Tag Archives: Tibetan New Year

We think we are rocks, but we are gold.

image by Richard Reoch, click on the image to see a beautiful little video of the making of the dragon

I mentioned in a post yesterday that it was Tibetan New Year, Year of the Water Dragon. At the Fort Collins Shambhala Meditation Center, this is celebrated as “Shambhala Day.” Last night, a large group met at the Center, and while we couldn’t do the full, traditional Lhasang (smoke) ceremony because of high winds, and there were some technical difficulties with parts of the Sakyong’s video address, dinner from Mount Everest Cafe was its usual delicious and the company was good.

A few things from the Sakyong’s talk really stood out to me, are still resonating. First, as he was on retreat last year, he talked about how for him it was a year of knowing basic goodness, studying it and reaching a fundamental understanding. He feels this year, for all of us, will be a year of being basic goodness. For me, this reinforces my own path of retreat this year, underscores the importance of really knowing something before you can manifest it, embody it.

Dalai Lama and Sakyong Mipham at Shambhala Mountain Center

The other thing the Sakyong said is “we think we are rocks, but we are gold.” This phrase has been on repeat in my head, in my heart since I first heard it. I am utterly in love with it.

He didn’t mean that we should feel like we are special, or that we should use this information to build up our ego into thinking we are better or more important than anyone else. He meant that we all, every being, are precious, have basic goodness, and that our true nature is compassionate and wise.

We think we are rocks, but we are gold.

We could also say that we think we are rocks, but we are diamonds. Or that we think we are dirt or even shit, but we all are a seed, flower or vegetable or tree, we all have the possibility, the instinct and desire to grow, to manifest our basic goodness. We must know it, and then we must be it.

We think we are rocks, but we are gold.

Pema Chödrön and Sakyong Mipham

Then I read the latest post on Painted Path (seriously, are you reading this? Julia’s writing, poetry, audio posts, art, and beautiful self are not to be missed), in which Julia invited her readers to answer this question “What in your heart do you know you are meant to do?” and “Leave six words that give a glimpse.” Her own answer was “I am meant to shine light.” Mine was:

I am meant to open hearts.
Soul surgery, to help and heal.
Kindness and gentleness are my superpowers.
Wake up, brave and tender hearts!
We’re warriors of wisdom and love.
Our basic goodness is our birthright.
I am here to remind you.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop (see, even that’s six words!).

painting by Julia

We think we are rocks, but we are gold.

Be you.

Happy Tibetan New Year!

image from Shambhala Publications

Today is Tibetan New Year, Year of the Water Dragon. In a talk on Maitri, Pema Chödrön shared the following, “The Four Limitless Ones”:

May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
This first line refers to maitri.

May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
And this second line refers to compassion.

May we never be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering.
This refers to joy.

May we dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, aggression and prejudice.
This refers to equanimity.

I think that these are good things to contemplate today, this opportunity to begin again, and may each of the four be limitless in your life, and may you know that. Happy New Year / Losar Tashi Delek!

image from Shambhala Publications