Rangjung Yeshe Gomde

Dzogchen Meditation and Retreat Center

Current Staff Openings

Gomde California is currently looking for skilled volunteers for a number of positions this spring and summer.  This is an excellent opportunity to step out off of the busyness of daily life and develop a practice routine, study the Dharma more deeply, enjoy our remote and rugged land, and contribute to the transmission of Buddhist teachings in North America.

Please see the Residential Volunteer Program page for complete information on the program and available positions

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Registration Open for Summer Work-Study Program

Every summer Gomde California offers a number of work-study positions that allow people of all backgrounds to attend our diverse programs at a substantially reduced rate in exchange for 20 hours of service per week. Work-study students have access to all our programs and are offered housing and all meals.  This program offers an excellent opportunity to engage in an extended period of study and practice at our beautiful and remote Northern California center.

Please visit the program page for more information and to apply

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Personal Retreat Summer Program 2014

This summer Rangjung Yeshe Gomde invites practitioners to engage in personal retreats at our remote and beautiful center.

Retreats may be personalized and solitary or may include participation in Gomde’s diverse activities. Practitioners will have access, if desired,  to meditation and practice support with Lama Tsultrim and Lama Gerry Prindiville, as well as Gomde’s daily practices and all other activities connected with Gomde’s Buddhist Studies Summer Program.  Gomde’s staff  will deliver meals to those who wish to minimize contact.

The $35/day fee includes lodging in our comfortable tent cabins, all meals, classes, and support from our resident Lamas. For those who would like to offer their service for 4 hours a day, the fee is reduced to $2o per day.

Please contact Ani Marcia programs@gomdeusa.org for reservations or more information. 707-925-0201.

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3rd Annual UC Berkeley – Gomde CA Buddhist Studies Workshop

From February 7th-9th Gomde California hosted the faculty and graduate students of UC Berkeley’s Group in Buddhist Studies for the 3rd annual Buddhist Studies Workshop, which this year focused on texts from the Guhyasamāja Tantra corpus.   The group, which included Gomde’s Catherine Dalton and Ryan Damron, worked on a translation of the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts of the tantra’s 8th chapter together with the rich but challenging  Pradīpodyottana, a commentary composed by Candrakīrti.  The weekend also witnessed the first substantial rainfall in the region – close to 9 inches in three days – making it the perfect environment for an intensive period of study and translation.  As in previous years, many of the participants brought their partners and children, accenting the already cozy, familial feeling shared by the group.  All involved had a wonderful time and expressed their desire to see the relationship between Gomde and UC Berkeley continue.

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Tantra of the Blue-Clad Vajrapani Published

The 84000 translation initiative has just published the Dharmachakra Translation Committee’s translation of The Tantra of the Blue-Clad Vajrapani, an important Indian cāryatantra.  The lead translators on the project were Catherine Dalton of Gomde’s Dharmachakra Translation Center and Andreas Doctor, director of the Dharmachakra Translation Committee.  Ryan Damron, also of Gomde’s translation center, worked as an editor of the project.  The translators briefly describe the text in their introduction: “In the Kangyur and Tengyur collections there are more than forty titles centered on the form of Vajrapāṇi known as the “Blue-Clad One,” a measure of this figure’s great popularity in both India and Tibet. This text, The Tantra of the Blue-Clad Blessed Vajrapāṇi, is a scripture that belongs to the caryātantra class, the second of the four categories used by the Tibetans to organize their tantric canon. It introduces the practice of Blue-Clad Vajrapāṇi, while also providing the practitioner with a number of rituals directed at suppressing, subduing, or eliminating ritual targets.” The full text of the tantra is available in the 84000 project’s reading room.

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Catherine Dalton: Featured Translator

Catherine Dalton, co-director of Gomde’s Dharmachakra Translation Center, was recently featured on the website of the 84000 project in connection with her work on the Dharmachakra Translation Committee’s recent translation of The Play in Full, a classic sūtra on the life of the Buddha.  The 84000 Project was founded by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche with the mission of translating the entire canon Tibetan Buddhism – the Kangyur and Tengyur – into English.  You can watch Catherine’s interview, which was shot at Gomde, here.  The complete translation of The Play in Full, as well the Mahāmāyā Tantra and other translations by members of the Dharmachakra Translation Center, can be found in the 84000‘s Reading Room.

 

 

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2nd Annual Gomde – UC Berkeley Buddhist Studies Workshop

On the weekend of Feb 8th Gomde again hosted the Buddhist Studies Department of UC Berkeley for the second annual Rangjung Yeshe Gomde-UC Berkeley Buddhist Studies Workshop.  Organized by Gomde’s Dharmachakra Translation Center, 25 professors and graduate students gathered at Gomde to read works from the Hevajra Tantra corpus with the renowned scholar of Sanskrit Buddhist tantra, Harunaga Isaacson of the the University of Hamburg. Workshop participants, guided by Professor Isaacson’s unique sensitivity for the material and unparalleled language ability, read from a selection of Sanskrit texts, including passages of the Hevajra Tantra and the commentaries and practice manuals of Ratnākaraśānti and Dombi Heruka.  Many of the participants brought their partners and children, who were able to make the most of the land and the unseasonably pleasant weather.  The rugged beauty and remoteness of Gomde provided the perfect venue to study and translate such exceptional Buddhist texts.

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Gomde Master Plan Update

We have made great progress on our master plan efforts this last fall.  Our first step is to secure a Use Permit and Rezoning.  The Use Permit establishes what specific activities at can take place on the property and the new zoning establishes the uses and provides for the definition of such things as such as height, density, setbacks etc. We submitted out Use Permit and Rezoning Application in late December and are awaiting initial comments from our Mendocino County planner.  We also submitted a fire safety permit.  Jay Kilgammon, one of our members from Canada who is a fire fighter assisted us in developing a well thought out fire response and safety plan. Thank you Jay!

As part of this process we have also been in discussions with the Building Inspection Department of the County.  We will have to bring the Buddha Hall up to code as a public assembly building.  What this will entail is still up to discussion and review with county staff.  It is safe to expect that this work will need to take place sooner than later.  It is estimated to cost about $140,000.

As part of this process we must also review our status, permits and system requirements for water, septic/wastewater, and utilities.  Short term improvements are likely to include upgrades to our gray water system and water treatment systems.  Water storage is also likely to be needed.  The exact timing of these improvements has not been determined.

Once we have an acceptable application it will be distributed to a variety of public agencies including State and Federal agencies such as regional water quality and fish and wildlife.  We had a botanical survey done on the property last year and there is only one potential plant that may have any protected status.  This is good news.

Our application’s main purpose is to bring the property into compliance with County requirements as they relate to our actual uses and activities as a retreat center.  We have requested a small amount of new development, including the conversion of the barn into a 12 room dormitory, two new retreat cabins, and new storage buildings to replace our existing storage sheds across from the Sangha House.

Other good news is that based on a legal review of our water rights, we have established legal rights to use all of the water interchangeably on the property, i.e., springs and water from Leggett Gulch, Cedar Creek and the Eel River. Exactly what water we will use has not been determined and will be based on the “demand” the county will expect to meet our uses and activities.

The rough budget for work is as follows:

Planning Studies, Engineers, processing fees, etc.:     $142,500

Water, Sewer and Utility Upgrades:                             $130,000

Buddha Hall Code Compliance Upgrades:                   $141,000

Other buildings, roads, campground, etc.:                    $126,000

Total Short Term Budget:                                             $539,500

This work is expected to take place over the next five years.

The Master Plan committee consists of:

Joanne Brion, Project Manager

Shabad Khalsa, Fire, Water and Utilities

Bruce Hammond, Building Codes, Design and Septic/Wastewater

Dorje Bond, Community Outreach and Building Code/Permits

Please let us know if you have any questions. Click here to email Joanne.

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How to Do a Personal Retreat

Solitary retreat is an essential element for Vajrayana practice encouraged by our teachers both present and past. Rangjung Yeshe Gomde offers a serene and powerful environment blessed by many Tibetan masters for individual retreats. The blessings of our teachers and the auspiciousness of the land combine to create an extraordinary experience. Rangjung Yeshe Gomde is available for all traditions of Buddhist practice.

Retreat accommodations are available when programs are not in session. Personal retreats can range from a weekend to several months from October to May. Retreatants can mingle practice sessions with time spent appreciating Gomde’s unique natural environment. Walking trails crisscross 250 secluded acres of woods and meadows and meander along the banks of the rushing Eel River. Or you may choose to do an exclusively indoor retreat.

Click here to download an article giving clear guidelines for conducting your own retreat, by Lama Gerry Prindiville.

Click here to learn more about our retreat accommodations.

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In Dzogchen, mindfulness is rigpa; rigpa is mindfulness. Tulku Urgyen