The Birthday of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
Dancing and Singing with the Stars
December 8th, 2017
The day began with the greeting of the Snow Lion as Rinpoche was escorted to the Gömpa for a day of celebration. The traditional honorific dung chen or Tibetan horns were blowing, khataks waving and smiles and cheers abounding as Rinpoche walked through the Gömpa to his chair.
After Rinpoche settled in as always, and requesting the traditional “sit down please”, Nina Robinson led us in the Mandarava practice. After the practice there was a formal mandala offering led by an official guest. Steve Landsberg gave a moving birthday speech expressing the deep gratitude and wishes for good health and long life of all those present, and the many not present, to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, acclaiming his myriad accomplishments and our collective desire for many more years together.
After the speech and another mandala offering, we were able to go to Rinpoche and offer gifts. Abundance was not lacking.
And then, joyous dance after joyous dance, applied with skill, grace and excellent choreography by a dedicated and talented group of our Vajra family members, filled the birthday of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu on December 8, 2017 with radiance and delight. Just when you thought the previous dance could not be surpassed, the next group of dancers came on the scene and raised the bar. Charming representations from many lands, opening with the children, to Tarantella from South Italy, moving on to Ukraine, Russia, Japan, India, Hawaiian Hulu, Argentinean folk dance, to the exciting and dramatic local Tenerife folk dance. Interspersed were Khaita dances, songs from Sonam and Loten Namling, magical and mystical displays of juggling and light shows from Medved from the Czech Republic, and the top of the line was the special guest appearance of one of our beloved Khaita singers, Lobsang Delek, who actually sang and trained some of our dancers with his songs.The happiness and appreciation was visible on all the faces, not least of all Rinpoche’s.
There was a delicious sit down lunch feast catered by the local Italian restaurant Tentation, birthday videos of greetings from around the world, the Dzogchen Communities and ASIA as, as well as a very fine video portraying the amazing transformation of Dzamling Gar from its dusty beginnings until now, where on December 14, the first ceiling beam was raised on the new structure.
After the lunchtime rest there were some Tibetan games of strength and skill, more music and dances with Lobsang Delek, and an evening soup, after which the day finally drew to close.
Rinpoche said some words expressing gratitude and looking quite pleased and touched by the display of love and care that was demonstrated on this auspicious day. He was escorted to his new coach that awaited him at the Gömpa entrance, and off he rode into the Dzamling Gar evening.
A special thanks to Tshering Choden and Thubten Rabgyi, the Gekö, for the excellent project management of this now historic event.
Photos courtesy of Lesya Cheramova