by Anjani Santos
After 10 years, life has brought me back to Tashigar Norte, Venezuela. The place where, at 8 years old, I was already learning the mudras for the Ganapuja. The place that I hold dear because it gifted me with precious experiences not only with my family, but with the Dzogchen community.
Last time I visited Venezuela was 4 years ago, when I thought I was saying goodbye possibly forever, but as life goes, things change and circumstances that were once blocked or closed open up again. Reminding me, as Rinpoche used to say, that everything is impermanent, good and bad things equally.
The Gar and its people welcomed us as if we hadn’t left, as if we naturally came back to join their mandala. Being here reminds me of the love for simple things and how grateful I am to sing the Song of the Vajra at the beach while looking at the immensity of the sky and the ocean like we used to do with Rinpoche back in the day. Now that it’s time to go, I leave wanting to have stayed a little bit longer.
I’m grateful to the people who stayed here “holding the fort”, and who kept doing their best with the circumstances that were given to them. Eating, practicing and doing Karma Yoga with them was truly special. It’s seems even symbolic to have repainted the Longsal symbol given that next year it will be 20 years since Rinpoche shared the Longsal teachings, including Gomadevi; and now with the generosity of Prima Mai, Rita Renzi and Oliver Leick the intention to practice in Tashigar Norte arises once again. Please stay tuned for further news! Since the Gakyil is working on an in-person program around Losar 2024! The Gar is like its symbol, the turtle, which has endured through time, and it’s now getting ready to host a most special celebration.