I hope my descriptions of Tsegyalgar West have conveyed the strong connection I made with the place and people of this Gar in the far West. I hope to inspire others to make the long journey to Baja California to visit and take advantage of the unique opportunities the Land of the Supreme Peak gives for personal retreat.

It is not a good idea, or productive, to dwell publicly on the content of one’s meditational experiences, so I will not do so. In fact, as all the great yogis and yoginis inform us, it is not possible to describe them, as we do not have words to convey their nature. So I shall follow the example of the great Tibetan saint Milarepa (sadly without his literary genius) to try to give a final sense of my Baja experience in a poem instead:


Zing Zing Zing

our Master

dreamed you into being

a Western stranger

recognising a Master from the East

gave this place,

dream seen by the dream Master

long before

their meeting in the waking West

land of cicada sound,

vultures slide slowly down an unseen

helter skelter in the sky,

pool frogs croak

green balloons froggily exploding the stillness

making me giggle

too rude, just yet, for infinity

from the beginning

The Land of the Supreme Peak

exists between waking and dreaming

a vanishing point for the passions

where the mountains are Masters

and Dakinis dance in the dust motes

because of your blessings

Compassion and Wisdom,

undreamed of in day to day me,

open up in my heart

suddenly waking up Me

When I shine

Your dark sky mirror reflects my mind sparkle

When I toss like your palms in a storm

Your peaks squat around me

A strong circle of silence,

Their shining ring cradles me

Blue sky dome contains me

‘til calm dawns again

magical land

singing bowl of sierras

support me, as I struggle with all my strength

just to Sit Still

in a supremely empty land

I am never alone

the strangest things

dance in my heart

Gurus arrive, unexpectedly,

Dakinis, previously unsuspected

queen it on rock pillars

in the arroyo of my mind

from a ring of fire

the moon shines full circle

on boulders polished white and round as skulls

white light in the heart

white light in the heart

but brightness births shadow life

dark things too

flapping and dragging on the edge of my vision

more sinister while

I can’t see them clearly

dirty fabricated demons, black fabric flaps in a wind that isn’t

they dance and dip along the river beach

among the skulls and boulders

nothing but the appalling fabric of me

lured out into the forensic sunlight

by this unusual place and time,

out of the mind caves where they usually hide

nothing but shadows

but dancing none the less

scaring a solitary rock-sitter half out of her wits

black bat mind shadows merely

but momentarily mistaking them

for real things

fear grows as big as the boulder I sit on

as solid and unshiftable as rock

Gurus and Guardians

Protect me!

A phurba is pointing

at my own heart

and the brighter the dawning

the blacker the bats that fly out of their caves

insidious flitting and flapping

distracting me

capsizing my calm

Gurus and Guardians

Protect me!



so hard to remember through a miasma of terror

“This is just your mind and Nothing

but your mind”

just for an instant

energy explodes

atomic flash


is not

and fear

is not

What is?

Zing zing zing

The person that arrived was not the person that left.

Thank you, Tsegyalgar, for being amazing. Zing, zing, zing.

Thank you, Latinas, for teaching me the Spanish for

“Donald Trump is not a good man. I don’t like him. I come from England, not America” Essential vocabulary for a Mexican trip in the circumstances of Now.


Thank you, Veronica, for unfailing ground support when things got pretty airy. Also, stories from the Zen Monastery. Also, essential local knowledge about scorpions, rattlesnakes, kitchen hogs and the Macho mind.

Thank you, Lol, for lifting a burden of impatience and frustration by simply pointing out, again, that the path to Dzogchen is gradual, although the arrival never is. Also, for fearless driving over roots and ruts. Also for beans.

Thank you Rinpoche, for dreaming this place into being and for Great Blessings.

The donation structure for the Gar has completely changed this year, making it even more affordable for personal retreat. Check out: