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March 14, 2008

2008 Losar Celebration

This year Losar falls into the same date as the Chinese New Year and it was one of the most memorable and meaningful new year celebration which was celebrated in LDC Malaysia. Due to the 15 merit multiplying days, we took the opportunity to invite more sanghas from overseas. This year we invited four nuns from Kopan Monastery for the benefit of world peace, peace in Malaysia including harmony and spiritual progress in our centres especially centres in Malaysia and to bring about great compassion into every living being’s heart.

We have initiated to construct a Chenrezig sand mandala and was successfully completed within 15 days. Over 100 people came to view and received blessings, made circumambulation and offerings. Since there was so much benefit even to view, we decided to keep the mandala for the whole year so that people can continue to view and make offerings. We plan to construct a mandala on an annual basis and next year we plan to construct a Medicine Buddha mandala.

At the same time, in the last 15 days of Losar, we perform extensive pujas and prayers such as Tara Puja, Medicine Buddha Puja, Protector Puja, Guru Puja, various recitation of sutra and mantra and teachings on the benefits and meanings of different prayers, extensive light offerings conjoined with circumambulation and prostration to the holy objects. It was amazing throughout the 15 days without any break. Sixty to hundred people attend each night.

It was really meaningful to see people are serious about accumulation of merit and purification and this was especially done by taking advantage of the miracle days. I sincerely rejoice and felt that this is something very wonderful. It wasn’t just me but many others felt the same with blessings granted and they have also expressed positive changes in their lives.

At the same time, we performed four to five pujas daily at member’s, friend’s houses and in LDC, not just here in the Klang Valley but also in Penang and Triang. All these were done with the help of the nuns from Kopan Monastery and sanghas of LDC, conjoined with the full support and assistance of centre members. Everything was perfect!

The nuns truly admire, appreciate and rejoice in this whole month, every day from morning to night performing prayers, constructing mandala, performing pujas and all these were done without any complain. Instead they express their happiness through their smile and mind. I was rather worried about their health as these nuns are small eaters and even when I asked them to take a break, they continued with their work. And due to Buddha’s blessings, I am very happy that they are healthy. Not only do they work hard, they are also very talented in all the different prayers and knowledge in dharma. I think this is my first time I spend time with my sister, who is the chanting master, Losang Drolma. I have heard a lot of good things about her but somehow due to my busy schedule in the past with my studies and now overseas, I don’t even have the chance to know her but now I had the whole month to do so. I am truly happy and admire her knowledge and her humble down to earth demeanour and that was really the best gift I ever received from her. Same goes to the other nuns, they are really wonderful.

At the same time, LDC sanghas worked very hard from their side assisting in whatever they can and without hesitation. Members also made tremendous effort to assist during this period when they could be having their holidays instead. I rejoice and rejoice and rejoice!

The nuns have left Malaysia and they are constructing another sand mandala in Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore, China Town. They will then go to Thailand to construct a sand mandala in a Thai Temple.

This time I regard the Kopan nuns have open their doors to the Eastern countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In the previous years, they have travelled to Europe, Australia and America annually to perform different prayers and different arts like lama dance, cho dance and creating sand mandalas. These were all done to gain publicity and receive some financial assistance for the nunnery. and So this first visit of theirs went very well and they created much auspiciousness and I am sure this will bring them to the Asian countries. I can say the invitation of Kopan nuns is very successful and it has lead to many great benefit for their future. Khen Rinpoche appointed Chung Han as the coordinator in Malaysia, Benny Soh as coordinator in Singapore and Irene as coordinator in Thailand.