On December 10, the last Sharing Dharma Day of 2017, the Abbey will celebrate Lama Tsongkhapa Day with many light offerings to honor the founder of our lineage.
Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) was one of Tibetan Buddhism’s greatest scholars and yogis, and the author of many profound texts like the Lamrim Chenmo—The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. Through his life devoted to teaching and practice, Lama Tsongkhapa demonstrated the way to cultivate love and compassion, two essential antidotes for combatting violence and hatred.
For those unable to attend Lama Tsongkhapa Day at the Abbey, additional ways to celebrate and create merit include:
- Take and keep the Eight Mahayana Precepts for 24 hours.
- Make many light offerings on your altar, using candles, Christmas lights—whatever you have.
- Watch Ven. Chodron’s series of short teachings on The Essence of a Human Life: Words of Advice for Lay Practitioners by Lama Tsongkhapa.
- Study, meditate, and listen to other Tsongkhapa teachings. His short texts include The Three Principal Aspects of the Path and The Foundation of All Good Qualities.
- Do the Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga practice, which you’ll find online here or in the Pearl of Wisdom II prayer book.
- Make offerings to your teacher or Dharma center for the continuation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings. To include the Abbey in your offerings, click here.
- Read or listen to Ven. Chodron’s talk on Tsongkhapa’s great kindness and her personal experiences of visiting his meditation cave in Tibet.
We need a tremendous amount of merit to meet Tsongkhapa’s teachings. Rejoice in your fortune, take advantage of your precious opportunity, and dedicate for your own awakening and for all sentient beings!
Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence
In response to the unprecedented frequency and deadliness of gun violence in 2017, merit from the light offerings on Lama Tskongkhapa Day will be dedicated to victims of gun violence. We’ve registered the candle lighting ceremony as one of the Nationwide Vigils and Events to #EndGunViolence taking place this year, organized by Newtown Action Alliance & Newtown Foundation. Gun violence affects people regardless of age, income, location, religion, and race. The Abbey community hopes that this vigil will help transform empathy and compassion into meaningful action by:
- honoring those whose lives have been lost or adversely affected by gun violence,
- providing a space to express grief and make strong determinations to prevent future tragedies, and
- encouraging local and nationwide efforts to promote gun safety through policy and legislative reforms.