Sunday, November 15, 2015


The Dzogchen Community of Namgyalgar in the Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, Australia, hosted a wonderful retreat with our teacher Chogyal Namkai Norbu on November 3- 8.

Rinpoche gave an extraordinary teaching on the ancient Dzogchen text known as Dorje Sempa Namkha Che which sets out weekly advice for the Dzogchen practitioner.

It is said that when the Dzogchen Master Garab Dorje reached age seven he spontaneously recited this text. Rinpoche has worked over several years comparing and collating several versions of the text which miraculously surfaced after being hidden away for centuries.

Rinpoche was in fine form and taught every day from ten til twelve

reminding us

that if we take nothing else away

to keep the wisdom of this text close to our hearts

and remember to practice Ati Guru Yoga as often as we can

During the rest of the day

 retreatants enjoyed coffee and cake

 at Namgyal-Bar

or browsed for bargains

in Nicki's Bodhi Tree pop up shop

It was a time

 for catching up

 with old friends

or hanging out at the child care tent

  for admiring all the work

 that has gone into the gar garden

  Time for taking a dip in the lily pond

while singing the seven line prayer to the lily pads

 for enjoying pool side gazebo chats

 and reflecting on reflections

 There was time to attend the AGM

 to listen to SMS teacher Arnaud give an  excellent explanation of the WWT practice

 to learn some new Tibetan songs

Time to enjoy the mandala view in rare moment when it wasn't wasn't full

(just in case you don't believe me!)

  And five o'clock is of course, Khaita time

where we can practice our moves again and again!

There was time to take in the view of the sacred mountains from the top of the land

to escape to a not too far away waterfall

And of course

 after the teachings

there is


 time for tea

Thanks to Rinpoche for travelling so far to bring us the precious Dzogchen Teachings yet again. This retreat marks thirty years since Rinpoche first gave teachings in Australia.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make the retreat such a great event.

There were many more activities going on which are not represented here like: early morning Yantra and Vajra Dance, Q&A with SMS Teacher Amare, Evolution Creations auction, Namgyalgar auction, karma yoga,  kid's yoga, Shang Shung AGM and more. There was so much going on I don't know how anyone got any sleep!

Soon CHNN will be winging his way to Argentina and home to Tennerife where he will spend most of 2016. Now all we have to do is do is practice... Ati Guru Yoga.

As Rinpoche says in his great classic, Practice in Daily Life:

  "I always ask my students, remember to do Guruyoga. If in one day you remember to do Guruyoga 100 times that's good, it can be never too much. If your life becomes the state of Guruyoga, that is fantastic. Even if it doesn't become something like that at least try to remember Guruyoga very often."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Caravanserai, que sera sera

The private caravans were the last things to move from Namgylagar South. Pamela Oldmeadow and the Horners met in mid Oct to move their trusty vans to new locations. With great help from Jenny and her partner Brian and moral support from our long serving secretary Viki,  and our geko Georgia, the job was completed.

But not before an important game of pa chen

  and a meal in the campers kitchen.

Next day it was time to do the deed!

Goodbye Horner pallet verandah with a view 

Goodbye Pamela's two door pink deluxe

 Graeme keeps an expert eye on Brian's expert maneuvering

The empty shelters that protected the vans so well

I think I can, I think I can

 Bye bye gonpa!

Last hugs

Down the hill and out into the world!

All is impermanent, this we know. Caravans of all things are used to it. These vans had a good long stay and served all the DC practicioners who sheltered between their flimsy walls in rain, wind, hail, and heatwave.

They also gave comfort to those who worked so hard over so many years, including Graeme Horner who has so wonderfully photographed and filmed all of Rinpoche's visits and other retreats since the begining of Namgyalgar. Catherine Horner who served as treasurer, fundraiser and more. Pamela Oldmeadow who has given her energy in so many different ways, not to mention her generous bidding at every Namg South auction. Jenny O'Donnell until recently, our long serving membership coordinator who hasn't stopped packing boxes since Jean passed away. Georgia our most recent geko and one of the original ferals (who never seem to grow old) and of course Viki Forscutt, the knowledge holder and gate keeper of Namgyalgar South and Secretary of Namgyalgar since the early years.

There are many more people to mention of course but just keeping it to those who were there on this weekend is enough for now.

When the new owners move in around 24 Nov, Georgia our geko, will be the last to move out. I hear she has found a great place nearby and is starting a pop up shop in Cobargo with another community member. Meanwhile group practices will continue in the Tilba area at venues to be announced, with Monday morning vajra dance still taking place on the mandala in the gonpa courtesy of the new Khenpo.

Photos by Graeme Horner

For information re Dzogchen Community ongoing events, retreats and practices Australia and Pacific.
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