As the North American home of the teachings of the Chokling Tersar lineage, Gomde California has a vital mission. In response to Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s wish to create a place of study and practice in Northern California, and to expand translation activity so that the full body of Tibetan sacred texts is available in English and other languages, the sangha of Gomde California is devoted to sustaining and developing our 250-acre retreat land.
One of the main goals of Gomde is to preserve the Dharma. To that end, we are currently archiving over 20 years of audio and video recordings of Dharma teachings that have taking place at Gomde California. Precious moments with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, and our many esteemed teachers, are all recorded, mostly on magnetic film, and are now being rendered in digital formatting, so they can be preserved to guide practitioners generations into the future.
Taking Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s guidance to heart, Gomde California continues to develop opportunities to study the Dharma. Our recent online seminar with resident professor Catherine Dalton allowed almost 100 students to learn the intricacies of Tibetan language in the context of the sadhana of Shakyamuni Buddha, “The Treasury of Blessings.” We continue to develop online courses so that our sangha their Dharma studies, as well online resources through our archival project.
Gomde residents spend significant time in personal retreat, keeping sessions and taking the precious teachings we’ve received to heart. Daily Shakyamuni Buddha and Guru Rinpoche practice, supplemented by group practices from our lineage, form the backbone of life here. We now stream our Shakyamuni Buddha practice every Sunday at 8 am PT on Facebook Live, so that all sangha members can take part, wherever they may be.
Gomde California is the home to several resident translators, working collectively on projects for Gomde as well as supporting the projects of larger translation initiatives such as the Dharmachakra Translation Committee and 84000. We are currently working on the translation of Mipham Rinpoche’s “White Lotus,” an extensive commentary to “The Treasury of Blessings” practice of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Caring for our land takes a dedicated heart. We must constantly tending to Gomde’s natural environment, whether by clearing excess brush to decrease our fire hazards, tending to our roadways and retreat facilities, or creating new spaces for the sangha to practice and enjoy Gomde’s beauty.
Recently, we cleared land for a natural park and gardens — the Buddha Garden & Tara Garden — as well as laid hidden meditation platforms that can be found among the wildflowers in alcoves beside the Eel River confluence. The aim of our gardens are to nourish sangha members by provide wholesome, organic food for future programs.
Additionally, improvements are planned for the physical infrastructure throughout the land: updates to the Lama House, rebuilding the Sangha House deck, new floor for the Buddha Hall, as well as the countless other details that allow Gomde California to continue thriving.