Berkeley Dzogchen Community

Dondrubling in Berkeley CA

Berkeley Dzogchen Community - Dondrubling in Berkeley CA

Community News

Lama Lena

Lama Lena (Yeshe Kaytup) will be visiting Dondrubling Sunday, June 8th 2014

Subject: Flight of the Garuda

Two sessions: 10:30am to 12:30pm, and 2:30 to 4:30pm

Lama Lena traveled extensively with Wangdor Rimpoche for 25 years as his translator and assistant. At the request of H.E., Zigar Choktrul Rimpoche and Ven.Wangdor Rinpoche, as well as many Western and Tibetan dharma students, she has been traveling and teaching from the lineages she holds.

This teaching is presented by a group of loyal and devoted students of Lama Lena Feral, and is not a Dzogchen Community West Coast sponsored event.


Tsegyalgar West (Baja Sur, Mexico) is looking for gakyil members and collaborators

The TW gakyil will hold a general election during the December retreat with
Rinpoche at the gar, for new and additional gakyil members and for
volunteer project managers and collaborators. Regardless of whether you can
come or not to the retreat, we invite you to indicate your interest as
soon as possible
. We have openings for all 3 colors (blue–retreats,
red–infrastructure, yellow—finances).

Two of last year’s members will remain on the gakyil and insure
continuity. We will also retain 2 key collaborators.

This is a very exciting time to become involved in TW. In 2014 we laid the
groundwork for developing the projects advised by Rinpoche—which include
housing for practitioners at the gar, eco-tourism, and soon horticulture.
We offer half a dozen of retreats a year; we are starting courses in
Tibetan medicine (beginning October 2014), yantra yoga certification; and
the opportunity to participate in a housing partnership at Dzamling gar,

Gakyil members’ requirements:

  • A member of the Dzogchen Community for 3 years or more
  • Ability to offer an average of 20 hrs work/ a month
  • Attend 1 gakyil meeting a month (1.5 hrs) and meet via skype or phone
    with your blue, red, yellow team mates 2-3 times a month
  • For non-Baja residents, travel to the gar twice in a 12 month period
    for a total of at least 10 days/year (free lodging)
  • Professional background and relevant work experience

Collaborators’ and Project Managers’ requirements:

  • A member of the Dzogchen Community at least since 2014
  • Ability to offer an average of 10 hrs work/ a month for the projects
    you will be taking on (whether blue–retreats, red–infrastructure,
    yellow—finances) under the direction of and with the support the Director,
    reporting to him or her circa 1x month
  • Professional background and relevant work experience: see below for
  • Ability to plan and self organize, follow leads, respect deadlines,
    produce result
  • Attendance to gakyil meetings is optional

In particular, we are looking for professionals interested in volunteering
for the following projects– they will have plenty of autonomy without
being part of the Gankyl, without needing to attend meetings or get
involved with any gar issues or events.

  1. marketing: this is virgin territory, from Internet marketing to other
    forms of publicity, locally and internationally in order to position the
    gar for tourism and rentals– we need to get on the radar;
    ecological projects, including partnerships with government and other
  2. business partnerships: find the groups and tours interested in
    partnering with us, especially for ecotourism, create a business plan
  3. fundraising and donor cultivation (both in English and Spanish)

Other desired skills for volunteer Project Managers and collaborators: accounting
and financial skills, graphic design, computer skills, organic gardening
and horticulture, land development, architecture, build local partnerships,
develop eco-tourism, fundraising and grant-writing

Please send your letter of interest with a CV or resume to: (Ana Couchonnal).


Tsegyalgar West in Baja Sur, Mexico is looking for a Gekod

Position begins December 1, 2014. Extra bonus: Rinpoche will give a retreat
at the gar during the Christmas holidays. Salary starts at $550 month
(plus free lodging) and may be increased after a 3 month probation period.
Training provided (1 month). One month paid vacation after 12 months of

Tsegyalgar West is a 3,000-acre rural property, located in the Sierra San
Miguel mountains of Baja Sur, Mexico, 40 minutes from the International
Airport of San Jose del Cabo (SJD) and the city of San Jose. Please visit
our website before
to get acquainted with the location. The gar is moderately
isolated and requires a considerable amount of physical maintenance; it is
suitable for people who love quiet and solitude, but who also enjoy
periodic bursts of intense activity when there are retreats or visitors.

Job requirements:

  • member of the Dzogchen community for at least 3 years
  • must be fluent in Spanish and manage to communicate in English, or be
  • valid driver license
  • experience as gekod in other centers desirable but if lacking can be
    compensated with other tangible organizational skills
  • committed to the well being and stability of the gar and to Dzogchen
    practices. Must have a positive attitude and ability to deal with minor
    stressors, face multiple demands, and also must be able to: get things
    done, take direction, be proactive, get along with others, assert one’s
    authority in a diplomatic manner, and handle conflicts
  • able to be “physical”, do work that is occasionally strenuous. Skills
    as handyman, carpenter, good cook, housekeeping also desirable. Must be
    willing to do and learn whatever the gar requires
  • willing to live in a rural area, with few entertainments and at some
    distance from town

  • interface with contractors, government officials, partners, and
    supervise work at the gar with precision and diligence
  • good communication and computer skills
  • 2 year commitment

If you are interested, please send a letter describing why you wish to be
at TW as a gekod, what you bring to the job, and include your current
address, 2 work references, and a resume listing the jobs you have had in
the past 5-10 years. Applications without a CV or resume will not be
considered. Please email to: or


Dzogchen L.A. banner

Los Angeles Retreat

March 21,22 & 23

7TH LOJONG with Steve Landsberg 

Friday evening: Glendale Adult Recreation Center

Saturday: Laurel Canyon

Sunday: Luna Dance Studio, Glendale

save your spot by emailing us at


Congratulations new 2014 Gakyil!

Please feel free to contact the gakyil with questions, comments, or suggestions for practices and activities. We welcome your collaboration to help Dondrubling thrive.

Email us at gakyil (at), or call us and leave a message at 510-644-2260.


Ruslan Malakhowskiy – amriteshvara(at)

Gene Kim, president – geneshk(at)


Craig Fiels, treasurer – craig(at)

Rich Taylor, secretary – richeroo(at)


Lacey Segal, rentals – lacey(at)

Kathleen McDougall, vice-president – k.macdougall(at)


Zhitro: Death & Dying

With Lama Tsultrim Allione

April 4 – 6, 2014

LOCATION: Orgyen Dorje Den ~ Alameda, CA

PHONE: 510.337.1163.

COST: $150, plus dana


In our society we often have no real way to help someone who has died, we can only grieve. The simple and accessible practice of Zhitro offers a real way for a practitioner to help the deceased. This practice also helps one to become familiarized with the visions and experiences one may experience during the 49 daysfollowing one’s own passing.

During the 49 days following death, the consciousness of the deceased may be lingering in an intermediate state, known as the “bardo” in Tibetan. It is very important to know what to do when someone passes away in order to help them. Lama Tsultrim will also show us how to set up a shrine for the 49 days of the practice following death.  Lama Tsultrim will also give the lung or hearing transmission for the practice and we will practice together.  This Zhitro practice is also used as preparation for the Dzogchen of dark retreat.

Namcho Mingyur Dorje was a terton who started to receive treasures when he was so young his guru Karma Chagme had to write them down for him. His revealed treasure practices, collectively referred to as “Namcho” or “Space Treasures”, have a very simple, direct and visionary quality, making this a much simpler practice than other Zhitro practices such as the “Tibetan book of the Dead” as Karma Lingpa’s Zhitro terma has been called.

Orgyen Dorje Den

2244 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
For registration and
Please pre-register

Tentative Schedule


7pm-8:30pm Opening Talk


10am-6pm Teaching Sessions (Lunch break from 1pm-3pm)


10am-1pm Teaching Session and close


Tsegyalgar West in Baja Sur, Mexico, is seeking to recruit a volunteer member of the Dzogchen Community for 5 days in April, to help organize the logistics of a Vajra Dance retreat, Part II (final part). Retreat dates are April 22-25, but we will need the person to arrive on the 20 (or earlier, if they prefer). We offer free lodging, food, tuition, and airport transport, i.e. the volunteer would only pay for travel to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. (S/he can stay for a little vacation, do a personal retreat, or come earlier for Part I of the Vajra Dance). We need someone who is reliable, patient, organized and who has experience helping out with retreat logistics. If interested, please contact Anni (blue gakyil)

Rinpoche in California in the ’80′s

Thank you so much Cheryl Foltos for sending us these old Photographs of Rinpoche from 1986-7, when he first started visiting California. These were taken in Grass Valley  and Cazadero. If any one has photographs of past retreats in California, feel welcome to send them to our aha at address, and we will create a photo gallery.


Board of Directors (Gakyil) and Fundraising Meetings Saturday 6/22

All who are interested in learning about the functioning of Dondrubling are welcome to attend our next Gakil meeting on Saturday June 22nd from 2-4 pm. We will also have a fundraising and Strategic Planning meeting from 12-1:30. If there are any members who have project management, fundraising, grant writing, non-profit marketing or strategic planning expertise, we could really use your help charting the future of Dondrubling! Refreshments will be served.


Powerhouse Fire, Los Angeles, CA June 3, 2013

Gregg Johnson is a member of the Los Angeles Gakyil and a long time student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Gregg’s home was one of six so far lost in the Powerhouse Fire.

Click for News Reports:

 Man Who Lost Home in Powerhouse Fire Grateful Others Were Spared

“The houses right across the street were saved, and so I really want to thank all the brave individuals who risked their lives to save our community. You know, we owe them a lot, we really do,” Gregg Johnson.

Any donation will greatly help Gregg rebuild his home and his life after this sudden devastation

Give to Gregg  


New Community Yantra Yoga Instructors

We are so pleased to announce our newly authorized Yantra Yoga instructors with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in Baja, Mexico. May 9, 2013

Left to right:
Fabio Andrico with Jeff Sable – NYC,
Josefina Robles – Mexico,
Martina Kacurova – Tsegyalgar East,
Christian Hidalgo – Costa Rica,
Matthew Schmookler – Tsegyalgar West,
Luke Karamol – Tsegyalgar West


March 27th Full Moon Ganapuja with Tsultrim Allione, the Tara Mandala and Dzogchen Community Sanghas