The Lung-ta Lab at Merigar East

By Oana Marcu

Merigar East is situated near the Black Sea, where the wind element is at its peak throughout the year. The typical wind of the Dobrogea region is called „Crivăț”, bringing frost in winter and dryness during the tropical, sunny summers. It is a region with little altitude variation: this is what gives it the typical scenery of vast, infinite space with plenty of light. Thus, it is the perfect place for hanging Lung-tas, with all the elements manifesting in a strong way. Some people from the area told us they recognize our grounds as „the place with many flags”.

The Merigar East Lungta project started with a Lungta Workshop in 2018, when we printed 3000 prayer flags and continued with intensive printing and sewing at least twice a year. This year, in the beginning of 2021, it has been a success: we are very happy to have prepared 565 sets of Lungtas (2825 flags) for 128 practitioners and their family members around the world.

In terms of Lungta, every year our skill and capacity improved. With the help of knowledgeable practitioners from the Czech community we gradually acquired four screens for serigraphy. One is that of Avalokiteshvara, a simple, small, flower-like mandala; another one is Simhamuka: a strong, flaming protection Lungta surrounded by mantras. The traditional horse accompanied by other animals, bringing fortune and prosperity could not be missed. This year we have announced a new design: the 12 Primordial Masters, circled innerly and outwardly by their Invocation, the Invocation of Garab Dorje, the Song of Vajra and the 100 syllable mantra. This design has a thongdrol function (liberating through seeing) and will decorate our entrance gates.

Preparing the Lungtas is a profound practice of the elements. Every day, for two weeks, we touched the fabric, one colour after another, while cutting, printing and sewing, keeping in our minds the mantra of the five elements. While sewing, we knew already to whom each set was destined and this helped putting positive intentions in the work and creating contact, sending good wishes to all of these people. Moreover, all the steps of the preparation process require repetition and a high level of attention, the perfect ground for a calm state to manifest next to the intense focus.

Approaching Losar, the time came to shift the balance from work to enjoyment. The group grew bigger thanks to the practitioners who came to help, from Targu Mures and Bucharest. We enjoyed common lunches and dinners with Transylvanian poultry, Italian pizza, Tibetan Guthuk soup and tsampa balls, a wonderful selection of local wines and the irreplaceable palincă (Romanian home brewed spirit).

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All this was just building stamina for our heroes to face the hard part that was about to come: hanging the Lung-tas with the Crivăț, the king of the winds, according to Romanian mythology. With the temperatures going from 13° to -4° over one night, it accomplished what only a professional flash-freezer could accomplish: instantly freezing the soil, the hands, the feet, the cars and whatever else it encountered.

With this we really hope to have arisen the enthusiasm of some Wim Hof fans for joining us next year! Don’t worry, spring is already coming and thanks to our Merigar East oasis project it will be a blooming season.

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