Update from Tashigar Norte, Venezuela

By Rollo Carrasco

Dear Vajra Family, 

Hoping that this message finds you in good health and in good circumstances, I attach a brief report of the recent events that occurred in Tashigar Norte after the wonderful relaunch season we had from December 2023 to March 2024.

Obviously the exhibition of the Gar with new activities, both in person and online, has given us a boost that translated into some concrete contributions that have allowed us to stabilize our finances. We could have been in an even better scenario, however, due to the country’s financial restrictions, we were unable to receive two donations for a total of US$25,000, which required the funds to arrive directly into the association’s accounts, an operation impossible due to sanctions that still remain against Venezuela. However, with the “sale” of Casa Diego in Playa Zaragoza – a group of anonymous practitioners bought the house and returned it to the association through a fractional payment of US$ 8,000 per year for five years and with the magnificent welcome of our Vajra family worldwide at our auction of Rinpoche’s handmade “Evolution Creations” necklaces, we were able to raise US$23,000, which has allowed us to stabilize the situation and have the next few months covered.

The Gakyil decided to use US$10,000 of these funds on repairs that could no longer be postponed, with the confidence that the Community will respond with the same enthusiasm to our new program from December 2024 to March 2025, which we will talk about later. So far we have spent a total of US$9,300 on restoration projects that include the total restoration of the Gönpa roof, including waterproofing work, restoration of the ceilings of the bedrooms, public bathrooms and some spaces in Rinpoche’s house, replacement of some load-bearing beams in the dining room, as well as the restoration of the Gar’s water tank, which was already leaking at its base. With the remaining balance we will try to improve the access road to the Gar and place ceramics on the floor of the space behind the Gönpa facing the Sang Khang.

As you know, a little over a year ago we began searching for new residents in the Village of Tashigar Norte. So far we have two new members who we have already talked about in previous articles, Ralf Srehle and Massimo Catalfo, who acquired houses, who were joined by Anjani Santos with the purchase of an empty lot. We continue to offer properties within the Gar; there are bargain prices on some of the properties. 

Visit tashigarnorte.org for more information.

Although it is true that we still do not have a specific program, we have confirmation of the participation of Adriano Clemente, Dina Priymak, Anna Apraksina and Rosemary Friend from December until March. In February, depending on how certain circumstances arise, Prima Mai will be visiting us to lead a Khalong course and with the idea of working on a Vajra Dance program with musicians playing live music. We invite, especially our musicians brothers and sisters, interested in participating, to write to us at tashigarnortesecretary@gmail.com to see how we can assist you in having your presence in Tashigar Norte. It is also contemplated, since we have a home recording studio, to try some new versions of music for Dance. Steven Landsberg has also the strong intention and desire to come, but all will depend on his visa approval. 

Stay tuned with us on our social network, Norbunet, The Melong about concrete schedules, definitely all the instructors mentioned before will offer Teachings and programs during their staying in the Gar; all the disciplines will be covered (SMS, YY, VD and Khaita) To all instructors of all IDC disciplines, who would like to spend time at the Gar, please write to us at the same email address; and obviously to our entire Vajra family we extend the invitation to visit Tashigar North. Here we are! Big A for all of you.

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Tashigar Norte

By Douglas Uzcategui

A long time passed in a long wait for the joy of the reunion in Tashigar Norte to renew the confidence and the impulse to move forward. Meeting instructors who supported the program that was presented between the end of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024, contributed enormously to bringing together practitioners who visited and paid with their willingness and dedication, to have fruitful days.

The success of the program, as well as the comradely, spontaneous conversations and daily experiences of those who were present throughout this journey, have given Tashigar Norte a refreshing bath. The Master’s smile is outlined on this occasion as an intimate fragrance that dissipates any obstacle.

Today, thanks to the support and collaboration of so many people, we have contributed to the renovation and restoration of spaces that presented problems due to the passage of time. Although there is still work to be done in the recovery of some infrastructure, such as the restoration of the Gönpa floor, the most pressing problems have been resolved. All this work is the result of this rewarding impulse that produced the presence and supportive participation of so many practitioners.

Now there are new circumstances and new challenges. Maintaining the rhythm and reaping what was sown appears as the closest horizon. Financial difficulties do not cease, however, experience tells us that motivation, shared inner strength and perseverance strengthen life together despite adversity.

For all of the above, it is very important to continue with this enthusiasm that generated last season. We trust that Tashigar Norte will become increasingly stronger and can continue to offer the joy, spaciousness and warmth that this corner of the Himalayas in the Caribbean offers.

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More Reflections

By Rosemary Friend

Ever since 2002, my first visit to Isla Margarita and Tashigar Norte, I have experienced the land as a doorway – portal to the dimension of Jnanadakini. It still is. And while any place and moment can be realized as sacred, certain energy points in the world appear to facilitate awakening and stabilizing more profoundly than others. The resonance of so many retreats with Maestro is palpable in this precious realm. My last visit to TDN in 2016 was tempered with a slightly unsettled feeling that I may not be able to return for some time. Eight years later, in February this year, I was delighted to still be alive and have the fortunate circumstances to re-acquaint with this special place and its worldly and other-worldly visitors.

We were all warmly welcomed by our beautiful and resilient caretakers and old friends – Marina, Rolo, Duglas, Ralf, Massimo, Tata, Berta, Marta, Gilberto and all the locals who work and support the continued presence of the gar in this world. We were around 20 visitors enjoying the love and playfulness that naturally flows when brothers and sisters meet with harmony in their heart-minds. It is such a joy to relax with fellow travelers who have the time and possibility to sojourn together. I so enjoyed being with you all, for the Khalong Dorje Kar of Song of Vajra training, the Vajra Dance that Benefits Beings and 3 Vajras supervision courses and generally hanging out, eating, drinking, swimming, dancing. Thank you all for the special moments… also Rita, Fanny, Janina, Michel, Carmencita, Alix, Valter, Anna, Eglee, Manuela, Maria Octavia, Francesco, Valentina, Francisca, Carlina, Adriana, Juan Carlos, Marta, Flavia, Martina , Masha…. every one a treasure.

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