On the seat of peace, the changeless iron element,
May the loving dancer, the mouse year, assume its rightful place.
Through the auspicious rays of its prajna’s beautiful light,
May the world be filled with the brilliance of well-being and excellence.
~Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
February brought us the joy of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. “Lo” means “year” or “age” and “sar” means “fresh” or “new.” It is a period of change, a time of new beginnings, an opportunity to open our hearts and our minds for a fresh new start.
Danute Kudaba, NBT Practice co-Coordinator, expertly guided us in the two traditional parts of Losar: preparation and practice. As she noted, these two aspects are called Gutor and take place over the last two days of the old year in Tibet.
Traditionally, the first of the two days is spent cleaning the entire house, with a special focus on the kitchen where food is prepared. With this in mind, members arrived at the centre on February 15, bringing care and attention along with their sponges and pails, and set about cleaning our NBT home until it sparkled.
On February 22 we gathered for the second day of Gutor to celebrate Losar with ceremony, thankfulness, and feast. Losar began with open meditation followed by the special liturgy practice. We participated in chants, supplications and dedications, partook of tea and saffron rice, sang songs, and made offerings to our precious teachers.
We offered many heartfelt aspirations for the sangha and the world. These included joy, happiness and peace for all sentient beings, kindness in all our interactions, recognition of the vast potential in everyone we meet, a fruitful year ahead for our sangha’s growth and activities, and sharing our auspicious circumstances in the world with others.
This Losar was also the occasion of the first anniversary of our new NB Toronto home, making this a doubly auspicious celebration for us! We recognized our members’ collective hard work establishing this new centre and acknowledged the subsequent accomplishments achieved.
Losar concluded with a feast of delicious vegetarian dishes enjoyed with good conversation and much laughter.