End of the Year Practices, Welcoming the Year of the Iron Ox

February 1st—February 11th

Date details +
    Room: Online

    Dön Season and Daily Mamo Chants: February 1-10

    This year, Shambhala International is hosting the daily Mamo Chants practice on-line.  This affords a wonderful opportunity to join the wider community in this important year end protector practice.  If you would like to join in, go to  https://shambhalaonline.org/don-season-practices/ 

    Each daily talk will follow roughly the same schedule:

    • Welcome (5 mins)
    • Talk (~25 mins)
    • Chants (40 mins)
    • Closing & opportunity to donate

    In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there is a period before the Tibetan New Year in the late winter/early spring when accumulated karma comes to fruition and societal obstacles arise. This year, between February 1 -10, we will do “Mamo Practice” to purify obstacles of the old year.

    This entire chanting session, perhaps an hour long or more, is a contemplation of cause and effect, of wrathful compassion and awareness. It’s also a contemplation of a kind of sacred outlook that restores balance in the world. By leaning into the message of the mamos, we pacify them and also their effect on us.

    At this time, when we look around the world, there seems to be no relief from suffering and no escape from the karmic baggage we humans have created.

    This time of obstacles is known as the “dön season.” Döns are negative forces that arise out of the environment, causing humans to do things that are self-destructive and mindless. This could take the form of sudden fits of anger or madness, or making bad decisions that will lead to misfortune. Döns produce sudden, unexpected neurotic upheavals.  Car problems, colds or flu could be considered döns. On a personal level, the best protection against döns is increasing one’s mindfulness. Therefore, this season is an especially good time for meditation practice.

    “Mamos” are another source of obstacles during this period. They are symbolized in the form of deities called dakinis. Mamos are mostly a worldly variety of dakini, unenlightened aspects of the feminine principle. Mamos become enraged when people lose touch with their own intelligence, and therefore with reality. Mamos cause large-scale problems: fighting and civil discord, famines, plagues, and environmental calamities. In the mamo chant, it says that they “incite cosmic warfare.”

    As always, with protectors, döns, mamos, and other deities, one can see them as external to oneself, or as aspects of one’s own mind. By doing rituals that are directed outward, towards mamos and döns, we are also working on our own minds. As we pacify one, we pacify the other.

    The day before Shambhala Day—Saturday, February 11th—is considered a neutral day and is a traditional time to clean and refresh one’s home and shrines in preparation for the coming year.

    This practice is free and open to all!