Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:

  • 2016 Program Schedule
  • May 20-24: Annual Work Week at Gomde CA
  • Development Update
  • Building on the Land: Progress Report
  • New Management Structure

2016 Programs at Gomde California


Gomde California is pleased to present our full schedule of summer programs, with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s August 11-18 retreat at its heart. This special eight-day program includes a three-day open teaching on Gateway to Buddhist Practice, all day Ocean of Amrita Puja and four-day intensive on Directly Meeting your Buddha Nature. This retreat is made even more special as Erik Pema Kunsang returns to Gomde California after seven years and will give five afternoon talks on Padmasambhava’s Ten Foundations for Vajrayana Practice during the seminar.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche returns over the July 4th weekend to continue his subtle exposition of The Uttaratantra Shastra. From August 26-28th, Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche will teach on View, Meditation, and Action.
We are delighted  to announce that Chokling Rinpoche has accepted our invitation to return to Gomde California this year and will give seven days of teachings and empowerments from October 19-26th. We are also very happy to announce that Phakchok Rinpoche will return to Gomde CA for the first time in three years for a teaching program from September 16-19 (topic TBA).
This summer Lama Tsultrim Sangpo will teach three weekend courses on the key points of the Mahayana and Vajrayana paths and guide us in the essential practices of our tradition as part of the Buddhist Studies Summer Program, which will include weekend programs on Calm Abiding and Insight Meditations from June 17-19, the Practice of Chöd from July 15-17, and the Annual Kurukulle Drubchö from July 28-31.

Our community is profoundly fortunate to have so many excellent teachers presenting the complete Buddhist path. All are welcome, so please join us this summer at our remote, beautiful retreat center.

We look forward to seeing you!

May 20-24: Annual Week Week at Gomde CAWorkWeek


We Need Your Help! At the beginning of every summer, Rangjung Yeshe Gomde holds an Annual Work Week to prepare for the seminar season.

Projects and Tasks we hope to accomplish this Work Week include:
  • Setting up the dining tent and furnishings
  • Reorganizing the Shrine room, and cleaning carpet
  • Cleaning and organizing kitchen and back porch
  • Painting the Gate House
  • Working on the Storage Building
  • Deep cleaning Lama House and other houses
  • Work in the garden and campground
  • Setting up tent cabins with furniture
  • Starting to clean out the barn
  • Organizing the office

This year, Work Week starts Friday, May 20th in the afternoon and ends Sunday, May 29th at noon. Volunteers may come up at any time, for any length of stay, and will receive free room and board and accumulate merit. Lama Kunzang will lead daily practices during this wonderful opportunity to combine practice, work for the Dharma, and Sangha participation. Plus it’s great fun!

Those who participate for 4 days or more will be offered a 2-day personal retreat here at Gomde on the date of their choice between November and May.

We will begin this year’s Work Week with a Tukdrup Trinley Nyingpo Tsok on Friday, May 20th at 6:30PM to commemorate Saga Dawa Düchen, which celebrates Buddha Shakyamuni’s enlightenment and parinirvana.

For more information or to sign up please email Ani Marcia at adminassist@gomdeusa.org. Let us know if you have any special skills like carpentry, etc. or if there are particular projects you want to work on.

We look forward to seeing you and practicing and working together,
Gomde Staff

Development Update


A. Capital Campaign

In response to 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. Through successful approval of our Use Permit (Phase I) and current master plan, our upcoming development stages are leading us straight into our 20-year anniversary in 2018! Capital projects are divided into five phases and we are targeting completion of Phase II and III by 2018 as our offering to the three jewels.
For details and tables for the project phases and costs please visit our website, gomdeusa.org/giving/
The completion of the planned development projects depends entirely on the generosity of committed supporters. Retreat fees comprise a portion of our annual operating budget, and charitable gifts make up the rest. Your act of kindness and generosity will make a significant and increasing impact on securing the Buddhadharma for generations to come. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rhonda LoPresti at rhonda.lopresti@cox.net or finance@gomdeusa.org .

B. Monthly Donor Campaign

As a monthly donor, you provide the financial foundation that allows Gomde California to count on reliable and consistent annual support. Our monthly operating costs are over $10,000 per month, on average. Gomde California sustains stewardship of 250 acres of land and multiple facilities, sponsors high lama retreats and travel costs, food, utilities, staffing, significant offerings to our teachers and currently sends $500 per month to Nepal for the post-earthquake reconstruction “Pledge to Rebuild Campaign.” Administered by devoted and efficient volunteer managers, staff costs are kept limited to cooks, translators, and resident staff. Retreat fees comprise less than 50% of our annual operating budget, and monthly donations and gifts make up the rest. Let us join in solidarity and create an assembly of $54 per month supporters of Gomde California. To celebrate this assembly, monthly donors will receive the DTC’s recent translation of A Practice of Padmasambhava, in celebration of Guru Rinpoche’s birthday year and in appreciation of the Dharmachakra Translation Committee’s activity. To join as a monthly donor go to gomdeusa.org/giving.

C. Teacher’s Travel Fund

Our teachers, along with their companions and translators, are so kind to travel both nationally and internationally to share the Buddha’s teachings with us in Northern California. Currently it can cost upwards of $2,000 to travel to Nepal to receive teachings. Every year, without fail, they respond to our heartfelt invitations and generously appear on our precious retreat land. We are fortunate to have Gomde California, a blessed and inspiring and accessible yet remote meeting place of study and practice in the West, so that we are not required to travel far away to meet with the Dharma. Take this opportunity to create merit and connect with the noble activity of our teachers and Rangjung Yeshe Gomde California.  Whether you attend the teachings or would like to dedicate the teachings to the benefit of others, donate to the Teacher’s Travel Fund during your program registration ($15) or through a one-time donation at gomdeusa.org/giving.

D. Legacy Giving

It is easy and profoundly important to express your end-of-life wishes close to your heart. Remembering Gomde California in your will, living trust and memorial instructions is one of the kindest ways to make a timeless and significant impact on the mission you believe in. The teachings put us in direct contemplation of our impermanence, and by taking this to heart we can plan during peaceful times so that our wishes are clearly followed by those who love us. With your Legacy Gift, your memory will become part of Gomde California’s long history. Careful estate planning not only perpetuates your values and wishes and it can preserve your wealth and lower estate and income taxes for your loved ones. Join our Board of Directors in reviewing your estate planning this 2016 year and consider the following:
  • Remember Gomde California in your Will or Living Trust
  • Consider bequeathing property, stock, retirement accounts, insurance, and dharma items to Gomde California
  • Propose charitable memorial gifts be given to Gomde California in lieu of flowers.
For planning tools to help you include Gomde California in your estate, will, and insurance, go to gomdeusa.org/giving or contact Rhonda LoPresti at rhonda.lopresti@cox.net or Joanne Brion at finance@gomdeusa.org.

Building on the Land: Progress Reportbuilding


See our progress below! Phase II of Gomde California’s Master Plan is nearly 59% complete with the Sangha House Septic repair last fall and preparation of the site and purchase of the new 1,100 square-foot Storage Building. This project will establish a safe, protected storage space for our shrine items, Ratna Shop Inventory, twenty-five canvas tent cabins, furnishings and land equipment. This is particularly essential to ensure that these items are not damaged over the winter months. New dry sealed storage will give Gomde California the transitional space needed during the planning and building of the New Translation Center and Dormitory. Phase II also includes installing a New Entrance Gate, Campground improvements and new lighting. We estimate that this phase of Gomde’s development will require an additional $76,600 to be brought to completion.
Join us and donate at www.gomdeusa.org

Clearing the site and creating the foundation for         Example of New Storage Building; ours will have two
building in the Shedra Meadow. Thank you Bruce!       roll-up doors on the side and windows.

New Management Structure for Gomde Californiasturcture


Adopted by Board of Directors – February 24, 2016
There are three (3) overall management areas with existing subareas nesting under the direction of one person or director. The three directors will work as a team in managing Gomde’s operations, programs, and long-term development. Current managers of particular areas will serve under each overall director, but will still retain most of their responsibilities. Each manager will work closely with and report to the director in their area.
1. Gomde Director: Joanne Brion
The Gomde Director oversees managing all staff and volunteers that live on the land, and other volunteers such as housekeeping.

2. Development and Publicity Director: Rhonda LoPresti

The Development and Publicity Director oversees all aspects of communications, branding, messaging, advertising, outreach, and fundraising for projects and on-going operations.

3. Programs, Education and Practice Director: Ryan Damron

The Program Director is the liaison with the international Sangha, RYI, and Nepal Sangha.
More information summarizing the new organizational structure and a matrix summarizing our paid staff and volunteer duties by area, is available on our website gomdeusa.org/new-management-structure/


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