The retreat at the beautiful venue ‘Postpalast’ in Munich, was organized by Gakyil and Sangha members of all three German lings: Dödyungling (Berlin), Dargyäling (Cologne) and Yeshiling (Munich). Under the crystal-like skylight of the historical building, around 85 participants, both members of the Sangha and newcomers, gathered in the spacious hall to follow the rich and diversified program.
All the lectures and presentations focused on explaining and experiencing presence and awareness within the framework of Dzogchen and Buddhism.
In a profound and authentic way, the instructors Jakob Winkler, Sascha Pubants and Steve Landsberg discussed various topics, such as training the distracted mind, emptiness and clarity as part of our real nature, and the importance of the Master and His transmission. They also shared their insight into integrating presence and awareness in daily life. The short, guided practice sessions were also extremely helpful for going beyond mere intellectual understanding.
Additionally, methods for applying presence in movement, Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and Khaita-Joyful Dances, were presented and practiced. The instructors Saadet Arslan, Jan Böhm, Karin Heinemann and Lenka Tchernobay generously shared their knowledge on these practices with the enthusiastic participants.
The intense program also included the explanation of the practice of the Worldwide Transmission, as well as several guided practices of the Dakini Mandarava for the health of our beloved Master, and concluded with a wonderful Ganapuja.
On top of the touching presentation about the activities of ASIA, by Dr. Wolfgang Schweiger (president of ASIA Germany), Jakob Winkler presented the breathtaking work ‘Murals of Tibet’ authored by Thomas Laird and himself as one of three co-authors. The book is a rare treasure, documenting Tibetan culture and upholding its spiritual legacy.
During the whole weekend the atmosphere was relaxed, concentrated and joyful. First and foremost, we all felt the strong presence and transmission of our dear Master, which made us feel able to overcome obstacles and evolve, both personally and as a community.
Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and also extend my thanks to all instructors and organizers, as well as to my dear Vajra sisters and brothers. We will all keep doing our best to keep the teachings alive, as we proceed further along the profound path of Dzogchen.