by Naomi Zeitz
Despite the many challenges facing the world and Dzamling Gar the year of 2020, Dzamling Gar continues to provide a rich program of courses and activities, including daily and weekly practices. Some have been webcast in conjunction with Merigar West through Practicing Together, some by Zoom, some both, and some only live.
We are fortunate to have this big and beautiful Gönpa where we can practice together with enough social distance using masks. We are always applying the directives of COVID protocol from the Spanish authorities and doing our best to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
We discovered through this big challenge the great value and benefit of webcasts, zoom and online activity. Participants were able to join from all over the world: China, Russia, US, S America, Japan, Europe, Australia, etc., and many people would not have the possibility to have access to such a wide variety of courses and programs until all this online activity began. So sometimes there is a silver lining.
For the possibility of these webcasts and on line courses we are indebted to webmaster Sebastien Remy, from the Blue Gakyil, who worked hour after hour, together with Vince Li, Justin Hudgins, and Carles Brucet to bring these programs to the internet and people around the world.
At the same time, we have a group of tireless and dedicated translators, without whom we cannot share these programs around the world, and they are: Vince Li, Carlos Garcia, Edith Casadei, Mayda Hocevar, Pablo Guerra, Ester Escuerdo, and Anna Olefir who manages the Russian team.
The Practicing Together webcasts done together with Merigar West were mainly Ganapujas and collective practices.
In 2020 we ran approximately 58 courses and events, including Mandarava, Losar and Fundraising events, so for 2020, minus the Vajra Dance courses, in effect there were 3430 participants on Zoom, plus 634 Chinese participants. Total would be 4064.
We held courses by webcast and zoom in Yantra Yoga, Respira, Pranayamas, Mandarava Sogitg and Tsalungs, Tara Practice and Santi Maha Sangha, as well as some special events for Vajra Dance and Khaita, and Khaita continues to webcast one day a week from the Dzamling Gar Gönpa.
Our dedicated instructors include: Elio Guarisco, Fabio Andrico, Nina Robinson, Prima Mai, Adriana Dal Borgo, Steve Landsberg, Elias Capriles, Julia Lawless, Stoffelina Verdonk, For YY: Alessandra Policreti, Valeria Spasskaia, Naomi Zeitz, For VD: Luda, Masha Stepinak, Anna Apraksina, and Urara. We are also working together with SSI UK hosting a 6 Module weekend series of Open Meditation with various SMS instructors by Zoom only.
We are also grateful for the various umdzes who led the practices throughout 2020 and are still leading as we continue our webcasting activity of Practicing Together with Merigar West.
We should also mention our daily and weekly activities in the Gar:
Daily: Mandarava, Yantra Yoga, Khaita and Vajra Dance
Weekly: Meditation with Rabgyi, Dorje Sempa Namkha Che Study Group, twice weekly Sang and Serkyem and Short Thuns with Simhamukha, Guru Dragphur and Dogpa, Children’s Sports and Exercise and we also have webcast Ganapujas with Merigar West.
Other offerings we have had:
- Voice workshops with Katya Farrington
- Umdze training with Sebastien and Vince
- And recently we have added a weekly or sometimes bi weekly movie night.
The physical aspect of the Gar which includes our spectacular gardens has had some changes and upgrades. We have replaced and upgraded the large gate behind the White Tent space, an emergency reconstruction of the cafeteria floor, we have repaired internal roads, and we are looking towards making a new front gate, we have moved the Gar Office to the old Meriling office, we are upgrading the apartment where the offices were to a nice apartment for long term rental, getting the acoustics in the Gönpa installed by late autumn, we are preparing to make a small Gönpina under the Gönpa to use while the acoustics are being worked on, as well as the continuous and ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the houses and everything related to physical nature of the Gar.
Our economic situation is more stable thanks to the constant vigilance of our Yellow Gakyil. We are very grateful for the continuous generosity of the international Dzogchen Community which helps us survive. Thanks to the implementation of Webcast and Zoom courses we were able to maintain a certain level of income that has seriously helped the Gar to survive.
We have a couple of new Gakyil members, both for Yellow, Justin Hudgins (the new President) and Luna Lattarulo. We are very happy to have them join our Dzamling Gar family.
As long as the Gar is closed due to ongoing Covid restrictions, we continue to run programs, practices, and activities both on site (thanks to our amazing Gönpa), Zoom and Webcast. We also continue to host Community members in the houses and people seem to be very happy to be able to stay here and participate in the many things we have to offer, including swimming in the sea!
We look forward to opening the Gar and the possibility to offer open programs to our local Community of Adeje and beyond. We also look forward to going out into the local Community to share the great many gifts Rinpoche endowed us with.
Some highlights of upcoming programs are:
International Yoga Day – Offered by the Region of Adeje at the Dzamling Gar Gönpa
Collective Practice Retreat with Vajra Dance:
- August 3-8 Purification of Six Lokas Practice and The Dance Which Benefits Beings
- August 13-17 Guruyoga of the White A Practice and the SOV Dance
- August 20-28 Gomadevi Practice and the SOV Dance
- August 28-29 Dance of the 12 A’s
September 2 – 6 The Imperative of No Escape live and Zoom with Steven Landsberg
September 30 – October 9 Dorje Sempa Namkha Che live and Zoom with Elias Capriles
Celebration of 10 Years of Khaita
Khaita – Educational Program for New Instructors and Khaita Experts