At the end of his retreat, “Awake in the Wild – Meditation in Nature Teaching Training” a six day Vipasana retreat at Tsegyalgar West by the teacher Mark Coleman, Mr. Coleman said he was very satisfied with the place and the people he met at TW, and he was considering the TW Center among the three best retreat centers in North America for this type of retreat. He required bookings for two groups in 2020.
Mr. Coleman’s comment came as no surprise for people who already know Tsegyalgar West, and was very appreciated. It was recognition of the work done by different Gakyils, volunteers and donors since 2003, when a large piece of land in the rural mountain area of Baja California South, Mexico was donated to the Dzogchen Community of Tsegyalgar West.
At that time the Gar was almost without any infrastructure. Located far away from any village and populated areas, all services at the Gar had to be developed locally. Today Tsegyalgar West has water supplied from a private natural spring, its own electricity produced by solar panels, and satellite internet connection. Infrastructures include a beautiful Gönpa, an outside/covered Mandala platform, a big open kitchen / dining area “Ranchero style”, 16 casitas with shower, flush toilets and fully equipped (4 of them with internal kitchens), 4 more casitas for the services needed at the Gar, a camping area with water, toilets and shower, as well as several natural spots easy to reach where you can meditate in the outdoors.
For the last two years TW has offered complete independent facilities for personal retreat in four casitas furnished with private kitchens and a few Dzogchen Community members visit the Gar, mainly in the winter season, for personal retreats. More people are inquiring and we expect a substantial increase of IDC members visiting TW for this purpose. The Center can comfortably host groups of 15 to 40 people. The TW Gakyil organizes 2-3 retreats/workshops a year, especially a long group retreat with an instructor of the IDC during the period of winter vacation, which is very successful and appreciated. At that time all the casitas of the Center are occupied and a few more people camp in order to attend.
The Center is open to practitioners of different traditions for personal retreat and has already become a reference “Retreat Center” for some local and US based groups that rent the Gar’s facilities 5-6 times a year for their retreats/teacher training on yoga, dance, meditation, corporate retreats. The Center has started to become more familiar to local people and tourists visiting Baja South who come for visits or like to participate in activities organized at the Gar.
A feeling of more stability in the management of the Center and more understanding of the value of the Baja Gar is becoming evident to people more used to visiting the Gar, a situation that is encouraging the TW Gakyil to enter a new phase in planning the Center’s program and in developing the land.
Next year during the main season November to May we will have instructors from the IDC semi-residents at the Gar. This is in order to be able to offer some open workshops for locals and visitors, as well as to the closest local Sanghas in Baja Sur and mainland Mexico. Instructors will have time for personal retreat, too. Retreats and activities done by groups renting the place, when possible, will be included in the Center’s program.
A Master Plan
In recent months the Gakyil has been working with some experts and collaborators who are familiar with the property to draft a “Master Plan for the Preservation of the Land and Achieve Self-Sustainability” that will be presented to the International Gakyil for approval. Based on the works started by previous Gakyils, additional studies, listening to necessities and comments, the Master Plan will include both existing and proposed projects
I. La Tierra
II. Retreat Centre
III. Community Centre for Arts, Crafts and Culture
IV. Residential Area
V. Eco/ hotel and Restaurant “from the orchard to your table”
VI. Conservation Areas
These projects will each attract talent and visitors, sharing a common culture around conservation, and generating positive synergy. Each project, and its main actors, should complement the others so that each will be enriched by the rest.
The property, locally known as “Rancho Los Naranjos” is in the hills of San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico. Its 1,250 hectares are of great ecological interest for its flora and fauna, most of it endemic and for the beauty of its arroyos and big rocks. It is located between Mar de Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, a 40 minute drive from Los Cabos International Airport, in an area with a high level of international tourist attractions.
Now is the time for the Dzogchen Community of the West Coast to manifest its potentiality in this marvelous land. We will be back soon and let you know how to participate.
Tsegyalgar West Gakyil