Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tibetan Art Transforms our TW Gompa (English Article)

Tibetan Arts in the Gompa

The nakedness of the Gompa at Tsegyalgar West changed its skin! The gray walls and ceiling became a beautiful mix of colors. In a explanation given by Migmar Tsering, it all manifested itself in a perfect way, as Tibetan Art is intimately connected with the teachings. Ngobo ངོ་བོ་

The ceiling is blue, the color of the sky, symbolizing the essence of Bodhicitta and represents the first of the Three Wisdoms of the Base.
Six colors were applied to the ceiling beams: white, yellow, red, green, black inspired by Sempa Dorje's teaching on the nature of these six colors (kha dog drug gi rang bzhin pa). This is found in the Bang mdzod 'phrul gyi lde mig, one of the main Tantras of the Dzogchen Semde, in the section Man ngag thams cad kyi sdom pa zhes bya ba'i dbu, as found in the collection of Tantra of Vairocaha (Vairo Gyüdbum). Migmar told us this book tells precious stories, for which a key to understand them is necessary.

In this teaching six aspects of the Bodhicitta are described through the nature of the six colors: White symbolizes that Bodhicitta is not overshadow by emotions; yellow indicates that Bodhicitta gives rise to the Great Wisdom (che ba'i ye shes); red represents the potentiality that permeates everything; green is the fact of having no impediment at all (bodhicitta penetrates everything); black nothing and nobody can modify or change Bodhicitta; The multicolor indicates that Bodhicitta manifests itself everywhere and in various forms. For that reason these six colors were chosen to represent the Second of the Three Wisdoms of the Base Rang bzhin རང་བཞིན་.

Below the beams, on the walls there are several representations, including the syllables of the three Vajras, and other seed syllables. In the main beam there are the 'twenty-four syllables of the Great Liberation through seeing' (mthong grol), which Vajrasattva transmitted to Namcho Mingyur Dorje. All this represents the infinite potentiality (Thugs rje རྗེ་ རྗེ་) the third Wisdom of the Base.

The painting of the Gompa at Tsegyalgar West as well as other activities took place last April when some practitioners from the Dzogchen Community had the opportunity to embark in an intense adventure guided by our tireless friend Migmar and the vigorous and quiet presence of Shuyang Zhong, both surprised us with their amazing talents.

We never imagine how contagious the rhythm of work and the unfolding creativity of this great Tibetan artist could be. Some participants had to overcome some kind of irrational fears when being up there on the scaffolding, others really moved as fish under water. But really, the only thing that matters was the joy of our undistracted presence, painting the Gompa throughout the day. This was, undoubtedly, a vital collective practice accompanied by Rinpoche’s teachings and sometimes by a variety of good music.  

When you give yourself a chance to come to Tsegyalgar West and you contemplate the main crossbeam of the Gompa with the painted mantra in golden letters - mthong grol - just remember it was placed there so that each one of us may obtain a cause for realization.
You can observe strategic places of this Gompa with syllables such as the Three Vajras or the Longzal as well as other elements like the classical Tibetan clouds. They were first sketched in long sheets of paper, then pierced with holes and later Migmar traced them on the walls. This is an ancient technique that has been done traditionally in Tibetan monasteries.  Piercing the syllables was also so good, a perfect practice for contemplation, it took a fast movement of the fingers and an OM AH HUM with each and every little hole.

Please come to Tsegyalgar West to practice in the Gompa. Its beauty and harmony seems a miracle, although it is not just a miracle. It was actually Migmar and Yushang presence; it was the Dzogchen Community members collaborating and financing this project, and it was also the karma yoga of practitioners who were able and had the honor to participate. It was also the collective practices of Green Tara, Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and the Joyful Kaita Dances, that opened or closed with a golden seal, a full day of work.

It is important to mention other activities that took place in and around the Gompa: workers were placing windows and wooden doors; the main entrance of the Gompa was rehabilitated. Trees were planted; a new garden in front of the dining room was born and maintenance of various fences around the Gar was done.
Every day wonderful food was prepared by the fantastic Chefs we are so lucky to have in our Community, we even enjoyed Momos and Chinese dishes thanks to Migmar and Shuyan; this was too, so special.

The Gar always offers everyone the great opportunity to practice, collaborate and learn.  Thank you Rinpoche.

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