In 1981, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, together with the first group of his students, chose a farm in the Amiata area of Tuscany, Italy as the first Gar of the Dzogchen Community. As a result Merigar, the Residence of the Mountain of Fire, was established, a place where people interested in the study and practice of Dzogchen according to the teachings of Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu could meet. This year marks forty years from the founding.
It is an important milestone to remember and to celebrate, despite, and perhaps even more reason to do so, this difficult situation that we are all going through, and with the mourning for the passing of our Teacher, now almost three years ago, still alive within us.
The best way to express our gratitude towards him for what he transmitted and taught us by his example all these years seemed to be to concretely demonstrate how much we treasure his teachings. We are deeply convinced of the immense value and importance they have for our evolution as individuals and as a human community that is more aware, open, generous and loving towards ourselves and life around us.
At Merigar we are therefore organizing a series of events that are free and open to all, some in collaboration with the Municipality of Arcidosso, to concretely share our mutual experiences. The events will take place throughout the summer and will have different themes. On one hand we will share the experiences and activities that have always defined us, such as meditation, Yantra Yoga, the Dance of the Vajra and Khaita Joyful Dances. On the other, aspiring to mutual enrichment, we will open ourselves to the experiences of others and discover the various ways in which gratitude, love and solidarity can be expressed in the current situation.
In this historical phase, in which we have perhaps understood more than in the past of our condition of uncertainty, often the cause of anxiety and frustration and, at times, anguish, we will share the experience of awareness of the breath, of its relationship with our mental state and how, through the breath, we can bring our mind towards a calmer and more relaxed state. We will share experiences of sitting meditation and meditation in movement with the Dance of the Vajra to overcome our mental constraints and preconceptions, the real cages in which we imprison ourselves, and make our life and the lives of those around us more meaningful.
We will dance together Khaita Joyful Dances, which inspire a sense of harmony in the dancers and among the people who take part with their melodious music and graceful movements that help to overcome the moments of sadness and discouragement that have often been with us over the past year. For some events, we will welcome guests from other organizations involved in helping and supporting people in various conditions of need.
On August 6, Father Alberto Bormolini will speak to us about the fire of passions, a divine fire: from passionate love to love as service and compassion. Father Alberto Bormolini is president of the non-profit organization Tuttoèvita, which for years has been committed to accompanying the dying and supporting those who remain and suffer in mourning.
On August 27, a meeting is scheduled with the deputy minister of the secular Franciscan order of the Campania region, the lay Franciscan Antonio Aiello, who will share with us the meaning and practice of love and compassion in the Christian world.
For the theme of solidarity, the experience of ASIA will not be lacking, the ONLUS founded by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu which, in addition to Italy, for years has been bringing help and support to Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mongolia, India and Bhutan to preserve their unique cultural and environmental heritages, promote sustainable development processes, and build schools, study colleges and hospitals.
We will also try to set up meetings to share the experiences of those in our community and in the Amiata community who are engaged as social volunteers.
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness!
May all beings be free of suffering and the cause of suffering!
May all beings never be separated from the happiness that is free of suffering!
May all beings abide in immeasurable equanimity, beyond the limits of distance and of attachment and aversion!