Vajra Geology  

The great corn arrives. 
The child-rain arrives. 
In a way of beauty arrives. 
Grasshopper arrives. 
From the west arrives. 
Vegetation arrives. 
Pollen arrives. 
In a way of beauty arrives.





The Turtle Hill Sangha is a small group of Nyingmapa householders living in the hills of southern - middle Tennessee. There are currently only a handful of us. We occupy a small rural valley, and share approximately 100 adjacent acres.  Turtle Hill was established in 1989 in order to gain the benefits associated with studying and practicing the Buddhadharma in community. Most of us have been associated in one form or another for over 30 years, but the sangha was formed in the late 1980's when a group of seven took buddhist refuge vows...


Dim Stirrings in the Cultural Swamp
of the Second Millennium




    "I stayed alone, maintaining silence.

    My principal practice was to remain in evenness free from concepts.

    In between sessions, I sang many songs for my own and others' benefit....

    Another day I took the collection of my written songs and went to a meadow. Sitting there on my own, I sang them with some pleasant melodies. Suddenly, I heard from the sky a voice exclaiming, "Excellent!"

    Filled with joy, I thought, "Whoever hears these songs will benefit from them - gods, ghosts, or humans".

    - Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol (1781-1851)

The freedoms and favorable conditions
are extremely difficult to obtain...

Six hundred million years ago, large portions of the southeastern United States were submerged under the waters of a large inland sea called the Appalachian Basin. Streams and rivers from mountains on the eastern edge of the Basin deposited countless tons of sediment in everchanging patterns as three entire ranges rose and eroded over a period of three hundred million years. Beds of limestone and sandstone were laid down. Shorelines shifted, deltas transformed into swamps, repeatedly rising and submerging, building layers of shale and coal, until finally, the last inundation occured about two hundred and fifty million years ago, at the end of the Paleozoic. This was at the beginning of the most recent period of mountain building in the area, called the Allegheny Orogeny.

Africa was pushing up against the coast of southeastern North America with sufficient pressure to fold, buckle and lift the pre-cambrian bedrock of the previous ranges over 15,000 ft. into the sky. Today these peaks have eroded well below 7000 ft., and people call them the Smokies. Because the force of the collision dissipated as it moved westward, inland areas were not as severely deformed and great slabs of rock hundreds of miles in length responded to the pressure by uniformly rising as a tableland stretching from the southern border of New York to northeastern Alabama. Millions of years later, this feature remains 2,000 feet above sea level and is known locally as the Cumberland Plateau. Located on the remnants of an eroded spur off the extreme western edge of the plateau in what was once the depths of the Appalachian Basin, a hill shaped like the shell of a box turtle rises in the midst of a sea of rolling ridges, almost a thousand feet above sea level. Turtle Hill is akin to a natural stupa or earth mound and is blessed with an abundance of terrapene carolina

This retreat in the wilderness,
 like summer in a lush place where herbs grow -
If I don't remain here, there is no way 
for good qualities to be born.

When high up in the mountains, 
don't wander back into black towns.

May I truly practice the sublime teachings. 

 If I must do something, 
 may Buddha's teaching bear it witness.

If I must do something,
mix mindstream and dharma.

If I must accomplish something,
 read the life stories of past masters.

What's the use of other things? Spoiled brat!

Take a low seat and become rich with contentment.

 Try hard to get free of the eight worldly concerns. 

-His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche


From a religious perspective, the problem with market capitalism and its values is twofold: greed and delusion. On the one hand, the unrestrained market emphasizes and even requires greed in at least two ways. Desire for profit is necessary to fuel the engine of the econmic system, and an insatiable desire to consume ever more must be generated to create markets for what can be produced. Within economic theory and the markets it promotes, the moral dimension of greed is inevitably lost; today it seems left to religion to preserve what is problematic about a human trait that is unsavory at best and unambiguously evil at its worst.

-David Loy

"Liberation Upon Seeing"

This script is a terma revelation by Terton Migyur Dorje:

"Those who see this script will not experience the three lower realms and will be liberated from the fear of falling into the lower realms; will be purified of the five poisons and will be freed from the results of one's karma; will be freed from the fear of remaining in samsara.


is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)3, allowing us to accept tax-deductible donations. We welcome all contributions toward our projects which presently include land preservation, charitable offerings, sacred arts, a retreat cabin, media and educational materials for a non-denominational lending library, and maintenance of this website.

If you are interested in helping support
any of these efforts or want more information,

please write us at

Some sources used for quote on this page

Self-Liberation Through Seeing With Naked Awareness, trs. by John Myrdhin Reynolds, Station Hill, 1989
A Buddhist Histroy of the West, Studies in Lack, David r. Loy, SUNY Press, 2002