A Special Program
Lo Sar 2018 - Lunar New Year
Year of the Earth Dog!
Sunday, February 25th 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Eileen Fisher Headquarters, 2 Bridge Street, Irvington. View directions & map
Please join us for our annual celebration of Lo Sar, the Tibetan Lunar New Year! While the new year actually begins on February 15 or 16 depending upon which calendar you like, we are celebrating on the 25th due to our annual retreat from February 16-23.
The traditions of Losar are unique to Tibet, predating both Indian and Chinese influences, and originally centered around the winter solstice. The celebration was later moved to the same date as the Chinese and Mongolian New Year. In 1979, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche named this day Shambhala Day, to support his theme of transforming our world into an enlightened societythrough kindness, meditation and wisdom.
The Tibetan calendar system uses the Chinese zodiac system of twelve animals and five elements which are combined and together yield cycles of sixty years. This is the year of the Earth Dog. The dog is loyal, big-hearted, selfless and very often regarded as human-kind's best friend. Mother Earth offers stability, reliability, openness and warmth. With their combination, energy becomes efficient, grounded, and vigilant.
Activities will go from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm but you may come for any part or all of it. Please feel free to bring friends, family members, significant others, co-workers, etc. This is a great opportunity to introduce them to how you have been spending your Sundays!
Schedule for Losar/Shambhala Day
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Dharma Gathering (group sitting, dharma talk and discussion)
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch will be provided free of charge (donations appreciated)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Practice of The Sadhana of Mahamudra meditation practice
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Performance and celebratory offerings
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Clean up and departure
The Earth Dog Year
Dog year is a time of fairness and equality. Controversial issues are given their due, revolutions are successful, politics are liberal, and political oppression is opposed. Integrity and honesty are the values that lead to success under Dog’s watchful and just influence. Of the five elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, the element Earth enriches Dog’s character and adds needed stability. The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the 12 astrology animals. Stable, honest, practical, industrious, prudent, reliable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities. They can succeed in their endeavors, possess nobility of character, have strong opinions and are loyal to their values.
Detailed Plan for Losar/Shambhala Day 2018 Year of the Earthy Dog!
At 10 am we will have our usual dharma gathering. This starts with sitting for 30 minutes, during which time brief meditation instruction is offered upstairs, and then a dharma talk ending with Q&A. The talk will be on “Getting out of the way: peace can be found beyond the 8 worldly dharmas” by Jane Kolleeny.
At 12 noon we will offer a festive lunch which will include vegan and gluten free options. This is a time to relax, celebrate the occasion, meet other participants in our activities, and introduce any guests you might have brought to your WBC friends.
At 2 pm we will practice The Sadhana of Mahamudra. The Sadhana was composed in 1968 by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and its recitation is a practice that is only done in a public setting on special occasions. If you have a copy of the Sadhana, please bring it along. While this is a complex practice, it is accessible to everyone even newcomers. The practice involves quickly chanting a liturgy along with visualization and some repetition of a mantra, however the main benefit is to experience the energy of our lineage and thereby connect to it. Here is a link to a website that has a good explanation of it, especially the article in the middle called “About the Sadhana” by Carolyn Gimian: http://www.chronicleproject.com/stories_110.html.
At 3:00 pm we will have an open and informal celebration of the dharma where members will read favorite poems or stories. Then we will offer thanks and gifts to our volunteers, without whom we wouldn’t be here. We will conclude with toasts of inspiration and thanks and with a song that Trungpa Rinpoche wrote, as the anthem for the enlightened society that he envisioned, called the Shambhala Anthem.
At 4:30 pm we will begin clean-up, as we need to vacate the space completely by 5 pm, so we hope you will help us accomplish this.
We hope you will be able to join us, and we look forward to a wonderful celebration with all of you!!!