Losar, which in Tibetan means “new year,” is celebrated widely by Tibetans and Tibetan Bön and Buddhist centers throughout the world. This is the time to reflect on the passing of the old year and face the possibilities of the New Year. Losar will be celebrated on Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 8:00 am CST. This will be held jointly with Ligmincha International and with Ligmincha Texas. Please join us via Zoom for our Losar activities.
Geshe Denma Gyaltsen will offer a Sang Chod ritual from Galveston, Texas at the home of Jackie Cole.
To register for Ligmincha International’s free 3-day Losar events on February 12-14, 2021 here:
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 Preparation before Losar
From our homes in preparation for Losar, it is the Tibetan tradition to clean before the New Year. This is the day we need to cleanse externally and clean our house, office, car, and finish projects, and generally prepare for a clean start in the next year.
We will use this opportunity to cleanse ourselves spiritually, to be ready for the New Year. In the evening, write on a piece of paper, anything that has been challenging, difficult for you, or obstacles you have encountered, problematic relationships, emotional difficulties, and/or health issues from the past male Iron Mouse year. Then recite one mala of the Du Tri Su mantra and throw the piece of paper in the garbage. We will think about releasing all the negative things that happened in the Iron Mouse year 2020 so they will not be carried into the new female Iron Ox year 2021.
Mantra of Purification
A KAR A ME DU TRI SU NAG PO ZHI ZHI MAL MAL SO HA
Friday, February 12, 2021 Individual Losar celebration at home
Because of the pandemic, we will not be gathering at the center and we will celebrate Losar from our homes. Traditionally, this is a family gathering day. Celebrate Losar together with your family, if this is not possible, you can bestow good wishes to your family members on this day. In the morning, when you wake up, make a water offering of the seven bowls of water, light one candle, incense, and recite Guru Yoga, Refuge, Bodhicitta, and Yeshe Walmo prayers. Then rest and sit in the Natural State of Mind for as long as it is fresh. End your practice by reciting the Dedication of Merit prayer.
Traditionally, a Chemar ritual would be offered. This is an auspicious ceremony using barley flour called tsampa mixed with butter in a special wooden container.
This year, instead, put any type of flour in a small bowl and on top of the flour put a small piece of butter and place the bowl on your altar. After morning prayers and meditation, then take a pinch of the flour, offer it lightly three times, touch it to the tongue, and then say the traditional auspicious happiness greeting.
Tashi Delek phun sum tsok,
A ma bak dro ku kham sang,
Ten du de wa to par shog.
Gongni Gongdu Phelwar Shog.
Auspicious goodness and abundance to you,
May you be healthy and peaceful,
May you find eternal peace and happiness,
And may your pursuit of peace and happiness flourish day by day.
The first offering of money of the year can be made to the altar and the Buddhas. Everyone will wish one another a happy new year and good fortune, health, and all good things. Geshe la advises us to say only positive comments all day and not to engage in negative actions of body, speech or mind, and to continue to do prayers. Traditionally, if you have new prayer flags you can hang them in your home on the first day of Losar.
Happy New Tibetan Year of the Iron Ox.
Losar Tashi Delek!
Geshe Denma Gyaltsen is the resident lama of Ligmincha Texas. He arrived in Houston in January 2016 to serve as Ligmincha Texas’s first resident lama.
Geshe Denma was born in northern Nepal. His father brought him to Menri Monastery, India, regarded as the mother Bon monastery in exile, in 1981 to begin his program of study toward the Geshe degree. He received all the Bon teachings, initiations and transmissions in sutra, tantra and dzogchen from His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, the 33rd Menri Trizin, and His Eminence Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.
When he became a senior student, he was asked to teach philosophy to younger students. He successfully completed this degree program in 1996 and was awarded the Geshe certificate, which is considered equivalent to a Ph.D. in Bön Buddhist philosophy and religion.
Geshe Denma was an accomplished teacher and in 1998 was appointed, with the approval of the Tibetan government in exile, first abbot of Zhu Rishing Yungdrung Kundak-Ling Monastery, a Bon Monastery in Sikkim, India by His Holiness. He served two terms in this capacity until 2003. In addition, from the time he graduated until 2008, Geshe Denma also was active in assisting Geshe Nyima Dakpa with the Bon Children’s Home, which houses many children in Dolanji, India, providing them with food, healthcare and free education.