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A real transformation with the example of Sandra

2017, pre-covid time, I used to organize many retreats at the foot of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. It was on this occasion that my path crossed that of Sandra.

I was giving a retreat to breath through the first group of Lu Jong movements, the 5 elements movements.

Sandra is a joyful, positive, motivated and determined young woman.

When we practice Lu Jong, we are not looking to develop the flexibility of the body, but the flexibility of the mind. If we were to go directly to the flexibility of the body, it has its limits. We develop the flexibility of the mind, and through it, the body automatically lets go and the flexibility of the body operates. This is the magic of the union of Body and Spirit. Everything is transformed through the transformation of the mind.

Sandra has understood this and that is how she grew up to become Lu Jong Teacher in 2022.

A few days ago, Sandra posted some pictures on her Facebook account and invited me to join her circle of friends. When I saw the pictures, I felt the need to share this transformation of the body through the mind and so I asked her to answer some questions.

First, let's have a look at her posture. The sitting posture speaks for itself. Sandra is now sitting in presence, in strength and in lightness. Through this "before and after" picture, "2017/first retreat and 2022/teacher", Sandra has transformed in her mind, and her body reveals these transformations.

This mind transformation is the one she undertook from wanting to discover more about the union of Body and Mind toward the path of share herself this path through the teachings.

What prompted you to come to your first retreat in 2017?

Actually it was a friend who discovered Valerie's website and suggested I try this practice. When I read the description of Lu Jong, what interested me was that it is a therapeutic yoga, in movement. And I needed a deeper connection between my body and my mind. So I wanted to experiment.

What led you to become a teacher?

What led me to be a teacher was a journey between various feelings.

I must admit that in 2017 I had not thought about it hihi.

As I went along, practicing more and more regularly I started to feel things. Things at different levels in the body, in my head, in my way of seeing and being.

I sometimes noticed that when I did my Lu Jong movements in the morning, I had a better day. And if I sometimes encountered difficult situations in my work, I took the events with more distance and calm.

As this practice became part of my daily life, I wanted to learn more about Buddhism, about the origin of Lu Jong. How does this practice that brings me so much benefit in my daily life work?

I have always been attracted by Buddhism and I have always been interested in it through my travels in different countries, some readings or movies.

And one day it was on my mind. I had seen on Valerie's website that she was organizing a trip to India for a teacher training.

It's a country I've always wanted to visit, so I thought it was a great combination of travel and learning. But at that time I was more interested in taking the training to learn about the culture and the 21 movements. For a deeper integration. And what better way than to go to the country where it is culturally practiced.

Unfortunately the trip was cancelled. Maybe it was not the right time for me. And it started to ripen in my mind.

The seed was planted and while it was growing, I did some workshops with Valerie and then some practice days, I followed conferences with Tulku Lobsang in Geneva and Lausanne.

Then one day, it was the moment, I felt ready! The flower showed its beautiful petals with its sparkling colors. It wanted to shine like a sun.

This time it was decided, I didn't just want to follow the teacher's course to learn more, I also wanted to be able to pass it on to others.

Now that you are a teacher, how do you feel about this new responsibility you have?

Today that I am a teacher, I feel the desire to share this practice and the desire to continue learning.

I feel the desire to teach and to offer with whoever wants, whoever can (PWYC), whoever comes. I don't have any particular expectation, just to be there to welcome, without any condition, just the pleasure to share in joy and love.

As for this responsibility I carry, I accept it with confidence, respecting the teaching I have received, which consists in spreading these precious Tibetan Buddhist practices by maintaining the authenticity and the quality of the teachings.

This is a mark of respect to Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche who brought the practice to the West, a way to honor the lineage of the practice and to stay connected to it.

I am currently taking Shiné and Lhaktong Buddhism and Meditation classes with Valerie Lobsang-Gattini, my teacher, and hope one day to do a retreat in India or Nepal with her. Thank you for your teaching and your confidence!

She gives her classes around Geneva, on the French side.

You can know more and contact her through these addresses.

You can find Sandra Richard through the following links:


--> Teacher training is given from 1 person upward. Kathy is in Lu Jong 1 teacher training ending in July. Aurore and Mickael are in training until January. It is possible to join or start a new training course from 1 person, Info here.
--> Johnathan returns to do the last course of Tog Chöd training in Chamonix at the end of June 2024. Venerable Oser is starting the Tog Chöd teacher training with the first face-to-face course in June in Chamonix and is already getting the hang of it with the theory through access to the online extranet. You can still join this training. The next training of Top Chod will perhaps start in June 2027 (or perhaps 2025 or 2026), to be continued...

--> A Tog ChOd discovery weekend is offered to everyone at the end of June! Info here

-->  We will be in Thailand in May and June and can offer discovery sessions or modules B of Lu Jong and Tog Chöd teacher training in French and English: in Chamonix from the end of June to the end of September, in Tenerife in October, in Nepal at the beginning of November 2024, in Thailand in November and December, and on Reunion Island in January 2025. And last minute... the Kora Kailash trip will take place in mid 2026 (the previous one was in 2018.. .), but will be reserved for former students or former participants of at least one trip with us! so if you would like to organize a retreat or training at these locations, contact us!

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