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 which is periodically updated when necessary.

The site contains a lot of general information about the community & a contact point for new people who wish to make enquiries. It also provides online forms which you can use to join or renew your membership & subscribe to some of our email services. There is an online UK Events Diary which is maintained by Leonardo Isacchi & links to the Shang Shung UK web pages & the Lekdanling site. You can use links on the site to contact Gakyil members.

There is also this blog! Your contributions will be most welcome!

Our practice centre in London, Lekdanling, has its own web page.

Lekdanling often plays host to The London Institute of Tibetan Studies, which is the Shang Shung Institute in the Uk. The London Institute of Tibetan Studies focuses on promoting the vitality of Tibet’s unique legacy and exploring its relevance for the world today. Our activities encompass the Five Great Fields of Knowledge: Art, Medicine, Language, Philosophy and Meditation / Buddhist Studies through academic lectures, short courses and online study programmes.

2. Email Lists

I currently oversee three main mailing lists for the UK Community. Official news & information is sent out via the Mailchimp marketing platform. There are two main “audiences” on Mailchimp: The Members’ List & The Full List. The Members’ List consists of all current members & is used for admin purposes such as the advertisement of Gakyil meetings or the next AGM. The Full List is the list of those who have signed up to receive our regular monthly email newsletter & other messages about practice events etc. For GDPR reasons this is an opt-in list. You have to actively sign up for it. Members are invited to sign up when they join but older members who aren’t receiving regular emails from the community should visit this page & fill out the simple form to be added to it. Sometimes we create smaller lists on Mailchimp or on Google for the purpose of sending registration information to people who are attending events.

After the closure of Yahoo! Groups last year & the loss of Ukdzogcom & Dzogcom Social there is now an informal email group called Ukdzogsoc. It is a place for open discussion, collaboration & mutual support for Sangha members. To subscribe, send am email here.

3. The Sangha App

The Sangha App is a safe space for sharing information privately and securely among the practitioners of the Dzogchen Community. Events happening all over the world are listed there & it informs you of things happening near to you. Sangha App also allows you to contact other members. It is an app for Android or Iphone which you can install from their app stores. In order to activate the app you need an activation code. You can get this from any other app user by asking them for one: the app will provide them with a number to give you.

4. Social Media

Facebook
Facebook Public Facing Page. Mainly used for official announcements such as up & coming events.
Lekdanling & Dzogchen Community UK Private Group. This is a private group to which you need an invitation.

Twitter
DzogchenUK on Twitter: @DzogchenUK
Information and activities of the Dzogchen Community UK, Students of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu.

WhatsApp
Lekdanling Community: For updates related to Lekdanling centre & its retreats, events & collective practices.
DzCom Social: For a more informal & general chat, sharing of teachings, news, current affairs, culture & art… anything that you think others might enjoy or find interesting!

There is an Instragram account but it doesn’t seem to be in use.

5. Zoom

Zoom is our preferred medium for online practice. We are careful where we publicise direct links to events for security reasons so sometimes you may need to go through a registration process.

Phew!

So there you have it! Did I miss anything out? I hope not! It might seem a lot & it might seem complicated but that is, in itself, a rich field for exploration & play. I hope that you will find it helpful & that you will find ways of participating in our online community that suit you & your circumstances.

Barry Patterson, Blue Gakyil.