Merigar East Winter Gatherings and New Year Aspirations

Retreat replays

Collaborating with the Archive of the Teachings of Rinpoche, between the 29th of November and the 6th of December we organized the first of four replays of Rinpoche’s retreats given at Merigar East. 

Every year from 2007 to 2015 Rinpoche taught retreats and SMS courses here. There was an immense participation of the Eastern European Sangha, of his son Yeshe Namkhai and of other long-time practitioners from Europe and around the world. 

Today, 219 practitioners gathered in our virtual space. Among them, the most numerous were from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Hungary. Oliver Leick accompanied practitioners by answering questions, clearing some doubts and by guiding the practice of the 25 Spaces of Samantabhadra carried out during the weekends. Thanks to the translators’ voluntary work, it was possible to surmount all the language barriers. 

It is touching to gather the Sangha while watching these precious teachings of Rinpoche. We are grateful for the work of the Archive and for making this material available and we had the chance to contribute to it with the full amount of the donations coming from this retreat.

Moreover, we had the opportunity to listen and feel encouraged by Rinpoche’s words at the end of the sixth day of the retreat, announcing the 2013 lottery to support the development of our Gar:

“You remember then I prepared a Lottery. In general I am preparing lottery not only here but everywhere I go to different gars. Then we need a little money for our different projects. You see also at this gar there are many projects. There is not much money, not sufficient for all projects. For that reason when I arrive at this place, immediately I start to work and I prepare this lottery. […] I told you already yesterday how important the continuation of the Dzogchen Teachings is. After a few years Namkhai Norbu will disappear but the Dzogchen Community and Dzogchen teaching must not disappear on this globe. You should continue. So in this case we must collaborate with the Dzogchen Community and we must have in our short life. Everybody has a very short life. When we finish our lives, nobody will be living here. But if the precious teachings remain that is very important. […] Remember, it is something important, the Dzogchen Community should go ahead in this way. We have no base or Dzogchen community bank anywhere. We make sacrifices and we try to stay on our feet. Knowing that, then everybody, please, collaborate, it is something very important.” 

Remembering his huge support for building this place we are grateful and rejoice! We take this opportunity to share a brief update on the last season of the year and our plans and aspirations for 2022.

Merigar East Gönpa Renovation 

This year we started the Gönpa Renovation project with the conviction that this place, unique in Romania, must continue to serve many generations of practitioners to come. 

Twelve years after the Gönpa was built, it needs repainting, but also repairing of the walls affected by humidity. Due to its particular geographical position, located close to the Black Sea, it is exposed to humidity and sometimes also strong winds. These conditions have affected it and it needs to be renovated. We have the support of Yeselling in Austria and of Dynamic Space of the Elements, who will accompany us through the campaign and restoration activities.

The project will take place in June-July 2022 and covers two main parts – the structural repair and renovation of the decorations. There is a short introduction to the building and more details on the first part of the renovation, put into words and images by our Geko in this video (video link here)

We are happy to say that since launching the campaign a month ago we have received almost a thousand Euros in donations – thank you so much for your support! Unfortunately, a public fundraiser and going through various options to get public funding – EU or national – has brought no success up to now, but we are continuing to work on it. 

Read more on our website.

Merigar East Oasis

The Oasis is an ecological dream to regenerate the land and create a green garden on our land which has been drained by decades of intensive agriculture. We are happy to inform you that the project is in good health and with a positive outlook for the next year. The donations for this project raised 1383 Euro in 2021. Here is what we did with it.

For the general maintenance of the landscape, 5 karma yogis, the geko and 2 employed workers from the village cut 3 out of the 4.5 hectares covered with hard grass that developed this year after a spring of heavy rains. We also repaired two of our 4 grass cutting machines.

During our last collective event, the November tree-planting, some 70 young trees and shrubs from both our native nursery and from a commercial nursery were planted by 13 volunteers, around the MultiFun House. Among these were noble apple and pear varieties, peaches, almonds, apple and plum wildlings and a number of deciduous and coniferous windbreakers. The original nursery, started in 2020 by Alex, has been moved directly into the ground next to the linden tree line bordering the entrance parking lot. Around 30 oak seedlings, which germinated from seeds contained in mulching mass used around certain trees in the Gar have been also re-planted into the new nursery, next to some new thujas and lilacs.

Volunteers completed the map of the plants and marked and identified each and every tree to avoid damage when cutting the grass. The poles next to each tree bear the Latin, English and Romanian name so our Oasis is slowly turning into a botanical garden. During the event our volunteers, old and new practitioners, also learned Yantra Yoga to recover their bones and muscles from digging.

The plans for next year are quite simple. During February and March, we will do our best to prune all the trees at the Gar and graft some of the fruit and decorative varieties. In addition we will set up an effective irrigation system in the spring, take good care of the existing plant stock, expand the native seed bank and our nursery, continuously import more biomass into the Gar while keeping the premises well-maintained and enjoyable remain clear priorities.

The Oasis has also benefited from the collaboration of artists, permaculture students, practitioners and local village people, under the common goal of enriching the ecosystem and connecting. We welcome volunteers and have a paid work exchange program for practitioners who want to spend some time here, at the wild seaside of Merigar East.

Read more on our project page. .

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