Lama Shé-zér & I just returned from a week-long Ling Gésar retreat with Lama Bar-ché and Lama Mé-sèl at Talli Fageräng, outside Helsinki, Finland. To date the Gésar retreats have focussed primarily on martial arts and the physical yogas, so it was a delight to help bring a different aspect of this gTérma into being. After the formal dinner at the conclusion of the retreat, all the guests remarked what a fine occasion it was, in terms of ambience, cuisine and conversation.
Neither the Natural Dignity dining nor the Dance would have been possible of course without the hostess’ entirely excellent serving staff, who performed sterling work in the kitchen and at table.
Amongst the many wonderful things we experienced on this retreat was the fact that it showed what will be possible when Drala Jong is established. The wonderful Maria Mäkinen as well as her families – both relatives and the extended vajra family of apprentices – have created an amazing space for practice.
This is the first place since our experience of pilgrimage to Boudha
that has felt naturally imbued with an atmosphere completely supportive to practice. It was a real honor to be part of the first teachings in the Gompa
that Maria has built. This was especially the case because in doing so we in some small way have been able to help the Father Lineage Gésar gTérma come into being.
Included within the shrine area is a Raven, who used to visit Lama Bar-ché in retreat on the land, but who recently passed away, and the Raven’s family continue to nest in the forest. If felt like we were under the watchful eye of the lineage, and of the extended vajra families of yogic practitioners everywhere whilst we taught.
To honor the passing of this fine fellow, The Raven
was performed at the fire-side celebration on the first weekend of the retreat. During the celebration we were fortunate enough to witness the sun conjuring rainbow light into the cloud-filled sky.
Indeed the whole retreat had the atmosphere of celebration. Our son Tomas had his first ever riding lesson, and it seemed apt that the Icelandic Pony
upon which he rode was a family favourite – and one of the oldest of the herd – who name was Osku, which means ‘A Wish Fulfilled’.
Talli Fageräng really demonstrates the joy that can be created by fulfilling the wishes of others in making such a space available for practice. Drala Jong will feel the same, when we finally fufill the wishes of Kyabjé Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Samphel, and bring it into being.
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