February 9 at 4:01pm ·
LOSAR GREETING FROM RINPOCHE
Losar Tashi Delek!
Losar means New Year in Tibetan. Tashi means auspicious, which means all unwanted circumstances fall away and everything that we wish for and aspire for comes. De-lek, is literally the words happiness and excellence, however, in this specific phrase, happiness means all temporary happiness. Excellence means the ultimate happiness at the time of awakening to our buddha nature and becoming a buddha. So when you say Losar Tashi Delek, the words are literally translated as May all be auspicious, and may happiness, and excellence come for you, but the meaning is as I explained. Many Tibetans don’t even know that greater meaning and simply think it something to say when you see someone or for special occasions.
So, if we want temporary and ultimate happiness, what do we need? We begin by remembering interdependence: Nothing just happens to us. There has to be causes and conditions. This means that we need to create the causes and conditions for happiness. So what are they? A kind heart, one that holds the welfare of others, not one that only wants tashi delek for ourselves alone. One that wants that for all beings. Our focus is on everyone else and wanting all of them to have tashi delek (temporary and ultimate happiness and all that is auspicious). We need to have not only a kind heart, but also positive actions. Do what you can to help others. This is the most important factor for having tashi delek.
When we usher in the new year, it is considered a new beginning. It is good to reflect on last year, and then last month, and even yesterday. Recollect whatever negative thoughts, words, or actions we may have engaged in and the habits you have for them. Especially think of those thoughts and actions that are strongest for you. Consider what comes up for you the most, what re-occurs? Examine that and then think, this year I vow not to repeat those actions and to stop those habits. As well, I commit to refraining from all harmful actions this year. Then think of positive actions and whatever might benefit others and set your intention for the year to come to put special attention on all these positive actions so that you can help others. This is very important. This is a very good way to start a new year.
Also, think about the year you just had, or last month, or even just one day ago, yesterday….see how much expectation you have and hopes you place on cyclic existence. We have such huge hopes for it. We think something will come and eventually through our efforts somehow samsara will be made perfect. But samsara cannot be accomplished no matter how much we do, it will never be just what we want it to be. Last year and last month and yesterday indicate to us exactly what existence is like. That is what will continue to come tomorrow, next month and next year. More of the same. Last year, despite our best efforts, samsara was not perfected. Nor the year before and so on. So we shouldn’t expect it to be different this year.
Now its a new year, and since we are on the new year day, losar, my advice is to relax that and don’t worry about samsara so much. Have less expectations on it and loosen up a little. No one is perfecting the state of existence. By its nature it cannot be accomplished. The past is our teacher for this. So whatever comes, be okay with that. If we are happy today, wonderful, but don't expect samsara to be something other than what it is. Relax about it. I’m saying, calm down. C a l m d o w n.