Happy Lunar New Year!

According to Chinese and Tibetan astrology, today marks the start of the year of the metal ox (辛丑, or ལྕགས་མོ་གླང་). With this post I wish everyone a happy New Year. ལོ་གསར་བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས་

A Buddhist Sunday – Prayer Flags

Prayer flags (or lung-ta – རླུང་རྟ་ : Wind horse) are special flags usually connected with Tibetan Buddhism. Some say the prayer flags have their origin in the original Bon religion of Tibet. They come in different sizes, but always in the colours blue, white, red, green, and yellow (and usually in this order). The smaller…

A Buddhist Sunday – Pharping Vajrayoginī

Pharping is a town south of Kathmandu. It goes by a few different names: The Nepali call it Pharping (sometimes pronounced Farping); The Tibetans call it Yangleshö (ཡང་ལེ་ཤོད་); and it was also called Phamting, because some say it is the birthplace of Phamtingpa (11th century CE), who together with his brothers was a close disciple…

A Buddhist Sunday – Everybody Dance Now…

For special occasions, usually for Losar (ལོ་གསར་ – Tibetan New Year) or the Tshechu festival in Bhutan (ཚེས་བཅུ་ – Tshechu – literally Day Ten, celebrated on the tenth day of a lunar month), the lamas (བླ་མ་ bla ma – Tibetan Buddhist teachers or Gurus) perform a set of sacred dances. The monks dance dressed in…

A Buddhist Sunday – Chusya Bahal

Chusya Bahal is a Buddhist temple not too far from the busy tourist area of Kathmandu (around the corner from Chhetrapati Chowk), but once inside the inner courtyard you enter in an oasis of peace and tranquility. The entrance is guarded by two formidable lions and Prajñāpāramitā (Prajña: Wisdom and Pāramitā: Perfection) is displayed above the…

A Buddhist Sunday – Medicine

There is a Buddha for long life (Sanskrit: Amitāyus, Tibetan: Tsepame) which is basically the same as the Buddha Amithabha (Tibetan Öpame – see last week). A Buddha for developing compassion (Avalokiteśvara) and one for wisdom (Mañjuśrī). Then what Buddha can we turn to in case of illness? For this we can turn to Bhaiṣajyaguru…

Homesick, or maybe something else

The sun is shining and it is nice and warm. The birds are singing and the flowers are in bloom. It’s good to be home, yet my mind seems to be elsewhere… Is it still called homesickness if you long for some place else? My mind keeps wandering of to Kathmandu, which we called home…