10th Anniversary of German Ling in Cologne (2009-2019)


by Saadet Arslan

*Note: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu intentionally chose the German Umlaut “Ä” (vowel mutation) in spelling “Dar gye ling” as – to quote Rinpoche – “Germans use a lot of these in their language!”

February 15, 2009

Dear German Gakyil,

I am very happy you finally found a place.

It is always good to have a base for the community and all the  different activities.

 With many Tashi Delegs!!!!! N.N.


Recently on June 2nd, 2019, Dargyäling, the German Ling in the center of Cologne, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

At the beginning in 2009 we were not sure if we would manage to maintain the Ling, but despite all structural and financial problems during the last ten years, we succeeded in not only meeting all the challenges, but moreover Dargyäling – according to its Tibetan name – fulfils its literal meaning of developing and flourishing! This is related to the spreading of the teachings but also to the development of the teachings within the practitioners.

When Rinpoche inaugurated the Ling on the June 5th, 2009, just before the weekend retreat in Hotel Mariott in Cologne, he spoke the following words to the local Dzogchen Community:

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
The Inauguration of Dargyäling– 2009
(transcript of a video-file by Saadet Arslan) 

Friday June 5th, 2009

It is very important to go ahead more and more. There are courses like Santi Maha Sangha, Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga. All these are very important related to the teaching of Dzogchen. Maybe you know that the teaching of Dzogchen is one of the most important teachings we have and it needs to continue for the future, for our future generations. So for continuing the teaching, we must learn, we must do practice, and then there will be people also qualified to teach, but the aim is not only to become teachers, but also to become good practitioners.

A good practitioner does not always need to teach, but the capacity for teaching develops and manifests its potentiality when there are good practitioners. For example, Milarepa, Milarepa did not give seminars. He never did seminars; he never went around like me giving teachings. He lived on a mountain, alone, he even had no food to eat. But, you see, Milarepa is very famous, his teachings spread almost everywhere; that is an example of becoming a good practitioner; a good practitioner doesn’t mean only learning words or intellectually. A good practitioner means integrating. That is very important.

For example, in general many people are writing me saying, “Oh, I have this problem, problem number one, second problem, third one” … sending a list of their problems; when we have these kind of problems it means we have not integrated teachings in our real condition. If we have integrated, our problems become less and less and even if there are some problems – of course, we are living in samsara, there are always problems – but there is then the possibility to integrate and also to liberate; that is the potentiality of the teachings.

So, it is very important that we do practice; sometimes doing practice in collective way for developing the capacity of each practitioner, also for learning any kind of collective practices. When we repeat one time, two times, three times, then we discover how to do. It becomes easier to develop.

Then, of course, we can also do personal retreats when there are possibilities in some places, that is also very good and important.

You do your best. When you have nice Ling, a nice place, then you have the possibility to do practice. You also have more possibility to receive teachings. Each of the different kinds of retreats I am giving, all the different teachings, are almost always connected by webcast, so people who cannot go and travel to do retreats can participate here in the Ling; that is a function of Ling also.

So it is very good and I’m really saying, “Congratulations!” to you. You prepared very well. That is what I want to say and I’m very happy.”


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