Open Doors at Dargyäling

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Dear vajra family,

One of the goals of our work is to bring the Ling and the Community more strongly into the public perception. To this end, on 5 and 6 September 2015, two “open door” days took place in Dargyäling, Cologne.

For all of us this was a really special event. For one, it was the first time that we presented ourselves in public and we were correspondingly excited and in suspense; secondly, these were two days full of wonderful meetings and events.

To meet the imponderables of the weather, we raised three pavilions in the Ling yard, which defied the unstable conditions to allow for open air lunches and conversation. In one pavilion, members of the gakyil welcomed visitors and were generally available for information and questions. The Ling itself was the space where all activities took place on both days.

The first day was dedicated to Tibetan culture. It was organised as an open market with individual stands, small islands, that gave visitors the opportunity to encounter Tibetan culture and the present, in a theoretical and also very practical way.

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The walls of the Ling were ornamented by the paintings of Kay Konrad, deeply inspiring and touching artworks already well known to many members of the German Community. If not, you are whole- heartedly recommended to visit his site at www.kaykonrad.de. Kay was there on both days to accompany his exhibition in person.

No less impressive were Birgit van Leuven’s Tsa Tsa sculptures. Birgit not only allowed visitors to view her sculptures, under her guidance they were able to create their own small deity images. Those new to Birgit’s work are likewise warmly recommended to visit her homepage at www.heil-raeume.de.

Svetlana Riecke, Tibetan medicine professional, was also in attendance. With her knowledge and experience, she was able not only to describe the principles and perspectives of Tibetan medicine, but also to act directly with help and advice.

Christian Pogoda disseminated information about the activities of the A.S.I.A. relief organisation, and thereby showed the present situation of the people in Tibet and the reality of the country.

Saadet Arslan and Jakob Winkler built a bridge to teaching and practice, giving information about the Tibetan language, writing and book production in Tibet. They also afforded an insight into the comprehensive translation and publishing activities of the Community.

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Viktoria Gershevskaya provided insight into Tibetan Element-Astrology and information about the significance and production of Namkhas.

Irina Shurko put on a dramatic puppet show, with puppets of her own creation, telling Tibetan folk tales for children and adults alike.

The culinary welfare of all was catered for by Tenzin Tsultrim with an appetising and tasty buffet; he also invited visitors to make their own Momos (Tibetan dumplings) under his supervision, bringing satisfied smiles to all faces.

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At the time of the webcast transmission, the focus lay on the words of Rinpoche. We ended the day joyfully with the Khaita dances guided by Kelsang Dolma.

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The second day was devoted to teaching and practice. It was intended to give visitors the opportunity to get a taste of the different practices, in the area of meditation and contemplation, in the movements of Yantra Yoga and the Vajra Dance under the guidance of authorised teachers. In this sense it was more focused in terms of timing. Instructions took place inside the Ling at fixed times, for approx. 75 mins each.

The book table and Kay und Birgit’s paintings and sculptures also accompanied the activities on this day.

The day began with an introductory talk about the background and principles of Yantra Yoga and activating exercises and instructions, led by Saadet Arslan.

After a short break, Jakob Winkler gave an inspiring and essential explanation on the view and practice of Dzogchen and included a short guided meditation.

The lunch buffet was again provided by Tenzin. After the lunch break, Karin Heinemann led visitors into the magic of the Vajra Dance, and also led into the final event of the open days, dancing together the Khaita joyful dances.

After the organised events were over, we celebrated a Ganapuja, a blessing at the end of two fulfilling days.

On the first day we had over 40 visitors, on the second over 50; 33 of whom were people who had never been to the Ling before. We are in communication with around 12 people who expressed interest in membership and coming again to the Ling.

For us, in our present circumstances, this was a great success. And we are already looking forward to the next open door days in the coming year. We would like, in this way, once again to thank everyone from our hearts, who with their help and presence contributed to make these days a reality. Secondly, we would like to thank everyone for the “way” in which they were there. This “way” created an atmosphere that was perceived as very warmhearted, bright and open.

We wish you a wonderful time and look forward to see you again in Dargyäling!

Greetings from your gakyil.

 

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