Guru Rinpoche, Buddha of the three times,
Lord of all siddhis who is the one of great bliss,
Dispeller of all obstacles, wrathful tamer of Mara,
We supplicate you; please grant your blessings.
Grant your blessings that outer, inner
and secret obstacles be pacified
And that our intentions be spontaneously accomplished.
Greetings to everyone on the eve of the Fire Monkey Year.
As another year ends and the morrow brings in the beginning of another lunar year, we at Mindrolling wish you a harmonious new year filled with contentment and happiness.
For those of us blessed with the connection to Guru Rinpoche, this Year of the Monkey is a special year that only comes once every 12 years. Although capturing the life, activities and meaning of the great Guru of Oddiyana is like measuring the sky, from a conventional perspective, it is said that this great second Buddha manifested as the Lotus Born in the Year of the Monkey.
It is extremely fortunate that we are all able to celebrate this special year in 2016. And as we begin this year with renewed vigor and enthusiasm to be a true Dharma practitioner not just in name but also in meaning, let us pledge ourselves that we will take our practice that much further; we will put that much extra effort to be kinder and we will push ourselves a little harder to be more patient. We will, in this year of Guru Padmasambhava, try our best to embody his teachings and take another step, no matter how big or small, closer to enlightenment. Let us not fall into laziness, excuses and stagnation but look to welcome this year with freshness and vitality injected into our daily practice.
So, let us take this opportunity to find joy and a sense of eagerness in bringing richness to our practice. Let us find time to celebrate the goodness and virtue we can give rise to in our lives.
Celebration is not just eating, drinking, play and entertainment and mindless activities. As practitioners we should learn to celebrate—
Celebrate the wonderful innate qualities of kindness and love.
Celebrate the ability to give happiness to others.
Celebrate contentment and simplicity.
Celebrate that fact that you are human with boundless goodness.
Celebrate who you are and how you can evolve to being the source of joy to all.
Celebrate how far you have come and all that has led you to this point.
Celebrate the opportunity to practice the Dharma.
Celebrate small moments of joy.
Celebrate all beings and your inter-connectedness to all.
Celebrate every moment knowing that each moment carries the full potential of liberation.
Celebrate not just once the new year but each new moment as it arises.
Celebrate the fact that the glorious gurus of the lineage appeared and gave rise to immeasurable benefit.
Celebrate the happiness and success of others.
Celebrate virtue and merit.
There are all these many simple and yet very powerful ways we can celebrate together. And what does it mean when we say “celebrate?” To celebrate is to take a moment to pause, reflect and then give rise to pure joy which fills us with renewed vigor and resolve to persevere on our path of practice. Celebration should lead us to think, “Yes, everything may not be perfect but we are still here, there’s still goodness and we have much to be joyful about and much to preserve and much to improve upon.” True celebration brings appreciation, strengthened vows and vitality in our practice and lives.
So let us celebrate in the true sense—not in the conventional sense of partying and self-congratulatory dullness but with enthusiasm and the fresh bloom of joyful resolve to go further on our path to true awakening.
Minling Dungse Rinpoche, Jetsün Gautami Rinpoche and all of us at Mindrolling Ladrang and Mindrolling and Samten Tse send our Losar Greetings and prayers to you all .