7th Lojong Retreat, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, April 2019


We had a marvellous time! How could we not? Fully equipped with the direct teaching of Yantra Yoga from Guru Rinpoche to his 25 first students and Vairocana, then ultimately from our own peerless Master, we entered the practice of this very ancient tradition of yantra. Armed with the ultimate motivation, an exquisite setting, a fine host and one of the best Yantra Yoga teachers possible, the stage was set.

Our generous host and long time student of Rinpoche , Alastair , gave willingly of his time, energy and also of his happily thriving farm as four Australians and three New Zealanders gladly took to their cushions from early morning till superb dusk for five days.

As if the ever changing ocean-to-sky view manifesting through the floor length living room window wasn’t breathtaking enough, we students were there to do use breath as a deeply profound method of purification and primordial nature via personal experience. By good fortune we were privileged enough to have the accomplished Patrizia Pearl to skilfully guide us. This she did via light heartedness splashed with clear instruction, imparting of succinct knowledge, leading preparatory warm up exercises including the 5 Tsigjong and the 8 movements, and then coaching us straight into the Kumbhaka experience. With such close attention between students and Patrizia, there is no doubt each of us gained improved capacity within our practice.

Buzzing alongside our gompa was a fully laden, shiny green vegie garden which we gladly plundered to create delicious lunches and dinners. So while the galaxy beamed down upon us, under the cheeky autumn evenings’ chill, all of us spread around the big old wooden table on the outside verandah, ate meals shared stories and rejoiced in our auspicious connections, never forgetting to offer thanks to our beloved Master.

It was a special time, made more so by everyone being intent on the Lojong, by us all pitching in to help, by integrating into the exquisite landscape from which the Protectors, land guardians, nagas and ancestors of Waiheke all gathered around us….and then there was the ‘prana of wisdom practice’, the Parlung, that eyes-wide-open realm beyond the window of shifting clouds, beyond mind, beyond the dimensionless sky….which, as Rinpoche said, “if we have a capacity of Kumbhaka-holding and use this practice frequently, it will influence our daily lives so that our breathing will not be dominated by thoughts and judgements but will become more coordinated’.

So a myriad of thanks to Patrizia, to Alastair, and to the practitioners and untold humble numberless thanks to our Master, and the Protectors…ah la la ho.

Robin Catchlove, president Namgyalgar

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