mirror 69 - The Mirror

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THE MIRROR Newspaper of the International Dzogchen Community

Aug./Sept. 2004 • Issue No. 69

Rinpoche teaching in Gonpa at Mandarava Retreat in Margarita

Mandarava Chüdlen Retreat Rdo Rjei Srog Thile Ge Gnad Kri Man Ngag Zab Mo From the Longsal Cycleof Mandarava with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Tashigar Norte July 17th - August 1st, 2004 Integrating the Elements Independence and Overcoming Distractions by Karin Heinemann he “Vajra Long Life“ is promised to the practitioners who are doing the practices of Long Life according to the Tibetan Tradition. How is that possible? Is this functioning today in our busy situation in the West? This was the first Practice Retreat with Chögyal Namkhai Norbu organized worldwide.(see page 3) Rinpoche explained and practiced with about 400 of his students in Tashigar Norte, Margarita Island, and at the same time, with many more of the big family of members of the International Dzogchen Community. Those attending on the Internet did so either in groups or alone. They could access the teachings by entering a password available to all members. For some the broadcast was nighttime and for others daytime, according to the part of the world where they lived. In Tashigar Norte on Isla Margarita, we arrived at the assembly area most days around 8:30 AM. This gave us enough time before Rinpoche arrived to hear the local Gakyil give information about the organization. Practice and teachings filled the morning form 9:00AM to

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12:00 o’clock. Afterwards, Rinpoche remained with us, welcoming everybody warmly who came to speak with him personally. In the afternoons around 3 o’clock, during the heat of the day, we reassembled in the assembly area. Fabio Andrico showed us how to apply breathing techniques. Nina Robinson gave explanations about the Mandarava Practice. Jakob Winkler prepared us for the transmission on the anniversary of Padmasambhava. Adriano Clemente went through all exercises that Rinpoche had given us in the morning. There were many questions, which Adriano patiently answered. Additional practice hours were offered for Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance. It was so hot, that I put a wet cloth around my shoulders. In the morning Rinpoche had told us about the wet clothes which were wrapped around the shoulders of monks who were circumambulating their monastery proving their realization of inner heat drying them quickly. Independent of warm clothing, they wore only a thin white cotton cloth even during the cold Tibetan winters. Because of that they were called “Repas”, those who only wear cotton. Well, my wet cloth was drying also, but here in the tropical Caribbean it did not verify my attainment. Today many Tibetan refugees live in India and there are some Lamas who during the hot Indian summer wear cold weather clothing made out of sheep fur. Does that also shows a realization of mastering the elements? In Tibet, with its hard living conditions, some practices are obviously beneficial. There the yogis sit in their cold retreat caves high up in the mountains, far away from any settlement and practice with a minimum of food. No problem, if they had mastered the practice of Chüdlen. This

practice of Chüdlen, which made them independent of gross nourishment, is what Rinpoche taught us at this retreat. My situation was quite a different one. I was practicing, Chüdlen, but in an “all inclusive” hotel which had a buffet table ten meters long three times a day. I ordered only hot water and rice according to our instructions. The rice sometimes was mixed with tasty vegetables. Plain rice is not good enough for some pretentious hotel customers. Well, no problem, I was competing for who was the best ascetic. It is not the main point to observe rigid rules, but rather to integrate the essence of the elements. To accomplish this one needs to apply techniques of breathing which are much easier on an empty stomach. The integration of experiences or elements can not be realized through effort. One must begin by applyin