Group or individual craft activity – whatever it may happen to be – is always a loving and devotional experience under the inspired guidance of Ngala Nor’dzin Rangjung Pamo and Ngala ’ö-Dzin Tridral. The craft retreat is a wondrously joyful opportunity to be intensely and passionately present. Apprentices attempt to make all activity an opportunity for awareness and concentrated precision – even the sewing of a single stitch or the painting of one stroke of paint onto the shrine room wall.
This is the third appliqué to be completed by the Aro Sanghas in the UK. The first was that of the male Tantric Buddha, Padmasambhava, and the second was of the female Tantric Buddha, Yeshé Tsogyel‘Mother Essence Lineage’. The third appliqué, of Khyungchen Aro Lingma, has now been completed. She is the gTérton who received the Aro gTér directly from Khandro Chenmo Yeshé Tsogyal. All three appliqués can be seen in the shrine room at Lamas Nor’dzin and ’ö-Dzin’s home, Aro Khalding Tsang, in Cardiff. The appliqués are a wonder and beauty to all who experience them.
Ngala ’ö-Dzin talked about the loss of normal roles, letting go of their form and allowing anything to arise within the context of a craft retreat:
The sangha come together, to work co-operatively, in a cohesive and supportive enterprise. The practice is not defined, yet it is present in whatever we do and how we work together. We have an opportunity to get to know each other, to encourage appreciation of each other, and to discover skills hitherto unexplored. There is an ordinariness and an extraordinariness we can put into everything we do. Pure view is more possible here: we are the viewers and the viewed. We view others with pure vision, and are aware that they are viewing us with pure vision. There is a double responsibility and a double inspiration. Then we take this experience with us and attempt to live the view in life with all others.
Wednesday evening was extra special as the last two members of our sangha arrived, and this meant that for just one evening we were all together. We savoured the sense of being together, whole, as if at a family reunion. The evening practice was a wonderful opportunity for inspiration and transmission. Ngala Nor’dzin and Ngala ’ö-Dzin first gave the ceremony of transmission of the mirror (Shintu Mélong Zabmo).
On Thursday morning we practiced the tsog feast together. Ngakpa Samten commented:
Once again, this wonderful ritual holds me spellbound. The richness of meaning of the syllables and their commentary, and the male and female dances dramatically draw me into this beautiful world of yogic practice.
In the afternoon we had an horseriding expedition where the experienced riders enjoyed an exhilarating gallop across Ogmore beach. The weather was extremely windy and the horses were quite excited.