We’ve just had a wonderful weekend of Losar – Tibetan New Year – celebrations here at The Hermitage Buddhist retreat centre in North Wales. We greeted the ‘Year of the Earth Dog’ in style!
The celebrations started when we welcomed our friend and Hermitage resident Dashu out of his year-long solo meditation retreat. We all lined up to offer him a traditional white scarf and Lama looked resplendent in her special Tibetan outfit!
Dashu’s retreat has been an inspiration and of great benefit to us all, but it was great to see him and to have him back in the outside world! Just as he arrived the clouds parted and we had blue skies and sunshine. We went inside and he talked about his time in retreat with an inspiring Q&A with Lama, and lots of other Sangha members joined us online for that from various parts of the world.
After lunch we had a traditional Tibetan Buddhist smoke offering ceremony. Special offering items are placed in the fire and the offerings are taken up and disbursed by the pure white smoke, transforming into blessings for us all and the whole surrounding area.
All the old prayer flags had been taken down, and new ones were blessed and then put up around the site here in Ynys, near Criccieth. The weather was kind to us, cold but dry!
The following day we had a feast offering which is always good fun: lots of food, songs and laughter! Saturday evening finished with a light offering at the Stupa, which looked beautiful surrounded by twinkling candles.