangha books, starting with the ‘The [...]