October 30. Dzamling Gar, Tenerife
Opening speech by Steven Landsberg, President of the IG
It’s a great pleasure to be able to greet everyone here on behalf of the International Gakyil of the Dzogchen Community. I’m happy that so many of us have taken an interest to attend this particular meeting. The reason that it is important is that there are a few things that we need to address and they require the participation of those of you who are present here or online.
The Dzogchen Community is 45 years old and it is only thanks to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu that this Community was founded and has developed into a huge repository of the Dzogchen Teachings. Without him, none of what we have today as Rinpoche’s legacy of Teachings and institutions could have possibly taken root, transformed our lives, and brought about the evolution that Rinpoche always envisioned.
It is now our duty to give something back. It’s time to look beyond what the Community can continue to do for us and see what it is that we can do as individuals to maintain the legacy of Rinpoche.
Each one of us has this capacity to realize our unlimited potentiality. We’ve been given many transmissions and teachings. The only thing left for us to do is to actually apply and recognize our enlightened possibility.
In the last few years there are concrete signs that we are actually doing this. Every time an instructor collaborates with a local gakyil to organize a course and make it happen, either in a live situation or through a zoom or webcast, we’re taking a small step in actualizing the Teaching. Every time we sit to do our own individual practice we’re taking a small step in preserving the legacy of Rinpoche. Every time we do a Yantra movement or some pranayama we are preserving the legacy of Rinpoche. Every time we take a single step on the Dance mandala, no matter where we may be, we are taking a step towards the fulfillment of Rinpoche’s spiritual legacy. Every time we listen to a recording or read a book of Rinpoche’s Teaching, our potentiality is manifesting itself. These are a few examples of how we as indviduals are and will continue to reveal our enlightened possibility.
The point is that although the International Gakyil has a rather limited mandate, we as individuals in the Dzogchen Community have an infinite mandate. It doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want, but it is our duty to do whatever it takes to realize our full potentiality.
In conclusion the International Gakyil doesn’t make rules. From time to time we may issue some guidelines or advice to Lings and Gars. The IG basically just follows what has already been established and tries to fulfill the requirements laid out in Italian law: we need to present a budget, we need to approve a budget, call an Annual General Meeting and vote on certain matters. It’s not really necessary to ask the IG to answer unanswerable questions. Some of those topics include, amongst many others, transmission and the future of the Community. We are the future of the Community. We are the presence of the Community and we each have our own history in relationship to the Community. We have been doing and will continue to carry out all these activities necessary to fulfill Rinpoche’s aspirations, and the International Gakyil will continue to function to support the legal status of the Community.
As we are the spiritual children of Rinpoche, it is our responsibility to maintain our personal and collective practice, and if we do that, I’m sure that we will continue to mature and in that maturation we will fulfill the aspirations of all enlightened beings and at the same time all of our doubts and questions will be answered and fulfilled.
With that I greet you all.