Santi Maha Sangha Base study group Part II

Dear Friends, Vajra Brothers & Sisters!

We are starting our second online Santi Maha Sangha Base Level study group.
Every Wednesday, through Aug 22, 7 – 9 pm Pacific Time

The Precious Vase, the Base Level of Santi Maha Sangha prepared by our Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, is a great introduction to Buddhist practice in general and to Dzogchen practice specifically. We will learn about basics of the Buddhist Path with comprehensive comparison between different methods and views including Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. This course will be mostly theoretical but some short meditations connected to practices will be included.

Who Can Participate?
This course is open to everybody who wishes to study the Base Level of Santi Maha Sangha. If you have a genuine interest to the teachings but have not yet received transmission, don’t worry: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu offers Transmission of Dzogchen Teaching three times a year via webcast.
Also, you can join us at any time during this course.

This webinar will NOT be lead by an authorized Santi Maha Sangha teacher. All facilitators and participants are learners. Some of us have already taken the Base Level SMS exam but wish to study these teachings again.

Our Goal
Is to help practitioners prepare for the SMS Base Level exam and also to help interested people receive basic knowledge about Buddhism and Dzogchen teachings.

For this webinar we will use the interactive platform Zoom: thanks to our sponsors, who paid for service). To join in please contact us in advance to receive a link and instructions on how to connect to Zoom. Please contact To speed up a registration process, please indicate if you have Transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and when and where you received it. It is important.

This Course is Free!
But donations are always appreciated and will be used for rent of our wonderful place of practice, Dondrubling, Berkeley Dzogchen Community. We accept donations on PayPal:, or  you can use the donate button on the right side of the page.

Please feel free to join our friendly study group.

World Wide Transmission Explanation & Meditation in Four by Four Workshop at Dondrubling in Berkeley

Worldwide Transmission Explanation
will be given authorized by Santi Maha Sangha instructor Mariano Gil

Date: Friday, June 29
Time: 7pm-8:30pm (PST)
Location: Dondrubling, 2748 #D Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703 – In person and via Zoom videoconference
Open to all – FREE
If you are not able to attend in person please join us via Zoom using the follow link:

Meditation in Four by Four – The Foundations of Mindfulness Workshop
with authorized SMS instructor Mariano Gil
The Four Signs of the View – of the teaching of Buddha
The Four Awarenesses – that turn the mind toward the Dharma
The Four Immeasurables
The Four Applications of Presence

Date: Saturday, June 30 & Sunday July 1
Time: Saturday 10:00am-12:30pm / 2:30pm-4:30pm (PST)
Sunday 1:30pm -3:30pm/ 4:30 -6:30pm (PST)
Location: Dondrubling, 2748 #D Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703
Open to all who have received transmission or those who sincerely intend to receive transmission in the near future.*

Attend in person at Dondrubling
Fee: $100/complete course; $35/per session
No one will be turned away due to lack of funds
Please pay in person when you attend or make checks payable to Dzogchen Community West Coast and mail to Dondrubling, 2748 Adeline Street, Suite D, Berkeley CA 94703 with Attn: June 2018 Four by Four Retreat
If you have any questions, please contact Doug at

Mariano Gil is a New York City based musician and visual artist, and a medical doctor by training. Mariano performs music, shows his paintings, and has taught Santi Maha Sangha (SMS) courses at Delegling, Buenos Aires, Argentina and at Kundrolling in New York City.
Mariano became a student of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in 1993, having been a long time Theravada meditation practitioner studying with Larry Rosenberg and Narayan Liebenson at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and various retreat centers. He passed the Santi Maha Sangha (SMS) Base Level exam in 1995, and became an authorized SMS Base Level instructor in 2015.

Suggested readings by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, available at the Shang Shung Institute USA Bookstore. These are reserved items.**

*Some practices & courses require transmission to attend:
Worldwide Transmission: more info >>
**Shang Shung Institute Shop Reserved Items: Reserved Items are the material intended for the Dzogchen Community. In order to purchase these items one must be a current member of the Dzogchen Community, and must have received Transmission from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, as well as Transmission for the specific practice. In order to purchase Closed Webcasts MP3’s one must also have attended that particular Retreat.

For questions or comments please contact:


Cosmic Music: The Icaros and the Ragas with Silvia Nakkach


Cosmic Music: The Icaros and the Ragas
with Silvia Nakkach, Grammy® nominated composer and Dzogchen Community practitioner

Saturday, July 14, 2:30 – 5pm

Join Silvia Nakkach and friends for a ceremonious afternoon of opening the voice, deep listening to Nature’s sacred messages, and a musical offering.

In the universe, everything sings–plants, animals, waterfalls, bones, people, the stars, the rain, and many things we don’t see. Even silence makes a sound. From time immemorial, the shaman has heard the hidden music of the universe and sung it back through “medicine melodies,” simple tonal configurations that reflect a sacred unity with nature and have the power to heal body, mind, and spirit. Many people today are visited by such melodies–as if spontaneous transmissions from nature or the spirit world are “singing into” the person rather than the person “singing out.”

In the Peruvian Amazon, healers or shamans use the song called “Icaros.” The melody is listened by the shaman through dreams, visions and states of consciousness induced by “plant teachers.” Through the song they sing, they invoke the presence of the medicine plant and obtain the information needed to heal. Singing the Icaros is an act of spontaneous reverence for a subtler dimension of reality, where we obtain spiritual information in a process Silvia Nakkach refers to as musical divination. Through deep listening we are open to receive information from the great cosmic realm, and the spirit world uses our voice as a vehicle to sing through us. We receive the Ragas of India through a similar transpersonal connection with the scale of Light, and melodies are rendered as the enlightened qualities of deities.

During this highly experiential workshop, we will liberate the voice and share the emotional magic of these sacred chants, creating space for deep listening and the subtleties of prana (life-force) and the yoga of sound. The workshop will be followed by a short musical offering by Silvia Nakkach and friends.

Silvia is offering this afternoon’s experience of deep listening and musical sharing as a fundraiser for Dondrubling. Please consider making a donation even you are unable to attend today’s event.

Suggested donation: $40 – $50

All are welcome to participate.

Silvia Nakkach, MA, MMT, is a Grammy-nominated musician and a pioneer in the field of sound and counsciousness and music shamanism. She is an award-winning composer, author, recording artist, voice-culturist, and former music psychotherapist. Having served for more than a decade on the faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, she created the premier Certificate on Sound, Voice and Music in the Healing Arts hosted by an academic institution. Silvia is also the founding director of the International Vox Mundi School of Voice with schools across the US, Brazil, Japan, and with centers across the world. Additionally, she is a consultant and instructor at the Sound and Music Institute at the New York Open Center. For more than 35 years, Silvia has studied Indian music under the direction of the late maestro Ali Akbar Khan and other great masters of the Dhrupad tradition. She has released 16 CDs/albums and is the author of Free Your Voice (Sounds True 2012).

Dzogchen Community West
2748 Adeline Street, Suite D, Berkeley, CA
Above Crixia Cakes – enter on the left, thru iron gate