Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tsegyalgar West Update and Happy Retreats!

Feliz Año Nuevo from Tsegyalgar West!

Much Gratitude to Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and all the volunteers who made the recent December 2014 Tsegyalgar West Retreat such a success in Baja Ca Sur, Mexico.  
Rinpoche seemed quite happy to visit again, and to see the progress in Community Development and in the care of the land. 

Rinpoche gave a wonderful commentary and explanation from a rare Manjushrimita text on Dzogchen, which he has been working to translate for the west.  He told funny and interesting stories about his youth in Tibet to illustrate teachings.  

One can receive these
teachings on many levels to deepen understanding and support practice. We were certainly felt very blessed to participate in this together. 
After listening to teachings in the brand new Gompa it's not far to the Vajra Dance Mandala, where Dzogchen Community Sangha (from all around the world) create movement with mantra, all in harmony on the mandala. 

A good time to integrate the body speech and mind into the taste of Guru Yoga.  Also the beautiful expressive collective movement is great freedom from those doing long sitting practices! 

New students first learning Vajra Dance in the mornings with Anya Neyman were making impressive progress. I remember thinking how amazing but it must be complicated to learn when first I saw a full Dance Tun in 1995.  I was motivated to try however, it seemed such a beautiful and powerful 'dreamlike state of harmony' calling to me. It is amazing how natural it becomes once one is more accustomed and integrated with the dance, and how it expands one's perception, practice and knowledge as well as balancing energy.

Yantra Yoga was also offered in the mornings and afternoons by Patrizia Pearl. Helpful to help balance the body and mind, so one can have much less discomfort and allow for deeper contemplation. That’s what I love about Rinpoche’s retreats, the combination of relaxing the body while keeping one mind focused and clear is key.

The weather was fine for December, warm with a cool gentle breeze to balance the bright sun. Evenings needed a sweatshirt if you want to stargaze or sit by the fire. 

Evening soups and fresh salads with homemade bread were the perfect end of the day meal. 

The spiritual nature of the environment at Tsegyalgar West along with Rinpoche's presence attunes one to a certain frequency. Unexpectedly, a wild bird came to visit retreatant's at lunchtime, hear music offered and the well wishes on our last day of the retreat. It let Rinpoche caress its feathers even. A good sign for harmony in the New Year and within our hearts perhaps...

The Baja Ca Sur land has a unique desert tropical biosphere with both cactus and palms. There is water in the granite arroyo pools, yellow flowers on the Palo de Arco trees, and sweetness in the air. You would not know that just a few months ago there was a huge disaster here in Baja Ca Sur.

In mid September 2014 'Hurricane Odile' hit BCS destroying many buildings, palapa roofs, creating a big mess of Tsegyalgar West's mountain roads, camping trails and landscape. 
It was the biggest storm to hit the peninsula since 1969, a Category 4 Hurricane.

Sangha from Mexico and the US came together with energy and funds to rebuild the main community area with a new Gompa, renovated kitchen and Vajra Dance Mandala area. Casitas were repaired and the common areas cleaned and cleared. Now it is better than before and strong enough to last for quite a while. More importantly the spirit of the place feels renewed life. 

This 3,000 acre land in the Sierra las Laguna's of San Jose del Cabo is a jewel we want and need to preserve for the future generations of practitioners. Wild land such as this, spacious with deep quiet, rugged beauty and magic is much more limited in modern times, yet so important for deepening ones practice and wisdom. Please come visit us to have an experience of that!  

Besides workshops and retreats there are openings for volunteers to help create sustainable organic farms and orchards. We also wish to expand projects of Tibetan traditional arts, Solo Retreat Cabins, Eco-structures and eventually residential Homes for practitioners. 
 Please contact us if you would like to volunteer or help lead any of these great projects.

Financially also we still need help to improve infrastructure at TW. Such improvements such as: More hot water heaters, bathrooms and solar equipment are most needed to make the place more comfortable and rentable to groups part time. Working toward sustainability is so important to continue; to grow well in both dharma community and ecological awareness and is our vision.

Tashidelegs to all!

To see the full schedule of events on the web site visit: for more information.

Article and photo by laurie pearce bauer
todos santos, BCS 

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