Sunday, April 27, 2014

Modern Tibetan Dance...coming soon to the valley

Visit the 30th Anniversary Celebration page for Tsegyalgar East

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Making Pulp

All week I’ve been making pulp initially to use in our open demo at the Amherst Sustainability Festival on the Amherst Common Saturday on April 26, which was cancelled due to rain.  

The local Salvation Army here in Turners Falls has kept us stocked with a steady supply of linen table cloths and cotton sheets to make pulp in the critter.  Below some blue sateen 100% cotton sheets and a gorgeous red linen table cloth in perfect condition.

The blue sheets was rinsed and washed ready to cut into postage stamp size pieces for our  Hollendar beater, the Critter.

Here i've cut pieces from an excellent white linen table cloth that I will make pulp from. 

I also have on hand for the festval cooked Kozo in need of a 20 minute hand beating with the wooden dowels I got from a tag sale. 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE coming soon..........

Last Sunday we finally got around to making paper outdoors as the weather was warm enough. This Spring was “cruel” in its chill.  That’s Madeline Leibling on the left and Andrea Nasca on the right filling one of the three vats.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mastering the Art of Beautiful Tibetan Letters with Tashi Mannox

Since first experiencing the work of Tashi Mannox, I had hoped that we could learn how to write these mantras perfectly on our own handmade calligraphy paper infused with sacred substanaces. Many Thanks to Shang Shung Institute and Tashi for making this possible. Tashi created a work for our Festschrift book which we will present to Choegyal Namkhai Norbu during the  30th Anniversary Celebration at Tsegyalgar  this summer. 

[photo by Sheryl Jaffe of a Dzogchen quote made by Tashi Mannox for the Festschrift on paper made by Sheryl\

During his course April 4-6, 2014 co -sponsored by Shang Shung Institute and the Khandroling Paper Cooperative here in Conway,MA, British artist Tashi Mannox wowed us all with his magnificent workshop on Tibetan letters. The focus of the weekend was an introduction to learning the exact proportions of every stroke used in executing each letter of the Tibetan alphabet. Participants eager to work with Tashi in person traveled from Utah, California, Wisconsin and NYC to attend the course along with eight local Community members.

[Pamala traveled from California via NYC to attend the workshop]

Tashi is well suited to this expertise as he was trained traditionally as a monk under the late Akong Rinpoche at Samye LIng, the first Tibetan Buddhist Center in the West. On April 4 (the parinirvana of Chogyam Trungpa) Tashi spoke with eloquence to us about his teachers and inspirations --including the late Trungpa and Akong Rinpoches who founded Samye Ling in Scotland. As many of you recently learned, Akong Rinpoche died tragically in Tibet this winter while delivering funds to a charitable organization. 

As a child, Tashi's parents were among the first practicing Buddhists in the West or what the late Akong Rinpoche designated as the first Western Buddhist "family". Throughout childhood his family hosted and befriended many Tibetan lamas. 

Tashi's relaxed yet precise style of teaching is the fruition of his many years training and dedication to the discipline of correctly writing Tibetan letters. While in Three Year Retreat, he devised a method of rendering the letters with accuracy while copying hundreds of pages fo text. During the years he was a monk from the age of 22-38, he learned every Tibetan font and their variation from different masters as well as hard to find texts. He hopes in the future to create such a manual that can be used by both Tibetans and Westerners who will then preserve this ancient tradition. 

[Tashi with Darcy from Utah]

Although our time with Tashi was all too short, he inspired us to go further in the practice of Tibetan calligraphy in order to master the art of beautiful writing. We look forward to initiating a regular practice session using the guide sheets he created during the course. 

We deeply approcaite his generosity both as a Teacher and also for donating his demonstration calligraphies done at the end of the workshop which he gave to us for fundraising purposes. Look ahead to view Bret's short video made during the workshop and an interview with Tashi in the Mirror forthcoming in the next issue.  

Practice Practice Practice.....The weekend culminated with the participants writing the Mani mantra.

[photo by Sheryl Jaffe]

[Photos above courtesy of Alexandros Maximus] 

Slide show of class by Jacqueline Gens

Friday, April 11, 2014

Open Studios in Turners Falls, MA

Now that Spring is here we are back on track making lots of pulp In Turners Falls. Once a papermaking town specializing in artist's papers, Turners Falls is a charming town. Contact us if you would like to make paper with us or make your own pulp.