Saka Dawa is the most sacred of all Tibetan months. On the full moon day of this month, Buddhists observe three sacred events in one: the birth, enlightenment and death (parinirvana) of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni.
At KTD Monastery, Saka Dawa is a time for prayer, reflection and industrious dharma practice, study and work. It is said that the effects of positive and negative actions are multiplied many hundreds of times during Saka Dawa, so it is a great time for practice.
We just finished the annual Chenrezik “Million Mani Mantra” Retreat and the annual Saka Dawa Nyungne Retreat with Lama Gelongma Karuna Tara. More than a dozen people participated in the retreats, connecting with the profound mantra OM MANI PEME HUNG and the practice of Chenrezig.
Outdoors, the grass around KTD is growing long and beautifully, interspersed with flowers, as we observe the monastic tradition of not mowing the grass (and killing insects) during the holy month. The warm breeze tosses the grass seeds about, naturally fertilizing the ground.
Indoors, work continues on rolling mantras and preparing materials for the construction of stupas – sacred monuments honoring and conferring the blessings of the Buddha’s body, speech, and mind. And this past week, Painter Tashi Dorjee from Queens NY has visited us to use his expertise to refresh the gold paint on the faces of some of our most precious consecrated statues. You may recall the article here a few years ago when Tashi Dorjee climbed onto the scaffolding put up by our gold-leaf artist Mr. Lee and painted the face of our main Buddha image in the KTD Main Shrine.
We rejoice in the practice offering of all the Khenpos, lamas, monastics, staff and volunteers at KTD during this holy month. Please take time to engage in practice this month for the long life, good health and excellent dharma activity of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, his seat at KTD and all practitioners and all beings!