Summer at the Eastern European Gar

This summer was a full one for Merigar East, with many reasons to celebrate. The lifting of some travel limitations made it possible for us to complete the filling of the second Stupa. The high interest in online retreats made it possible for us to hold several of them, with some of the most inspiring instructors from the Community, such as Oliver Leick, Fabio Andrico, and Elias Capriles. We also focused on beginners and advanced Yantra Yoga practitioners, hosting three Yantra Yoga instructors. This month, with the mild beginning of the autumn, we will focus on essential maintenance works necessary before the winter and are welcoming both karma yogis and work exchange people.

The Stupa Filling

On July 24th 2021, the second stupa was filled. It was a big moment in the history of this project, dating back to 2010. The stupas of Merigar East are connected with the Longsal symbol path, which is at the core of the Gar´s landscape. To this symbol, the Gönpa, the three solar mandalas and the two stupas are connected.

Photo by Gabriella Stefanescu

The foundations of the stupas were laid in 2012 and the first stupa was finished in 2015. In 2019 the second stupa´s body was constructed, but in 2020, because of the lockdown, it had to be postponed. In 2021 all the circumstances for finishing it were positive. The Gar hosted for a few weeks many practitioners working on the stupa building, acquiring the materials, preparing the objects to be placed inside, and empowering the place with constant and focused practice. They came from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania.

Photo by Lubomir Michna

The karma yogis cooperated while taking care of the Gar and of the retreat, also enjoying the seaside, dancing Khaita and celebrating. Zoli Cser accompanied us for four days with talks and intensive practices, including twelve hours of Vajra Dance. Migmar Tsering and Cecilia Damiani guided the filling with great dedication, making it a very special day for all of us. We are very grateful for their support!

Among the many dedicated karma yogis, we would like to thank very much the builders, Pepa, Vojta, Vláďa and, for their support, Monika and Anička. Many thanks to Vítek and his family and Katka for taking care of the filling.

Photo by Gabriella Stefanescu

Photo by Lubomir Michna

Sharing practices and resources

Inspired by the successful experience of translating the retreats, thus making our activities more inclusive and shared, some of the Lings pertaining to Merigar East and the Ati Yoga Foundation decided to unite under an umbrella zoom account, to share the benefits of the translation function in a way that is more convenient for everyone. Czech, Hungarian, Romanian and Ukrainian communities have also started organizing collective practices together, online, taking turns in leading them. We are connecting for every Ganapuja and for Chöd practice. It is a great way to stay connected through practice and to feel we are part of a community.

Courses and retreats

At Merigar East we organized three online retreats this summer, with an impressive number of participants. Online courses seem to give a wonderful opportunity for practitioners to stay in touch with the teachings and to continue to practice, in a way that is compatible with our contemporary, complicated lives.

The 25 Spaces of Samantabhadra, with Oliver Leick, Sogtig and the Tsalung of the Vajra life, with Fabio Andrico, and Dzogchen Contemplation with Elias Capriles (the latter was both online and offline) reunited participants from over 30 countries, thanks to our instructors and also to our dedicated translators!  

We also organized open courses, where people who are not already Dzogchen practitioners participated: the Mandala of the Elements with Migmar Tsering, Yantra Yoga Vacation with Honza Dolensky, Tami Rori and Oana Marcu and two open talks on Buddhism, Death and Ecology with Elias Capriles. We consider of utmost importance giving space to non-IDC members to have contact with the open teachings.  

The Mandala of the Elements course with Migmar Tsering and Cecilia Damiani, held between the 25th and the 28th of July

Future plans

Next year, Migmar and Dynamic Space of Elements are planning to come again to support a campaign soon to start regarding the Gönpa restoration. Due to the strong weather conditions and the humidity, the paint needs to be renewed, on the inner and outer walls and the walls need better insulation. 

Migmar and Cecilia have already donated 1450€ to lay a foundation for the Gönpa reconstruction financing. Many thanks for their generosity! We renew the hope that our efforts will bring the possibility for this place to be available for practice for a long time to come.

Photo by Anna Panna

Some of the most urgent works, specifically the protection paint layer of the wooden roof, are already due for this September, and we are awaiting karma yogis and work exchange practitioners. We offer work exchange practitioners free accommodation, the full support of the dedicated local team, a beautiful environment for practice and 300 euros monthly benefit.   

We are also continuing the gardening works for the Merigar East Oasis: we are taking care of a tree nursery that will constitute the next batch of trees to be planted this autumn, collecting the fruits and preparing delicious Nöngdrol-empowered jam.

Photo by Lubomir Michna

 

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