Friday, January 24, 2014

News From Khandroling Paper Cooperative

While in search for a permanent home, for now Khandroling Paper Cooperative will winter over in Turners Falls, MASS where KPC members will host monthly open studios for the next few months. 
Once a thriving industrial town specializing in paper making, we were heartened to see the 19th century 
paper mill logo matched our own KPC logo (see stack above)--an auspicious and inviting coincidence. This summer in 2014 we will return to our outdoor fun demonstrations and at least a couple of workshops at the yellow schoolhouse  at Tsegyalgar in Conway, MA or on the Khandroling Farm.  Turners Falls is an artist friendly town not far from our Community centers. 


Following Prima Mai's message to the International Dzogchen community in support of the Khandroling Paper Cooperative's FESTSCHRIFT project as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration and Mandala Inauguration on Khandroling, we received many excellent submissions.  Please continue to send jpegs of your art work and word documents of your poems, prose, writings. Just email to  including a small biography along with your attachments. It's quite simple. Limit 1-2 pages per person. However, if you need more pages, let us know how many and we can discuss if there is room. If you are writing in your native language, please include an English language translation so Rinpoche can read your offering. We've received some amazing images and poems. Please join the dance and continue to send in work for this worthy project.  


Papermaking is not everyone's idea of meaningful and fun activity (messy, wet, cold). If you've tried it and fallen in love with it or love handmade papers, we invite you to participate in a Three-day Master Workshop this summer (July 2014) with our main instructor Sheryl Jaffe especially designed for international community members who are interested in permaculture and the arts and/or wish to acquire knowledge how to start their own paper cooperative using the native plants of their region as well as recycling papers and rags. Here at Tsegyalgar East, we are interested in using recycled sacred texts and substances in our line of calligraphy papers. But one can develop numerous other products. PAPERMAKING is an outstanding activity for many special populations and is  universally present in many cultures. Sheryl has collected samples from all over the world that she uses in her classes with us. DATES TBA DURING THE SUMMER EVENTS in July 2014. This would be nice even for kids or people just wanting to make some paper but we wanted to also offer it as a professional development for community members. There is no cost for this workshop. If interested please let us know.

The Tibetan people used handmade paper in a variety ways including block printing of texts, door way mantras, edible mantras and for an amazing array of calligraphic fonts for written compositions. Many great masters often execute sacred mantras and seed syllables as a secondary cause for liberation through seeing. Here at Khandroling Paper Cooperative we like to celebrate the Tibetan culture of paper arts and calligraphy. One of our unique qualities is that we recycle sacred texts into paper used for sacred purposes, thus strengthening our intention. 


This year we are happy to have master artist and calligrapher Tashi Mannox join us at the Shang Shung Institute in a co-sponsored event with Khandroling Paper Cooperative to introduce us to the art of Tibetan Calligraphy. We invite you to join us April 4,5,6 in Conway MA for his workshop. He is also scheduled to give a lecture/demonstration at the Rubin Museum on April 2 as part of their exhibit on Tibetan medicine. Visit Khandroling Paper Cooperative here for a full description of the workshop and link to Tashi's amazing biography. Visit his website here


[our Dragon song ink, Turkey feather quill and tiny scroll with KPC chop] Last but not least, we've made our first batch of handmade black walnut ink (thanks to Diane Sievers and her sister). We've asked a young Zen practitioner Erin Riorden, at Tassajara Zen Center  in California to test it out in one of  her marvelous ink washes. KPC member, Margherita in Toronto will design the labels for our line of inks. 

We are calling this batch of ink "Dragon Song" after Zen master's Dogon's famous sutra, which Erin sent to us. 

WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS for 2014--Coming soon as we finalize some dates. 
Visit our main blog at for further information and contacts. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's New at Khandroling Paper Cooperative

Over the holidays and through our cold snap I've been mostly focused on unpacking since the move to Turners Falls where i am setting up a studio space as I get used to my new routine. My new landlords Andrea and Damein who are now in Guatemala in the Lake Atitlan highlands, have graciously allowed us to set up winter papermaking in the basement and a spot intheir gaage for summer papermaking.

I was heartened to see that Soutgworth, producing high end archival papers for documents. It's large smoke stack with an insignia PBC (I kinf you not) seemed an auspicous beckoning forour own KPC. The insignia  stands for the Keith Smith Company, th e intiil owners fo the paper factory founded. 

So waht's New and Happening?

This Saturday I'll be meetign with Sheryl and Walter to go oever ourplans for the Festschrift we will be making in honor of. Dozne's fo really beuatiful submissions have been sent in from all over the world.   Sheryl graciously committed toteach a master class this summer at Tsegyalgar East for members of the international community who are interesed in developing a pape ooperative. 

Maeline an dI recentyhad dinner decided to host a monthly open studio work art play and exploringdifferent techniques. madeline has aderee in art thapy so we are in good hands to manifest some interesting projects. I personally am not a crafty hands on person , so these kinds play are very useful to get me out of my head. 

Erin Riordan's Work

Erin Riordan is a young poet I met at Marlboro College when I was asked to be her outside thesis advisor in her senior year. I remembered her well not only for her interesting thesis but because of her presence. I was not surprised to read later that she won the most compassionate person award or somethign like that. Since graduating from Marlboro, she is currently at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center--with it's legacy of many fine poet practitioners.  She is a writer and does marvelous ink washes. I thought she might like a bottle of our homemade Black Walnut ink (which we are sending her). I asked her to send some work to post on the blog and this is what she sent based on her studies. The ink washes are her own original work--Jacqueline Gens, 2014

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
Book 61

Song of the Dragon
       Once a monk asked the Chan Master Ciji of Mt. Touzi from Shuzhou, “Is there the song of the dragon in the driedtree?”
      The master said, “I say there’s the roar of the lion in the skull.”1
            Talk of “dried trees and dead ashes” is originally a teaching of the alien ways.  Nevertheless, there should be a big difference between the “dried tree” spoken of by the alien ways and the “dried tree” spoken of by the buddhas and ancestors.  While the alien ways talk of “dried trees,” they do not know “dried trees,” much less do they hear “the song of the dragon.”  The alien paths think that the “dried tree” is a rotted tree; they study that it cannot “meet the spring.”2
            The “dried trees” that the buddhas and ancestors speak of is the study of “the ocean drying up.”  The ocean drying up is the tree drying out; the tree drying out is “meeting the spring.”  The tree not moving is “dried.”  The present mountain trees, ocean trees, sky trees, and the rest—these are the “dried tree.”  The “germination of a sprout” is the “song of the dragon in the dried tree”; though it may be a hundred, thousand, myriad in circumference, it is the progeny of the dried tree.  The mark, nature, substance, and power of “dried” is “a dried post” and “not a dried post,” spoken of by the buddhas and ancestors.  There are trees of mountains and valleys; there are trees of paddies and villages.  The trees of mountains and valleys are known in the world as pines and cypress; the trees of paddies and villages are known in the world as humans and devas.  “The leaves are spread based on the root”:  this is called the buddhas and ancestors; “root and branch return to the source”:  this is our study.  Being like this is the dried tree’s long dharma body, the dried tree’s short dharma body.  One who is not a dried tree does not make the song of the dragon; one who is not a dried tree does not lose the song of the dragon.  “How many springs has it met without changing its mind?”—this is the song of the dragon entirely dried.  Though it may not be versed in the notes of the scale, the notes of the scale are the second or third sons of the song of the dragon.3
            Nevertheless, this monk’s saying, “is there the song of the dragon in the dried tree?” is the first appearance of the question in countless æons; it is the appearance of a topic.  Touzi’s saying, “I say there’s the roar of the lion in the skull” is “what’s been concealed?”  It is “never ceasing to subdue oneself and promote others”; it is “skulls fill the fields.”4
      A monk once asked the Great Master Xideng of Xiangyan zi, “What is the way?”
      The master said, “The dragon song in the dried tree.”
      The monk said, “I don’t understand.”
      The master said, “The eyeball in the skull.”
      Later, a monk asked Shishuang, “What is the dragon song in the dried tree?”
      Shuang said, “Still harboring joy.”
      The monk said, “What is the eyeball in skull?”
      Shuang said, “Still harboring consciousness.”
      Again, a monk asked Caoshan, “What is the dragon song in the dried tree?”
      Shan said, “The blood vessel not severed.”
      The monk said, “What is the eyeball in the skull?”
      Shan said, “Not entirely dried up.”
      The monk said, “Well, can anyone hear it?”
      Shan said, “On the whole earth, there isn’t one who can’t hear it.”
      The monk said, “Well, what passage does the dragon sing?”
      Shan said, “I don’t know what passage it is.  Everyone who hears it loses his life.”5
            The hearer and singer spoken of here are not equal to the singer of the dragon’s song; this tune is the dragon’s singing.”  “In the dried tree,” “in the skull”—these are not about inside or outside, not about self or other; they are the present and the past.  “Still harboring joy” is a further “horn growing on the head”; “still harboring consciousness” is “skin entirely shed.”6
            Caoshan’s saying, “the blood vessel not severed,” is speaking without avoidance; it is “turning the body in the stream of words.”  “Not entirely dried up” is “when the ocean dries up, it does not entirely [dry] to the bottom.”  Since “not entirely” is “drying up,” there is “drying up” beyond “drying up.”  His saying, “can anyone hear it?” is like saying, “is there anyone who can’t?”  7

About “on the whole earth, there isn’t one who can’t hear it,” we should ask further:  leaving aside “there isn’t one who can’t hear it,” when there isn’t any whole earth, where is the song of the dragon?  Speak!  Speak!  “Well, what passage does the dragon cry?” should be made a question.  The crying dragon is itself raising its voice and bringing it up within the mud, is breathing it out within its nostrils.  “I don’t know what passage it is” is a dragon within the passage.  “Everyone who hears it loses his life”:  what a pity!

            This song of the dragon of Xiangyan, Shishuang, and Caoshan forms clouds and forms water.  It does not talk about the way; it does not talk about the eyeball or skull:  it is just a thousand tunes, ten thousand tunes of the song of the dragon.  “Still harboring joy” is “the croaking of frogs”; “still harboring consciousness” is “the murmuring of worms.”  By these, “the blood vessel is not severed,” “the bottle gourd succeeds the bottle gourd.”  Since it is “not entirely dried up,” the columns conceive and give birth, the lanterns face the lanterns.8

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
The Song of the Dragon
Book 61
Presented to the assembly twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the first year of Kangen (mizunoto-u), beneath Yamashibu, in the domain of Etsu9
Copied this on the fifth day of the third month of the second year of Kōan, at Eiheiji10

The story is based on the koan Ryugin, or Dragon Song by Dogen.You can find a translation of it here: Original ink washes by Erin Riordan