There were 21 participants during this retreat in homage to the late Vajra Dance and Santi Maha Sangha instructor Stoffelina Verdonk that was held from 20 to 28 August at Dejamling, in the south of France. Twelve brothers and sisters of Vajra gave their feedback.
We did a week of practices in honour of Stoffelina, our dear vajra sister, it is important to feel that we are united and we practice for the benefit of others.
Luda is luminous, she taught us and corrected the three Vajra Dances tirelessly.
It was very touching and precious to spend time and practice together, thank you everyone.
Precision, Presence, Sharing, Patience, Luda revived the colors of Dejamling’s mandala, darkened this summer by the disappearance of Stoffelina and Janna. Thank you Luda!
Retreat in homage to Stoffelina: a real treat! Dejamling lives up to its name: the Place of Infinite Bliss!
From Saturday August 20 to Sunday August 28, we were treated to non-stop blue skies, combined with the heat of this torrid summer. The days were busy.
In the morning, 8:30 am, everyone, or almost, found themselves on the platform for a quarter of an hour of Dance of the 12A in the company of brothers and sisters connected to Zoom. With a connection that is not always obvious and almost miraculous every time. Then, until Thursday, from nine o’clock to noon, Luda reviewed the entire Vajra Dance of the Song of Vajra. Pamo side, Pawo side… a lot of work!
Needless to say, around 11 a.m., the temperature rose in degrees and the spirits had to hang on to keep the presence.
Then, go up to the kitchen and the meals prepared by Marie and Marc Antoine, the Gekö. These baked eggplants, so delicious that it will be one of my summer recipes. We were treated to a magnificent paella cooked with love by our friends from Cadaques. Pure delight. And also momos made by Sharina, helped by Marion, Marc Antoine and Hubert… Then, according to each person, dishes/cleaning/nap/river…
At 4:30 p.m., everyone in the Gönpa for a seated practice: Guru Yoga of White A, Medium Tun, Shitro, Tara, the 25 Spaces of Samanthabadra…., the choice is vast and we are always accompanied by a few members of the Sangha on Zoom.
At 6 p.m., on the platform, follow the Happy Khaita Dances guided by Sharina, on the days she was present.
7 p.m., end of the day, we meet on the Mandala for a last round of Vajra Dances.
As you can see, the hours were busy.
Stoffelina hasn’t left us all week. Many thanks to her for teaching us the Vajra Dances for all these years. We will never forget her. A big thank you to Luda for her influence and her precious knowledge of dance. Many thanks to Marie for organizing all these days together. And especially a huge thank you to the Master, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, without whom all this would not exist.
We couldn’t dream of a better celebration for Stoffelina dedicated to practice and dance at Dejamling.
Pawos and Pamos arrived from all over to dance on the Mandala with the precious inspiration of Luda and her benevolent precision to gently put us back in the precious essence of the Vajra Dance.
With joyful rounds of Khaita led by Sharina and her beautiful communicative presence and finally on the platform every morning the 12 A in front of the Ciel d’Azur of Cévennes in connection with the other practitioners on Zoom.
Special mention to our friends from Cadaques who carpooled Luda from Barcelona, their smiles and sweetness always bring us the sun and this time, the paella in addition.
May we harmonize our hearts and energies through practice and teachings.
Thanks to Stoffelina for bringing so many instructors to teach at Dejamling with her and for all the teachings she gave in this place… To dance and sing the Vajra Dances, to review, to deepen, to align, to approach the movements and the meaning transmitted by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu thanks to Luda radiating presence at every moment… it is to receive a marvelous gift… it is an enchantment!
Thanks to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, thanks to Stoffelina, thanks to Luda, thanks to the brothers and sisters of Vajra, Pawos and Pamos on the Mandala, thanks to the Dakinis and Dakas of Dejamling for these Vajra Dances, these 10 days of practice at Dejamling.
And thank you to all those who made this retreat/course possible: the organizers, the chef, the various little hands, the internet hookup, the invisible house and Mandala cleaners, the lively dancer of Khaita, and all of us for our various participations.
May the Dejamling Mandala always offer joy, lightness and presence to all those who come there. A Catherine
Mandala more than full!
Learning the movement of the arms!
Song of Vajra Dance Revival Retreat at Dejam
Stoffelina was certainly delighted by this retreat.
My experience in this last retreat at Dejamling in Homage to Stoffelina was truly wonderful. I am really thankful to everyone who made this possible. It was a great opportunity to practice together and Stoffelina’s presence was felt everywhere and in everything we did. It was also great to meet again old friends as well as getting to know new ones.
How lucky we are to be able to share the Teachings in such a lovely environment! I am looking forward to coming to the next retreat at the end of September!
These unique moments, 12 practitioners on the Dejamling Mandala, plus the singers around.
Shoulder next to shoulder, step after step, sound within sound. On the field where dimensions meet. Make the passage, as one knows, as one can with the presence that one masters or not yet.
Huge gratitude! To our masters, to our instructors. To all Dakinis and Dakas! Beautiful reunions and encounters, continuity in awakened hearts! Thank you, gracias, spasibo, dzienkuye, aitäh, xié-xié, tudzeche, choukrane, merci.
The word that comes to mind is “fluidity”. During this retreat, everything was fluidity. As the energy in the dance is fluid and continuous, our life at Dejamling was fluid, the program was set up spontaneously, we programmed the Dance on the mandala after the dance of the 12 As on Zoom. We weren’t in charge of the midday meal and were naturally focused on Luda’s precious teachings, given in such a simple…and fluid way. From day to day, we advanced in the sequence of the parts of the dance, methodically, Pamo, Pawo. The details led us to an even more harmonious and unified dance, such was my impression.
I was happy, in the afternoon, to share a practice by Zoom. Then a small resumption of Dance and a convivial evening. And I’m still amazed at the fluidity at bedtime. Everyone has their accommodation and there, we realize that the accommodations are scattered and we were only 2 or 3 in the upper dormitory! So a calm, convivial, dance-based retreat with great respect, in your honor, Stoffelina
Very happy to have been present for this retreat in “Homage to Stoffelina”. My participation was essentially on the order of management. My intention was that the sisters and brothers present on the Mandala, share the Vajra Dances and deepen the Song of Vajra Dance thanks to the presence of Luda.
I enjoyed preparing and cooking with Marc Antoine, Gekö, the daily lunches.
The beautiful program allowed us all this:
Dancing every morning with Zoom the 12 A Dance – to the music composed and offered to Stoffelina by Mikhaïl, a student from her SMS study group, continuing with the full morning of dances on the Mandala with Luda, lunch all together, possibility to go to the river, Joyful Khaita Dances with Sharina, daily practices in the gönpa chosen collectively.
Thanks to Elerin – Gakyil blue – for offering her beautiful energy to perpetuate the life of Dejamling and its evolution in the continuity of Stoffelina so present and joyful on the Mandala. See you soon Dejamling.
Ps: I thank all the sisters and brothers of Vajra for this shared moment.
This time I came to Dejamling with Michael and Ana, many thanks to them. Usually Stoffelina would meet me with her car in Montpellier to pick me up from the train and drive me along beautiful hilly roads, past the river and small towns. Near the Ling, as soon as the big road ended and our car started to climb the mountain, I would feel how strong this place was. Dejamling is a place of power without any doubt.
Arriving at home, I looked on the map of the correspondence of the Earth with the Mandala that Rinpoche compiled: this place corresponds to the central point of the sector on the red tiglé and is associated with the heart chakra.
How wonderful to be able to practice in such a place! And above all to practice the Vajra Dance!
We were warmly welcomed by Vajra family and I went to Stofi’s room, where I was staying, the contemplation there felt even brighter, as if she was welcoming me.
The next morning, the day started “as always”, with the Dance of 12 A at 8:30 am in the area in front of the house and other French practitioners joined us via Zoom. This wonderful tradition was started by Stoffelina, people are joining in and it is with pleasure that we have also started each day with the 12 A’s. Join us!
Of course, lunch at Dejamling is a special treat. The dishes are always different, all practitioners prepare something exclusive. Marie and Marco made our retreat very tasty. Sitting in front of the ‘Elephant’ mountain, in complete unity with nature, with Vajra family, it’s wonderful!
Our retreat was mainly dedicated to the Vajra Dance and some sitting practices, sometimes we also danced Khaita, guided by Sharina in a charming way. It was wonderful to dance together and at the end of the retreat there was a harmony between us in the Vajra Dance as if the Dakas and Dakinis were dancing with us.
Thank you Stofi for supporting everyone with your energy and for supporting this place, may all living beings achieve liberation!