- This event has passed.
Enjoy a Tibetan New Year’s Celebration (Losar) at Cabot Shores and at Gampo Abbey
February 10 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Past New Year’s Celebrations at Gampo Abbey with Ani Pema Chodron
In the past, we’ve experienced the Tibetan New Year’s Losar Celebration at Gampo Abbey. A large fire was built overlooking the Bay St. Lawrence, with meditators, other practitioners and community members in attendance, as well as the monastics of Gampo Abbey and director Ani Pema Chodron. Afterwards there would be a feast and often a hike, proceeded by meditation in the Shrine Room. There we meditated and also talked about the Tibetan theme for the New Year. In past years, Ani Pema Chodron would describe the New Year in its cycle.
This year is the 38th year of a 60 year cycle. Ani Pema Chodron returns this year later to Gampo Abbey. Ani Pema Chodron will be on Cape Breton at Gampo Abbey for the Yarne Winter Retreat. (Please n9te that there is no public New Year’s ceremony this winter at Gampo Abbey)
Here is a photo of the shrine room at Gampo Abbey where previous ceremonies in past Februarys were held:
The Five Elements for the Lhasang
Several meditation groups, guests and community members are holding the Lhasang here at Cabot Shores on February 10th.
The ceremony celebrates “the Year of the Wood Dragon”. The puja fire ceremony is an offering to the “elemental” spirits of the mountains, the sky, the river and all of nature. The New Year’s Lhasang ritual can be experienced as a meditative offering as well as a purifying practice. It can be thought of as an offering to the land and to nature as well. Specifically the five elements are earth, fire, water, air, metal.
Associated with these 5 basic elements are the animals that correspond to the particular year. These matches are found in both Tibetan and Chinese predictions for the coming year. The Wood Dragon, for example, calls up “leadership qualities”. The “wood” element follows the metaphor of a tree, growing towards the light.
Gampo Abbey writes to us that the Year of the Wood Dragon:
“The Wood Dragon is full of energy and dreams of changing the world. It symbolizes bravery, creativity, and innovation.
The Wood Dragon year is said to be full of potential and opportunities for personal growth, professional success, and social impact.”
On Saturday, February 10th at 11:00am, we will hold the Lhasang (Losar Festival). Here is a description of the Lhasang (“sang” meaning purification): A Lhasang is a Tibetan smoke ceremony that predates Buddhism. It is customarily performed on Holidays, such as the New Year and consists of creating smoke by burning conifer branches. These will be gathered, mostly spruce boughs, from around the land Cabot Shores from the forest trails along Indian Brook leading to Church Pond and the Atlantic.
During this Lhasang, it is thought that our prayers and intentions for the new year are carried up by the smoke, and that blessings descend on the smoke. It also involves chanting, circumambulating the fire and sometimes dancing.
The ceremony will be led by Ani Jangchub, in Tibetan and in English. The fire tender will be Todd Vassallo.
The Losar (Tibetan New Year’s ceremony) on February 10th starts at 11:00am with a potluck to follow. All are welcome.