Today is "Losar," Tibetan New Year 2146, the year of the Earth Pig. Losar is an auspicious day to celebrate to set the tone for one's year ahead.
We hope you can join us! If you're new to doing puja, please come anyway, join in as you're comfortable, and be present in the gompa with a good heart.
Tonight's Guru Puja will include a short five minute video of Lama Yeshe's teachings and a few words by Nick Ribush, who met Lama Yeshe in 1972. Please join us on this auspicious occasion and make a stronger connection to Lama Yeshe while keeping his legacy vibrant.
The word puja means "to please" and has the connotation to please through offerings and practice. The Guru Puja lays the whole path to enlightenment on our mindstream, connects us more strongly to our teachers, allows us to accumulate skies of merit and purifies eons of negative karma. We chant the first 2/3rds of this puja in Tibetan and the last 1/3 we recite in English.
We always recommend bringing offerings of some sort, food, unscented tea lights, flowers, etc, as a way of earning merit. By making donations at, or sponsoring, a specific puja, you are strengthening and empowering the merit you receive in relationship to that puja, in this case the merit we receive by celebrating our gurus and the immeasurable benefit they have offered all sentient beings through their teachings. Generosity is the first of the six perfected qualities of a bodhisattva, planting the seeds to ensure that we will have all the material things necessary in future lives to continue our study of Dharma and working for the benefit of all beings, and this puja is a wonderful opportunity to practice generosity. This does not necessarily mean making more offerings, but rather making offerings that are of high value to you, that you find delightful and want to offer your gurus and all buddhas, quantity and quality being factors but not defining marks for an offering. Offerings are not an obligation but an opportunity, so we encourage you to make the most of it.
All are welcome.