Update from Kunsangar South

Greetings to all from Kunsangar South, where we are trying to further contribute to freely spreading the Great Dzogchen Teaching, in spite of obstacles.

2022 has become another test for everyone, including Kunsangar South. After a long lockdown, when the Gar was mostly visited for personal practice, it finally became possible to hold retreats. However, other obstacles manifested – limited transport accessibility. The airport was closed, and the journey to reach the Gar now takes considerable time. But, despite the logistical difficulties, retreats have been constantly held and planned at the Gar, people come to the Gar and practices are constantly held in the Gönpa. So life at the Gar continues. As long as there are practitioners, there will be practice.

The summer of 2022 was filled with warm-heartedness and spirituality thanks to our invaluable instructors, as well as everyone who came and brought a piece of themselves, offering creative activities. Over the summer, our Stone Garden grew, and protective syllables appeared on the stones. Let this place be a refuge for everyone who walks there.

Presentation of the Stone Garden. Video by Alexander Popov.

Many people who are far away in big cities were interested to know whether it is frightening to stay in Crimea in the face of such a difficult situation. Yes, the situation is not easy, but the tension is not felt at the Gar. The Gar helped and continues to help the refugees, and those who came in summer, forced to seek refuge, sincerely said that they feel safe and at home here. This is the task of the Gar so that the Vajra family, when they arrive, feel as if they are among their relatives. It is important that there is a place where one can take a break from the hustle of the world and practice for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Over the summer, under the strict guidance of the red sector, the Stupa was renovated. Now it shines in the night with its snow-white coating, and in the light of the day, the gilded symbol of Longsal reflects the sun’s glare.

Reconstruction of the Stupa. Video by Alexander Popov.

Thanks to the sponsorship and carpentry skills of Ruslan Rozhkov, a model of a ship called “Ati” has manifested at the Gar in the children’s playground. The ship has become a symbol of the ark, raised its sails and is waiting for everyone to set sail!

There are many plans ahead, especially since almost the entire Gakyil and also the Gekö have changed, which means that the new year begins with new energy. It is difficult to plan for a long time, but the Gar is waiting for guests and retreats are being planned.

In autumn, at the beginning of the season, a retreat on the long life practice of Mandarava was held with Sasha Pubants via teleconference. We also organized a long course on the SMS base, which is also available online. We really want to see the Gar filled with guests, events and practice. But we work with circumstances, as Rinpoche taught, and try to follow his advice.

Tea drinking ceremony at the Gar in autumn. Video by Igor Pireyev.

New Year is coming soon! During the New Year holidays, a Yantra Yoga retreat with Mira Mironova and an online SMS retreat with Grigory Mokhin are planned at the Gar.

On January 13, we traditionally celebrate the Old New Year (that is, the date of the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar), and on this day a lecture on Sa-Che, which Migmar Tsering kindly agreed to conduct, will be a gift for everyone. (You can find more details here.) The lecture will be online, but we really hope that soon there will be a possibility to move freely that will allow many to reach Kunsangar South. 

Here are some haiku from the practitioners who visited Kunsangar South:

The life, the death,
White Stupa above all,
And endless space.
And a stone garden grew nearby.
Just rocks: big, middle, small
Turned into a stone garden
(That) forever blooms.

Different cities, new faces. We stopped in Hamburg. But just like then, two months ago, every morning the practice of Odzer Chenma resounds in my memory. Thank you for being there.

Every day at 8:30 am, there is an Odzer Chenma practice at the Gar to pacify the situation in the world. Join us in Zoom (Meeting number: 570 577 6865 Password: KSTara).

We wish everyone happy holidays! May this year bring joy and warmth to every heart.

With love,

Gakyil and Gekö of Kunsangar South

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