Refreshing Dondrubling’s Gakyil: “We aren’t getting any younger!”

The current Gakyil for Dzogchen Community West Coast has served for more than three years. Yes, we are willing to continue to serve for a while longer. But not without your help! We are eager to bring in fresh voices, new ideas, younger energies to help manage Dondrubling’s ongoing community.

Please consider stepping up to roles on an expanded Gakyil. Whatever your expertise—communicating, facilitating practices, fundraising, managing the website, coordinating membership, project planning—the community needs your energies, now.

We are actively seeking candidates to augment the current team. We will train, support, and collaborate with new candidates who volunteer to serve on an expanded six-member team. Because most of Dondrubling’s activities are presently online, please consider volunteering to serve even if you live outside of the Bay Area. We can still connect!

To find out more about Dondrubling’s needs and the matchup with your specific skills and interests, please send your queries soonest–and no later than February 20, 2022–to

Many thanks from the stalwart but aging Dondrubling Gakyil,

Doug Doerr, Blue
Kathleen MacDougall, Yellow
Linda Handy, Red
Laurel Bellon, membership coordinator

Please note that current membership in the International Dzogchen Community is a prerequisite for serving on a local Gakyil.

Descriptions of specific Gakyil tasks are from Choegyal Namkhai Norbu’s 2006 Blue Book guidelines and principles for practitioners and Gakyil members, p. 20

Yellow Tasks

  • Manage financial aspects of the ling to ensure transparency, including reporting income from retreats and courses, tax acknowledgments to donors, keeping records and reconciling accounts; or supervising external bookkeeper and accountant
  • Manage payments to web host, ISP, Zoom, P.O. Box, storage facility, insurance company, Delaware LLCs
  • Preparation of biannual financial reports
  • Manage legal aspects of the ling, including communication with Delaware LLCs that enable nonprofit status to Tsegyalgar West
  • Manage budget for events, maintenance, and accommodations
  • Oversee retreat and course registrations and payments
  • Supervise fundraising campaigns

Blue Tasks

  • Organize events, courses and retreats, including scheduling, and media promotion
  • Manage online communications, including practice calendar announcements, special announcements, website updates, and posts to social media. Familiarity with Mailchimp is required.
  • Coordinate Zoom meetings
  • Prepare or supervise printed communications. Design skills and an ability to use Adobe Indesign and Photoshop or similar is an advantage, or the ability to direct and manage others with these skills

Red Tasks

  • Supervise rentals of space for events and activities
  • Manage karmayoga and work-exchange for retreats
  • Manage storage, maintenance, and registration of all materials and equipments
  • Supervise choice and purchase of materials, equipment
  • Book accommodations for visiting instructors

General Requirements for all Gakyil Members:

  • Personal orientation towards benefiting the Dzogchen Community and the teaching and legacy of ChNN
  • Basic IT skills; effective use of email
  • Collaborative and harmonious interpersonal skills; willingess to participate productively as a team member
  • Problem-solving and cooperative negotiation skills
  • Active driver’s license

Please contact your local Gar or Ling to renew your membership for 2022!

It’s easy to mistake official membership in The International Dzogchen Community as something separate from the View, Meditation, and Behavior of a Spiritual Teaching like Dzogchen itself; after all, many students are attracted to Rinpoche because he offers something so direct and close to the essence, free from the limitations of conventional institutions that often seem to dilute people’s access to The Dharma in so many societies around the world. Seeing Membership as this “thing” apart from what our Teacher transmits makes it appear like an unnecessary formal obligation, a burden imposed by just another bureaucracy going in the opposite direction of what the Teaching is all about, right?Actually, wrong.

The Membership is actually a fully integrated part of the View, Meditation, and Behavior of what Rinpoche has dedicated his life to upholding in the best way possible. Seeing ourselves as an interdependent part of the greater whole, our Sangha, is a perfect manifestation of that reality. Membership is our personal contribution—participating with our body, speech, and mind—to the continuation of the Teaching. It’s not a number, or a passport, or a card, that lets us do stuff like Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance, Khaita or other courses, or Retreats with Rinpoche (of course many of those are now offered on the donation basis of Generosity). It’s how we support Rinpoche’s vision for the world he has created, and how we become active participants and co-creators building that world. Do we want that world to continue to thrive and grow, develop and support itself into the future?

Membership is an expression of that aspiration. Everybody everywhere is conditioned by their own situation, and prefers to do different secondary practices at different times, but the practice of Guru Yoga is truly what we all share all the time. Similarly, everybody contributes to The Community in their own unique ways, big and small, in whatever works for them in their own circumstances, but Membership is what we can all do to uphold what Rinpoche has given to our lives. And allow others to receive that benefit. Never forcing. Renewing and maintaining our Membership is a function of our correct understanding of The View, Meditation, and Behavior of Rinpoche’s Teaching. We are individual students who make up The Sangha of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and this is a concrete expression of our knowledge and our commitment. 

When renewing your membership please consider selecting Dondrubling as your community. Dzogchen Community West Coast remains the owner of Tsegyalgar West property and has expenses involved in maintaining the gar’s non-profit status. We also wish to build a reserve for such time as another viable location presents itself as a practice space.

Members with financial issues or serious health problems can ask the gakyil to financially support or partially support their membership fee.
This membership would be considered as a Local Ordinary Membership.

Members 75 years and older with uninterrupted membership for last the 6 last years can ask the gakyil for a Local Ordinary Membership membership rate of 14 USD per year.

Thank You for Your Participation.

Dondrubling location is permanently closed but we are active on line

During January and February of 2021 Dondrubling’s Gakyil and friends inventoried, packed, and moved everything out of Dondrubling. Everyday objects, library books, and tapes, videos, and CDs of Rinpoche’s teachings went into a rented storage unit in Richmond, and will be evaluated for viability at a later date. Precious statues, paintings, and ritual items have been shared among community members who will host these items in their homes until a decision is made as to the next step for our community.

We are taking a break after the move to breathe and adapt to the change before making decisions about how to move forward. Any suggestions are very much welcome. Please write to gakyil @ to voice them.

Although some may feel the loss of the chance to do collective practices together at Dondrubling, there are many opportunities to participate in collective practices online. Here are some links (Please visit the websites below for details of dates, times and if registration is required. Some videoconferences require a brief, free download from

Dzamling Gar Webcast:

Tsegyalgar East Videoconferences:

Kundrolling, New York Dzogchen Community

As a non-profit organization (501 ©(3)), Dondrubling exists because of the generosity of our sangha. Each participant’s contribution is an investment in the preservation of the Dzogchen transmission of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Your support is still critical for us.
When renewing your membership please consider selecting Dondrubling as your community. Dzogchen Community West Coast remains the owner of Tsegyalgar West property and has expenses involved in maintaining the gar’s non-profit status. We also wish to build a reserve for such time as another viable location presents itself as a practice space.

If you can, please consider donating $5 (or more) to help the center pay rent and utilities, and help subsidize the authorized teachers who provide workshops and retreats via ZOOM at this time. Any amount is most welcome.

You can use the PayPal button on the right. Follow the instructions for PayPal, or credit card. You can also check the “Make This Recurring (Monthly)” box.

Many thanks for your continued support and practice