Santi Maha Sangha, which means Dzogchen Community, is a course of study and practice in nine levels started by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu in 1992. It is about developing a direct and experiential understanding of Dzogchen, and not just intellectual knowledge. Santi Maha Sangha aims to continue the Dzogchen teaching in a pure way, as it was originally transmitted by Garab Dorje.

The base level of training is open to all, and the study of The Precious Vase is recommended to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the Dzogchen teachings.

The base level, as outlined in The Precious Vase, covers the fundamentals of Sutra and Tantra, in theory and in practice. It provides a solid foundation for the study of Dzogchen. After the base level, there are three levels dedicated to Semde, three to Longde and a final three to Menngagde or Upadesha.

Santi Maha Sangha also implies being engaged in karma yoga (volunteer work for the community), and being a member of the community, as a reflection of one’s ongoing commitment to work together with one’s vajra sisters and brothers. There are various opportunities throughout the year to take SMS Base courses with certified instructors. Please visit the events calendar for details

For further information on Santi Maha Sangha you may contact  Julia Lawless, UK Santi Maha Sangha teacher.

Julia has been a student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu since 1980 and was instrumental in setting up the Shang Shung Institute UK in 2010 at his request. Apart from being actively engaged in establishing Kunselling, a Dzogchen retreat centre in Wales, and Lekdanling Tibetan Cultural Centre in London, she was Principal Director of the UK Shang Shung Institute for 10 years. She is the co-author of Beyond Words: An Introduction to Dzogchen and has edited several books, including Guru Arya Tara & her 21 Praises published by Shang Shung Editions.  Julia Lawless is a writer by profession and is accredited as a meditation instructor by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. She is happy to answer questions by email.