Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Remembering Gelek Rimpoche (1939-2017)


A tender moment with Philip Glass, Gelek Rimpoche and Allen, 1989


Today,  I learned of Gelek Rimpoche's passing, a sad event for his many students and people whose lives he touched. Born in 1939, Gelek Rimpoche was one of the last of his generation to be educated traditionally--a rigorous training from early childhood. He proved an effective Teacher to Americans having many prominent students such as Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Richard Gere, and others. 

One day in 1989 when I had begun to work in the office of Allen Ginsberg, I remember well the first time I met Rimpoche and heard his unique voice (he favored the Rimpoche spelling as opposed to the more common Rinpoche) via a phone call he made asking to speak with Allen who was not in his office. He wanted to ask If Allen could be on his board of Jewel Heart or something official like that. I remember listing to him Allen's other dharma obligations. In any case  he was quite engaging with very good English. Later I traveled a number of times with Allen to Ann Arbor, MI where Rimpoche at that time  gave weekly teachings in a small Gonpa above his garage. He was a marvelous master of Tsongkhapa's lineage and the lam rim  teachings.    Although,  I felt more drawn to the Dzogchen teaching, at the time, I really respected his methods and to this day employ his analytical meditation technique--which is extremely important as a base for one's understanding of the so called "nature of mind."



Gelek Rimpoche and Allen had a lot of fun. Often when Gelek Rimpoche stayed with Allen in his rather humble six floor walk-up apartment on East 12th Street, I would see them together while delivering Allen's mail. Gelek Rimpoche was especially fond of telling many ribald tales about the sexual practices of monks in Tibet which  Allen found amusing. They also shared a keen love of the daily news--Allen, the NYTimes and Gelek Rimpoche, CNN. 
I remember during the first Iraq war we were all watching George Bush Senior on CNN and Gelek Rimpoche saying that he (George Bush senior) had no idea of the karmic implications of his policies for America. 

My sincere regards to all of Gelek Rimpoche's many fine students who are among the most kind and generous dharma practitioners in America. The apple, as they say, does not fall far from the tree. To learn more about Gelek Rimpoche's teachings and Jewel Heart visit:

Jacqueline Gens
February 15, 2017

Photo taken with Allen Ginsberg's camera in Ann Arbor, MI 1989 by Gloria Boyajian

On Lion's Roar  you can read a series of articles by Gelek Rimpoche



Sunday, February 05, 2017

Join us for a Presentation of our HATCH Grant Conway Rags to Paper on February 11, 2017

Please join us for a celebration and presentations by HATCH grant Recipients




WHERE: Buckland Community Center on Main Street in Shelburne Falls, MA
DATE AND TIME: February 11, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM
Refreshments provided, FREE but 5.00 donation requested
                                                                                                 
Papermaking is an ancient tradition that is an important base for the evolution of cultures world-wide. Before the advent of modern papermaking from trees, paper was made from natural fibers or rags.

As part of the upcoming Summer 2017 Town of Conway Aniversary, Tsegyalgar East will participate in the 250th Anniversary for the town of Conway in a number of events through Kahndroling Paper Cooeprative, Khaita Dance and Shang Shung Institute. For a full list of these events visit, here. 

Khandroling Paper Cooperative will give a public presentation on February 11, 2017 of its Conway Rags to Paper Project for which it received grants from the Greater Shelburne Falls Business Association and Massachusetts Cultural Council. 



    
The Conway Rags to Paper Project will collect, process, and beat in our Hollander beater cotton rags from Conway residents to create pulp which will then be used in making handmade paper specifically for the 250th anniversary of Conway. This paper will become the base to contain writing by participants and artist members related to the history, stories and personal connection to the town of Conway, which will then be mounted in a variety of formats (ex: scrolls, mural, and folding books,) using various printing methods (stamping, stencil, calligraphy, printing) for exhibition during the three-day anniversary.

In our presentation we will bring examples of our handmade paper and text. Please join us for a fun and informative event!


  


               
















Saturday, February 04, 2017

Walking the Plank of Uncertainty

I stepped from Plank to Plank 
A slow and cautious way 
The stars about my Head I felt 
About my Feet the Sea 
                                                      -Emily Dickinson 















Friday, February 03, 2017

Our Next Poetrymind Meditation and Poetry Meeting on February 4, 2017


Poetrymind monthly writing group participants meditating in the Shelburne Falls Shambhala shrine room


For the past two months in December and January we met at our local co-op and the Shambhala Center when available. In January we spent considerable time in writing exercises following our usual meditation period. I came across this poem by David Budville
in "The Sun Magazine" (February 2017, p.15) which seemed topical.

The Emperor
His bullies
And henchmen
Terrorize the world
Every day

Which is why
Every day

We need

A little poem of kindness

A small song of peace

A brief moment of joy


Poets are responding big time to the present climate of dissent. Here is Huffington Post's list of 18 Compassionate Poems to help You Weather Uncertain Times --just a taste of engaged writers in response online. 


Monday, January 02, 2017

My Annual Losar Poem in the works for February 27-March 1, 2017 Tibetan New Year




A preview of our annual Losar poem/image collaboration for 2017 
with original painting by Ingmar Pema Dechen, a visionary artist of
the Dzogchen Community and member of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative.
Visit some of her art here online at:

the annual Losar poem is currently in progress.........