Surviving and Thriving During the Pandemic

Celebrating 40 Years of Rinpoches Teaching at Tsegyalgar East

Tsegyalgar East in Conway, MA March 18, 2022 by Ellen Halbert.

Greetings to the International Dzogchen Community from Tsegyalgar East. First the good news. After many months of Covid-related restrictions, the virus is diminishing and society is reopening. Like so many other Gars, most of our interactions in the past two years have been virtual. Now we’re looking forward to planning more face-to-face events during the 40th Anniversary of Rinpoche’s beginning to teach in Western Massachusetts.

Tsegyalgar East Gönpa by Ellen Halbert

Working with our circumstances during the past year, Tsegyalgar East has been transformed to an All-Volunteer Community. We no longer employ a Gekö, Secretary or Administrative Manager. Fortunately, many community members continue to offer their energy, wisdom and support. Without the efforts of Members the Community couldn’t function. As a result we’ve been able to maintain a vibrant schedule of online practices and teachings, complimented by the many offerings of the International Dzogchen Community.

Left: Fortress of Dakinis (Rinpoche’s Cabin) and Winter’s End at Tsegyalgar East’s Retreat Land, Khandroling, Buckland by  India Lehr-Ferrier

While we’ve experienced a small decline in membership, we continue to have a strong core of active members. And, through the efforts of our online course offerings our budget has remained stable, even improved. This will allow us to undertake a number of maintenance and improvement projects at both the Conway Schoolhouse which houses the SSI-School of Tibetan Medicine and the indoor gompa as well as projects on Khandroling to maintain the retreat cabins and Vajra Hall.

Our biggest challenge right now is to find additional volunteer assistance for the Blue Gakyil. Continuing to offer our online events requires an enormous amount of communication activity both externally with people interested in participating and with teachers to arrange schedules, set up Zoom meetings, share event details and follow-up post retreat.

View from the Mandarava Cabin by Wayne Bianucci

Now our focus is turning to plans for the Summer Sangha Celebration tentatively scheduled for July 8-15, 2022. The theme for the Celebration is: Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of Rinpoche’s Teaching at Tsegyalgar: Integrating Body, Speech and Mind. The Gakyil will soon be meeting with the teachers of Vajra Dance, Yantra Yoga and Santi Maha Sangha to develop the program and schedule. All events will be on Khandroling, “Land of the Dakinis” and in the Vajra Hall. Come join us!


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