Tsogyelgar is a collection of spiritual aspirants who study the teachings of t.k. and practice the path of Vajrayana Tantra and Dzogchen. The name is comprised of two words Tsogyel, the female Buddha who helped establish the teachings in the Himalayan region in the 8th century. The second word is Gar which is a Tibetan term for an encampment, a loose affiliation of people with common purpose which arises around a center of sublime wisdom teachings.
The community of Tsogyelgar and other students of t.k. comprise a number always kept at around 108. Friends of t.k.’s work and practitioners of the way live in several countries but are centered in South Eastern, Michigan, near Ann Arbor. Over the 30 years of teachings the community has manifested all levels of spiritual practice from students who have full attainment to those who are just beginning.
At the heart of Tsogyelgar’s mission and activity are the teachings of liberation and enlightenment. The transmission of empowerments, the offering of teachings, creation of an environment that upholds deep spiritual practice and the support of yogis doing serious long term retreat.
Overtime a collection of unique, energetic, creative people who share a passion for spiritual realization and enactment produce a lot of beauty and goodness. And this is exactly what has happened. In north India on the border of Tibet the Tsogyelgar community has founded a school for children preserving the ancient yogic practices and education. They have funded an orphanage, school and breakfast program for children of all faiths in the slums of Varanasi, India. They have created world class works of art, started a farm, bakery, creamery which support the community through Right Livelihood, donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks, brought world famous poets to South Eastern Michigan for free poetry readings, built a professional recording studio and recorded 11 CDs, created amazingly beautiful gardens ……… all as byproducts of the energy of compassion and wisdom created through spiritual work.
Into Tantra’s Hidden Land of Pemakö
A small group of community members travelled deep into the jungles of of far northern India and into the ancient Tantric hidden land of Pemakö. A 12 hour trek from the nearest road, in a small village, they established a school for preservation of Tantric yogic practices, crafts, dances and solitary retreat practice.
Sacred Lands and Hidden Groves
The is a mytho-poetic landscape in Tantra which spreads out across the globe and is mirrored in the human body. At the heart of this are 24 sacred locations. Over the years the community at Tsogyelgar has been recreating this magical realm on the 75 acres which we own.
Life as Spiritual Practice
The formal aspects of spiritual practice are vitally important. Without formal meditation sessions spiritual life tends to become a fantasy. At the same time all of life is the testing ground in the spiritual practice of being human. Arts, work, relationship, group projects, family life, parties all serve as the territory and testing ground. The community at Tsogyelgar embraces all of these as part of the culture of wisdom. The bakery, creamery, farm, gardens, community events all serve as opportunities for honing the efficacy of the Great Work.
The Alchemy of Sensual Transformation
Human beings live sensually. We live through our senses which are in and of themselves organs of knowledge. Vajrayana is a path which makes use of aesthetics as a force in transformation. It is in music, painting, poetics and more that the human
In the beginning, the middle and at the end the core focus of Tsogyelgar is always and foremost the transmission, practice and realization of the Great Work that is innately personal and individual. To examine ones life in earnest one must discipline the mind, heart and body. These three all become organs of knowledge where the subtle practices of alchemical transformation take place. It is in the formal teachings and practices of the path that realization emerges and then flows outward in life’s activities. Activity is important but private, consistent, sincere individual spiritual practice is primary.