Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Retreat

'Many of life's problems have to do with fear and attachment, the most basic obstacles to realizing one's essential nature. The ancient practice of chod is a creative and skillful method for dissolving these obstacles.Chod literally means 'to cut.' Traditionally, chod practitioners (chodpas) would practice most often in external natural environments believed to harbor harmful energy from the spirits of nature, whose provocations were incited by disharmony between the human and spirit worlds. The chodpa would travel into the mountains, chanting with drum and bell, in order to conquer the spirits with a ‘sword of wisdom' and reharmonize the energy between the two worlds.'

Namgyalgar South, near Tilba in southern NSW, was brimming with green for our Easter Chod Retreat.

Forest accommodation was in cosy vans, tents or dorms ( recently renovated and available for rentals for other groups).

 The Chod practice we do comes to us from our teacher Chogyal Namkai Norbu who began teaching it after receiving a significant dream.

Machig Labdron, a Tibetan yogini practicing in the eleventh century is the originator of several Tibetan lineages of the Chod

Our retreat was led by our very own chodma, SMS instructor Angie Gilbert who learned the Chod from Rinpoche twenty-six years ago.

Learning the drum moves is not so easy.

 But by the end of the weekend we feel like we were getting somwhere.

Meanwhile each afternoon the Namgalgar Dance Team worked on their routine

which they will take to the Dancing Under The Stars competition in Massachusetts in July

dancing off against the team from Tsegyalgar.

All that dancing and drumming builds an appetite.

Cooking on small retreats at Namg South - always a community effort.


Carlos and Luca get in on the carrot grating action.

Jan's pumpkin and ginger soup bubbles along next to Andrew's spicy spinach greens.

Madeleine's salad dressed with dukka.

Peter's spicy lentil and chorizo dish.

Our resident Frenchman Mark (could be Manu) does the taste test.

Conversations with dharma friends, always a highlight - Georgia and Gary.

Antonia declares the pumpkin soup a worthy entry into the Namgyalgar Cook Book.

 Another pic for the cookbook, don't forget to send your recipes to Glenda.

An evening performance.

 More deliciousness.

A farewell puja feast on our last day.

We leave with renewed energy, taking a little bit of Namg South home with us.

The next event at Namgylagar South is the Karma Yoga Long Weekend June 7, 8, 9.

See you there!