“What is the meaning of butter lamp offerings? We do not offer the lamps because enlightened beings need to see them. Rather, the offering of light is a means of dispelling the darkness of our own ignorance, giving rise to clarity and wisdom…” ~ H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is a powerful time to make aspirations and set intentions for the coming cycle around the sun. On February 16th, the Tibetan calendar will welcome the auspicious Year of the Male Earth Dog.
On Losar at Tara Mandala Retreat Center, our residents will emerge from their end-of-the-year solo retreats and join Lama Tsultrim in the Tara Temple for our New Year’s tsog (feast offering ceremony). During this ceremony we offer 108 candles, and read aloud the prayers and dedications from sponsors around the world as we sit in meditation.
The offering of candles and butterlamps (Tibetan candles made from the butter of a female yak) has a long history in Buddhist cultures as the symbolic offering of enlightenment itself, illuminating the darkness and representing the transformation of a base substance into light. In this way, butterlamps are far more than simple offerings, and lighting just one small flame with a pure intention has the potential to generate vast merit. With a contribution of $108, you can sponsor one of these special candles, and your personal dedication will be read aloud as your candle is lit at our ceremony.
These lights can be offered in honor of a loved one, as a prayer or aspiration, or as a moment of silence – whatever comes from your heart. By making a donation, you create tendrel (auspicious interdependence) for the aspiration, as well as supporting Tara Mandala’s many activities in the establishment of the Dharma in the west, exponentially increasing the vast benefit of this special offering. This is a beautiful way to participate in our New Year ceremony and bring your energy into the universal mandala during this wonderfully auspicious time.
Join us in making this offering in honor of yourself, your teachers, a loved one, or all sentient beings. In these tumultuous times, we can all use some warmth and illumination. Be sure to include your personal dedication in the “Prayers and dedications” section below.
Want to offer a different amount?
You can make a general donation by clicking here.
The Tara Mandala Family