Tibetan Sacred Art

There is a Tibetan Sacred Art exhibition happening these days in Merigar East. We are displaying for the first time the Tangkhas that belonged to prof. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, the Tibetan master that established Merigar East. Thanks to prof. Fabian Sanders from the Ati Yoga Foundation, we learned the hidden meanings in the paintings and the process of painting. If you come to see the exhibition, our guides will tell you more about what we discovered.

Tibetan art, in particularly paintings, but also sculptures and other forms are just like a language. They are a text, written in a language of signs, of forms, of colors and not in words. Anything that you see in them has a precise reason to be there.

The purpose of these paintings is to communicate with the mind of those who look at it and to communicate in a more direct way than words. When you see an image, you have a completely different reaction than when you hear a teaching in words. It is far more potential. That is the purpose of the piece of art. 

This very precise language is not open to improvisation, to the painter’s individual creativity. It is not the same painter that paints the whole painting, but it is a collective work. The main artist paints the eyes, at the end, and it is like giving life to the painting.

The paintings are easy to roll, they are made also for easy transportation, they are made to be carried around, because Tibetans are moving a lot.

The colors are taken from all the three realms: animals, minerals and vegetables. The best and more expensive colors are minerals, like precious stones. You have turquoise, lapislazuli, gold, metals, silver. Anything that has a strong pigmentation can be used, there are really large varieties of things they use for paintings. The paintings also have very specific measurements and proportions, that should be respected.

The paintings and statues need to be consecrated or empowered by a lama.

The painter, ideally, they should receive from a Lama (or Teacher) transmission of the mantras connected to that deity and then they are authorized to practice, and only then, ideally, they should have developed a very precise image of the deity, an inner visualization of the deity. Finally, they are in the perfect condition to paint in the best and most powerful possible way.

Cover photo by Lubomir Michna.

Tree Planting

In November 2020 November – February 2021 we hosted volunteering events for tree planting and tree care (pruning, grafting).

We have planted over 300 trees and have established our own small tree nursery, with the help of many volunteers.

You can adopt a tree, take care of it in person or donate for its maintenance.

We would like to extend this action, to make it an yearly routine and to involve the local community in ecological initiatives.

The Fruits of the Oasis

The fruit trees have been very generous with us this and last year. The residents and the volunteers have prepared fruit jams, jellies and nectar. We are freezing the excess of fruit and use it for home preparations such as cakes, puddings and creams.

We are making and gifting organic calendula, sage and balm, herbal infusions and spices of all kinds, grown on our lands and picked up and processed by ourselves with care.

In October 2022 we organized an online meeting where we shared with passionate plant experts the wonders of plants through the lens of Tibetan medicine. In that occasion we prepared a short video with our own recipe of calendula and sage cream. Enjoy!

Gonpa Renovation Has Taken Off!

We have completed the exterior painting the Gönpa

A big group of artists volunteers started painting the Meditation building in Merigar East on Monday 25 July, with Migmar Tsering as a coordinator. 
Parts of the initial paintings, with Mantras, Buddhist symbols and floral decoration were reproduced. But as they continued, the pillars were decorated with new, colourful symbols, reminding of lilies and other flowers. Just looking at the building inspires joy and balances our elements.

The decorated ceiling, a surprising addition

As the third week of the works starts, a tall scaffolding was mounted and we started painting the ceiling! Our ceiling was never painted before and this work is even more then we expected. We are so grateful to Migmar and our volunteers and wish that many people will experience an opening of all their senses in this beautiful Gönpa!

Thank you so much for your support so far!

Your generosity and collaboration is immensely appreciated and it is bringing concrete result. 
We have managed to raise so far 40.680€. We are still missing some part, up to the 60.000€ goal.  
We still need your support! Donate here.

Painting the Gönpa in Merigar East

We have started painting the Gönpa!
Phase two of the Gönpa renovation started on Monday, with Migmar and the volunteers drew the first shapes that are slowly covering our walls. 

Who are the volunteers?
We are happy to host a young team made, so far, of 6 Italian arts students (from China), two artists from Romania, one from Slovakia. The second week 7 more volunteers from Czech Republic and Romania will join. 

Thanks to all the donors you so much for your support so far!
Your generosity and collaboration is immensely appreciated, and about to present concrete result. 
We still need your support to complete the works! As we cannot pay for their work, we are covering the costs for the travel and stay and food of the volunteers. We would like to treat them well, with your help!
Please donate as much as you can! Every bit counts!

News on the Gonpa Renovation

Thanks to Migmar Tsering and Oliver Leick’s ceaseless encouragement and some exceptionally generous donors, we’ve passed the point of no return in Renovating our Gönpa.
The works auspiciously started on the anniversary of Buddhas birth, attainment of enlightenment, and Parinirvana. Under the coordination of our Geko, the workers have insulated the building’s walls from rising ground humidity and repaired the damage to the walls. Moreover, they have painted the outer part of the wooden ceiling and coated the façade with a new silicate plaster. In order to insulate the walls, we have cut them to insert plastic sheet. This should help to get rid of mould and salt stains. Meanwhile, the new, improved outer coat to resist the elements for many years to come.

The next phase will take part from 25th July to the 17th of August. This phase will consist of decorative paintings inside and outside, with Tibetan motifs, under the coordination of Migmar Tsering.

The previous murals were Tibetan letters, mantras and flower decorations.

We are looking for artists & volunteers!
We already have seven artists who have registered to decorate the Gönpa, and who wish to learn about Tibetan art from Migmar. If you are skilled in painting or willing to support the works by cooking, cleaning and practicing together, you are welcome! Apply by sending us an email and telling us about your motivation.
So, you can still help! We need to cover the costs for the travel and stay of the volunteers. Please donate!

Securing the Oasis for winter

As we´re approaching winter here at Merigar East, we want to share a brief update on the concluding season, plans and aspirations for 2022. Last not least, thank you for your precious support and collaboration.

We´re happy to tell that the Oasis project is in good health and with a positive outlook for the next year. The donations for this project rised to 1383 Eur in 2021. Here is what we did with it. 

For the general maintainance of the landscape, 5 karma yogis (volunteers), the geko (local administrator) and 2 employed workers from the village cut 3 out of the the 4.5 ha covered with hard grass. It had developed this year after a spring of heavy rains. We also repaired two of our 4 grasscutting machines.

During our last collective event, the November tree-planting, some 70 young trees and shrubs from both our native nursery and from a commercial nursery were planted around the MultiFun House. Among these were noble apple and pear varieties, peaches, almonds, apple and plum wildlings and a number of deciduous and coniferous windbreakers. The original nursery, started in 2020 by Alex, has been moved directly into the ground next to the linden tree line. Around 30 oak seedlings, which germinated from seeds from mulching mass used around have been also re-planted into the new nursery, next to some new thujas and lilacs. 

Following Ida’s idea, us, volunteers completed the map of the plants, marked and identified each and every tree. The marking is important to avoid damage when cutting the grass. The poles next to each tree bear their names so our Oasis is slowly turning into a botanical garden. During the event our volunteers, old and new practitioners, also learned Yantra Yoga.    

Concluding the 2021 season, we will secure the nursery with a fence, put up the polypropylene frost protection before new year and start germinating new offsprings from the seeds collected this year.

The plans for next year are quite simple. During February and March, we´ll do our best to prune all trees in the Gar, and graft some of the fruit and decorative varieties. If the circumstances allow it, we´d like to organise a couple of workshops on that topic. Further, setting up an effective irrigation system in the spring, taking good care of the existing plant stock, expanding the native seed bank and our nursery, continuously importing more biomass into the Gar while keeping the premises well-maintained and enjoyable remain clear priorities.

You can volunteer and/or donate for this project all year long. The Oasis involves artists, permaculture passionates, buddhist practitioners and local workers, coming together under the common goal of enriching the ecosystem and connecting people.  

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