The First Gates

losar 2013

Monday, February 11, marks Losar, the Tibetan New Year, and the start of 2140, the Year of the Water Snake.  The new year festivities begin with prayers and good wishes for family, friends, and all sentient beings.  Tibetans believe that Shakyamuni Buddha performed miracles during the first 15 days of  Losar, so this is a time of ritual and celebration.

His Holiness Sakya Trizin, leader of one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, offered these words in his 2013 Losar greeting:

“Now we start a new year, the Year of the Water Snake.  In Buddhism, whilst the snake represents anger, one of the three poisons that keeps us trapped in samsara (delusion), water symbolizes purification.  And so we are invited to look upon this year as one of transformation, where our negative emotions can be purified and transmuted into enlightened qualities, and where we can apply this transformation to our…

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