Friday, 12 August 2016

Halfway to completion

We are very happy to be able to announce that the Drala Jong fund is more than halfway towards its target of £500,000.

In June we received an anonymous donation of £40,000 which took us way over the halfway mark and well on our way towards £300,000. We are most grateful to this anonymous donor and hope that they will be happy when Drala Jong is established.  They have greatly helped to make this happen in the near future.

We are grateful to all donors who are supporting our work there really is no amount that is too small - or too large - to be of significance to us. Many people are now donating small monthly sums rather than one-off donations.  It is good to see regular progress in the growth of the appeal fund.

All monies donated for Drala Jong are held by Charities within the lineage and will only be used for the purpose of establishing this residential retreat centre.

If you feel inspired by the lineage do please  donate to help create Drala Jong. 



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Aro gTér Lineage: Tradition and Innovation in Vajrayana Buddhism - Bhutanese Broadcasting Service

Ngakma Mé-tsal Wangmo and Naljorpa Ja’gyür Dorje represented the Aro gTér Lineage at the conference on 'Tradition and Innovation in Vajrayana Buddhism' in Bhutan, 1-3 July 2016. See our previous article 'When a Return to Tradition appears as Innovation'



The video below is from the Bhutanese Broadcasting service and features and interview with Dr Tashi Zangmo the daughter of the Ngakpa Gomchen.

"With Wisdom the Method comes, with the Method the Wisdom comes. This has to go together"
—Dr Tashi Zangmo



As well as being reported by the Bhutanese Broadcasting Service, the conference was also featured by South Asian Time and South Asian Media.



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Aro gTér Lineage: When a Return to Tradition appears as Innovation, Bhutan, 1-3 July 2016

Naljorpa Ja'gyür & Ngakma Métsal
Ngakma Mé-tsal Wangmo and Naljorpa Ja’gyür Dorje will be representing the Aro gTér Lineage at the conference on 'Tradition and Innovation in Vajrayana Buddhism' in Bhutan, 1-3 July 2016.  They were invited to speak at the conference by Ian Baker, following the Sangha visit to the Secret Temple exhibition, as it was important that there was representation of the ngak'phang tradition in the west.

The three-day series of talks and presentations will address Vajrayāna’s dialogue with 21st century medicine and science as well as its current and historical interface with the visual and performing arts. Presentations will emphasize Vajrayāna’s long history of creative adaptation within wider processes of continuity and change and the current globalization of Himalayan Buddhist culture. The conference will specifically address the role of body-mind yogic practices within Vajrayāna Buddhism and their applicability within an increasingly transcultural and technologically driven world.

Ngakma Mé-tsal and Naljorpa Ja’gyür will give a talk entitled 'When a Return to Tradition appears as Innovation: Essential Insights into the Origins of Vajrayāna Buddhism'.

The conference promises to be a fascinating opportunity to meet with fellow Vajrayana practitioners, to present the teachings of the Aro gTér Lineage and our plans for Drala Jong.



When a Return to Tradition Appears as Innovation: Essential Insights into the Origins of Vajrayāna Buddhism
Ngakma Mé-tsal Wangmo & Naljorpa Ja’gyür Dorje

Vajrayāna as it was first transmitted in India and Tibet bears little resemblance to the institutionalized forms current in the contemporary world. As a result, the very essence of Vajrayāna thought and practice has often been obscured by secondary cultural and political developments.

This presentation will illuminate the original ethos and practice of Vajrayāna, prior to its later culturally determined modifications. Central to this is the advanced psychology expressed in the lives and teachings of the tantric mahāsiddhas and their relevance to Buddhist practice in everyday life.

This presentation will thus explore several interconnected subjects that reveal the deep relevance of the original Vajrayāna teachings in the world today.

These subjects are as follows:
  1. The 84 Mahāsiddhas as visualization and mantra practices, from the revealed treasures (gTérma) of Jomo Pema ’ö-Zér, which, along with their associated hagiographies, elucidate the principles and functions of individual life in the process of liberation.;
  2. The history of the gos dKar lCang lo’i sDe (ngakpa sangha), as distinct from the more widely known tradition of Tibetan Buddhist monasticism;
  3. The mKha’ ’gro dPa bo nyi zLa me long rGyud, essential teachings on vajra love as an approach to the non-dual state of liberated awareness;
  4. Insights into Aro gTér sKu-mNyé: the 111 Dzogchen long-dé cycle of psycho-physical practices for realizing non-duality, exercises which employ the body as the portal of discovery;
  5. Essential Vajrayāna psychology as applicable in the contemporary world, where every state of mind, however distressing, is linked dynamically to an aspect of the intrinsic freedom of the non-dual play of the elements.
Biographical Profiles
Mé-tsal Wangmo and Ja’gyür Dorje are a teaching couple within the Aro gTér lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. They have been ordained as go kar chang lo practitioners and students of Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, the lineage holders of the Aro gTér since the 1990s. They combine careers in IT project management, education and Chinese medicine with family life and practicing and teaching Vajrayāna. As well as teaching publicly, they have personal students in Britain, mainland Europe, and South America.

About the Conference
Further information about the conference is available from the website of The Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research, and also on Facebook



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Drala Jong Facilities

As a venue Drala Jong will be used for:

  • Talks, courses, and retreats – from single evenings to week long residential events 
  • Public teachings—irrespective of affiliation with Buddhism—on: healthy happy personal relationships; embracing emotions through meditation; 
  • Tibetan physical yogas; iconographic painting; and the Arts – including woodcraft, metal work, ceramics, dance, and music. 
  • Private teachings for qualified teachers and their personal students. 

In the longer term we also intend to:

  • House a library of books, audio-visual teaching recordings, texts, art, and photography pertaining to non-monastic Buddhist practice – and, to provide a venue for study by practitioners and academics, adults and children. 
  • Found a teacher training centre for the next generation ngak’phang teachers, as well as shorter courses on counselling and therapy influenced by Buddhist psychology. 
  • Establish a residential care centre for ageing practitioners to grow old in dignity and company – whilst providing opportunities to learn from their experience and insight.


Drala Jong - Home for a rare lineage of Tibetan Buddhism



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Sangha visit to Tibet’s Secret Temple Exhibition at the Wellcome Trust in London

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Earlier this year Ngak’chang Rinpoche, Ngakma Mé-tsal, and Naljorpa Ja’gyür—accompanied by a group of practitioners from Sang-ngak-chö-dzong—went to London to see the exhibition entitled Tibet’s Secret Temple at the Wellcome Trust.
The Wellcome webpage gives the following about the exhibition ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple’ explores Tibetan Buddhist yogic and meditational practice and their connections to physical and mental wellbeing.  Inspired by an exquisite series of 17th century murals from a private meditation chamber for Tibet’s Dalai Lamas in Lhasa’s Lhakhang Temple, the exhibition features over 120 objects including scroll paintings, statues, manuscripts, archival and contemporary film, together with a wide range of ethnographic and ritual artefacts. Three of the murals from the temple have been recreated, by photographer Thomas Laird, as life-sized digital artworks that form the centrepiece of the exhibition.


Watch Ian Baker speak about the exhibition Tibet’s Secret Temple: British Museum objects at Wellcome Collection



Beyul Pemako
The sBas yul (hidden land) of Pemakö.

The Lineage Holders of the Aro gTér—Ngak’chang Chö-ying Gyamtso Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen Tsédrüp Rolpa’i Yeshé—were personally invited by the exhibition’s curator Ian Baker (author of several books on Vajrayana Buddhism) explorer of the Hidden Land in Pemakö and long-time Nyingma practitioner with Lamas such as Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche.

Chatral Senge Dorje Rinpoche<
Chatral Rinpoche (bya ’dral rin po che) wearing the shawl of the gö kar chang lo’i dé (gos dKar lCang lo’i sDe) and sitting—as a Tantric Master—on a tiger skin.


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Ian Baker & Ngak'chang Rinpoche

Ian Baker guided Ngak’chang Rinpoche and the sangha around the exhibition and together they discussed many different aspects of Vajrayana. Ngak’chang Rinpoche was able to provide extensive commentaries on many of the fascinating objects in the exhibition. We all shared in Ian Baker’s enthusiasm concerning many aspects of essential Vajrayana as purveyed by the Mahasiddha tradition in India. Ian Baker also told many stories about his relationship with Kyabjé Chatral Rinpoche and meetings with Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel Déchen.

Ian Baker enjoyed discussing Vajrayana with us as a group and showed great interest in Ngak’chang Rinpoche’s elucidations on key points concerning the gö kar chang lo’i dé.

Karma Lhundrüp Dorje demonstrating a yogic exercise from the trul’khor (sPrul ’khor) system.

A Yogini and gö kar chang lo’i dé practitioner practising Dzogchen long-dé (rDzog chen kLong dDe) in Tibet. The use of the gom-thag (sGom thag – mediation belt) is a key feature of Dzogchen long-dé.

Ngakpa Namgyal and Ngakma Shé-zér discussing the exhibition with a Vajrayana student

Yogis practising trul’khor (sPrul ’khor). Picture from the 5th Dalai Lama’s summer temple in Tibet.

A Ngakpa (gö kar chang lo practitioner) practising gÇod.

Ordained Yoginis: members of the gö kar chang lo’i dé in Tibet

Folios from a Dzogchen practice manual, Royal Library, Copenhagen

Folios from a Dzogchen practice manual, Royal Library, Copenhagen

After the exhibition we all enjoyed a relaxed time together in the museum restauran

Sources
Sutra Journal    http://www.sutrajournal.com/tibets-secret-temple-image-gallery
Wellcome Trust     https://wellcomecollection.org/secrettemple
Aro Encyclopaedia     http://aroencyclopaedia.org




The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Drala Jong - ‘Sparkling Meadow of Primal Iridescence’

The name ‘Drala Jong’, means ‘Sparkling Meadow of Primal Iridescence’. Of this name, Spiritual Directors Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen write:

 Drala Jong innately exists in human beings. ‘Drala’ is the appreciative faculty which exponentially enlivens people the more they engage with the world. Appreciation is the key to enjoyment and to the delighting in the enjoyment of others. When we learn to appreciate phenomena our sense fields ‘Jong’ begin to sparkle and a sense of generosity is born which connects us with others. 

Although Vajrayana Buddhism is by no means unknown in the West – the sense in which enjoyment and compassion are mutually interdependent remains unexpressed. We would like Drala Jong to be a place where human beings could discover the pleasure of existence – the pleasure that animates the sense fields and revitalises the Arts – and the art of living.

Drala Jong - Home for a rare lineage of Tibetan Buddhism



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Drala Jong - Establishing a retreat centre

The need to provide a facility where people can obtain inspiration without removing themselves from everyday society is clear. We are therefore looking to establish a retreat centre in Wales, where people can study with teachers – most of whom are married couples with children. Individuals will then be able to practise what they have assimilated – and return to their lives refreshed and invigorated. Open Teaching Retreats at Drala Jong will include guidance in systems of meditation, yogic song and music, physical yogas, romantic relationship – and, in the spiritual dimension of dance, art, and craft.

This will be the fulfilment of the vision of Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche, the most remarkable Tibetan Lama of the 20th Century and Head of the Nyingma Buddhist Tradition, who gave instruction for the establishment of our organisation in 1977.

Drala Jong - Home for a rare lineage of Tibetan Buddhism



The Drala Jong project seeks to create a home for the Aro gTér Lineage. Please see the Appeal page for more information about the Drala Jong project and how to help.

If you would like to make a single or regular donation, please click the button below.