The following letter from Ligmincha President Rob Patzig shares some of Ligmincha’s many accomplishments and plans and requests your financial assistance to continue support our capacity to support students.
Ligmincha has radically reoriented itself for better support of practitioners around the world during this time of social distancing and sickness. I’d like to tell you about some of the things we are doing right now, and ask for your help to continue.
First, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has decided to “listen to what the universe is saying so clearly,” and bring most of his sabbatical forward into 2020 rather than 2021 as previously announced.
All of his spring teachings in Europe were cancelled, and we are now working to postpone or reschedule almost all of his events scheduled in 2020. Also, Ligmincha’s resident lamas’ and other teachers’ retreats and activities globally are on hold. In spite of all these cancellations, Ligmincha is expanding its activities in new and exciting ways. Like so many, we are working to rapidly and permanently integrate more technology into our organization.
On April 3–5, we offered our first-ever three-day online retreat with Rinpoche. From his home in California, Rinpoche reached out to us in our homes all over the world, in 15 countries. We could never have imagined how successful or powerful this retreat would prove to be. With the help of technology and a dedicated group of sangha members, we were able to quickly organize this live event, translated into nine languages in real time, with flexible pricing, allowing everyone who wanted to participate to do so. We had 903 registrations. This was a work of passionate engagement by many, many people. We fully expect that more online retreats with Rinpoche and other teachers will be offered soon.
In February we began a 24-hour Full-Moon Practice of Sherap Chamma, which takes place on every full moon. Our first session had more than 1,000 participants! Our first online musical offering took place on March 29 with five musicians from around the world, and a second took place on April 26. Two more sessions took place in May. Our international sanghas are offering opportunities to practice on a daily or weekly basis via Zoom and Facebook Live. Countries actively online include Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States. And, of course, we are fully supporting the work of Rinpoche’s CyberSangha, which is continuing to offer live webcasts on Rinpoche’s Facebook page. You can learn more about these directly from cybersangha.net.
New online courses for those wishing to dive deeper into specific topics are in development. A course on the outer, inner and secret tsa lung with Alejandro Chaoul-Reich is now taking place through June 21. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has filmed a new course on sleep yoga that should be available later this year.
We also are installing tools to record and livestream retreats with Rinpoche and other Bön lamas and teachers directly from Serenity Ridge. This will allow so many more people to move deeply into the sacred space of the center and deeply connect to their practice in a group setting. We are adding cameras, better microphones, digital streaming tools, and we have just completed an upgrade to broadband internet to ensure the quality of these broadcasts.
All of these new programs, the maintenance of Serenity Ridge, and supporting our staff are taking place at a time when we have seen our income from events almost entirely disappear due to retreat cancellations. Almost 60 percent of Ligmincha International’s income comes from retreats held at Serenity Ridge. While the spring online retreat was a great success, we must ask for your support. This year we will depend almost entirely on donations to fund our operations.
We critically need your support to sustain all that Rinpoche has built in these past 28 years, and to further build out our online capabilities in support of practitioners at home and around the globe. These changes are not just for the short term, but are a reimagining of all the many ways that we can provide access to the teachings and support to everyone, everywhere. Please help us to ensure that the teachings can continue not only in this time of uncertainty and challenge for all of us, but for future generations. Donations, especially monthly and quarterly donations, are of immense benefit in terms of helping us achieve our goals.
With enormous gratitude to our teachers and this beautiful sangha,